We all want to squeeze every last drop of FPS out of our gaming rig. There is no reason why any of us should have to suffer with anything less than 60 FPS at 4K if our monitor supports that resolution. This article is about tweaking the settings to increase gaming FPS using the hardware you already have.
Of course we could throw money at the problem, and ultimately, that might be just what it takes. An SSD to replace that tired spinning hard drive, a new shiny I9 Processor to replace that vintage I7 9700k and, last but not least, four new 8GB sticks of RAM. But this article is about making a few subtle changes to game settings to help you eek out those frames and stop the stuttering, lagging issues you’ve been dealing with for so long.
Tweak Settings To Improve Gaming Performance and Increase FPS
The old debate on which is better–performance or detail–shouldn’t be a debate at all. A game running at 30 frames per second is simply not acceptable. If your gaming rig is powerful enough, you can simply max out all of your settings and be done with it. There is also the hubris many of us geeks have because we feel we have built the perfect gaming machine and turning down any settings would be an affront to god. Once you get over that, you can drill down into the game settings and get granular enough to improve performance while having a minimal effect on graphics detail.
In Game Settings You Can Change To Improve Gaming FPS
Typical game settings will have default terms such as Ultra High, High, Medium or Low. Many games allow you to set the blanket setting, while most games allow you to drill down into various graphics settings to change them individually.
Disable Anti-aliasing – Anti-aliasing smooths pixels and takes away jagged edges that might be caused by rapid movement and speed within the game. It has one of the biggest FPS costs of all of your settings. Try turning this off and see if it adversely affects the visuals of your game. In many cases this is enabled without it being necessary. If you must use it, there are different levels of AA.
Turn down shadow detail – Shadow detail is another high-cost setting, and one of those settings you will barely notice if you knock it down to medium or low.
Decrease draw distance – Draw distance may or may not be something you want to change. It really depends on the game and how it will affect your game immersion. You may feel draw distance isn’t important in games where you are mostly inside of a building, for example. Try reducing the draw distance and see how it looks.
Other high cost settings such as fog and cloud detail can be nudged down, as well, without having a tremendous visual effect on the game.
Windows Tweaks To Improve FPS
If you are not planning on adding more memory or upgrading your graphics card and CPU, you need to make your existing Windows setup as streamlined as possible.
Create A Gaming Account – You can add another profile to your Windows computer specifically for gaming. This will allow you to completely strip down background process and services that run automatically when you boot your machine.
Your gaming account does not have to have many of your day-to-day programs running–especially those that have a high Startup impact. To disable these in Windows 10, right-click the task bar and select Task Manager. Under the Startup tab, double-click the Status column of the program you want to change and set the status to Disabled. You can always launch the program manually, if necessary. It just will not load at startup.
Monitor Resolution – Whether you’re gaming on a computer monitor or your HD television, you should run your game at the native resolution of the monitor. If you have a 4K TV, set the game resolution to 3840 x 2160 (if your graphics card can support that). Or set it to 1920 x 1080. If you have an ultra-wide monitor, set the screen resolution to 2560 x 1440. Also, make sure your refresh rate is set to at least 60HZ.
Hardware Tweaks To Increase Gaming Frames Per Second
Update Your Graphics Drivers
One of the most important things you should always do as a PC gamer when trying to increase gaming FPS is make sure you’re running the latest drivers for your video card. If you have a dedicated card it is likely either NVIDIA based or AMD based.
Download drivers for your NVIDIA graphics card here.
Download drivers for your AMD graphics card here.
Improve Your Computer Temperatures
Heat equals slow. If your computer is running hot, try improving the airflow within the case by improving cable management, or by changing the physical location of the computer to an area that promotes good air circulation. If the computer has been on your bedroom floor for a year, it should be opened up and blown out to remove the insulating layer of dust from the motherboard and case fans.
Overclock Your Computer
As a last resort to gain maximum frame rates without spending money, try overclocking the CPU if your CPU supports that option. Just remember, overclocking can lead to system instability that will cause your games to crash. We will not go into how to overclock as that will differ greatly based on the motherboard manufacturer.
Most modern motherboards will have overclocking profiles included that may say something like Game Boost or Turbo mode. If your motherboard has one of these options, try nudging it up to the first level and see if it helps. Just remember, the more you overclock, the hotter the computer will run and the greater the likelihood your system will crash.
How To View Your FPS In Game
There are a couple of ways you can view the FPS counter. In Steam, go to the main Steam menu, click Settings. Click on the In-Game section and then select In-Game FPS counter. You can then choose where you want the counter to appear and the amount of contrast to display the FPS counter. It will then show continuously in all of your games.
Secondly, many games will support the option to toggle FPS on or off by using the F1 key while in the game itself.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips on improving your gaming FPS without spending money. Let’s talk about gaming in the PCTechBytes Community Forums. Let us know what you do to tweaks to increase gaming FPS.