If you’re new to the gaming scene, you have probably come across heated debates about what is a good FPS for games and felt confused. There are some people that recommend a really high number while others recommend a suspiciously low number.
Which answer is correct? Who should you believe? As an avid gamer, and someone who has also thoroughly researched this subject, I believe I can accurately answer that question for you. When you’re done reading this article you’ll know exactly what’s a good framerate for video games and how to avoid problems like input delay.
What is FPS (Frames Per Second)?
To start, FPS stands for Frames per Second. Basically, FPS is how many images can be rendered and shown on your screen in one second. In simple terms, the higher the FPS, the smoother the animation.
In most cases, a game will utilize your computer’s graphics card to generate frames, so the more powerful your graphics card, the higher your framerates. Figuring how to increase FPS in games is a hot topic. There’s also some debate about the framerate and your monitor’s Hz rate, and we’ll cover both of those topics later on.
The Best FPS for Games:
Most gamers agree that a good FPS for casual gaming is at least 60 FPS and above. Games that run at 60 FPS are smooth and responsive, and you’ll enjoy the experience much more. Generally, most people agree that anything less than 30 FPS is unplayable.
However, for competitive shooters, things are a little different. In competitive games, the highest framerate possible is recommended, ideally, one that’s above or equal to your monitor’s Hz rate. We’ll talk about monitors and Hz rates later on. For example, in games like CS GO, competitive esports teams usually play with an FPS of 240 or more.
Casual gamers won’t need such high framerates, and they probably won’t notice the difference in responsiveness, but you should always try to get the highest framerate in competitive games as possible regardless.
Problems with FPS:
The most common problems with framerate are screen tearing and input delay.
The screen tearing occurs when your graphics card sends out frames that are not in sync with your monitor refresh rate. It usually looks like a line across your screen, and it can be quite bothersome in some situations.
The way to eliminate screen tearing is by using V-sync but that adds more input delay so it’s not recommended, it’s less noticeable on higher Hz monitors.
Input Delay (also known as input lag)
Input delay is the amount of time it takes for your action to affect the game, for example, how long it takes for your click to register in the game.
Most gamers agree that, even on 60 Hz monitors, when you’re getting over 100 FPS there is much lower input delay than when your FPS is at 60. Generally, for competitive games, a higher FPS is better because it helps you react faster.
Currently, there are a handful of FPS brackets you should know about.
Note: unless you use a frame rate limiter, your computer will crank out as many frames as it can handle. The number of frames it can render will depend on your hardware and the in-game graphical settings, lowering some effects can increase framerates.
30 FPS is very basic and doesn’t offer a very smooth experience. While the images aren’t super choppy, it can feel a little strange. There will also be a significant delay between your actions and what you see on the screen. Unfortunately, some gaming consoles limit the FPS of games to 30 which is not great.
The best FPS for gaming is in this bracket. At 60 FPS, games are very smooth and responsive, but there might be noticeable input delay. Most mid-range computers can handle games at 60 FPS, it’s the most common frame rate for games, and it’s acceptable.
144 FPS is very respectable for competitive games. At 144 FPS you’ll have no problem with input delay and you’ll be able to perform quite well. In most cases, you’ll need decent hardware to hit this bracket, particularly a powerful graphics card. 144 FPS is a great framerate, and the input delay won’t be noticeable.
Most beefy computers can reach these numbers, especially on less demanding games such as CS GO or Overwatch. If your computer can cook that many frames, you won’t notice any input delay, and the games will feel extremely responsive.
What’s the Best Frame Rate for Fortnite?
Fortnite, especially at 1080p, is not a very demanding title, and a framerate of more than 60 should be plenty to get some Victory Royales. Above 100 FPS on Fortnite is usually possible with mid-range hardware.
What is Monitor Hz Rate?
A display Hz rate is the number of times the screen can refresh in a second. So if you’re getting 60 FPS on a game, and your monitor is refreshing 60 times a second (60 Hz) then everything should be smooth. Having a higher Hz rate allows you to see every single frame that’s being rendered, instead of being limited to 60.
Ideally, for the best performance in games, you want your FPS to be either equal to or higher than your monitor’s Hz rate. You can get FPS that’s higher than your monitor’s Hz rate, and even though you won’t be able to “see” those extra frames, the game should run fine because you won’t have much input delay.
The most common Hz rate for monitors is 60, but gaming monitors are clocked higher, with 144 to 240 Hz rates. The higher Hz rates are great for competitive games because it not only makes the input delay lower but the animation is smoother too, so you’ll see enemies quicker.
V-sync is a feature that you have probably seen in video game graphics settings. What V-sync does is lock your game’s FPS to your monitor’s Hz rate. So your graphics card will create frames that are in sync with the timing of your monitor.
The end result is a very smooth experience with no screen tearing but a noticeable input delay, especially if you have a 60 Hz monitor. The lag will be less noticeable on monitors at higher Hz rates. V-sync is great for RPGs and casual games.
The Bottom Line:
The main takeaway from this article is this: unless you play a game that doesn’t require very precise and accurate motions, then you shouldn’t limit the frame rate or use v-sync.
Let your hardware produce as many frames as it can, and if you need to get more FPS, try lowering graphic settings in the game. In most cases, optimizations can only go so far, and you might need to upgrade your entire rig if you’re not getting the frames you want.