Improving Frames Per Second in Games
If you’re a lover of PC gaming, you’ll know that frames per second, or FPS, play a major factor in getting the most enjoyment out of your favourite game. While consoles are most commonly locked at 30 FPS, and most films at 24 FPS, many games run much better at 60 FPS or higher, making the overall experience much more enjoyable. It’s not just about having the very highest settings with the maximum frames, but also about having a game optimally configured, so that there is no stuttering or slow gameplay.
This means finding ways to completely optimise the FPS, and this is often much easier said than done if you are not running the very best gaming gear. Even then, many games have additional graphics components that aren’t fully fleshed out, and can have negative impacts on the experience of the game. FPS usually only applies to modern, 3D rendered games, and other activities like online slots from Canada don’t have the same kind of problems.
What Are Frames Per Second?
Before we can start optimising your computer, it’s first important to understand what FPS is. This ties in with refresh rates. But where the refresh rate of a screen is how many times the same frame is refreshed per second, a frame rate is how effectively a new frame can be displayed within that same second.
This is why the FPS can often drop when you’re turning the camera in a game, as it has to render a completely new frame on to the screen, which means using resources from the graphics cards and other components.
The First Step is Drivers
Every graphics card on the market is run by software called a driver. The driver allows the card and the operating system to run in sync, which is why companies release new drivers fairly often. This is also the first place to turn to if you are suffering from FPS drop in a game, especially if it’s a newer game. The engine for that game might not be fully utilised by your graphics card, but new drivers might have unlock more resources, or change how the card processes the game.
The Next Step is Visual Settings
Unless the game has pre-set settings, like many games using Unity, there will often be some visual changes that you can alter in the menu to improve overall FPS:
- Anti-aliasing: This is one that you should turn to first. Anti-aliasing removes the jagged edges you often come across in games, and is included to make everything a bit smoother. There are varying degrees of anti-aliasing, but it can be a serious resource hog, and turning it down to medium or lower, or even off completely, can have a dramatic affect on performance.
- Shadows and Water: These are two that are often on high by default, and can drastically change the FPS. Shadows do make a difference to the visuals, but having them on high is usually unnecessary, and changing water reflections can improve the FPS like few other settings.
- Playing with other settings can change the FPS, so it’s important to have a program that monitors FPS with each change.
There are other methods, such as overclocking, that can be utilised to improve FPS, but these are methods to turn to when everything else fails. Drivers and graphics settings are where to start, and hopefully should fix any frame issues.