If you are a gamer, you have probably heard of the term FPS. But what does it mean, and why is it important?
In short, FPS stands for frames per second. It’s a measure of the frame rate, or the number of images your computer can display on the screen, in one second. A higher FPS means a smoother and more responsive gaming experience, while a lower FPS means a choppier and more laggy one.
But now that you know what FPS is, let’s explore how to check your FPS, what a good FPS for gaming is, and how you can improve your FPS for better gaming performance.
*Note: When discussing video game genres, FPS typically means First-Person Shooter.
How Do I Check My FPS?
There are different ways to check your FPS depending on your system and preferences. Here are a couple ways to check your FPS:
Steam’s In-Game Overlay: If you play games on Steam, you can enable an FPS counter in the Steam settings. Go to Steam in the top-left corner, and click Settings.
In Settings, click on the In-Game tab on the left. Then make sure the box next to Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game is checked and select which corner you want the FPS counter to display on your screen in the drop-down under In-game FPS counter. Press Shift+Tab while playing a game to bring up the overlay and see your FPS.
NVIDIA GeForce Experience: If you have an NVIDIA graphics card that supports ShadowPlay, you can enable an FPS counter in the NVIDIA GeForce Experience app. In the GeForce Experience app, click on Settings (gear icon). Under the General tab, turn on In-Game Overlay, then click the Settings button.
In the Settings menu, click HUD Layout, then Performance, and set it to FPS. You can also choose which corner of the screen to display it. Press Alt+Z while playing a game to bring up the overlay and see your FPS.
Keep in mind that many games also feature a built-in FPS counter, and there are other programs that enable you to check your FPS. Windows’ Game Bar is one, though its reliability is questionable with certain games, while other popular platform and hardware-agnostic programs – such as MSI Afterburner and Fraps – include FPS counter overlays in them.
Also Read: Best FPS Counter Programs for Windows
What Is a Good FPS for Gaming?
A good FPS for gaming depends on your personal preference, and the type of game you are playing. Generally, 60 FPS is considered a good frame rate for most gaming PCs, as it offers a smooth and responsive gaming experience.
However, some gamers may prefer higher FPS for better performance and responsiveness, especially in competitive games or games that require fast reactions like first-person shooters. Some games can reach up to 120 FPS or more on high-end PCs and monitors with high refresh rates.
How Can I Increase My FPS?
There are several ways to increase the FPS you get in your games. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the impact of these methods have varying degrees of effectiveness, heavily depending on the hardware you’re running, and can vary from game to game.
Also Read: 5 Ways to Increase FPS in Games
Some of the common ways to increase FPS include:
Update your graphics driver: Updating your graphics driver to the latest version can improve the performance of your graphics card by utilizing bug fixes and code optimization that may have not been available in older driver software.
Close background applications: Running applications in the background, like a browser full of loaded tabs, can consume system resources that can impact game performance. Closing any unnecessary programs before playing a game can free up those resources.
Lower graphics settings: This is the simplest way to increase FPS in games. Lowering the graphics settings like resolution, shadows, textures, and effects can have a big impact on FPS by reducing the number of pixels your graphics card has to render, allowing it to render the screen quicker.
Disable V-Sync: Vertical Sync (V-Sync) is a graphics technology that synchronizes the frame rate of a game to your monitor’s refresh rate. Having V-Sync enabled can reduce screen tearing that happens when your graphics card renders more frames than your monitor is capable of displaying.
Also Read:What is VSync and What Does it Do?
However, it does this by capping the game’s frame rate to match the refresh rate of your monitor. Therefore, disabling V-Sync can improve FPS in some games by removing the cap on the maximum frame rate.
Overclock your GPU: By overclocking your graphics card, you can increase its clock speed and improve its performance. However, be careful when overclocking as it may cause overheating or instability issues.
Upgrade hardware: If you’ve tried everything else, you may need a hardware upgrade. Usually you’ll see the biggest leap in performance by upgrading your graphics card. However, it can depend on the game you’re playing, as some are more CPU-bound than GPU-bound (such as Minecraft).
Also, if you have a bottleneck elsewhere in your system, such as your CPU, then upgrading those components can help increase performance, but only if the bottleneck is what’s holding your system back.