If you’re new to gaming, you might have heard the abbreviation ‘FPS’ and wondered what it means.
The term actually has two meanings among gamers, so we will take a look at these abbreviations and go into more detail about each one.
FPS can mean different things depending on the context. If you are discussing video game genres, FPS means First Person Shooter, but if graphical performance is being discussed, FPS means Frames Per Second.
A First Person Shooter is a game in which the player’s perspective is shown from the first person (effectively seeing what the player’s character would see) with shooting as the major focus. There are also games that use the first-person perspective but aren’t shooters. These are often puzzle games such as Portal or The Stanley Parable.
The First Person Shooter is one of the most prominent video game genres, and there are numerous eSports events dedicated to FPS games. Perhaps the most popular FPS of these is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but there are other very successful shooters, including the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises.
Due to their popularity as online multiplayer games, FPS (first-person shooter) players will need good FPS (frames per second) to stay competitive.
Frames per second (or frame rate) is the measurement of how many images a GPU can produce in one second. The more frames that are shown, the smoother the movement and the more enjoyable your gaming experience.
There is a reason why competitive gamers want to play on monitors with high refresh rates with the best available graphics cards. Playing an online shooter at 200 FPS will grant you a significant advantage over a similarly skilled gamer playing at 60 FPS.
Even without these advantages, most players want a higher FPS to enjoy their gaming experience to the fullest. If the images are high quality but aren’t produced at a fast, consistent framerate, games will be far less visually appealing and less enjoyable to play. In 2023, the usual target for FPS is 60. This number used to be 30 and, with the constant advancement of technology, it’s safe to assume it will only continue to trend higher.
A graphics card works in such a way that the GPU chip will perform all the calculations necessary to produce the image that the user requested. This means you will see the image that you specified in your graphics configuration as long as your graphics card meets the necessary requirements. If your card is powerful enough, your monitor will display the exact quality of the image that you requested.
This is also where problems can occur. Although the image quality might be top-notch, the frame rate could suffer greatly depending on your GPU. If it isn’t powerful enough, it could still render the image, but it may need more time to do so, which can lead to bottlenecking.
The best way to achieve a stable frame rate with satisfying image quality is to patiently adjust the graphics settings in your chosen game. There are other tools, such as Nvidia’s GeForce Experience, which allows you to make changes to the settings outside of the game, but this particular tool uses the game’s settings options. It can still be very useful because it allows you to optimize the settings before launching the game.
In some cases, especially when gaming competitively online, it could even be advisable to reduce some video details to achieve a better FPS and gain a competitive edge.