For a PS5 player, one of the most dreadful situations to be is when you have bought a shiny new high spec 144Hz monitor but it only works at 60Hz refresh rate and no matter what you try you cannot get it to work at 120Hz.
For starters, you need to understand that a PlayStation 5 is designed to play at either 60 FPS or 120 FPS (depending upon the game). In other words, none of the games or the specs themselves are designed to play at 144FPS or higher.
As such one of the biggest issues you may be facing here is that the 144Hz monitor straight out does not support 120Hz mode at all. I will talk about this in detail below.
But other than that, there are many other reasons that could be causing your PS5 to only work at 60Hz on a 144Hz monitor which I will cover in detail below.
Why 144Hz Monitor Only Works at 60Hz on PS5?
The following are some of the reasons why your 144Hz monitor is unable to work at 120Hz on a PS5 and only shows 60Hz:
- Issues with PS5 Settings
- The Game Only Supports 60FPS
- Issues with HDMI Cable Type
- Issues with the HDMI Port Selection
- Issues with Monitor’s Settings
- Issues with the 144Hz Monitor Itself – The Worst-Case Scenario
I will cover each of these reasons in detail below.
1. You Have not Selected the Right Mode in PS5 Settings
This is probably one of the easiest fixes.
If you are certain that nothing is wrong with the physical hardware (monitor or the HDMI cable), then chances are that the issue lies with a simple setting that you need to enable in PS5.
Basically, to enable the 120Hz mode on PS5, you need to head over to
- Saved Data and Game/App Settings
- Game Presets
You will notice an option for selecting between “Performance Mode or Resolution Mode”. You can also read the details written below for what the two options entail:
- “Select Performance Mode for Higher Frame Rates”
- “Resolution Mode for Higher Graphic Quality”
As such, in order to enable higher than 60Hz/60FPS support, you will need to select the “Performance Mode” option.
This is perhaps the easiest fix.
2. The Game Only Supports 60Hz
Another reason why your 144Hz monitor only works at 60Hz/60 FPS is due to the game itself.
There are only a few select games on PS5 that actually support 120FPS and would thus require a 120Hz refresh rate.
The PS5’s hardware is not capable of supporting high quality AAA games (particularly the latest ones) at 120 FPS as that is way too taxing.
As such, the developers of most games cap the FPS of their games to 60FPS. Meaning, even if you have all the right settings and hardware, if the game does not support 120FPS, then your monitor will NOT work at 120Hz refresh rate.
This article from Techradar lists all the games that currently support 120FPS on PS5 and would thus benefit from a 120Hz refresh rate monitor.
3. You Are Using an Inferior HDMI Cable Type
PlayStation 5 requires an Ultra High Speed cable, aka HDMI 2.1 cable, in order to support 120Hz refresh rate PARTICULARLY at 4k resolution.
The good news is that the PS5 comes packaged with an HDMI 2.1 cable. However, if you have damaged or misplaced it, or if in case you plan to buy a longer cable than the one that the PS5 came packaged with, then you need to make sure that new HDMI cable you get conforms to the Ultra High Speed HDMI specs.
The following table shows the different HDMI cables and the HDMI ports they are intended to be used with.
|HDMI Version||Max Resolution||Max Refresh Rate||Max Bandwidth|
|HDMI 1.0||1080p||1080p @ 60 Hz||4.95||3.96||No||- 8 Audio Channels|
|HDMI 1.1/1.2||1440p||1440p @ 30 Hz||4.95||3.96||No||- 8 Audio Channels
-Super Audio CDs
|HDMI 1.3/1.4||4096 x 2160 (4K)||120 Hz @ FHD Resolution|
30 Hz @ 4k Resolution
24 Hz @ 4k Resolution
|10.2||8.16||No||- 8 Audio Channels
- Dolby TrueHD
|HDMI 2.0||4096 x 2160 (4K)||60 Hz @ 4K Resolution||18||14.40||Yes||- 32 audio channels,
- Dynamic Resolution Adaptation (DRA)
- High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC)
|HDMI 2.1||Upto 10240 x 4320 (10K)||Upto 120Hz @ 10K||48||42.67||Yes||- 32 audio channels
Make sure that the HDMI cable you get has a certification label from HDMI.org with a QR scan code. Oftentimes you may find an HDMI cable listing that boasts the specs of an HDMI 2.1 cable only to find out later that it wasn’t certified.
This graphic shows how to identify a certified HDMI cable. The sample above is for Premium HDMI cable, Ultra High-Speed cables (HDMI 2.1 cables) have their respective labels on the cable and on the packaging.
4. You Have Plugged the HDMI Cable into the Wrong Port
Like the HDMI cables, while all HDMI ports may look the same, they can have vastly different specs.
Some monitors have multiple HDMI ports conforming to different versions. You can have one port conforming to the specs of an HDMI 1.4 and the other conforming to that of HDMI 2.1.
If your 144Hz monitor is working at 60Hz / 60FPS then one of the reasons could be the wrong HDMI port selection.
PS5 has an HDMI 2.1 output port, hence it only makes sense that you connect it to the HDMI 2.1 port on the monitor as well. Plugging the HDMI cable into a port conforming to an inferior version will result in lower FPS and/or resolution.
5. Make Sure Your Monitor Settings are Set at 120Hz not 60Hz
Another fairly simple reason for your 144Hz monitor to be working at 60Hz on PS5 could be the settings itself.
Many monitors do not automatically select the refresh rate for you, you have to manually change the settings from the On-Screen Display.
In order to enable the 120hz mode, refer to the monitors manual in order to check what specific buttons, settings and menus you need to navigate in order to enable the 120Hz mode.
For instance, take the Dell S3220DGF monitor. This monitor has a max refresh rate of 165Hz but also supports 120Hz mode in order to support PS5 at 120FPS.
However, in order to enable anything higher than 60Hz on this monitor, you would need to turn on Game-Freesync and also set Game-Response time to Fast. Read Details.
6. You Have a 144Hz Monitor That Is Not Capable of Showing 120Hz – Terrible Situation to Be In
This is perhaps the worst situation that you can be in.
In many instances, 144Hz Monitors that do not SPECIFICALLY have the 120Hz mode will NOT be able to support 120 FPS from PS5 and will thus only cap at 60Hz.
Take for instance the display modes for the Dell S2719DGF 144Hz monitor below.
You can clearly see from the display mode specs that this monitor DOES NOT support 120Hz at all.
It supports 60Hz, 75Hz or 144Hz. However, as stated earlier, since PS5 rigidly supports either 60Hz or 120Hz, the rest of the refresh rates will NOT be supported.
In other words, a 144Hz monitor cannot be dialed down to support 120Hz refresh IF IT IS NOT DESIGNED TO DO SO.
There are many reasons why your 144Hz Monitor would only show 60Hz on PS5. Some are fairly easy to fix, others not so.
The rule of thumb to follow is that whenever buying any new piece of hardware for your PS5, be it the cable or the monitor, make sure that it is compatible with its specs.
As stated, one of the most dreadful issues here could be that the 144Hz monitor does not support 120Hz mode at all and thus you would be stuck at playing your PS5 at 60hz (60FPS) only.