What does Frames Per Second (FPS) means in games?

What is FPS?

FPS stands for Frames Per Second, it refers to the amount of images a display renders each second and the term applies equally to games, film and video cameras. The human visual system can process 10 to 12 images per second as individual frames, while higher than that is perceived as motion. As a daily example, modern television usually display 50 or 60 frames per second.


How do I check my FPS in games?

Games usually have a menu option to show FPS and it will appear either on any of the top corners like in the image above.


In the rare case a game doesn’t have an option to show FPS you can use FRAPS to measure it and also to get your FPS minimum and maximum values to check for variation and stability.

What fps is good for gaming?

If your intention is to be good in any non turn based game, you need a minimum of stable 60 FPS, or a recommended 144 FPS (with a 144 hz display) as there is a real advantage with it.


  • 30 FPS: Common for console peasants and low end PCs. It’s the minimum in order for a game to be playable. If your computer is able to render ~45 FPS but dips to 30 or bellow frequently we recommend capping at 30 as it will give you a better experience.


  • 60 FPS: The ideal frame rate for a regular experience/player. Easy to reach with medium hardware and 1920x1080 resolution.


  • 144 FPS: This is what most pro players use as a minimum. It’s becoming more common as GPU and display prices are dropping. Although not necessary, we recommend spending the money on a 144 Hz monitor if you are really serious about gaming.


  • 240 FPS: For the human eye the difference between 144 Hz and 240 Hz is negligible, only very enthusiastic and wealthy gamers go for this. Can only be displayed on 240 Hz refresh rate monitors which are expensive.

How FPS affects your reaction time. 

Linus Tech Tips did a pretty good video about this, here are the results:


linus tech tip reaction times


Now, keep in mind, although very entertaining video this is by no means a study. It includes pro players and regular gamers in its five population test. That said, let’s take some averages:



60 FPS

144 FPS

240 FPS


185.75 ms

177.08 ms

170.14 ms


As you can see the difference in reaction time between 60 and 144 FPS is 8.68 ms, and the difference between 144 and 240 FPS is  6.94 ms:


60 to 144 FPS

144 to 240 FPS

60 to 240 FPS

Reaction time difference (ms)





The difference between a 60 to 244 FPS gaming experience is about 15.62 millisecond which is very meaningful when you test with fast reaction games like in the video.


Notice we are talking about gaming experience which means not only having a ‘144 Hz monitor’, but also a GPU that can render that exact frame rate. If you are playing on a computer that renders (and shows) less than 60 fps, then you probably are in a more than 15 ms disadvantage v/s someone that is playing on 144 FPS, which may seem small, but trust me, all added up and it makes a difference. All this not taking into consideration the dips in FPS your computer might have, making the difference in gaming experience even bigger.


How to improve your FPS without spending any money 

Update your graphic drivers: 

This is the simplest and less compromising way of improving your frame rate. Running updated drivers can improve your experience significantly. You probably need to do this as most people do not update their drivers.


In order to get the latest driver for your gpu you need to know which GPU your computer has. On windows, open the device manager and check your display adapter. On OS X, click on the apple on the top left corner, then “About This Mac”, and then “More info”. Next to “Graphics” you can find what video card you have. If you have linux you probably already know how to do this.


Download the latest driver for your GPU from the company’s website, follow the instruction and enjoy your improvement in FPS.


Change the game’s performance setting: 

  • First disable anti-aliasing all together, as this is the most impactful setting. If you are wondering what anti-aliasing does: It smooths out lines around border of objects to make them look less pixelated.


  • Disable shades and eye candy, leave only necessary for a better gaming experience.


  • Lower video resolution as much as you can, for example: if you are playing on 1920x1080 to 1600x900 and you will get about a 20% boost in frame-rate.


Disable aero:

This is for really low end hardware. It helps a lot, just do it if you take performance over eye candy.


Scan for virus, keep your OS installation updated:

Viruses can seriously impair the performance of your computer, make sure to run a windows scan and check the processes by pressing ctrl+shift+esc to look into CPU and RAM usage. Keep your OS updated to the latest version, as it will be better protected.


Clean your GPU and CPU fans:

GPU and CPU fans dust make your computer run hotter and eventually throttle, which make your games run slower or stutter. This is a pretty straightforward process in a desktop computer, while in a laptop it might be a difficult task. We strongly recommend doing it only after the end of guarantee (usually one year) and watching the appropriate youtube tutorial to your laptop model.


Apply thermal paste:

Ok, this is not 100% free. You must buy thermal paste first, but it’s cheap and only a one time buy depending on which thermal paste you buy. It also might make a huge difference, so we definitely recommend it. Same as before, only do it in a laptop if you know what you are doing.



Final thoughts

Having good Frames Per Second is extremely important in games, for those of us who are competitive while playing it is the most important factor, and for those who play just to have fun, it still is very important for having a good gaming experience.


The easier and faster ways of getting higher FPS are not about the money, but simple changes in configuration that can make all the difference, nevertheless if you want to see serious improvement you do have to invest in better CPUs and GPUs, this might not be inmediately possible for some, but the spending is well worth it.