Borderlands 2

Gearbox blog reveals the delicate work of adjusting FOV in first-person games

Ian Birnbaum at

Gearbox, the developer behind the Borderlands series, has been putting out great behind-the-scenes content via its Inside the Box blog. The blog’s newest post dives deep into field of view, and what it means for players prone to motion sickness or players using extra widescreen settings.

User Interface programmer Kyle Pittman is apparently the guy to thank for Borderlands 2’s adjustable FOV slider, as he championed the change after Borderlands 1’s 70 degree field of view was a big complaint from gamers.

“An FOV that feels appropriate when sitting several feet away from a TV probably isn’t going to feel right when seated directly in front of a monitor,” Pittman writes. “This discrepancy is what can cause motion sickness or a feeling of tunnel vision.”

This also explains why sometimes the most vomit-inducing thing in gaming is to stand over someone’s shoulder watching them play a first-person game. The field of view is meant for them, not for you, and the difference in the angles is like being stuck in the vomit comet without a seatbelt.

Pittman also discusses the various bugs introduced to the game when the FOV slider was first implemented, then has some fun with the math involved—though I barely understood a word of it.

If you’ve ever wondered about the ideal FOV for gaming or how difficult varying FOV is to implement in games with cut-rate PC ports, check out the full post at Inside the Box