When I first launched Call of Duty: Warzone on PC, the very first place I went was settings. Before I’d even fired my first shot, I cranked up the field-of-view (FOV) to 100 so I could figuratively unzoom my eyeballs and see more around me. It’s a setting that has undeniably helped me win fights in Warzone, and one that console players have been locked out of since the game launched.
In the loudest corners of Warzone’s community of millions, console players have been asking for an FOV slider (they’re locked to 80 degrees FOV) so they can be on equal footing with the PC (which can go as high as 120 degrees). Developer Raven Software has routinely avoided the topic in favor of more pressing issues, like Warzone’s cheating problem.
Hope for the setting was reignited when Call of Duty: Vanguard, which is built on the same engine as Warzone, launched with an FOV slider on PlayStation and Xbox. Without an official comment from Raven, players assumed that if it was coming anytime soon, it’d be in this week’s massive Warzone Pacific update that integrated Vanguard’s progression and guns into the game. When the update came and an FOV option didn’t materialize, a renewed outcry poured onto Call of Duty’s social channels. Warzone’s subreddit has been spammed with dozens of new FOV posts in the last few days and it’s a common reply in Call of Duty’s Twitter mentions as well.
“After playing Vanguard on Series X on 115 FOV it is actually hilarious to go into Warzone,” wrote Reddit user kyledoesthereddit319. “I’m honestly just mad that I was playing Warzone like this before and not even aware of the disadvantage. BRB dropping $2,000 on a PC to be able to play a free game.”
What exactly is FOV, and does it really matter that much?
Your FOV concerns how much of the environment the game’s camera lets you see at once: the higher the setting, the more of whatever is to your left or right is visible on-screen. Turning up the FOV is sort of like improving your virtual peripheral vision, except it comes with a tradeoff. Because the entire image still has to be squished onto a rectangular screen, higher FOVs make objects at the center of the screen appear smaller (you see an extreme version of this when you try to watch a 360 degree video on a flat screen).
Most first-person games default to around 60 degree FOV as a balance between vision and low distortion. Fine-tuning FOV is a luxury that has come default on practically every first-person PC game for decades, but it’s still very uncommon on consoles. Competitive shooters like Apex Legends, Splitgate, and Vanguard are blazing the FOV trail on console while other popular games like Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch, and Warzone have no plans to do the same.
In some cases, developers have cited performance issues as a reason to lock FOV on consoles. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a concern for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Warzone, but the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are theoretically beefy enough to handle a larger frame.
Console players should have the option to change their FOV. It’s also important to note that higher FOV doesn’t automatically mean an easier game. What you gain in peripheral vision, you lose in center-screen zoom level. A distant enemy that appears as big as a grape at 80 FOV shrinks down to a pea-sized speck at 120. Most players find a balance that suits their setup (mine is around 100). But lots of Warzone’s fights happen at relatively close range, and in those cases it is undeniably useful to see more of what’s around you.
So yes, FOV does matter, but it’s hardly the most important metric for success. A wider FOV is a smaller advantage than, say, a significantly higher framerate. Most Warzone players on console are locked at 60 fps while PC players can upgrade their machines until it runs Warzone at 90 fps, 120 fps, 144 fps, 240 fps and beyond. PS5 owners can play at up to 120 fps if their TV allows it.
If I were a console player, I’d be more annoyed that I can’t boost my performance by turning down shadows or flipping on DLSS. Though, at some point it just makes more sense to make the jump to PC gaming, where customization is king.