FPS monitoring helps you assess how well your hardware is performing while running a game. Basically, checking your FPS is vital, as it helps you gauge which games are more suitable for your system and which may require adjustment or upgrades. This tutorial covers the best methods to display FPS while playing.
Good to know: if you're nostalgic about playing your old games, learn how to get them running on Windows.
1. Xbox Game Bar
The Xbox Game Bar is preinstalled in recent versions of Windows and offers the option to display the FPS while playing. Read on for more things you can do with the Game Bar.
Start by launching the game in which you would like to show FPS. After going through the game menu and starting the gameplay, press Win + G, and the Xbox Game Bar overlay will appear.
Click on "FPS" in the "Performance" widget. To keep it visible, even after closing the Game Bar overlay, press on the pin icon.
You can click the preferences icon and decrease the transparency so that the FPS counter doesn't affect the gameplay. Moreover, you can hide the other performance metrics to only show FPS.
After performing these tweaks, the FPS counter will be easier to see while playing.
Steam is a popular platform for buying PC games. But did you know that you can set Steam to display the FPS counter while playing the game from your library? Follow these steps:
Launch the Steam app, and navigate to "Steam -> Settings."
Click the "In Game" section in the menu on the left, then enable the "In-game FPS counter" by appointing a location for it. You can also enable the "In-game FPS counter high contrast color" option later if you struggle to see the counter.
Launch any game through the Steam app, and the FPS counter will be visible, although it is really small.
If the game in which you want to display the FPS isn't in your Steam library, you can easily add it by navigating to your Library, clicking the "Add a Game" option, then choosing "Add a Non-Steam Game."
Tip: learn how to fix game stuttering on your Windows PC.
Displaying FPS in Other Game Launchers
Some users may be relying on other game launchers, such as EA Origin, Ubisoft Connect, or GOG Galaxy, to play games. Luckily, they all support displaying FPS natively when the game is launched through them.
- EA Origin: click "Origin -> Application Settings -> Origin in-Game." Select your preferred settings from the "Display FPS Counter" drop-down menu.
- Ubisoft Connect: navigate to the settings, then enable the "Display FPS Counter in Game" option through the "General" section.
- GOG Galaxy: press the Ctrl + Shift + Tab shortcut to show the FPS counter in any game after launching it through the GOG Galaxy launcher.
Good to know: seeing the Steam login error code E87? Learn how to overcome it and go back to gaming on Windows.
3. NVIDIA GeForce Experience App
If your PC has an NVIDIA GPU under the hood, you can use the GeForce Experience app to display FPS while playing.
Type "GeForce Experience" in Windows Search, and click the "Open" button.
When you launch the app, you may be prompted to sign in to your NVIDIA account. Follow this by clicking the gear-shaped icon in the top-right corner.
Scroll until you see the "In-Game Overlay" menu, enable it, then click the "Settings" button.
Navigate to the "HUD Layout" section, then click "Performance." At this point, you can set the position of the FPS counter on the screen.
Finally, launch the game, and press the Alt + Z shortcut while playing.
Note: if your PC has an AMD graphics card instead, press the Alt + R shortcut to show the AMD overlay, which will allow you to display the FPS counter.
4. Third-Party App
Before the FPS counter feature was added to GeForce Experience and Xbox Game Bar, Fraps used to be gamers' favorite option to display FPS while playing. Fraps is a free and clean app that also helps advanced users with benchmarking and gameplay capture.
Download and install the Fraps app. Launch the app and navigate to the "FPS" section, then select "FPS" from the "Benchmark Settings" options.
Select the preferred position for the FPS counter. You can also modify the "Overlay Hotkey" to display or hide the FPS counter while playing.
Finally, you can navigate back to the "General" section of the app, and modify the default settings. For instance, you can set Fraps to minimize into the tray, as it's helpful to know that you should keep the app running while playing.
Press the overlay hotkey while playing to show the FPS counter.
FYI: wondering what the optimal CPU temperature is when gaming? Check out our guide.
5. Taking Advantage of Native FPS Counters in Games
Some games have the built-in option to display FPS while you play. However, you need to manually check the game's settings to discover whether it supports this feature.
For instance, in League of Legends, you can get the game to show the FPS counter by pressing Ctrl + F. In Valortant, however, you'll need to access "Settings → Video → Stats," while in Apex Legends, you'll find the same option by navigating to "Settings → Gameplay → Performance Display."
Other games may have the options hidden in their Options or Video menus. Just make sure you check everywhere.
Tip: you can also check the game's setting on an Android device to see whether there's an FPS counter option, or use a free app, such as FPS Meter.
Keeping an Eye on FPS
FPS provides real-time feedback on how well your hardware is handling a particular game or application. If the FPS is consistently high, it indicates the PC is running smoothly. Conversely, if it drops significantly, it may suggest performance issues, like hardware limitations or software problems.
If you need to upgrade your PC while on a budget, check out this list of the best places to buy used PC parts. But if your dream is to build a PC from scratch, browse these considerations before you get started.
Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Mustafa Ashour.
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