Can I Use a Computer Monitor to Play Xbox One? How to Connect?

Can I use a computer monitor to play Xbox one? If you own an Xbox, you may have wondered if the console’s video can be displayed on a computer monitor. There are so many display connections on the back of your monitor that it may seem as if you could easily connect your Xbox.

Xboxes can be used with computer monitors. An HDMI or DVI cable is usually enough to connect the two devices. By simultaneously pressing the power and disc-eject buttons, you can manually reset the XBox’s output resolution if the image doesn’t look right.

The setup might seem straightforward, but there are still a few things to consider. The Xbox system is undoubtedly the heart of your entertainment center, but it is essentially a computer system.

Only the OS is optimized for use as an entertainment and gaming system. Although most systems are connected to a TV, there are plenty of good reasons to consider using a monitor instead.

Computer Monitor to Play Xbox One
Computer Monitor to Play Xbox One

How To Connect your Xbox to a Computer Monitor

  1. Which Cable to Use

    You’ll need to change the monitor output settings to ensure the Xbox is sending the right information to the monitor when using a computer monitor with your Xbox.

    The cables you might need for making the connection will be discussed below, but first let’s reset your Xbox’s display settings, which will enable it to recognize and output to a monitor quickly.

    Upon plugging in the monitor and Xbox, there’s at least a chance they’ll work magically. In most cases, the Xbox will remember the last screen it was connected to and apply those same output resolution standards.

    The screen may appear slightly warped when connected, but you can easily adjust the output resolution to match the monitor in the menu–problem solved!

    Occasionally, however, the Xbox tries to output to the computer monitor and gets confused, resulting in a blank screen. It’s a problem because you can’t access the menu.

    The way to fix this is to reset the Xbox’s display settings by first powering the unit down by holding the power button on the front of the console, and then holding the power button and disc-eject buttons at the same time, for a good 20 seconds.

    You can manually reset the XBox’s output screen resolution by doing this, I know. By holding the power button, you can be sure the console is fully off and not just asleep.

    After the light flashes the first time, hold power+disc eject for 20 to 30 seconds to make the console boot in 640×480 resolution. While it won’t match the monitor, it will be a step forward from starting with a blank screen, allowing you to access the menus and adjust the resolution directly.

Cable to Use

It is relatively easy to connect your Xbox to a computer monitor. In order to make sure you are connecting to the correct ports, you will need to check them. 

If you purchase the right adapter, you may still be able to use your monitor even if you don’t have the required connection ports. 

Here are a few types of connections you might have on your monitor, and how to connect them to your Xbox:

  • HDMI – This type of connection is the main one used for your Xbox. Most modern monitors have one of these available, and setting it up is as simple as plugging each end into the Xbox and the monitor.
  • DisplayPort – If you don’t have an HDMI, but do have a DisplayPort, you can easily connect things with an HDMI to Display Port Adapter.
  • VGA – This is an older style connection, but just like the DP, you can easily purchase an adapter like this one. A VGA connection can, however, cause some odd issues with an Xbox, so it is generally not recommended.

Benefits of Using a Computer Monitor for Xbox Gaming

A computer monitor can greatly enhance your gaming experience. With the correct inputs, you can easily set up your Xbox to work with most modern monitors. When using a monitor instead of a TV, there are a few advantages:

  • Help With Eye Strain – In a living room setting, your TV is farther away, so a monitor can help reduce eye strain by placing you closer to the image.
  • Increase Pixel Density –  a 1080p monitor and a 1080p TV will display the same amount of pixels. Therefore, a smaller monitor will have a higher density of pixels, which can help with eye strain, similar to the placement issue.
  • Faster Response Time – Compared to a TV, even a cheap gaming monitor will have a higher refresh rate. Fast-paced games like FPS (First Person Shooters) or RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games happen in real-time, so the reduced refresh rates will translate into faster response times for you.

Monitors will also have reduced motion-blur, the apparent streaking with lower framerates, and image-ghosting when a slow response time causes artifacts to appear on the screen. These two issues can have some detrimental effects when it comes time to play games, especially fast-paced ones. 

You should be cautious about where you use a computer monitor with your console’s gaming setup. You can use a monitor if you plan to play close to the screen. However, if you plan to use your console in a large room from a distance, you may have some difficulty focusing on such a small screen. 

It is also important to consider the price. A high-quality monitor, like this Dell 24-inch Anti-Glare HD Monitor, is reasonably priced. The price reflects a very high-end example, and there are cheaper monitors available. Computer monitors can do a couple of things for you, including:

  • Help you see enemies on the screen faster.
  • Limit the lag between your controller and what you see on screen.
  • Add more detail to your screen.

But using a monitor is not always the best option. If it were, there would be no need to optimize the Xbox system to work with your TV.

Limitations of Using a Computer Monitor for Xbox Gaming

Consider the native resolution of your system, letterboxing, speaker setup, and refresh rate before switching to a monitor. Xbox One S’s native resolution is 1920 x 1080.

If you have a higher resolution monitor, you may be wasting the extra pixels on a system that can’t handle it natively. A letterboxing issue might even arise.

When the resolution, or aspect ratio, is mismatched, and the only way for the Xbox to display its video is with black boxes around the screen. If you have a very high-resolution monitor or a high-quality display, you might run into this issue.

Speakers are usually not included with computer monitors. If you are used to using your TV for your sound, if you choose to use a monitor and don’t consider how your sound will be delivered, you will be greeted with silence.

Similar to resolution, your refresh rate might be higher than what the Xbox supports. Currently, the Xbox system supports a refresh rate of 120 Hz. This is the number of times the system can refresh the image per second.

Suppose you have a computer monitor with a higher refresh rate, like the Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor. In that case, you will not get to utilize the full potential of your monitor. 

Additionally, if your TV supports a lower refresh rate than the Xbox, you may experience screen tearing. In this case, the display is trying to output more frames than it can handle, causing multiple frames to “tear” on the screen.

If you plan to use your Xbox in a large room, such as a living room, a TV is a great choice. Using a TV will be optimal if you enjoy gaming farther away from the screen. 


Can you play Xbox One on a computer monitor?

Most modern computer displays can easily accept content from an Xbox One, via the monitor’s HDMI input. If your monitor has built-in speakers, the audio should also stream from the HDMI cable, though you may need to use the display’s stereo input.

Is it better to use a monitor for Xbox One?

While TVs are generally considered the standard option for game consoles, the best monitors for Xbox Series X can be a great fit, too. If you’re planning on playing your Xbox while sitting at a desk, you should use a monitor since they’re smaller and significantly more comfortable to use than a TV up close.

Is it worth playing Xbox on a monitor?

Monitors have lower input lag, faster response times, and higher refresh rates than TVs. They are more responsive and allow you to enjoy competitive console gaming. Additionally, monitors are excellent bang for your buck if you would like to play both PC and console games.

Can you play the console on a monitor?

Most modern consoles can be connected via HDMI. Most monitors have connection ports on the back. Many budget monitors only have one connection port. Older monitors may not have a removable cable.


As you can see, your monitor can be used to display video from your Xbox regardless of the type of connections it has. It is easy to set up, even if you don’t have much technical knowledge.

When you connect your Xbox, the monitor will automatically detect the feed and display the image. Most monitors only have one channel, so you shouldn’t have too many problems.

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