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How to view and improve the frames per second (FPS) of your game

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Game performance is measured in “frames per second” or FPS. High FPS gives you smooth gameplay while low FPS is more like a slideshow. Here’s how to see the FPS of any PC game and increase your FPS in your favorite games.

Generally, you’ll want at least 30 FPS for smooth gameplay. But more is definitely better: you’ll notice that games look much smoother at 60 FPS.

How to see the FPS of a game

Many games have built-in FPS counters, but they are almost always disabled by default. To see FPS using an in-game option, you’ll need to dig into the game’s graphics settings menu or its advanced options menu. If you can’t find it, do a web search for the game’s name and “view FPS” to see more information about a specific game.

For example, to see your FPS in Fortnite, go to Menu > Settings > Video, then turn on the “Show FPS” option at the bottom of the screen. To view your FPS in Overwatch 2, click Options > Video > Details, and then turn on the “Show Performance Stats” option. To show FPS in DOTA 2, go to Control Panel > Hardware > Options > Advanced Options and then enable the “Show Network Information” option.

You will see a small FPS meter somewhere on your screen. Each game shows him in a different position.

Fortnite graphics settings.

Steam features its own FPS overlay that you can use on any game in your library. If you are playing a game on Steam, click Steam > Settings > In-game, click the box under “In-Game FPS Counter” and choose a position for the FPS counter on your screen. You will see an FPS overlay for all the games you play on Steam.

In-game, then enable “In-Game FPS Counter”. ‘ onload=”pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);” onerror=”this.onerror=null;pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);”>

You’ll also find options to view the FPS of any game in other tools like NVIDIA GeForce Experience and FRAPS.

RELATED: 4 Quick Ways to Check the FPS (Frames Per Second) of a PC Game

Increase your FPS by updating your drivers

It is important to have the latest graphics drivers for your computer’s graphics or GPU hardware. Graphics processor manufacturers like NVIDIA, AMD, and even Intel regularly release new versions of graphics drivers that are optimized to make new games play smoother. You should keep your graphics drivers up to date for maximum gaming performance, especially if you play newer games.

Get the latest drivers from NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel, depending on the graphics hardware your PC has. These driver installers include tools that automatically check for updates to help keep your drivers up to date in the future.

RELATED: How to update graphics drivers for maximum gaming performance

NVIDIA drivers can be updated with GeForce Experience automatically.

If you’re not sure which GPU your computer has, Windows 10 makes it easy to check. To see the name of your computer’s GPU, open Task Manager by right-clicking on your taskbar and selecting “Task Manager.” Click on the “More details” option if you see a small window. Click the “Performance” tab and look for “GPU” in the left pane to see the type of GPU your system has.

Open Task Manager, then select "GPUs".

If you see an Intel GPU alongside an NVIDIA or AMD GPU here, your computer has a powerful NVIDIA or AMD GPU for gaming and a low-power Intel GPU for other tasks. You should update your NVIDIA or AMD drivers for maximum gaming performance, but you should also update your Intel graphics drivers.

In Windows 7, you can find the name of your system’s GPU in the dxdiag tool. To open it, press Windows + R, type “dxdiag” in the run box, and then press Enter. Click the “Display” tab and look to the right of the “Name” entry in the “Device” section.

The GPU displayed in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

Both Intel and AMD have “integrated graphics” cards that are integrated directly into the computer’s CPU. While integrated graphics consume less power, they won’t provide anywhere near the performance of a modern dedicated NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel GPU while gaming. The integrated graphics can still work just fine, especially if you have one of the latest integrated GPUs from Intel or AMD and are playing an older or newer game at lower settings.

If the latest Intel graphics drivers refuse to install on your PC and you see a message like “the driver being installed is not validated for this computer”, there is a way around this error and install the latest drivers directly from Intel.

RELATED: How to fix “The driver being installed is not validated for this computer” on Intel computers

Increase your FPS by adjusting the graphics settings

The higher your graphics settings, in other words, the more graphic details you see in a game, the lower your FPS will be. If you need more FPS in a game, the easiest way to get it is to lower the graphical fidelity. The game won’t look as pretty, but it will run faster and smoother.

Each game has its own graphic options. To find them, open the Game Options menu and look for a category like “Graphics” or “Video.” You can modify individual settings or just use presets. For example, you can lower a game’s graphics settings from High to Medium or Low to improve its FPS.

You can also lower the screen resolution of the game, which will make the image less sharp, but will increase the FPS. This option may be located in a separate “Video” options menu from the “Graphics” settings menu in some games.

Many older games run a bit better when set to exclusive “Full Screen” mode instead of “Windowed”, “Full Screen (Windowed)” or “Windowed Borderless” mode, so you can also try enabling the mode full screen to see if that improves the FPS of the game.

Overwatch 2 graphical adjustments.

Some tools can automatically set the graphical settings of your PC games, giving you the optimal combination of graphics and performance without any manipulation.

If you have NVIDIA hardware, we recommend that you use NVIDIA GeForce Experience to optimize your games. It is included with the graphics drivers. Just launch the GeForce Experience app from your Start menu and you’ll see a list of the games you’ve installed. Select a game and click the “Optimize” button to automatically use NVIDIA’s recommended settings for that game based on your system hardware.

Even if you want to tweak your settings manually, GeForce Experience optimization is a good starting point. You can still access the game settings and modify them after using an optimization tool like this one.

GeForce Experience can optimize settings on a game-by-game basis to maximize performance.

RELATED: How to set the graphics settings of your PC games effortlessly

Make sure the game runs on your powerful GPU

If you have an integrated Intel GPU and an NVIDIA or AMD GPU, you need to make sure that your demanding games are running on the NVIDIA or AMD hardware and not on the slower Intel hardware.

Most games should automatically launch on the most powerful GPU. However, some games may use the GPU slower by default, resulting in mysteriously low FPS.

You choose which GPU a game uses in the latest version of Windows 10 by heading to System > Settings > Display > Graphics settings. Task Manager also shows you which GPU an application is using.

Windows can switch between a dedicated GPU and an integrated GPU to save power.

RELATED: How to choose which GPU a game uses in Windows 10

For PCs running Windows 7 or an earlier version of Windows 10, you can adjust which GPU a game uses in the control panel of the graphics driver. For example, NVIDIA users can assign applications to different GPUs in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

More tips to increase FPS

Here are some other tips to increase your FPS in PC games:

Close background apps: There are so many CPU, GPU and disk resources to go around. If background apps use resources, there are fewer resources available for the game you’re playing, which means less FPS. Close background apps, especially resource-intensive apps, while playing the game. You can check which apps are using a noticeable amount of system resources from the Task Manager if you want.

Connect your laptop: Connect your laptop while gaming. Windows typically “throttles” your hardware and makes it run slower on battery power to save power, so going online can drastically improve your FPS.

Avoid recording games: If your PC is set to automatically record gameplay with a feature like Windows 10 Game DVR or NVIDIA ShadowPlay, this will lower your FPS. Disable any game recording features and you will see a higher FPS.

Try the game mode: Windows 10 has a “Gaming Mode” that automatically deprioritizes background tasks and allocates more resources to games while you play them. To enable Game Mode, open the Settings app, then navigate to Games > Game Mode and click the switch under “Game Mode.” We haven’t seen any great improvements with this feature, but it’s worth a try. Based on our testing, we don’t recommend using most third-party “game booster” tools.

Overclock your hardware: If you want your existing hardware to run faster, you can overclock it. You can overclock your GPU and CPU, although GPU overclocking will be more important for FPS in most games. Keep in mind that overclocking makes your computer use more power and run hotter, so it could damage your hardware or just make your system unstable while overclocked.

RELATED: How to Overclock Your Graphics Card for Better Gaming Performance

Restart your PC: If your PC is running unusually slow and your FPS is lower than normal for no particular reason, try restarting your PC. Restarting your computer can fix all kinds of problems.

Upgrade your hardware: If you are not satisfied with the FPS of a game even after following all of these other tips, you can always improve it by buying and installing a faster graphics processor, or simply getting a new PC with more powerful hardware. Depending on the game and your PC hardware, a faster CPU or more RAM can also help.

RELATED: How to upgrade and install a new graphics card on your PC

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