- You can increase FPS — frames per second — by optimizing game settings on your computer.
- Frame rate is a measure of how smoothly games and graphically intense visuals display on your PC.
- If FPS is lower than your monitor’s refresh rate, you may be able to improve performance.
Console gamers have it easy — all their hardware is perfectly tuned for great gameplay, and the games are always developed with the limits of the console’s performance in mind.
PC gaming, on the other hand, can be much less consistent, with mismatched hardware, older graphics cards, outdated software drivers all leading to sometimes poor gaming performance.
If you are experiencing video lag or stutters, you might need to tweak your PC to improve the frame rate, measured in fps (frames per second).
Here are seven ways to improve FPS:
1. Find your monitor’s refresh rate.
2. Find out your current fps.
3. Enable Game Mode in Windows 10.
4. Make sure you have the latest video driver installed.
5. Optimize your game settings.
6. Reduce your screen resolution.
7. Upgrade your graphics card.
How to increase FPS on your computer
Here are seven tips and troubleshooting tricks for boosting your computer’s video performance.
Find your monitor’s refresh rate
There are two stats you should know before you start tweaking your PC: Your current frame rate, expressed in frames per second (fps), and the monitor’s refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz).
The refresh rate is easy to find, so we’ll start there. Because this is measuring the number of times your monitor redraws the screen each second, there’s no value in having an fps that’s any faster than this. Most monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz, so you’ll ideally want a frame rate of 60fps.
Some new gaming monitors support much higher refresh rates, such as 144Hz, 200Hz, or more – if you have one of those displays, you can aim for a frame rate to match, but you’ll need a fairly new, high-end video card.
1. Click the Start button and then click Settings.
2. In the Settings window, click System.
3. Then click on Display and then click Advanced display settings.
4. Note the monitor’s refresh rate.
Find out your current fps
Finding the frame rate your graphics system can muster isn’t much more difficult, but there are several different ways to do it depending upon which games you play:
- Many games can display the frame rate as an overlay during gameplay. To turn this on, check the video settings in your game’s setup or settings menu.
- If you use an Nvidia GeForce graphics card with the GeForce Experience software, you can turn on the in-game overlay while playing a game. You can configure the overlay to show the frame rate in a corner of the screen. To enable it, start the GeForce Experience app and click “Settings” in the In-Game Overlay section, then click “HUD Layout” and add the fps counter to the corner of your choice.
- If you play Steam games, you can turn on a frame rate counter in the Steam in-game overlay as well. To do that, start the Steam app and click the Steam menu. In the drop-down menu, click Settings and then choose In-Game from the navigation pane on the left. In the In-game FPS counter section, choose where you want the fps counter to appear and then click OK.
- You can use the free utility called Fraps to measure your frame rate in any game.
After you know your PC’s frame rate (and how it compares to your monitor’s refresh rate), you can try any of these tricks to increase your computer’s performance.
Enable Game Mode in Windows 10
Game Mode configures a number of Windows settings with a single click to optimize your PC for gaming and maximize the display’s frame rate.
1. Click the Search button and then click Settings.
2. In the Settings window’s search box type game and then choose Game Mode settings in the search results.
3. If it’s not already turned on, enable Game Mode by swiping the button to the right.
Make sure you have the latest video driver installed
Making sure your computer’s system updates and device drivers are up to date is essential to getting the best performance from your PC. There are two things you can do:
- Check for Windows updates. Click the Start button and choose Settings, then type Updates and choose Check for updates in the search results. Use the Windows Update window to make sure you have the latest updates installed.
- Update the video card drivers. This happens automatically when you check for Windows updates, but there might be newer updates waiting for your graphics card as well. If you use Nvidia GeForce Experience, start the app and click Drivers at the top of the window. Click Check for updates to see if there are any new ones to install.
Optimize your game settings
Every game is different, but if your frame rate is too low, you can enter your game’s settings screen and dial down the image quality.
There might be a single switch you can throw to change the image quality from “high” to “medium,” for example, or you might need to set individual settings for viewing distance, shadows, texture effects, and so on.
Reduce your screen resolution
Often a separate setting in the game from video quality, try reducing the screen resolution.
Go to your PC’s Settings, select System then Advanced display settings, and choose a lower-resolution option from the Resolution menu.
This can have a dramatic effect on the frame rate.
Upgrade your graphics card
If you can’t significantly improve your frame rate with these tips, you might have no other choice: upgrade your graphics card.
This might not be an option if you are gaming on a laptop (but there are exceptions — some Alienware laptops, for example, allow you to add an external “Graphics Amplifier” to upgrade your display quality).
But if you have a desktop PC, you may be able to swap out your graphics card for one that dramatically enhances your frame rate and increases your performance.