In recent years, one trend has been taking over the gaming world more than RGB lighting in the accessories department: Dual monitor setups.
With many gamers looking to stream their gameplay, and of course, binge a few series while they play, a dual monitor gaming setup has become somewhat crucial.
However, this can be a bit complicated for those new to PC gaming. So, we’re going to cover each part of the setup process step-by-step.
Let’s get your dual monitor gaming setup up and running.
Why a Dual Gaming Monitor Setup?
Using another screen while gaming unlocks a world of potential you’ve been missing out on. The second screen can be used separately to display your desktop, allowing you to bring up webpages and apps that you’d otherwise have to Alt-Tab to get to. This may not sound like much, but it allows you to open up Discord for third-party chat options, manage your Twitch stream if you’re into streaming your gameplay, and even carry out your daily computing tasks while you have your game up and running. Not to mention, you can fill in those slow parts of a grindy game with your favorite Netflix series without having to use another system.
There are also ways to increase your immersion with a dual gaming monitor setup and many other benefits. Check out this list for a comprehensive rundown.
How to Set Up Dual Monitors for Gaming: Standalone Monitors
There are two main setups you’ll need to look at for dual monitors. First, we’ll cover setting up a standalone dual monitor setup. This is mostly used for desktop PCs, and it’s not very complicated to do.
- Make Room: First, you’ll need to clear a suitable spot for a second monitor on your desk or whatever you use to house your gaming equipment. You want to ensure that there’s minimal chance of the monitor being tipped or moved unless you’re actively trying to do so.
- Port Connection: On modern PCs, you'll likely want to look for a second HDMI port. Keep in mind that your first monitor will be taking up one of your HDMI ports. So, plan according to your PC's port setup. Now, plug the HDMI (or another video-compatible cable if applicable) into the appropriate port.
- Power: The vast majority of monitors, if not all of them, also require their own power source. This is as simple as plugging the monitor's power cable to a wall outlet or power strip.
- Initial Setup: Now, turn on your PC and both monitors. You should see activity on both your primary screen and secondary screen after installing your new monitor's drivers. Don't worry. This is usually a plug-n-play solution nowadays. Once your computer is on and picking up the new monitor, it should automatically begin downloading drivers. If your monitor came with a disk, you'd need to insert that to install the drivers and complete its initial setup.
- Adjust Settings: At first, your monitor is likely to just mirror your primary screen. This can be useful if you’re trying to use it as a larger secondary screen, but most gamers will want separate functionality between their screens. To do this, go into your system settings, choose “Display”, and navigate to your screen options. Now, simply pick an attached monitor to set as your primary screen and enable dual monitors. This will split your two monitors into two separate screens; one for gaming and one for everything else. You should make your primary screen the one you’ll be looking at the most.
- Scaling and Resolution: Just like any new monitor, you'll want to spend a few moments in your Display settings adjusting its resolution and scaling options. This is based on personal preference. So, take a moment to experiment. However, be careful. If you choose higher resolutions and wonky scaling options for the monitor you'll be gaming on, it may throw menu borders out of whack, affect game performance, and generally cause other oddball issues.
- Test: Finally, boot up your favorite game and see if everything is running according to plan. If something isn’t right, it’s usually a matter of choosing a different option in your Display settings.
How to Setup Dual Monitors for Gaming: Laptop Monitors
Here’s the big one. When you purchase a gaming laptop, you’re pretty much stuck with whatever screen size and quality the laptop came with; unless you hook it into a TV or another monitor, and that defeats having a mobile gaming platform. Fortunately, this is where Mobile Pixels comes in. Mobile Pixels has developed a secondary monitor system specifically designed to add a second monitor to your laptop while maintaining its portability and cutting out all the hassle of traditional dual monitor gaming setups.
First, you’ll need to visit the Mobile Pixel site to pick up one of these monitors. Then, you only have a couple of easy steps to perform to turn your gaming laptop into a dual monitor rig.
- Mount: Mobile Pixels laptop monitors are designed to be mounted directly on the back of your laptop monitor via magnets or a secure slider-lock system. How you'll mount it depends on which model you buy, but both only take a couple of seconds to do properly. Once mounted, you can slide the second monitor out.
- Connect: Now, simply plug the Mobile Pixels monitor cable into the appropriate port on your laptop. For most, this will be an HDMI port.
- Install: Like before, you’ll need to let your computer install the monitor’s drivers. Again, this is typically automatic, and you should be up and running in seconds.
- Play: That’s it. You’re ready to start gaming with a dual monitor gaming setup on your laptop. By default, you should expect the second screen to be displayed on the Mobile Pixels secondary monitor, but you can adjust which display does what in your computer’s “Display” settings.
Mobile Pixels offers dual, and even tri-screen laptop monitor solutions, and all of them are easy enough that you can mount, install, and use them within less than a minute. For dual screen monitors, check out the top-of-the-line DUEX Plus monitor. To kick your gaming experience up a notch, we recommend the brand-new TRIO MAX display for the ultimate multi-screen solution.
Looking for a more immersive gameplay experience from wherever you are? Shop Mobile Pixels’ portable monitors for gaming.