NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 promises higher frame rates for CPU-intensive games

NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs won’t just rely on brute force to deliver high-performance visuals. The company has unveiled Deep Learning Super Sampling 3 (aka DLSS 3), a new version of its AI-based rendering accelerator. Rather than generating ‘only’ pixels, the third-gen technology can create entire new frames independently. It’s a bit like the frame interpolation you see (and sometimes despise) with TVs, although this is clearly more sophisticated — NVIDIA is improving performance, not just smoothing out video.

The technique relies on both fourth-gen Tensor Cores and an “Optical Flow Accelerator” that predicts movement in a scene by comparing two high-resolution frames and generating intermediate frames. As it doesn’t involve a computer’s main processor, the approach is particularly helpful for Microsoft Flight Simulator and other games that are typically CPU-limited. A new detail setting in Cyberpunk 2077 runs at 62FPS in 4K resolution using DLSS2 in NVIDIA’s tests, but jumps beyond 100FPS with DLSS 3.

Roughly 35 apps and games will offer DLSS 3 support early on. This includes Portal RTX, older titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and releases based on Unreal Engine 4 and 5.

It’s too soon to say how well DLSS 3 works in practice. NVIDIA is choosing games that make the most of DLSS, and the technology might not help as much with less constrained titles. Nonetheless, this might be useful for ensuring that more of your games are consistently smooth. Provided, of course, that you’re willing to spend the $899-plus GPU makers are currently asking for RTX 40-based video cards.

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F1 2022 performance guide: Best settings for high frame rate

F1 2022 is here, and like every annual release from the popular racing series, it’s a huge benchmark for PC performance. It’s demanding but well optimized. I booted up the DT test bench to find the best settings for F1 2022 so you can have a high frame rate.

You don’t need to do a lot of work to get F1 2022 working, especially with its multiple upscaling options. Ray tracing is a performance killer, though, and it’s not worth the frame rate dip for the vast majority of players.

The best settings for F1 2022

F1 2022 has a ton of graphics options, and none of them destroy performance or image quality. Ray tracing, which I’ll dig into later, is the main culprit of performance issues. Otherwise, you can stick with one of the game’s five presets to get an image you like, as well as use the dynamic resolution option in the Display settings menu to improve your frame rate. If you want to go at it on your own, here are the best settings for F1 2022:

  • Lighting quality: Medium
  • Post process: High
  • Shadows: Medium
  • Particles: Low
  • Crowd: Medium
  • Mirrors: High
  • Car and helmet reflections: High
  • Weather effects: High
  • Ground cover: Medium
  • Skidmarks: High
  • Skidmarks blending: On
  • Ambient occlusion: HBAO+
  • Screen space reflections: Medium
  • Asynchronous compute: On
  • Texture streaming: High

I mainly optimized the settings with the best practices for PC game graphics. That means bumping down the shadows and lighting quality first, which both have the biggest impact on performance. I kept some of the smaller settings, like skidmarks and weather effects, turned up because of their limited performance hit. Feel free to bump down these settings if you’re running into issues, though.

Most people should stick around medium to high settings. I’ll go more in-depth in the benchmarks below, but F1 2022 shows diminishing returns beyond Medium for most settings. The Ultra Low preset isn’t too useful for the best graphics cards, offering only a slight bump over the Medium preset. With multiple upscaling options available, the only reason to go down to Ultra Low is if you’re running well below the recommended system requirements.

F1 2022 system requirements

System requirements for F1 2022.

F1 2022 doesn’t call for much, but the system requirements are a little misleading. At a minimum, an ancient Core i3-2130 or AMD FX 4300 is all you need, but I’d recommend sticking with the recommended specs when it comes to the CPU. F1 2022 is really CPU limited, so pairing a fast GPU with an older processor is sure to cause a PC bottleneck.

For graphics, even a GTX 1050 Ti should be enough at 1080p (though one of the best 1080p graphics cards is better). F1 2022 is really well optimized with ray tracing turned off, and you have a lot of bandwidth to improve your performance with dynamic resolution and the supersampling options in the game.

Ray tracing is the killer. You’ll need a GPU with DirectX 12 support to run the game, even if you want to turn ray tracing off. With ray tracing on, you’ll also need a much faster GPU. The system requirements only call for an RTX 2060 or RX 6700 XT, but I wouldn’t recommend ray tracing with anything less than an RTX 3070. Otherwise, you’ll likely have to settle for frame rates below 60 fps, especially if you want to run at a high resolution.

F1 2022 benchmarks (4K, 1440p, 1080p)

4K benchmarks for F1 2022.

There are five graphics presets in F1 2022, and I tested all of them across 4K, 1440p, and 1080p with a Ryzen 9 5950X, RTX 3070, and 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory. Across resolutions, one preset is vastly slower than the others: Ultra High. This is the only preset that turns on ray tracing as a default option, and it’s extremely demanding.

At 4K, for example, you can see that the RTX 3070 just barely manages 30 fps with the Ultra High preset. The next step down results in a massive 238% increase in performance mostly on the back of turning ray tracing off. Medium offers a solid 32% bump over that, as well.

As mentioned, F1 2022 is fairly CPU limited, so performance returns start to fall off beyond the Medium preset. 1440p and 1080p illustrate this point clearly. They’re much closer in performance at each preset, and in some cases, such as the Medium preset, 1440p and 1080p show nearly identical performance. Take advantage of the lower settings if you have an older processor, but don’t count on them to improve your graphics performance.

Ray tracing in F1 2022

It should be clear by now, but ray tracing is extremely demanding in F1 2022. The most demanding Ultra High ray tracing preset can cause as much as a 63% slowdown in your average frame rate, so keep ray tracing turned off unless you have a super power graphics card like the RTX 3090 Ti, or if you take advantage of upscaling options.

Before getting to ray tracing performance, we need to talk about how it works in F1 2022. The game supports ray-traced shadows, reflections, transparent reflections, and ambient occlusion. You have a toggle for each of these settings, as well as three overall quality presets for ray tracing: Medium, High, and Ultra High. You can’t set the quality for individual settings, but the quality doesn’t have a huge impact on performance regardless.

Ray tracing benchmarks for F1 2022.

You can see that in the graph above. The High and Ultra High ray tracing presets have almost identical performance (the game actually uses the High settings for the Ultra High graphics preset). The Medium setting offers a solid 75% increase over the High preset, but it’s still far below just turning ray tracing off.

I’m struggling to see a difference between the quality modes for ray tracing, so if you turn it on, I’d recommend sticking with Medium quality. Most people should just turn ray tracing off, though, as the screen space reflections offer plenty of visual glitter without the massive hit to your frame rate.

DLSS and FSR in F1 2022

Ray tracing is demanding, but F1 2022 gives you options to combat the performance deficit. The game supports Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). They both give you a way to improve performance by lowering the resolution the game renders at. F1 2022 includes its own dynamic resolution setting, too, though it doesn’t look nearly as nice as DLSS or FSR.

DLSS benchmarks for F1 2022.

DLSS doesn’t offer the highest performance, but it’s the best option to maintain image quality. At 4K with the Ultra High preset, it offered a 50% boost in performance with the Quality mode. That’s big, but I’d recommend most people stick with the Balanced mode when using DLSS. It more than doubled my average frame rate without sacrificing image quality too much.

FSR benchmarks for F1 2022.

Unfortunately, DLSS only works on Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards. For everyone else, there’s FSR. F1 2022 only supports FSR 1.0, not the much better FSR 2.0 we’ve seen in games like DeathloopI wouldn’t go beyond the Balanced preset for FSR 1.0 if you want decent image quality, though. FSR falls apart beyond that point.

An interesting trend with both DLSS and FSR is that they fall off past the Balanced mode. With F1 2022 being CPU limited the way it is, the more aggressive quality modes don’t offer as much of a bump in performance as they should.

Editors’ Choice

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‘Pokémon Go’ can now run on iOS at higher frame rates

Niantic has just rolled out updates for the Pokémon Go app, and one of the new features for iOS will let you run the game at higher frame rates. The Verge has discovered a new option that allows you “unlock your device’s native refresh rate for higher FPS.” It’s not explicitly stated in the app’s change log and probably falls under the “various quality-of-life improvements” the developer has listed. Also, the option is off by default, so you’ll have to find it in settings if you want to take advantage of your phone’s capabilities.

As the publication notes, Pokémon Go was previously capped at 30fps on iOS — players have had to employ workarounds to get their games to run at 60fps — but newer phones are capable of more frames per second than that. The iPhone 13 Pro, for instance, has a 120fps screen. The Verge says switching the feature on made a huge difference and made the game a lot more responsive. While Niantic may have been trying to cater to owners of the new iPhone, the option can also be accessed on its predecessors. It just may not work as well on hardware powered by older chips.

You can find the the feature in the game’s advanced settings, which will show “native refresh rate unlocked” when it’s switched on.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Nvidia Intentionally Caps Frame Rates in GeForce Now Games

Nvidia’s cloud-streaming gaming service GeForce Now has recently added a new plan called RTX 3080. At twice the price of the tier that used to be the best (dubbed Priority), the new plan is said to deliver the performance of a high-end gaming computer.

While Nvidia is busy promoting the RTX 3080 plan, existing GeForce Now Priority members noticed that their games are not being rendered at 60 frames per second (fps) as promised. After this discovery, Nvidia affirmed that while no games in the RTX 3080 plan are limited, the company admits to intentionally capping the fps in certain games for players who use the Priority tier. We tested several games to check out how they perform when using Nvidia GeForce Now.

The Priority tier costs $50 per month and promises gaming performance equal to using a premium gaming rig, priority access to gaming servers, up to six hours of gaming at a time, and most importantly, up to 1080p gaming at 60 fps. However, it appears that not all of the 1,100 supported games are able to deliver this kind of performance, although this is in no way indicated by Nvidia on the membership page.

The situation was made public when a Reddit user contacted Nvidia’s customer service, noting that Guardians of the Galaxy caps out at 50 frames per second. This cannot be changed in the game menu. This prompted Nvidia’s confirmation that certain titles are blocked from going above a certain fps threshold.

Testing shows varying results

We’ve done some of our own testing to verify whether Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as some other AAA titles, are capped on GeForce Now. Guardians of the Galaxy is a DLSS game and has a render resolution of 50% regardless of whether the setting is on or off. Tweaking the setting doesn’t seem to affect the image quality or performance.

Our in-game benchmark produced an average of 80 frames per second, which is much higher than the 50 fps experienced by the Reddit user mentioned above. Regardless, Nvidia confirmed that the game is capped at 50 fps.

Someone playing on GeForce Now.

“Some games on GFN are capped at certain fps such as Cyberpunk (at 45 fps) and others. For Guardians of Galaxy, it’s capped at 50 fps, so it’s not a bug,” said Nvidia’s representative in an email.

Nvidia has published a full list of GeForce Now games that have capped frame rates for Priority users. According to Nvidia, the premium systems used for Priority members were unable to sustain a steady 60 frames per second in these titles.

The company chose to limit the frame rates by adding a new setting as opposed to improving the performance of these rigs for Priority users. This setting is called Optimal Playable Settings (OSP) and can be overridden in most, but not all of the games provided by Nvidia GeForce Now. Nvidia claims that limiting fps in some games will ensure a consistent, high-quality experience to all Priority members, but Nvidia also assures that the games are still being streamed at 60 fps.

We tested several other games from Nvidia’s list to verify the fps capabilities provided to Priority members. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is supposed to be capped at 45 fps, but the cap is turned off and the game produces an average of 59 fps. It’s interesting that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is not on the list alongside Odyssey, as both the games run on the same engine.

Cyberpunk 2077, meanwhile, is supposedly capped at 45 fps, though I captured 60 fps on the video stream with a local frame rate tool. It appears that GeForce Now does indeed still stream at 60 frames per second, even if the game itself doesn’t render that many frames.

Valheim and Path of Exile are also found on Nvidia’s list, and that’s another surprising example of Nvidia’s strange fps capping pattern. Both of these titles are not very demanding when it comes to system requirements, so it’s curious why Nvidia chose to cap them at 50 fps each — the same as the famously resource-heavy Cyberpunk 2077.

GeForce Now on a MacBook Air.

DLSS turned on

We have also discovered that Nvidia DLSS is on in most supported games. As a Founder, you generally cannot change the settings, but DLSS is an exception. Turning it off results in a massive improvement in image quality.

It’s difficult to say whether all of these frame rate limitations affect every single user. As proven by our testing, some games achieve higher fps than what Nvidia intended. In addition, it’s likely that members of the $100-per-month ‘RTX 3080’ tier don’t suffer from these restrictions, although Nvidia hasn’t disclosed if any games are fps capped in that tier.

Despite the discrepancies that Nvidia failed to disclose, GeForce Now remains a solid alternative in times of the ongoing graphics card shortage. However, it would certainly be preferable if Nvidia let future members know about possible fps caps ahead of time.

Editors’ Choice

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This Crucial Windows 10 Update Fixes Gaming Frame Rates

Microsoft has released a long-awaited performance fix related to the Game Mode in Windows 10. The update is meant to solve several gaming-related problems that some people have been experiencing since March.

We now know everything that this Windows update includes, and how to install it on your computer.

How to install the new Windows 10 gaming update

Updating Windows to receive the game performance fix is simple. Simply click the Windows logo in the bottom left corner of your screen or tap the Windows key on your keyboard. Next, type in Update in the search bar and head to the section titled Check for updates.

Windows 10 will search for updates that are available to you. When that’s done, click on the View optional updates link, and then navigate to the update called KB5004296. Lastly, simply Download and install the patch. You’ll have to restart your computer for the changes to come into effect.

While the changes Microsoft introduced aren’t massive and the performance gains aren’t all too impressive, this patch could be the fix that some users have been waiting for. It may be worth trying if you are not happy with how your PC has been faring in games.

The issues that started in March of this year included game stuttering, frame rate drops, and overall frames per second (fps) that were lower than expected. Microsoft has admitted that the performance drop was related to problems with Windows 10, namely the power plans and the Game Mode itself. Game Mode is a feature that was introduced back in April 2017.

What does the Game Mode patch do?

According to Microsoft, Game Mode is meant to “help achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.” What it really does is detect the games present on the computer and prioritize them when distributing the computer’s resources, such as processor and graphics card power.

The company has tried to address the issue with Game Mode by releasing an emergency fix in April. However, the poor performance persisted even through that update. Since then, Microsoft was able to isolate the source of the matter and find a solution, resulting in this month’s quick patch. The update was originally meant to be released with a larger patch later in August, but it’s being pushed as a standalone ahead of time.

Some of the things fixed by this patch include:

  • An issue with power plans and the Game Mode itself
  • Sound problems in certain games when pressing the trigger button on a game controller
  • Virtual private network (VPN) problems, such as Windows not detecting the internet connection when connecting to a VPN
  • A problem that prevents gaming services from launching some games for desktop users

Windows also released a full list of updates found in this release. This is an optional update, meaning that it will not be automatically installed on every device.

Editors’ Choice

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Steam Deck can limit frame rates to give you longer battery life

Valve may boast that the Steam Deck will run games well, but you won’t have to worry about the handheld PC running games too quickly. As The Verge notes, Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais has revealed that the Steam Deck will include a “built-in” frame rate limiter option that caps performance in return for longer battery life. If you’re playing a title that doesn’t demand highly responsive visuals, you can trade some unnecessary frames for extra game time.

Not that games will necessarily drag the system down. After Valve told IGN it was aiming for a 30FPS target, Griffais added that the frame rate was the “floor” for playable performance. Every game the company has tested so far has “consistently met and exceeded” that threshold, the developer said. While you probably won’t run cutting-edge games at 30FPS with maximum detail (this is a $399 handheld, after all), you might not have to worry that a favorite game will be too choppy to play.

The company already expects Portal 2 to last for six hours at 30FPS versus four with no frame rate restrictions. We wouldn’t be surprised if the effect is reduced for newer or more intensive games that are less likely to reach high frame rates.

The Steam Deck might not offer a completely seamless experience even with the limiter. Digital Foundry warned that you might get a less-than-ideal experience with V-Sync active. And of course, the 30FPS target generally applies only to existing games — don’t count on a cutting-edge 2023 game running at playable frame rates, at least not without significantly reduced detail. This is more about ensuring that your existing game library is usable on launch.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Tech News

IKEA Symfonisk picture frame is a Sonos speaker in disguise

Swedish furniture brand IKEA enjoys both popularity and notoriety of its minimalist design, DIY assembly, and, more recently, integration with IoT technologies. Unlike makers of smart home products, IKEA incorporates Internet-connected features in tasteful and sometimes bizarre ways. Its newest attempt might be to sell you an IKEA Symfonisk picture frame that isn’t really a picture frame but more like an art deco that happens to house an invisible Sonos speaker inside the frame.

This IKEA-branded Sonos art deco first appeared last April in teasers of a new collaboration between the furniture maker and the smart speaker manufacturer. It isn’t the first time the two worked together, of course, but this Symfonisk picture frame could be their oddest one yet. Then again, it also goes perfectly in line with IKEA’s push to make technology blend in with the rest of your furniture.

The product page, which surprisingly hasn’t been taken down yet at the time of this writing, doesn’t have much in the way of visuals, ironic for something that’s supposed to be an artsy picture frame. All visitors will be able to see is a section of the frame as well as the surface in the middle. Judging by that, it doesn’t seem to be an actual picture frame where you can put your own pictures in.

The Symfonisk picture frame is, instead, really a Wi-Fi speaker in a rather unusual form. With Sonos’ name on it, there’s some guarantee of sound quality and, more importantly, wireless connectivity with audio sources. It isn’t explicitly stated but The Verge says that AirPlay 2 is supported.

For a $199.00 price tag, you could probably opt for a better Sonos speaker or one with more features. Then again, those can’t disguise themselves as art pieces and amaze your guests anyway.

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Magic: The Gathering Secret Lair Strixhaven set hits the frame

Today we’re taking a peek at a pair of Magic: The Gathering Secret Lair drops, the first of which is butting up against the frame with Strixhaven. The second – which you’ll see this afternoon – blasts the frame into bits. The Strixhaven set looks like the game element designers dove in to holy magic stained glass windows and tore them asunder, making way for the next level.

This is the newest Secret Lair drop, a Showcase: Strixhaven set of six cards. These cards include art that not only places high-level or otherwise eye-blasting art in Magic cards, but expands upon the way in which card art interacts with the play elements in the game.

In an interview with Polygon this week, Wizards of the Coast senior creative art director Tom Jenkot spoke on the evolution of Magic: The Gathering card art, and the design techniques used to allow the art to breathe and interact with the card’s standard format.

“These [techniques] give us an ability to create these gorgeous moments where the frame and the art kind of merge,” said Jenkot. “We like to think of it as more of a card treatment than just a frame design. It’s the art and the frame coming together.”

In this latest drop, Wizards of the Coast feature art from Rovina Cai, Minttu Hynninen, Dominik Mayer, Anato Finnstark, and Justin & Alexis Hernandez. In the imagery in this article you’ll find an image of each card as well as an expanded view of each piece of artwork.

The Secret Lair drop will appear in two editions, one standard, one foil. The basic version will cost users approximately $30 USD, while the foil version will cost you around $40. These sets will be available through the Secret Lair page where users can order starting on April 26, 2021.

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Tech News

Samsung trademark tips “Armor Frame” likely for folding devices

Samsung smartphone fans are looking forward to the summer when Samsung is expected to launch new folding smartphones. In the summer, Samsung is rumored to launch the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 at the same time. Samsung already has several folding smartphones to its credit.

A new trademark has surfaced in Korea for something called the “Armor Frame” that is expected to be used on the coming folding smartphones. It’s unclear if both of the folding models will have the new frame or if the frame might only be used on one of the devices. It certainly also possible that Armor Frame will be used on neither of the rumored folding phones.

Samsung filed for the trademark on April 13, 2021. That same day, a trademark for Armor Frame was also filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Organization. The name would seemingly indicate the frame is designed to be extra strong and rigid.

Smartphone manufacturers are always looking for improved ways to make their devices more durable. Durability is essential for folding devices that will be opened and closed multiple times each day throughout their lifetime. Lots of rumors have circulated about the new folding devices expected this summer.

Some rumors suggest that the screens of the new folders will have thinner bezels indicating the frame and hinge might have to be revised. As for exactly what the Armor Frame is made of, that is unknown at this time. Typically, frames for smartphones and mobile devices are made from aluminum, but there’s always the chance of more exotic materials such as carbon or titanium. The downside to using carbon or titanium is more cost, and high-end smartphones are already expensive enough.

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How to Check Your PC’s Frame Rate When Playing Video Games

When it comes to PC gaming, frames per second (fps) mean everything. The higher the number goes, the smoother action looks, and the faster you can respond to what you see. Frame rates not only give gamers a way to gauge their performance but also to verify that they’re getting the most out of their setup. If you have a 144Hz display, for example, you might be able to turn off a few special effects in a game’s graphical settings to get the most out of the display. Some games just feel better at higher frame rates, even if you sacrifice detail to get them. Before you can do that, though, you need to know what your in-game frame rate is.

A decent portion of popular PC games include an in-game frame rate counter, including FortniteIf you want to see your frame rate across games, however, you’ll need an external tool. Thankfully, if you own an AMD or Nvidia GPU, you likely already have one of these tools installed. Here’s how to check your PC’s frame rate when playing video games.

Further reading

How to check your PC’s frame rate when playing video games

These are the best frame rate counters on PC, and although you only need one, it’s worth trying out a few of them. The Steam overlay, for example, is great for getting frame numbers quickly right inside a tool you probably already have installed. A tool like MSI Afterburner, however, can give you more information on your frame rates, as well as the components in your system.

AMD Relive

Image of ReLive Homescreen
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Given that AMD’s Radeon GPUs come already installed in many PCs, you might have a built-in frame rate tracker and not even know it. Fortunately, it’s very easy to make use of AMD Relive. It requires an AMD HD 7700 or newer and the latest drivers installed.

To find your frame rate, right-click on the desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings from the pop-up menu.

From there, follow this path: Relive > Toolbar Hotkey (toggle) > Performance > Metric Options > Show Metrics

Image of ReLive Settings Menu
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Next, minimize Metric Options, maximize Select Metrics, and turn on FPS.

 NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience

Image of GeForce Experience FPS Menu
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

If you have a GeForce GT 600, GTX 600, or newer, getting info on your machine’s frame rate is very simple. Simply download the latest drivers and open the GeForce Experience app.

With the app open, click the Gear icon located next to your Nvidia account name. Under About, check the box next to Enable Experimental Features. This lets you access and turn on the option for In-Game Overlay. Click the associated Settings button.

A window appears on your screen. Click HUD Layout followed by FPS Counter. Under Position, select a location within the box where you want the counter to reside on your screen. Click Back to finalize your settings.

Once you’re done, the FPS counter icon will appear, resembling two sticky notes held by a paperclip.


Image of Steam FPS Counter
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Given Steam’s popularity as a PC gaming platform, the inclusion of a frame rate counter should come as no surprise. To make use of it, click Steam located in the top-left corner followed by Settings in the drop-down menu.

The settings window appears on your screen. Select In-Game listed on the left and then click the Down Arrow located under In-Game FPS Counter shown on the right. Select one of four locations from the drop-down menu.

It’s worth noting that you can also choose to toggle on or off a High Contrast Color setting.


Image of FRAPS Client
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Serving up frame rate counts since 1999, Fraps is a free, easy-to-use frame-counting tool that quietly sits in your task bar. The program is fairly tiny, with the download weighing in at a measly 2.2MB, smaller than most MP3 files.

Once installed, Fraps will automatically sneak into your task bar. If you want to change its settings, right-click on the Icon and select Settings on the pop-up menu — the Fraps icon resembles a monitor with a yellow 99. Otherwise, just game on!

Any game you play from here on out will have a yellow number displayed in the corner of your screen. That number represents your game’s current frame rate.

Once you exit the game, however, the Fraps counter can behave erratically. Although the issue usually doesn’t appear in Windows, at times it will pop up. If you want to close it while not playing games, right-click on the Icon and select Exit Fraps on the pop-up menu. You can start it again by locating it on the Start Menu or by typing Fraps in the task bar search field.

MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner

MSI is one of the more popular gaming brands on the market. The company manufactures motherboards, peripherals, desktops, laptops, and add-in graphics cards. MSI Afterburner is a free tool that essentially complements its graphics cards, allowing customers to overclock them for better performance. But it also includes an on-screen display that can show your minimum and maximum frame rates.

To enable the frame rate counter, click the gear icon located under Fan Speed to open the app’s settings. Next, with the MSI Afterburner properties window now on your screen, select the Monitoring tab.

From there, select up to seven related settings found under Active Hardware Monitoring Graphs. These include Framerate, Framerate Min, Framerate Avg, and more. Click to the left of each setting to enable (green check mark).

Finally, be sure to enable Show in On-Screen Display located just under Graph Columns. Click Apply followed by OK to complete.

Windows/Xbox 10 Game Bar

Image of Microsoft Game Bar
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Since late 2019, Windows 10 users have enjoyed the addition of a frame rate counter via Xbox Game Bar and Microsoft Store. All that’s required is downloading the app from either source, going through the installation wizard, and rebooting your PC.

Boot up your game and press the Windows + G keys to open the Windows 10 counter. Go to the Performance section to see the new frame rate counter — you’ll see a small box on your display that will show your PC’s performance data.

Games with frame rate counters built in

A lot of PC games have frame rate counters built in. It depends on the developer, of course, and including the swath of indie titles on PC, it’s impossible to compile a full list of games that include one. If you’re wondering if your favorite game has a frame rate counter, check the settings menu (usually under Display or something similar). Here’s a short list of popular games that have a counter built in:

Opening the console and entering “showfps” will allow you to check the counter in Sniper Elite 3 and a few other games. This command also works with many other games on Unreal Engine 4 as long as they are also compatible with the commands on your console. 

To open the console with a US keyboard, use the Tilde key right above Tab, and put in “Stat FPS” to see your frame rate. You can also display the frame times by entering “stat UnitGraph.” You will lose a visual of the counter unless you open the options from the game’s startup menu to add an argument. 

Steam utilizes these arguments, even if not all launchers will. If you use Steam, right-click your preferred game and pick Properties. Choose Set Launch Option and then enter in -ExecCmds=” stat UnitGraph” or -ExecCmds=” stat FPS”. You have to make sure to input this code using the exact symbols we’ve just typed out for you, including the mix of capital and lower-case letters, quotation marks, and dash or equal symbols. If you don’t, you won’t pull it off. We can’t guarantee that this stunt will work for every game, but you’ll never know until you try.

Editors’ Choice

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