Getting low FPS in Overwatch? In this guide, we’ve provided five ways to achieve the best Overwatch settings for maximimzing your in-game framerate.
Since launch, Overwatch’s popularity has remained sky high thanks to its competitive gameplay and Blizzard’s involvement in regularly updating content and balancing new characters.
And if you are a fan of playing games like Overwatch on the PC, you know just how integral your frames per second can be to your personal performance and the success of your team. Dropping frames at the wrong moment can lead to poor performance and upset teammates.
If you’re dealing with low FPS in Overwatch, in this guide, we’ve provided five tips to help you set the best Overwatch settings for your system in order to help you get a higher framerate.
1. Change Your In-Game Settings
This is, of course, a no-brainer—but maybe this simple advice will do the trick for you. So, the most straightforward means of giving yourself a little frame rate boost in-game is to sort out your in-game video settings before you start playing. Once you’ve got the game booted up, if you open up the options menu from the title screen, you’ll start out in the “video” settings tab.
There are a lot of options to consider, here. In terms of just turning stuff to “low” or “off,” you’ll want to turn v-sync, triple buffering, dynamic reflections, shadow detail, local reflections and ambient occlusion off entirely. Next, you’ll want to set graphics quality, texture quality, texture filtering quality, local fog detail, model detail, effects detail, lighting quality, anti-alias quality, and refraction quality to low. You can leave render scale—the resolution at which the game displays textures—at 100%, or lower it to 75% for a massive performance boost.
Now, bear in mind that you’re trading off visual fidelity for performance, here. Those are the best Overwatch settings if all you’re concerned about is ensuring that your frame rate is high and stable—but if you want to balance the game’s visual quality with your FPS, you may want to tinker with some of those settings until you find your own personal sweet spot.
2. Solutions Beyond the Game
As with any game, there are plenty of tactics you can try when the game isn’t booted up to boost your FPS. For example, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t have any major resource draining applications running in the background. Discord, web browsers, anti-virus applications, Windows updates, and anything else that chews up your RAM and CPU power will slow down your game.
Also be sure that all of your drivers and your OS are up to date. Video card drivers and OS updates often contain highly important bug fixes and optimizations that can influence your frame rate in the video games that you play regularly. Of note, however: If you have a GTX 1060, you may want to stick to NVIDIA drivers prior to update 397.31, as some users have reported strange graphical issues following that update.
If you’ve got an NVIDIA graphics card, you can also customize more specific video settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel. Adjusting program-specific settings like anisotropic filtering, DSR factors and setting the maximum number of pre-rendered frames to one can give you a huge performance boost in Overwatch.
3. Repair Your Game Files
Like with any modern game, the data that comprises your copy of Overwatch isn’t infallible. After repeated updates and over a long enough period of time, you may find that your game files are corrupted, and that can seriously inhibit your in-game performance.
Sorting this out is a must, and it’s a very simple fix. If you open up the Battle.net client and click on the Overwatch tab, you can click the little gear at the top that says “options,” and then select “Scan and Repair” from the drop-down menu. This process could take a few minutes, or it could take upwards of an hour, depending on how many game files need to be repaired and the quality of your computer and internet connection.
Oh and, while we’re talking about the Battle.net client, there is a solution that some players have reported as the culprit of their low FPS: Battle.net Voice. Meant to connect you to your teammates through VOIP communication, it seems that Battle.net Voice doesn’t have every single bug ironed out, so disabling that might just give you the FPS boost you’re looking for.
4. Upgrade Your Graphics Card
If none of the fixes above sorted out your problem, and you’re still experiencing some major frame rate lag in-game, you may have reached the unfortunate time-related bottleneck that every PC gamer must one day endure: Your hardware’s just not up to the job anymore.
The most common culprit, and the quickest fix, is usually your graphics card. GPUs can be expensive, but there are also plenty of affordable graphics cards out there that will run Overwatch just fine. You can also check out our Video Card Buyer’s Guide for a wide range of options at various price points.
Once you’ve settled on a new card, ensure that it’s compatible with your motherboard and the right size for your case. When it arrives, you can find tons of videos online that will explain how to swap out your card—but it really is as easy as replacing a few screws and plugging the new GPU into the PCIe lane on your motherboard.
5. Get a New Gaming PC or Laptop
Okay, worst case scenario time. Let’s paint a picture, here: You started looking at new graphics cards, but it looks like none of the cards you want to buy are compatible with your power supply. Well, that’s no problem—you can upgrade your power supply, too. And, hey, why not get some new RAM while you’re at it? DDR3 is old school, it’s time to upgrade to DDR4 memroy.
But, oh no. You’re motherboard and CPU combination can’t accommodate DDR4 memory and so you’ll have to upgrade your processor and your motherboard as well if you want to jump up to the next generation of RAM. Now, the prices are starting to add up.
If that’s the case for you, and upgrading your GPU isn’t the only upgrade your system needs, maybe it’s time to build a brand new computer. Fortunately, in order to run Overwatch on higher settings on a 1080P monitor, you don’t have to spend a ton of money. In fact, we’ve put together a guide that will help you out: 3 Legit Gaming PCs That Meet Overwatch System Requirements.
You can also check out our guide on budget-friendly gaming PCs or high-end gaming PCs (if you have a different budget), or, if you need a laptop, take a look at our guide on the best gaming laptops under $1,000 for fairly affordable options that will run Overwatch well.
Well, that’s it. Three simple fixes to give you a huge FPS boost in Overwatch, and two slightly more sobering—but realistic—fixes. We hope some of the advice on this list has helped you sort out your dropped frames blues, and we hope it helps you win more of your matches.