Just the one. While multi-monitors set-ups make me go “Neat” momentarily when I see them, I’ve never actually been interested in trying it. Generally, whatever I’m doing on my computer is what I’m doing on my computer so a second screen with other stuff isn’t all that helpful. Even if I need to look something up, I can just reach over and grab my tablet.
Three for me - technically two monitors and a TV. Generally the TV isn’t used, unless I’m watching a football game on NFL Gamepass. The PS4 app for that is atrocious, and it’s easier to just run the video from the 'puter. Generally, I’m only gaming on one monitor, and use the other for surfing and such during death timers, loading screens, and such.
Two monitors are pretty much required for work though.
Three-monitor system. For work, it’s The Work in the center 28 inch and all the tool palettes and menus in the right-hand 24 inch. The left-hander is an older 4:3 turned vertically, which makes browsing a simple, at-a-glance pleasure.
Games rarely use any but the center monitor, but it’s nice to be able to keep wiki info open and alt-Tab around to get out of game hangs and the like.
My only real games are WoW and Fallout 4. I play them on the 24" HD monitor.
The smaller monitor is for web and document support. Because, yes, I don’t like fumbling around in a game trying to figure out the current quest or find the NPC I need to talk to. I read a guide and have it open on-screen.
Just one, although I have a media PC connected to a TV in sight, so I can watch a movie or something while doing stuff on my gaming/general use PC.
I prefer a single monitor for gaming because it’s easier to keep all the action in view; I don’t lose information at the periphery. I can see where a multi-monitor setup could be useful in strategy games, like BeepKillBeep said, but I don’t usually play strategy games. Similarly, if a game used extra monitors to provide extra views–like side and rear cameras in a mech HUD, for example–I could see that being useful. There may be games that do that, but I haven’t played them.
Why do you think there are few/no games which do that (aside from the reason I’ll mention next)?
One possibility may be that some players would complain that it’s unfair when used in multiplayer. Right now, there are setups which enable players to combine monitors to have great peripheral vision which could be useful for games like this: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/1SR7qlHITFo/maxresdefault.jpg Are those complaints common? If not, would they be likely to become common?
In games like WoW where having more than one monitor for resource/abilities management is useful, are there common complaints that this gives multi-monitor players an unfair edge in PvP?
Based on my familiarity with…well, humans, yes, of course those complaints will be common. But frankly, that way lies madness: having more monitors helps, but so does using lower graphics settings, having a beefier video card, an SSD, more memory, faster core processor…
At some point it just has to be acknowledged that the PC world isn’t homogenous, and if you think somebody’s system is what’s making them better, your choices are to either live with it, upgrade your own system, or complain about it. But yes, that last choice will be the most common.
ETA: Missed answering the OP: I’m the biggest fan of multi-monitors you’ll meet; any computer I try to get work done on will have at least two 27"-ers. But my gaming box is used pretty much only for games, and hence relegated to a single 24" screen.
I imagine the main reason is simply development effort. Building in a dedicated multi-screen mode for the subset of potential players who have multiple monitors probably doesn’t seem worth the additional work required, especially since it opens up so many different potential monitor configurations. It’d have to be the big gimmick of your game, and I don’t think it’s enough of a selling point.
Tangential thought: We may see more of it as back-up cameras and monitors become more common in real-world vehicles.
Of course, if it’s a major gimmick/point to your game, you shut out single monitor set-ups. Even if it’s not “required”, no one likes feeling as though they’re getting the gimped experience (especially if the game has any multiplayer component).
Yes. In gaming, you can have your 3D game on one monitor and CPU, GPU, and other monitoring tools on the other. Outside of gaming, you can have some monitors in landscape mode and some in portrait mode, depending upon the use.
I use 3 monitors. There’s an option for me to set them up, via the nVidia control panel, as one large widescreen monitor spanning all three displays.
But that’s been pretty clunky in my experience. First of all, to even start the configuration nVidia tells you you need to end certain processes. In my case it’s about 11 of them. Going to the Task Manager, “End Task” on “Origin”, then “Chrome.exe”, etc (oddly, Steam.exe isn’t in the list). And once I’ve ended all the tasks, I need to reboot to get those services started back up again (to me it’s easier to reboot than to track down every process I’ve just ended and start them back up).
Once I’m rebooted it really is cool playing games with the wide screen like that because my center screen is almost exactly like it is in “normal” mode, but now I have all this extra screen real estate on the sides and I can see much more. In WoW it’s really nice to just keep my map up on the right screen full time, inventory full quest log on the left, things like that.
But, it sucks for non-gaming purposes. I can no longer simply set Netflix or Youtube to fullscreen on a side monitor. It wants to span it across all 3, but with black bars for the side monitors to keep the video at 16:9. And notifications no longer popup on the bottom right of my center screen. They pop up on the bottom right of the right screen.
So for me, 3 monitors is fantastic, and I’d go nuts with anything less than a 2 monitor. But until the kinks get worked out of spanning the screens I’ll stick with treating them all as individual monitors.
On a side note, though…Anyone here play Black Desert Online? In a recent patch the’ve added multi-screen support. So you can drag certain windows, like inventory, quest log, character info, to a secondary screen. It’s kind of clunky at the moment, but to me it’s such a great quality of life improvement that I hope other games take advantage of.
Just the one for me. I occasionally think about adding another one, but that’s for non-game purposes. I don’t think it would really enhance my gaming experience much.
As an aside, back in the days before computers actually supported multiple monitors, Doom had a workaround for it. You could start a network game with up to three computers, where the other two computers did nothing but provide a left and right side view. I don’t know how many people actually used this, since the requirement for three whole computers instead of just monitors made it rather extravagant, but it’s cool that it existed.