One of the most popular game settings is anti-aliasing. For newbies, this is terminology that they would not understand. This informational guide will give the meaning of anti-aliasing and their types.
I will also go into details of the best anti-aliasing modes such as Multisample Anti-aliasing (MSAA), Temporal Anti-aliasing (TXAA), Morphological Anti-aliasing (MLAA), Supersample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA), and Fast approximate Anti-aliasing (FXAA).
Continue reading to learn more.
Best Anti-Aliasing - Which Technique Should You Use?
Anti-aliasing is a technology that is used to remove jaggy or staircase effects from your video games making them appear smooth. So, where do these rough edges or jaggy edges come from?
The images on your monitor are made of tiny rectangular shapes called pixels. However, real objects have rounded corners. When these square pixels try to form rounded objects, they end up with jaggy edges. This is not appealing.
There are many ways of improving this effect and that’s where the best anti-aliasing comes in. No gamer wants jagged edges while playing games. The best anti-aliasing technique will smooth the rough edges in order to have realistic and pleasing images of your games. Read in this article which 32" monitors have good anti aliasing features, or click here for a more broader review. Also, click here if you want to check out ourultrawide vs dual monitor review.
Best types of anti-aliasing techniques
- Multisample Anti-aliasing (MSAA)
- Temporal Anti-aliasing (TXAA)
- Morphological Anti-aliasing (MLAA)
- Supersample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA)
- Fast approximate Anti-aliasing (FXAA)
Multisample Anti-aliasing (MSAA) is the most basic while the advanced one is Fast approximate Anti-aliasing (FXAA). They all work in the same way by making the image more pleasing to the user.
The best technique that you should use should consume less processing power of your computer and should smooth rough edges on all parts of an image.
If you have a powerful computer, I would recommend advanced technologies such as Temporal Anti-aliasing (TXAA) and Fast approximate Anti-aliasing (FXAA) that combines different techniques to offer clear images
Also, the best technique will depend on your gaming needs and the quality of your computer. If rough edges are a result of low resolution, get a monitor with a higher resolution. Smoother edges can give you less eye strain, so look in this post to find out more about it
Having a higher resolution can help alleviate this problem. At 4k, the images are so clear that you will not need anything to improve them. However, if you are not able to afford a new monitor or if a higher resolution will not fix your problem, use the anti-aliasing technique.
It will eliminate any jagged edges that occur by giving them a natural curved shape.
What Is Anti-Aliasing?
What is anti aliasing? Whenever you look closely enough at your display, you will notice tiny pixels that make up the image on the screen. The pixels are tiny rectangular lights and when they make certain images on your screen, jagged edges appear especially when playing video games.
This is where anti-aliasing comes in. This is a technology that is used to smooth jagged lines on your monitor. The problem is easily noticed in low-resolution monitors. This means that high resolutions may alleviate the problem.
However, high resolution cannot fix everything. You will need anti aliasing method to smooth out that jagged appearance. Check out which 240Hz monitors have best anti aliasing features here, or if you are on a tighter budget, look into our reviews.
What is anti-aliasing in games?
This is a method that you can use to eliminate jaggies that appear in your games. So how does anti aliasing work? It produces smoother edges by making corrections to a rough edge.
What Does Anti-Aliasing Do?
You have come to the right place if you are asking yourself this question, “what does anti aliasing do?” Like I have mentioned before, this is a technology that is used widely to give an image a cleaner look by removing rough edges.
Modern games have a few graphics settings to choose from and one of them is anti-aliasing. The settings are included so you can get the best performance for your hardware. Anti-aliasing improves the quality of your image by reducing the jaggies.
This is a technology that has come a long way. If you played games on your outdated monitor, you may have noticed your game with a distinctive blocky look which was not appealing.
These issues have been alleviated by having a higher resolution, trying to make pixels smaller, or applying anti-aliasing techniques to improve the picture.
With higher resolutions, it is hard to notice the jagged edges even when anti aliasing on or off. This is the reason why some gamers won’t notice any difference with their games when they mess with anti aliasing settings.
Is anti aliasing good?
Yes, this is an important setting that aims to improve gaming graphics. It reduces the aliasing effect on the image so you can enjoy your gameplay.
Different Types of Anti-Aliasing
Although there are different types of anti-aliasing, they all smooth out jagged lines on your monitor. Some methods are more popular and even advanced than others. Others are old such as multi-sampling anti-aliasing that uses the sampling method.
MSAA is an efficient process since it cuts down computing power needed to smooth out the rough edges of images. Towards the early ‘10s, it is not available anymore in games since more advanced methods have been developed.
Getting the best result with any of them will depend on the hardware that you have and your needs.
Here are different types of anti-aliasing at a glance
1. Multisample Anti-aliasing (MSAA)
2. Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TXAA)
3. Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA)
4. Supersample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA)
5. Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA)
All of these methods will improve picture quality. I would recommend choosing an antialiasing mode that will not consume a lot of CPU processing power. These techniques work by either blurring the rough edges of images or by the sampling method.
The sampling method works by delivering a higher no. of pixels to increase image quality.
Multisample Anti-aliasing (MSAA)
This is one of the most popular anti-aliasing techniques. It removes the unwanted jaggies that make gameplay less enjoyable. It uses the sampling method of increasing the sample rate.
It gives a perfect balance between performance and quality. It is worth noting that MSAA is a major improvement over SSAA (supersampling anti-aliasing) which was the oldest and primitive method of smoothing out the rough edges of an image.
How it works
It samples 2 or 3 adjacent pixels together at a very high resolution. This smooths out the edges of polygons. This is the main reason why MSAA is much faster than SSAA.
It produces one of the best image qualities. This is because it uses edge detection algorithms to detect aliasing then corrects the problem.
It is a method that is worth your time but will depend on the games that you play and your computer setup. Although there are many computer games that you play, it is not in newer games.
This is because there are advanced anti-aliasing methods that have been developed that are most effective, consume less processing power, and do not make images blurry.
Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TXAA)
If you are looking for an advanced anti-aliasing method, go with TXAA. It is also a relatively new type of anti-aliasing that is only found in newer graphics cards from companies like AMD and Nvidia.
It combines different techniques to correct the problem of aliasing. It is very effective hence no more jaggies that tend to distract players or make gameplay less satisfying. This advanced method produces decent results all the time.
It is a very good technique since it won’t consume so much processing power of your machine and produces images that are of good quality.
How it works
Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TXAA) was introduced by Nvidia to get rid of the jagged edges of your images. It uses complex and unique technology to solve the problem of aliasing. These are the raw power of MSAA with resolve filters and a temporal filter similar used in CG films.
It uses samples both outside and inside each pixel to deliver high-quality images.
Keep in mind that it can be demanding on your hardware. To see improvements with this anti alias method, you need a high-end computer. Also, newer games are better suited to this technique.
Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA)
This is another technique that will remove those jagged edges from your images that occur when your anti-aliasing setting is turned off.
It is a method that uses post-processing filters to eliminate aliasing. This means that it applies to the whole scene after it has been rendered which makes it very effective.
It is more efficient than older techniques of anti-aliasing and catches edges inside textures which these old techniques miss.
How it works
This is a filtering technique. It actively looks for the jagged edges in images then fixes them. It achieves this by identifying discontinuity patterns then blends colors with these patterns to achieve anti-aliasing.
This makes it less demanding on the hardware. The hardware requirements of this method are CPU that is dual-core or better, RAM of 2GB or better, Microsoft DirectX 9c capable graphics card, and Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Keep in mind that this technique balances performance and quality, unlike TXAA technique that prioritizes quality over performance.
Choose this method if you have a computer with the above specifications or if you are worried about slowdown on your game. It does not consume a lot of processing power hence you do not require strong gaming hardware.
Supersample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA)
If you are a PC gamer like me, then you may have heard about Supersample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA) because it is one of the first methods to be developed. It is a spatial anti-aliasing method that will remove jagged edges from images in computer games.
How it works
As its name implies, anti-aliasing is achieved by super sampling the images then render them at a higher resolution. From this larger resolution, the method then downsamples the images.
The problem with this method is that it requires a huge amount of computing power and that’s the reason is not in gaming anymore. It is a great option if you have a high-end computer or a powerful PC with good specifications in order for it to work smoothly.
I would not recommend it to anyone with an old PC because it can slow down its performance.
Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA)
This is also one of the most popular anti-aliasing methods on the market right now. It was created by NVIDIA to provide a fast and easy way of adding anti-aliasing to your games.
Gamers love this technique because it removes jaggies with no performance impact. Also, it is the simplest and easiest thing to use and integrate.
It is a clever hack than MSAA because it ignores line edges and polygons and analyzes the pixels on the monitor. It is very fast, it takes about 1.3 milliseconds per frame to reduce aliasing.
If you have this technique in your game, enable it immediately because it is good. It is less demanding on your PC hence no need to turn it off when playing your games.
It is a great option for gamers who do not have a high-end PC because it does not consume a lot of processing power of your machine.
How it works
It does not run calculations on the colors and geometry of a game; instead, it blurs the rough edges. This makes the image a bit blurry and this is not preferred by many gamers. Keep in mind that it smooths out all the edges of the images of a game.
Which one is best for you?
Aliasing is without a doubt a nightmare. It can distract from your game and gives the worst experience because of the jaggies created. So what is the best method to solve this problem?
I know it can be a little bit confusing because there are many methods to choose from. The best method will depend on your needs, types of games you play, and the specifications of your computer.
MSAA is best suited for midrange gaming computers. Also, choose MSAA if you are looking for a perfect balance between performance and quality. Multisample Anti-aliasing (MSAA) produces one of the best image qualities and is much faster than SSAA.
FXAA is perfect for low-end PCs because it is less demanding on your PC. It is simple and easy to integrate and images that have been anti-aliased look good.
If you have an old PC, do not choose Supersample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA). It consumes a lot of processing power making it suitable for powerful computers only.
TXAA is an advanced anti-aliasing method that is found in new graphics cards. I would recommend it to anyone looking for the best anti-aliasing method since it is very effective.
This means that it produces very good results and is less demanding on your computer. MLAA is also less demanding on hardware and balances performance and quality.
1. Is Fxaa better than MSAA?
Yes. FXAA stands for Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing, and it's an even more devious hack than MSAA, as it ignores polygons and line edges in favor of analyzing individual pixels on the screen. It is a pixel shader program that runs each frame in a matter of milliseconds or less, as documented in this PDF.
2. Which anti-aliasing technique is more expensive?
There are several types of anti-aliasing techniques used in video games: FXAA, MLAA, SSAA. However, which one of these techniques is more expensive?
In general, SSAA is more expensive than the other two techniques. It renders a scene at a higher resolution and then downscales it to the final resolution. This produces a smoother image but requires more processing power. FXAA and MLAA are less expensive, but they may not produce as smooth an image as SSAA.
3. What anti-aliasing should I use Valorant?
You have the option of MSAA 2X or MSAA 4X, and that's it. The good news is that MSAA, or Multiple-Sample Anti-Aliasing, appears to be completely transparent. That is critical in a competitive game such as Valorant. The disadvantage is that MSAA is slightly more computationally intensive than a post-processing filter such as FXAA.
4. Should I Enable 4x MSAA?
4x MSAA (multisample anti-aliasing) is a setting that can be enabled in some video games that smooths out jagged edges on images. It does this by rendering the image four times, and then combining the results to create a smoother image. This setting can be demanding on your hardware, so you may want to disable it if you are experiencing performance issues. However, if your hardware can handle it, 4x MSAA can provide a noticeable improvement in image quality.
5. Is MSAA 2x good?
No matter how you look at it, MSAA is a great way to improve image quality without too much of an impact on performance. In fact, MSAA 2x can offer up to a 60% performance increase on some cards. This is especially important for gamers who are looking to get the most out of their hardware.
What is the best anti-aliasing method? ›
Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA) and Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA) Also developed by AMD and NVIDIA, both techniques work in the same manner as mentioned above. MLAA and FXAA are the most popular anti-aliasing methods in the market due to their ability to sharpen graphics using less computing power.What are the different methods of anti-aliasing? ›
Anti-Aliasing Methods: A high-resolution display, post-filtering (super-sampling), pre-filtering (area sampling), and pixel phasing are the techniques used to remove aliasing.Which anti-aliasing is best FXAA or TAA? ›
Which is better TAA, SMAA or FXAA? Among these three techniques, TAA generally provides the best image quality, as it effectively smooths out jagged edges and flickering pixels while also reducing temporal aliasing (which occurs when objects appear to be moving too quickly).Which anti-aliasing is fastest? ›
Fast Approximate Anti-aliasing (FXAA)
FXAA is the most efficient anti-aliasing technique. It's ideal for mobile and other platforms that don't support motion vectors, which are required for Temporal Anti-aliasing.
Anti-Aliasing (AA) improves image quality by reducing jagged edges from textures. Applying AA can make an image look smoother and softer, at the expense of lowering FPS. In the example below, the image on the left has AA applied. The image on the right has no AA applied and has more jagged edges.
Most anti-aliasing methods can be categorized into two types: Spatial anti-aliasing. Post-process anti-aliasing.Which anti-aliasing is best TAA or SMAA? ›
SMAA is a higher quality anti-aliasing effect than FXAA but it's also slower. Depending on the art-style of your game it can work as well as Temporal Anti-aliasing while avoiding some of the shortcomings of this technique.What is aliasing and explain different methods to avoid aliasing effect? ›
Aliasing is characterized by the altering of output compared to the original signal because resampling or interpolation resulted in a lower resolution in images, a slower frame rate in terms of video or a lower wave resolution in audio. Anti-aliasing filters can be used to correct this problem.Should I use FXAA or not? ›
FXAA (Fast approximate anti-aliasing)
Generally, FXAA causes a lot of overall blur and smudging to achieve a smoother edge. If jaggies really bother you, and you don't have a lot of computing power to spare, then FXAA can help you out but I'd recommend using a more detailed AA method.
As it turns out, 2x MSAA is good, 4x MSAA is great, and 8x MSAA is superlative when it comes to removing aliasing artifacts from the edges of polygons. You can add coverage samples and edge-detect algorithms to 4x MSAA and it still doesn't rival true 8x MSAA.
What is anti-aliasing TXAA vs FXAA? ›
TAA works to smoothen these artifacts while FXAA simply applies a “Vaseline filer” which although effective, produces curvy lines that jump around when there's a transition in the scene.What is better FXAA or MSAA? ›
The results show, as expected, that FXAA is the least resource intensive, while MSAA and TXAA cause a significant drop in average framerate over no anti-aliasing.Which anisotropic filtering is best? ›
Use bilinear and 2x anisotropic filtering instead of trilinear and 1x anisotropic. This is because this combination of filtering techniques can both look and perform better. Keep the anisotropic level low. Only use a level higher than two for critical game assets.Is it better to have higher anti-aliasing? ›
Supersample Anti-Aliasing is by far one of the best and most effective anti-aliasing techniques available today. It makes your GPU render games at a higher resolution, and then it down-samples the image. The higher resolution increases the number of pixels, making the image look sharper.What is anti-aliasing method TAA? ›
Temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) is a spatial anti-aliasing technique for computer-generated video that combines information from past frames and the current frame to remove jaggies in the current frame. In TAA, each pixel is sampled once per frame but in each frame the sample is at a different location within the pixel.Do I want anti-aliasing on? ›
Should I Turn Anti-Aliasing On or Off? If your visuals look great and you have a high-resolution display, you don't need to turn on anti-aliasing options. Anti-aliasing is for people who experience those unsightly “jaggies” and want to smooth out the edges of their graphics.Does lowering anti-aliasing improve performance? ›
well, it depends. anti aliasing just makes textures smoother, but at the cost of computing power. But, it does alter the smoothness of your graphics for the 'optimal' experience. However, if your 'machine' has low end specs and can't really run anything, the FPS will drop a lot.How do you determine aliasing? ›
You can detect aliasing by running a horizontal test on your oscilloscope. If the shape of the waveform changes drastically, you may have aliasing. You can also perform a peak detect test and if the waveform still changes drastically, aliasing may be an issue.Is vertical sync good or bad? ›
By itself, VSync has no bearing on graphical quality, but enabling it eliminates ugly screen tearing. While that may seem like a no-brainer, it can also tank your frame rate and increase input lag—both of which are the bane of competitive gaming.What is better MSAA or TXAA? ›
TXAA - Very demanding, but also very effective. This also has the tendency to blur the entire image, making it look more like smooth, film-stock. While it looks nice, it's not for everyone. MSAA - The most effective and cleanest image.
What is better 8x MSAA or 4x TXAA? ›
x8 MSAA uses a good amount of VRAM and still leaves some jaggies. X4 MSAA with TXAA might remove a lot of jaggies but might make the image somewhat softer. Personally you can got X4 with TXAA and if you are playing at 1080p or higher it should look pretty good. its better to use dsr and upscale rather than using mxaa.What is 4x MSAA? ›
Force 4x MSAA: Enables multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA) in Open GL ES 2.0 apps. Disable HW overlays: Disables the hardware overlay. Note that using the hardware overlay lets apps that display something on the screen use less processing power.What are examples of aliasing? ›
The "wagon wheel effect" is a familiar example of aliasing. In this optical illusion, spokes on a wheel appear to rotate at different rates or even backwards depending on the digital frame rate of the video. Aliasing is an important phenomenon in MR.What is Ssaa 2x vs 4x? ›
This is what the x multiplier means when picking SSAA, SSAA 2x is twice the normal resolution, 4x is four times and so forth. Your computer basically has to work that many times as hard to produce an image at your native resolution, it generally is not worth it to use SSAA because of the performance hit.Which anti-aliasing is best SMAA vs TAA? ›
TAA might look good at first glance but it's actually pretty bad especially if you look at it IN MOTION. Supersampling with fxaa or smaa is the best for now but it causes a bug with zoom scope since the update as well. Yeah TAA is very blurry. Especially on longer ranges when compared to the others.What is Ssaa vs MSAA? ›
The key difference between MSAA and SSAA arises in the latter half of the pipeline. While SSAA applies the pixel shader to each pixel 2x or 4x, MSAA only executes the pixel shader once every pixel.Is 4x anti-aliasing good? ›
As it turns out, 2x MSAA is good, 4x MSAA is great, and 8x MSAA is superlative when it comes to removing aliasing artifacts from the edges of polygons.Is 8x MSAA better than 4x Txaa? ›
x8 MSAA uses a good amount of VRAM and still leaves some jaggies. X4 MSAA with TXAA might remove a lot of jaggies but might make the image somewhat softer. Personally you can got X4 with TXAA and if you are playing at 1080p or higher it should look pretty good. its better to use dsr and upscale rather than using mxaa.Which is better MSAA 4x or FXAA? ›
I've head people saying FXAA absolutely sucks and I've also heard other people say FXAA is much faster, newer and more advanced than MSAA 4x. Also does antialiasing have a big effect on frame rate or does it not change much, like the high quality graphics settings.Is Multisampling better than supersampling? ›
Compared to supersampling, multisample anti-aliasing can provide similar quality at higher performance, or better quality for the same performance. Further improved results can be achieved by using rotated grid subpixel masks.
Should I use TAA or MSAA? ›
I prefer TAA with the sharpness at 5. It does better job than MSAA, especially on the cars. Only time as I see ghosting after Series 10 update is when camera is turned to the side of the moving car in third person. Initially TAA had more ghosting problems.Which is better for performance TAA or SMAA? ›
SMAA is a higher quality anti-aliasing effect than FXAA but it's also slower. Depending on the art-style of your game it can work as well as Temporal Anti-aliasing while avoiding some of the shortcomings of this technique.Do you want anti-aliasing high or low? ›
You should be able to run SSAA and TXAA at their lowest settings (2x and 4x). You might be able to run them on their highest settings if you sacrifice certain minor graphics details. But know that there is little difference in quality between supersampling at 4x compared to 8x.Does MSAA or TXAA look better? ›
TXAA - Very demanding, but also very effective. This also has the tendency to blur the entire image, making it look more like smooth, film-stock. While it looks nice, it's not for everyone. MSAA - The most effective and cleanest image.Does MSAA improve image quality? ›
MSAA (Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing) is the most common one, that uses samples of two or more pixels to maintain graphics quality and performance. The more the samples, the better the picture quality.Is Mfaa better than MSAA? ›
As you can see, the 2x MFAA enjoys a consistently higher frame rate than MSAA, but also a better level of consistency as well. These graphs are the mean values of three passes of the same benchmark and in each case the dip at 28 seconds was observed with MSAA.Is 8x anti-aliasing good? ›
What do the numbers mean? Anti-aliasing settings almost always include a series of values: 2x, 4x, 8x, and so on. The numbers refer to the number of color samples being taken, and in general, the higher the number, the more accurate (and computationally expensive) the anti-aliasing will be.Can I use MSAA and FXAA together? ›
The reason i use msaa with fxaa is due to the amount of points where msaa gradients are ether visiable or it dosent work at all, it looks way better on trees than alpha aliasing and completly covers you for the high contrast points.What anisotropic filtering should I use? ›
Use bilinear and 2x anisotropic filtering instead of trilinear and 1x anisotropic. This is because this combination of filtering techniques can both look and perform better. Keep the anisotropic level low. Only use a level higher than two for critical game assets.