This article covers how to enable anti-lag features on your graphics card of choice, whether you're using Nvidia or AMD. Even if you aren't using an Nvidia or AMD card compatible with these features, we discuss other ways for you to reduce the lag in your gaming experience.
What is Anti-Lag?
AMD introduced the Anti-Lag feature in 2019, encouraging Nvidia to quickly follow with its own counterpart, NULL (Nvidia Ultra Low Latency mode). Since then, both companies have been hard at work improving these features in their latest driver updates, and Nvidia even further improved on the concept by releasing Nvidia Reflex in late 2020.
The fundamental similarity between Anti-Lag and NULL is that they both serve as driver functions outside of the game, meant to better queue and pace frames than the game itself could without an FPS cap in place. Ensuring that your GPU stays just under maximum utilization is the best way to prevent input lag, and Anti-Lag and NULL automate that process when enabled, to generally-good results.
How do I enable AMD Anti-Lag?
First, click here to get the latest AMD driver software installed if you don't have it already. You'll need to use AMD's Radeon Software to enable Anti-Lag in your games.
To quickly open Radeon Software, hit Alt + R, the default keyboard shortcut for launching it. Once it's open, click the Gear icon in the top right.
Click "Graphics" to land in Global Graphics Settings. Scroll down for the option to enable Anti-Lag for all of your games with a single click!
Enable Nvidia Low Latency Mode
First, click here to get the latest Nvidia driver software installed. Skip this step if you already have GeForce Experience and Nvidia Control Panel on your system.
Once you have your Nvidia software installed, enabling "Low Latency Mode" is fairly easy. Hit the Win key and type "Nvidia Control Panel" to find the program of the same name. Launch it and head to "Manage 3D Settings."
You can use Global Settings to change settings for all games or Program Settings to choose specific games and applications - for this guide, we are using Global.
Scroll down until you find "Low Latency Mode." You can set it to "On" or "Ultra" - we recommend Ultra but switching to On or Off if you experience issues in your games. Remember to click "Apply" at the bottom of the window, and you're in business!
What about Nvidia Reflex?
Nvidia Reflex is currently the best way to reduce input lag in games, but unfortunately, that comes with a lot of caveats. Besides the obvious Nvidia GPU requirement, Reflex support also needs to be added by the developers - so older games are unlikely to ever see it, and if your favorite games don't support it, you're out of luck.
You can check the list of Nvidia Reflex-compatible titles. In any Reflex-compatible game, just enable it in the in-game settings to use it. The "Reflex + Boost" feature doesn't actually make much of a difference, though, since the "Boost" is simply keeping your GPU in a mode of higher power consumption and noise generation. If you don't mind that, you may enjoy slightly higher framerates by enabling Boost on top of Reflex, but we recommend Reflex for most people.
Are there other ways for me to reduce input lag in my games?
Generally speaking, a higher framerate means lower input lag, but it can mean inconsistent input lag if you don't have one of these anti-lag settings enabled. A different and arguably better way to minimize input lag is to set an FPS cap, which we recommend doing either in-engine or through RivaTuner.
On the hardware side, investing in a G-Sync or FreeSync monitor can also go a long way toward reducing screen tearing and input lag. Using the RivaTuner article above, you can also use Scanline Sync to substitute for this feature in software if you don't have the hardware to pull it off.
Comment below and let us know if you have any other questions or tips to share for reducing input lag!
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