Video games were quite popular only a short time ago.
It was a form of entertainment that every kid with access fancied indulging in. Unsurprisingly, arcade machines and gaming cafes were quite popular back then.
But when gaming entered homes, dedicated gaming centers lost their appeal.
Gaming at home was not just convenient, but the games were more advanced too. Long gone were the sub-par gaming graphics and low-resolution visuals.
The advancements also mean increased hardware requirements. Therefore, game consoles and gaming computers exist and continue to be relevant.
If you were to game on a less powerful device, dropped frame rates, choppy visuals, freezing, etc., would become continual concerns.
But does hardware cover all the bases? Can internet speed and bandwidth be a factor? Specifically, will Wi-Fi lower FPS (frames per second) when gaming?
- What is FPS and Its Significance in Gaming?
- Does Wi-Fi Lower FPS When Gaming?
- Why Does My Game Stutter on Wi-Fi?
- How to Monitor FPS While Gaming?
What is FPS and Its Significance in Gaming?
FPS (frames per second) measures the number of frames or still pictures displayed per second in a video.
It is one of the primary metrics to ascertain your PC game’s performance, such as the latency levels and how smooth the movements are.
A video is basically multiple still images played quickly in a sequence. More frames mean smoother rendering or flow between the images.
A slightly higher FPS may not look or perform significantly better. But a 60 FPS redrawing will be better than 30 FPS since two times more frames are rendered in a second.
For gamers, FPS matters more than casual viewers. In other words, the higher the FPS, the smoother the game will perform.
Does Wi-Fi Lower FPS When Gaming?
No, Wi-Fi doesn’t lower or impact FPS during gaming.
Internet connectivity has nothing to do with the FPS of games. The actual gaming hardware determines the frame rendering and other pertinent aspects of the game.
Your computer’s CPU, graphics card, and RAM work as a team to churn out each frame to the T. They ensure the shot’s lighting, textures, geometry, effects, and other visual parameters are on point.
If one of those components doesn’t work as intended, expect a drop in frames. For example, the CPU instructing the graphics card to process multiple objects simultaneously can impact FPS.
The graphics settings overwhelming the hardware is a common reason FPS takes a hit during gaming.
Why Does My Game Stutter on Wi-Fi?
Your game stutters on Wi-Fi due to latency or lag issues with the wireless connection. It could also be a hardware issue.
Latency denotes the time it takes for a ping to return from a computer to the device it originated from on the same network.
Ping is a one-way trip. On the other hand, latency is that one-way journey plus the return ride or the whole round trip. It is measured in milliseconds and also helps denote connection quality.
High latency means a delay in data transfer between your device and the game servers. Stutters and freezing in games are outcomes of that. The delay doesn’t impact the game’s FPS.
Even if there’s a drop in frames, it would be minuscule.
A Wired Connection Can Help Eliminate the Stuttering
Since Ethernet or cable-based internet connection is more reliable or exhibits considerably low latency, switching to wired internet will help address game stuttering.
Why is a wired internet connection more effective? Because it’s not subject to outside interference (physical obstacles, electromagnetic disturbances, etc.). That helps ensure a consistent data flow and a reliable internet connection.
Watch this video to learn more about why Ethernet is best during gaming:
If Wi-Fi is convenient, ensure no other device is connected during gaming sessions, for they’ll eat into the bandwidth and impact speed, exacerbating the latency and stuttering problems.
Firewall configurations could also affect internet connection speeds, leading to high latency. Disable virus protection firewalls (Norton, McAfee, etc.) or Windows firewalls to reduce latency, particularly the ones directly monitoring web traffic.
To those unaware, a firewall usually inspects the data packets your computer transmits and receives. Although the perceivable delay is in milliseconds, that lag is good enough to cause the internet to slow down and lead to high latency.
How to Monitor FPS While Gaming?
There are different ways to monitor FPS during gaming. But before we delve into the various native and third-party tools to monitor frames during gaming, let’s understand why displaying FPS matters.
- Keeping a continuous tab on FPS during gaming helps assess your gaming hardware performance and compare it to similar or more robust builds.
- Monitoring frame rates lets you know your PC better. FPS could drop if GPU temperature increases.
- A game could perform sluggishly due to frame drops or other network concerns. If it’s an FPS problem, the floating counter makes it easy to glean that data.
- If nothing else, a tiny FPS counter floating somewhere on the screen assures that your gaming computer is performing as expected.
Now that you’re convinced about the significance of FPS monitoring let’s learn how to enable it using different tools.
Enabling Steam’s FPS Counter
Steam’s integrated FPS counter can be overlaid on any game part of your Steam library. To enable the feature:
- Launch your Steam application.
- Click on the Steam option in the top left of the interface.
- Click on Settings and then the In-Game option in the window.
- Click on the drop-down menu under the In-game FPS counter sub-menu and choose any position. Check the High contrast color option for increased visibility during gaming.
- Click the OK button at the bottom to save the setting and enable the feature.
Here is a video demonstrating the above:
Enabling FPS Counter in Xbox Game Bar
Xbox Game Bar is a Windows 10-integrated gaming overlay that pairs with several PC games. It’s also available on Windows 11.
The Game Bar offers several functionalities, such as screen sharing and capture, chatting with fellow Xbox gamers, boosting game performance, and an FPS counter. Here are the steps:
- Launch the Xbox Game Bar app. Search for it in Windows search.
- Choose the Performance tab represented by a monitor icon on the floating Xbox Home Bar.
- Click on Performance options in the new small window and check the FPS – Frames Per Second option under Metrics if not enabled already.
You may pin the floating Performance box to check the FPS in real time when playing games.
Also, you can check off other metrics, such as GPU and CPU usage, under the Metrics option to only see the FPS numbers.
Check out the video below to see how it’s done:
Turn On Nvidia GeForce Experience’s FPS Counter
Nvidia GeForce Experience is a tool to control and modify your game’s graphics settings. It also helps update drivers and make performance tweaks.
Do note that GeForce Experience is only available with an Nvidia graphics card. If your PC has one, here’s how to leverage the tool’s FPS counter.
- Press the Alt and Z keys together to open GeForce Experience.
- In the GeForce Experience app, click the Settings gear icon.
- Under General, enable the IN-GAME OVERLAY option to access the feature’s settings.
- Click on the overlay Settings button and then click on the HUD layout option.
- Under the Performance tab, select FPS. You can choose the position of the counter in the Status indicator tab.
Here is a video showing how it’s done:
Turning on the FPS Overlay Using AMD Radeon Software
Like Nvidia, AMD also provides a tool to overlay FPS and other essential information on the screen.
Before proceeding, ensure your computer has a relatively new AMD GPU and you’ve downloaded the latest version of Radeon Software. Once done, follow these steps:
- Launch Radeon Software and click on the Performance tab.
- Enable the FPS option under Metrics and then the Tracking tab on the right.
- In the Overlay tab, turn on Show Metrics Overlay. The overlay with FPS and other statistical data enabled will immediately show on the screen.
- Click the Settings (gear) icon at the top right. Under the Performance or General tab, enable the Show In Video/Stream Output option by toggling the Enabled option adjacent to it.
Here is a visual demonstration of the above:
Seeing FPS Using MSI Afterburner
MSI Afterburner is a popular graphics card software. It helps adjust GPU settings, such as speed, fan speeds, voltage, etc.
Unlike some tools above, Afterburner is not exclusive or also pairs with non-MSI graphics cards, including AMD Radeon and Nvidia cards.
Below are the steps to enable the FPS counter in Afterburner:
(Do note that MSI Afterburner doesn’t help you monitor FPS in games on its own. It enlists the services of the RivaTuner Statistics Server tool, which is integrated into Afterburner. Therefore, it’s critical to check off RivaTuner in the Choose Components window when installing Afterburner.)
- After downloading and installing MSI Afterburner, open the tool.
- Click on the Settings icon and head to the Monitoring tab.
- Under Active hardware monitoring graphs, select Framerate and check off Show in On-Screen Display under Framerate graph properties.
- Click on Apply and OK to save the setting.
- Head to the Windows taskbar and click the RivaTuner Statistics Server icon.
- Enable the Show On-Screen Display option, and you’re done.
You may set the FPS counter to open whenever you log into Windows and designate a shortcut to summon the on-screen display quickly when needed in the On-Screen Display tab.
Here is a video showing how to install Afterburner properly, enable the frame rate counter, set a shortcut for it, etc.:
Your internet connection or speed doesn’t impact your game’s FPS, whether it’s wireless or Ethernet-based. Even if it did, the impact would be negligible.
As discussed above, hardware plays a significant role in determining the FPS in games. Therefore, if you’re worried about your game’s FPS numbers, check if your system’s graphics card, CPU, and RAM are up to snuff.
But before that, confirm there are actual frame drops. Use FPS counters or overlays to good effect.
If the FPS numbers are fine, but the gaming experience is still choppy or sluggish, investigate further to learn about the cause(s).
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.