PC gamers regularly brag about how their massive gaming rigs can outperform consoles in every technical category, but that’s not quite true. A well crafted PC can always outclass a console, but that doesn’t mean that they always will. Console manufacturers have a single set of specs they can use to get optimized performance out of a game, but they can’t know what specs will be in the computer that a given gamer might be using.
That said, there are quite a few ways you can improve the game performance with your computer system, and they don’t require a lot of technical knowledge or painstaking work. We’ll run through the key options below in terms of difficulty or effort involved. If you’re trying to increase your fps and gaming performance, we suggest you start at the top and work your way down.
Finding the Ideal Settings
So you’re trying to optimize your Windows performance to provide a better gaming experience. But first, you should probably figure out what frame rate you should aim for. The bare minimum for gamers is generally 30 frames per second. Anything less than that is going to be distracting even in single player games.
If you’re a more competitive gamer, you may want to ramp that rating up some. Many esports competitors aim for a frame rate of 60 frames per second or more, and that should be more than enough for any modern day consumer, including serious gamers.
Changing the Resolution
The easiest change to make if you’re trying to optimize your frames per second is to simply move to a lower resolution. Resolution is one of the most immediate things you can change to improve your performance, as there’s a direct and mostly linear correlation between a decrease in resolution and an increase in frames per second. Whether you’re using a PC with Windows 10 or an Apple, you can change the resolution directly in the graphics settings under the control panel.
But while changing the resolution is one of the easiest options for how to increase FPS, many gamers will want to forego a reduced graphics resolution in favor of a later solution. Lower graphics resolutions create much muddier and pixelated gaming experiences, so you’ll be sacrificing the quality of graphics for increased frame rates.
Check for Updates
If you’re having trouble with your fps level, there’s a chance that your version of Windows is simply out of date. The first thing you’ll want to check is the state of your drivers. Go to the System menu in the Control Panel of Windows to figure out what version of Windows you’re using, and then navigate to the site for your graphics card manufacturer to download the latest version. This can provide a pretty significant boost to your fps settings.
Another easy troubleshooting option is to update the game itself. Many games today are released as works in progress and receive substantial patches over the course of their life. These are often an attempt to help users get the best performance and take care of graphics that are underwhelming.
Change Your Game Settings
If you change the resolution and make sure to upgrade all of your drivers and games, it’s time to move on and look at specific issues in graphics settings under the games you actually play. The problem here is that each game will have its own unique system settings, and finding the right combination of alterations to help you increase fps will require some trial and error.
We recommend that you experiment with as many graphical settings as possible. Scaling down the quality settings of the graphics can have one of the most dramatic impacts on your fps while reducing the load on your graphics card, but tinkering with anti-aliasing settings can have a pretty serious impact on your performance as well. When adjusting anti-aliasing, we suggest that you remove anti-aliasing completely, and then start slowly raising the AA settings until it reaches an fps rating that will provide the best performance.
You’ll also want to mess around with draw distance and shadow effects. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone with most games. Before you start experimenting with your graphics settings, you’ll want to make sure that you have a means to track your fps. Many games will offer an fps counter in game that will display right on your screen, but there are also a variety of third party benchmark apps like
Try Optimization Software
If digging into the device manager of your computer or the control panel of your game isn’t enough to get your performance where you want it to be, the next step will be to download some third party software. Gaming is big enough business that there are multiple options for improving your performance. Most graphics cards manufacturers offer optimization software for free, and much of it is quite good.
Razer Cortex Boost and MSI Afterburner are impressive in particular, and they’re platform agnostic, so they should work just fine even if your system isn’t made by Razer or MSI. But there are plenty of third party fps booster as well. So what does optimization software do? That can vary wildly, but at their most basic, most optimization software is designed to deactivate or close background software that could be affecting your performance. Since it’s the premier gaming OS, Windows tends to offer the highest compatibility with this type of software.
You’ll probably want to spend some time experimenting with software options to figure out which one is right for you. Many offer additional features that are especially convenient for gamers. Some of these software platforms allow you to improve your internet performance, defragment your hard drive, or even find deals on the latest and greatest games.
Central processors and graphics cards have factory recommended settings to allow them to run without overheating and potentially causing damage to your computer. But just because those standards are in place doesn’t mean you need to follow them. Gamers have been overclocking their systems for years – or pushing their hardware beyond the restrictions put in place by the manufacturer.
Overclocking your hardware can be dangerous to your computer, but it’s safer and more easier than it’s ever been today. Today, many graphics cards manufacturers (especially those focusing on the gaming community) overclock their hardware by default and provide you with software that you can use to make sure things are at safe levels.
If you’re trying to improve your frames per second specifically, the first hardware you should focus on is the graphics card. The graphics card handles the vast majority of graphical rendering, so you’ll get the most bang for your buck adjusting the graphics card. But unfortunately, overclocking a graphic card can be a somewhat technical process. You can start by tinkering with your driver in the menus for your operating system. But if your drivers don’t offer that option, you may need to get some free third party software to handle it.
You may also get some improvements by overclocking the RAM and the CPU. They don’t have as dramatic an impact on frames per second, but they still have a pretty important role to play. And the best part is that RAM and CPU are much easier to overclock. You can do it right through the BIOS menu, which can be reached during your computer’s boot process.
Investing in Better Hardware
There’s a lot you can do to squeeze a little more juice out of the hardware in your computer, to massage graphical settings to push more power towards frame rate, or to eliminate factors on your operating system that could be slowing your games down. But the simple fact is that there are hard limits on what you can accomplish through just tinkering with your computer.
If you’ve exhausted all of your options, it may be time to upgrade the hardware on your computer. But what you’re able to accomplish is going to be limited by your budget. RAM will have the smallest impact on how well your computer works during games, but it’s also the easiest and cheapest solution.
RAM doesn’t cost much, and many computers come with access hatches that allow you to pop a new memory card right into place. It’s easy enough for even the most tech illiterate users to accomplish, and if you’re just shy of where you want your frame rates to be, it can give you the extra push you need. A RAM boost will produce particularly strong results if your computer has an integrated GPU.
If you aren’t anywhere near where you want to be in terms of gaming speed, it might be time to upgrade your GPU. A new GPU is costly and can be a pain to install, but it’s the most immediate and effective way to boost frame rate. But a powerful GPU won’t mean much if you don’t have a CPU that can keep pace, so just buying the most expensive GPU might not be a reasonable solution. Check out our guides to the best RAM, GPU, and CPU for gaming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is My FPS So Low?
The most likely cause of reduced frames per second is simply a lack of specs capable of handling graphics performance at the top setting, but there are usually a number of contributing factors. We’ve outlined a number of steps you can use to troubleshoot your problem and squeeze out the best game system performance.
How Do I Increase My Minecraft FPS?
We’ve talked about how to improve the fps on Windows and other computers above, but some games have specific steps you can take to boost games. The Minecraft Gamepedia guide can provide you with more information on improving your frames per second in Minecraft specifically.
How Do I Increase My FPS in Games for Windows 10?
Windows 10 is the most popular computer operating system for gaming, but just because you’re running on Windows 10 doesn’t mean that your system performance is optimized. Above, we’ve outlined steps for optimizing performance on Windows and other operating systems as well as providing you with some Windows specific performance raising options.
Does RAM Increase FPS?
Absolutely! Just don’t expect the same level of performance improvement that you’d get from improving your graphics card or central processor. Since RAM is critical in improving the short term memory of your computer, it will see some boost, but the biggest graphics improvement in game will come from a Windows or Mac computer that uses an integrated rather than discrete graphics card. That’s because an integrated card forces your GPU and CPU to share RAM memory.
FPS is one of the most important factors when you’re trying to get the most out of your gaming experience, but there’s, unfortunately, no one size fits all solution. The graphics card, CPU, and other components you’re using can have a pretty big impact on fps speed, but whether you’re looking for a CSGO fps boost or a Fortnite fps boost, the fundamentals are the same. It may take you an afternoon, but going through the troubleshooting process will help give you a competitive edge.