There’s nothing worse than trying to play your favorite games and struggling to get a framerate that makes playing the game actually enjoyable. Maybe you have an older computer that you’re just trying to squeeze some extra life out of until you can afford to buy or build a new gaming PC. Or, maybe you have a newer computer and for whatever reason, it’s delivering lower-than-expected framerates.
Whatever the reason may be, in this guide, we’re going to go over how to increase FPS in games. We’ve presented you with five potential fixes to boost your FPS, with the first four being something you can do without upgrading your hardware.
1. Turn Down the Game’s Graphics Settings
If you’re getting really low FPS in a game, one of the easiest and quickest fixes you can make is simply to go into the game’s settings and lower the graphics settings. You can either do this manually and focus on turning down the most intensive graphics settings first, or you can use the preset options in the game’s menu to turn all of the settings down as low as possible.
Things like shadows, view distance, anti-aliasing, textures, etc. are all settings that can provide a big boost to your FPS if they are turned down (or off).
If you’re hovering around 20-30 FPS in your game, you might want to go through every graphics setting, though, and turn them down a bit, and re-check your game to see what kind of increase it gave you. And, then do that until you can get to a framerate that is more acceptable for you.
If you’re getting a framerate that is unplayable (10 FPS or less), you could also just use the game’s preset graphics settings to turn everything down to as low as possible. This should give you a significant increase in your framerate.
2. Lower the Resolution You’re Playing Games At
If your graphics settings are already turned down as far as they can go, the next option you’ll want to consider is to lower the resolution of the game you are playing. Your games are made up of thousands of images played in rapid succession. Your system’s GPU is tasked with rendering each of these images to deliver to your monitor. The higher the resolution your monitor is and your game is running at, the more pixels will come in each image and the harder your GPU will have to work to produce that image.
If you turn down the resolution you are playing at, though, you will reduce the number of pixels in each image and lessen the workload on your GPU, which will allow it to produce images (frames) at a higher rate, thus giving you a boost in your FPS.
There are a couple of ways to lower the resolution of the games you are playing. The first is to do so directly in the game’s menu. Some games (like Fortnite) will allow you to lower the resolution that the game runs at directly in their graphics setting menu. This method is the best option, as it won’t change the resolution of your desktop after you are done game, but it isn’t available in all games.
Also Read: How to Make Fortnite Run Better on PC
The other option is to just change the resolution of your monitor in Windows. You can do that by right-clicking anywhere on your desktop, selecting ‘Display Settings’, scrolling down to the ‘Resolution’ drop-down menu, and then selecting a lower monitor resolution. Your monitor will change resolutions and then a menu will pop-up and you’ll want to select ‘Keep Changes’. This option will help you increase your FPS, but after you’re done gaming, your desktop will be displayed at the lower resolution until you change it back.
3. Update Your GPU’s Drivers
Maybe your problem isn’t that your hardware isn’t capable of delivering higher framerates, but that you have a decent setup and it is still getting lower framerates. In that instance, you might want to check and see if your GPU’s drivers are up-to-date and update them if they aren’t.
If your hardware is older and you’ve tried the two options above and you still aren’t getting playable framerates, you’ll want to check and see if your drivers are up-to-date as well, as that could help boost your FPS, too.
To update your drivers, simply find what GPU you have in your system (if you don’t already know it), go to the GPU manufacturer’s website, and download the latest drivers.
You can find out what GPU you have by going to ‘Device Manager’ and expanding the ‘Display Adapters’ tab. You’ll either have an NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel (integrated) GPU. You can find updated drivers for your GPU here:
4. Overclock Your GPU (and CPU & RAM)
As a last ditch effort for some users who have an older graphics card, or as an option for any game who just wants to get higher framerates, one way that you can increase your FPS is to overclock your system’s hardware. You’ll first want to try overclocking your GPU.
You can overclock your GPU with provided software from GPU manufacturers (like AMD’s WattMan) a third party software like MSI Afterburner. You might also want to try overclocking your CPU and RAM, too, which can be done through your computer’s BIOS.
Overclocking could give you a decent boost in your in-game FPS, which could help you put off an upgrade for a little longer.
5. Upgrade Your Hardware
If none of the above have worked, it’s likely just that your system isn’t capable of delivering an acceptable gaming performance. And, if that’s the case, your option is to either buy or build a brand new system or upgrade the hardware in your existing system.
If you have a newer computer that doesn’t have a graphics card in it, the first thing you’ll want to do is add one. (Check out our GPU Buyer’s Guide for graphics card recommendations.) You can also upgrade its memory and its CPU as well. Just note, though, that if you do want to go the upgrade route (rather than getting a new system entirely), that you make sure that the parts you choose for your upgrade are compatible with your existing system.
If your system is older, or you have a laptop that cannot be upgraded, your best bet may be to just get a new computer entirely. You can build a decent entry-level gaming computer for 1080P gaming for as low as $300-$400. And, for $500, you can build a system that can run pretty much any game on an affordable 1080P monitor at medium (or higher) settings.
You can check out our Affordable Gaming PC Builds guide for part lists and system recommendations.
Increase Your FPS With These Five Potential Fixes
Playing with low framerates sucks. If you are experiencing low FPS in your games, one (or more) of the fixes above might help you increase your FPS back to an acceptable level. If these fixes don’t work for you, then, unfortunately, it’s probably time for an upgrade.