If you are a gamer, then you are, probably, familiar with the term FPS. FPS, short for Frames Per Second, is a value that indicates how many consecutive images (frames) are processed by your video card each second. Basically, lower FPS means that your game will "freeze", while a higher FPS value indicates a more smooth game experience.
Some experienced gamers and graphic artists can roughly estimate how many frames per second their imaging devices produce, but having a way to determine the exact FPS value may sometimes be of vital importance. You can lower the graphic settings in order to achieve a better FPS rate or add more effects if your FPS value is high enough (60 FPS is considered to be optimal).
Next, I will show you several ways to view your FPS while playing your favorite games.
You will need to download one of the following software titles to follow along with this tutorial.
Fraps is one of the most popular tools that will help you view your FPS while playing games that use DirectX or OpengGL graphic technology. The FPS value will be displayed in a corner of your screen (as you can see in the image below) that you can choose by clicking on the FPS tab and selecting one of the overlay corners. You can easily toggle the overlay on or off by pressing the F12 key (by default).
But that's not all that this application can do. FRAPS is also capable of performing benchmarking tests, capturing images (screenshots) or recording videos of your game sessions.
Steam - you can get it here
If you are using Valve's popular gaming client to purchase, download, install and play games, then, you won't have to install additional applications to display the FPS, because of the recent feature that was added to Steam, called "In-game FPS counter". In order to activate it, you need to go to the "Settings" menu, click on the "In-Game" tab and select the desired location of the FPS counter (see image). In addition, if you are having trouble viewing the counter, you can check the box right under the counter location menu so that you make Steam use high contrast colors when displaying the FPS.
NVIDIA GeForce Experience
Those of you who own a modern NVIDIA graphics card with ShadowPlay support (ShadowPlay is NVIDIA's screen hardware accelerated screen recording tool) can use GeForce Experience application in order to display the FPS during your gaming sessions. To activate this feature, simply go to the "Preferences" tab, select "ShadowPlay" from the left menu and click on "FPS counter". Therefore, you can now use NVIDIA GeForce Experience not only to tweak your games and keep your drivers up to date (a crucial point for gamers), but also to view your FPS.
We mentioned the tool NVIDIA users get to show the FPS, so it is time for AMD Radeon users. RadeonPro was designed as the equivalent of GeForce Experience tool but for Radeon graphic cards. To enable the FPS counter, you need to access the "Settings" menu, click on the FPS tab and select the desired position and hotkey (for turning the overlay on and off).
Use game settings
Before installing any additional tool to display the FPS, you might want to browse through the game settings to view if it doesn't come with a built-in FPS counter. Usually, the FPS counter can be found in the Video or Graphics Options menu, but some games have it placed in the Keyboard or Startup Options tab. Other games could even require you to type console commands in order to enable it or modify the configuration files. A short Google search, based on the game you are playing, will help you out a lot.
These are just some of the applications that are capable of displaying the frames per second your video card produces while you play your favorite games. If you want to test other tools that can display your FPS, then here are some of the alternatives.
- Dxtory Movie capture tool only for DirextX/OpenGL application. $46 DOWNLOAD
- Fraps Universal Windows application that can be used with games using DirectX or OpenGL graphic technology. DOWNLOAD
- MSI Afterburner Graphics card overclocking utility which gives you full control of your graphics cards. FREE DOWNLOAD
- RadeonPro Radeon Profile Tool, or RadeonPro for short, is a free... FREE DOWNLOAD
- Raptr Program that allows you to optimize PC gaming settings. FREE DOWNLOAD
- Razer Cortex It can improve gaming performance on supported PCs by optimizing Windows settings... FREE DOWNLOAD