What is latency?

Before we delve into what Nvidia Reflex offers, it’s crucial that you first understand what latency is, and which forms it comes in.

Simply put, latency comes in two forms: network latency and system latency. Network latency, often referred to as ping, represents the delay in how long it takes an online game to respond to your actions as data flows between your PC and the game’s servers.

System latency, as the name suggests, refers to the delay between various components within your own PC. It’s broken down into three key areas: the latency between your keyboard and mouse and your PC, how long it takes for the PC to render the game, and the delay between the render and how quickly that’s displayed on-screen.

Most of the time, these effects are minimal, but it can make all the difference in eSports-level shooters where split-second reactions are crucial, and that’s what Nvidia Reflex looks to improve.

What is Nvidia Reflex?

Nvidia Reflex is technology that looks to reduce the system latency described above, with the aim of improving your overall response times in competitive games where every millisecond counts without the need for new hardware – although high-end gaming peripherals can also help.

The improvements will vary from game to game, with Nvidia claiming that Overwatch has seen the most significant boost of any supported title right now, offering as much as a 50% reduction in overall latency with Reflex enabled.

As well as software, Nvidia is working with partners on new hardware built into high-end 360Hz G-Sync displays that actively analyse the input from your mouse by plugging it directly into the monitor, rather than your gaming PC. It’ll then use Reflex Latency Analyser to measure mouse, system and PC & display latencies and optimise it for the best overall experience.

Compatible displays will even display real-time data on your latency, which although niche, should be a helpful addition for pro-level gamers.

Which GPUs offer Nvidia Reflex support?

While Nvidia announced the latency reduction technology alongside the RTX 30 Series in September 2020, the technology isn’t exclusive to the latest Nvidia cards – although it’ll work best on the 30 Series.

In fact, Nvidia has confirmed that the technology is available on any GeForce GTX 900 Series GPU or later, meaning even budget and mid-range gamers can take advantage of the new tech and potentially get an edge over the competition in online shooters. For clarification, here’s a complete list of supported GPUs:

Nvidia GeForce GTX 950

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660

Nvidia GeForce GTX 960

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

Nvidia GeForce GTX 970

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

Nvidia GeForce GTX 980

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super

Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070

Nvidia GeForce Titan RTX

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

Which games support Nvidia Reflex?

Nvidia Reflex a great bit of tech tailored towards competitive online games, but the problem is that developers have to specifically add support. But, with that said, there’s a growing roster of online games that support Nvidia Reflex including, most recently, Outwatch.

Here’s a complete list of games that support Nvidia Reflex right now:

  • Apex Legends
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  • CRSED: F.O.A.D
  • Destiny 2
  • Enlisted
  • Fortnite
  • Kovaak 2.0
  • Mordhau
  • Overwatch
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Valorant
  • Warface

What about non-supported games?

While Nvidia Reflex offers the best way to reduce your in-game latency, there is a lesser-known feature that should provide a small improvement to games that don’t currently offer support for the tech – Nvidia’s Low Latency Mode.

To locate the feature, open the Nvidia Control Panel and select Manage 3D settings from the menu on the left. Locate the Low Latency Mode setting, and select Ultra from the drop-down to enable the feature.

It won’t be as revolutionary as Reflex, but it could help give you an edge in currently unsupported titles, along with making sure your display is running at its maximum refresh rate and your gaming peripheral polling rates are as high as possible.

If you think your setup is what’s slowing you down and you’re thinking of investing in an upgrade, we break down our choice of the best gaming keyboards and the best gaming mice separately.  

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