How to Monitor Your FPS (Frames per Second) in PC Games

PC gaming enthusiasts know that higher frames per second (fps) can greatly enhance their gaming experience. But sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate between two frame rates without a reference point. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you check your fps while playing video games.

Understanding FPS (Frames per Second) in Games

Frames per second, also known as fps, is the key metric used to measure the smoothness of gameplay on your PC. Similar to a movie, games are composed of a rapid sequence of still frames displayed on your screen. The higher the fps, the smoother and more visually appealing your game will appear.

While knowing your fps isn’t essential for a good gaming experience, it provides a valuable measure of your hardware’s performance. It allows you to compare your setup with others and is particularly important when purchasing a new gaming monitor.

Monitoring your frame rate can also provide insights into your PC’s performance. You can evaluate whether changing settings improves gameplay, and some tools even allow you to analyze CPU or other PC bottlenecks. Additionally, having a small fps counter in the corner of your screen acts as a sanity check to ensure everything is running smoothly with your gaming PC.

Benchmark results in The Division 2
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

Checking the FPS Counter in Steam

If you’re an avid PC gamer, chances are you’re using Steam. The platform includes a built-in fps counter that you can overlay on any game in your Steam library, including non-Steam games.

Here’s how to enable the fps counter in Steam:

Step 1: Open Steam and click on Steam located in the top left corner.

Step 2: Select Settings and choose the In-Game tab.

Step 3: Under the In-game fps counter option, choose where you want the fps counter to be located. You can also enable the High contrast color box if visibility is an issue. Once you’re done, click OK.

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The fps counter will now appear in all your Steam games. However, be aware that it may be initially challenging to spot due to its small size.

Steam fps counter option
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

Using FPS Counter with Xbox Game Bar

Xbox Game Bar is available on all Windows 10 and 11 PCs and offers an fps counter that works with any game. While it may be slightly distracting, it provides more comprehensive information than just your frame rate in real-time.

To access the fps counter with Xbox Game Bar, follow these steps:

Step 1: Press the Windows Key + G to open the Xbox Game Bar.

Step 2: Select the Performance tab at the top.

Step 3: In the new window, click on Performance options, and make sure FPS – Frames Per Second is checked under the Metrics section.

You can pin the counter anywhere on your screen to view it even with the Xbox Game Bar closed. Plus, you have the added benefit of monitoring other metrics such as CPU and GPU usage.

Xbox Game Bar performance overlay
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

Enabling the FPS Counter in Ubisoft Connect

If you’re enjoying Ubisoft games, you’ll be glad to know that Ubisoft Connect has an fps counter readily available. Enabling it is a breeze:

Step 1: Click on the hamburger menu (three lines) in the top left corner and select Settings.

Step 2: Check the Display fps counter in game box.

FPS overlay in Ubisoft Connect
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

Using the FPS Counter in EA Origin

Similar to Steam and Ubisoft Connect, EA Origin also offers an fps counter that you can activate through the settings menu:

Step 1: Click on Origin in the upper left corner and select Application settings.

Step 2: Choose the Origin in-game tab and scroll down to During gameplay.

Step 3: Select where you want the fps counter to appear under the Display fps counter option. You can also customize its size and transparency.

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FPS overlay in EA Origin
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

Checking FPS with Nvidia GeForce Experience

For those with Nvidia graphics cards, Nvidia GeForce Experience offers an fps counter along with other helpful performance metrics. Before proceeding, ensure that you have the latest GPU drivers and GeForce Experience version installed.

Here’s how to enable the fps counter with Nvidia GeForce Experience:

Step 1: Open GeForce Experience using the Alt + Z shortcut.

Step 2: Click on the Settings button (cog icon) and select HUD layout.

Step 3: Choose Performance and select where you want the overlay to be displayed. While there are various performance metrics available, FPS is the one you need for the frame counter.

FPS counter in Radeon Software
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

Activating the FPS Overlay with AMD Radeon Software

If you have an AMD GPU, turning on the fps overlay is a breeze. To ensure a smooth experience, make sure you have the latest version of Radeon Software and an up-to-date AMD GPU.

Follow these steps to enable the fps overlay with AMD Radeon Software:

Step 1: Open Radeon Software and select the Performance tab at the top.

Step 2: Under Metrics, choose the metrics you want to include in the fps overlay.

Step 3: Click on the Settings button (cog icon) in the top right corner and go to the General tab.

Step 4: Under Preferences, check the In-game overlay setting. You can also adjust the language and position in this menu.

Overlay settings in MSI Afterburner
Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

How to Monitor Your FPS with MSI Afterburner

If you want comprehensive details about your gaming performance, MSI Afterburner is an excellent choice. Though primarily known for GPU overclocking, MSI Afterburner also offers an fps counter, among other features.

Here’s how to view your fps with MSI Afterburner:

Step 1: Open MSI Afterburner and click on the Settings icon (a small cog on the left).

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Step 2: Go to the Monitoring tab and navigate to the Active hardware monitoring graphs section.

Step 3: Check the boxes corresponding to the metrics you want to monitor and ensure that Show in on-screen display is selected.

Step 4: Scroll down and assign a shortcut to activate the on-screen display. During gameplay, trigger the shortcut while MSI Afterburner is running, and you’ll see your stats.

Image used with permission by OnSpec Electronic, Inc

Checking FPS with In-Game Counters

Many PC games come with built-in frame-rate counters. While the inclusion of this feature varies depending on the developer, popular titles often offer an fps counter in their settings menu (usually under Display or a similar category).

Here’s a shortlist of popular games with built-in fps counters:

  • Doom (2016)
  • Doom Eternal
  • Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • Borderlands 3
  • The Talos Principle
  • Dota 2
  • The Evil Within 2
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Overwatch
  • Destiny 2
  • Fortnite
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

In some games, you can check the counter by opening the console and entering specific commands. For example, in Sniper Elite 3 and Unreal Engine 4 games, you can use “showfps” or “stat FPS” to display the frame rate.

Please note that the effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on the game, and it’s best to consult the specific game’s documentation for accurate instructions.

Conclusion: Monitor Your FPS for a Better Gaming Experience

Monitoring your fps in PC games is vital for optimizing your gaming experience. By enabling the fps counter through various tools like Steam, Xbox Game Bar, Ubisoft Connect, EA Origin, Nvidia GeForce Experience, AMD Radeon Software, and MSI Afterburner, you can keep a close eye on your frame rate and ensure optimal performance.

So go ahead and unleash the full potential of your gaming PC with OnSpec Electronic, Inc!

OnSpec Electronic, Inc

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