If you’re new to the world of gaming you likely heard the shorthand ‘FPS’ and wondered what does it mean.
Experienced gamers are likely aware of both of its meanings so let’s discuss both and get a little bit more into detail about each one.
First and foremost, we have to make sure you’re aware that FPS can mean different things depending on the context. If the conversation is regarding the video game genres, then FPS means First Person Shooter but if graphical performance of the game is the topic then FPS means Frames Per Second.
A First Person Shooter is a game in which the player’s perspective is shown to be from the first person and you have to shot enemies in order to win. There are games that have that first-person perspective but aren’t shooters. These are usually puzzle games like Portal or Stanly Parable.
First-person shooters are much more popular and there are extremely well-developed and properly organized eSports events for these. Probably the most popular FPS like this is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but there are also other well-known shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises.
Exactly because of their popularity as online multiplayer games, FPS (first-person shooter) players need a really good FPS (frames per second) to remain competitive.
Frames per second or frame rate is the measurement of how many images a GPU is able to produce in one second. Logically, the more frames there are the smoother the movement and thus a more satisfying gaming experience.
There is a reason why gamers want to play on monitors with high refresh rates with the best available graphics cards and this is often that. Playing an online shooter at 200 FPS will give you a great advantage over someone who’s gaming at 60 FPS.
However, most of the time players want a higher FPS to enjoy their experience to the fullest extent because even if the images are high quality but aren’t produced at a high rate and consistently then the game isn’t even playable to most people. In 2021, the holy grail of FPS is 60, although this number used to be 30 and with the advancement of technology, it’s safe to assume it will only trend higher.
The graphics card works in such a way that the actual GPU chip will do all calculations necessary to produce the exact image that the user requested. This means that you will get the image that you specified in your graphics configuration, under the condition that your graphics card meets the minimum requirements. If that is the case, your monitor will show the exact quality of the image that you asked for.
But there lies the crux of the problem. Although the image quality will be top-notch, the frame rate may suffer greatly depending on your GPU’s capability. It will do its job to render the image but due to a heavy workload, it may need more time to do so which can lead to bottlenecking.
The best way to guarantee a stable frame rate with satisfying image quality is to patiently fiddle with graphics settings in your preferred game. There are other tools, like Nvidia’s GeForce Experience which allows you to mess with these settings outside of the game but this particular tool uses the game’s own settings. Still, it’s a pretty useful tool because it can optimize the settings for you before even starting the game.
In some cases, especially when gaming competitively online, it may even be advisable to lower some video details in order to get a better FPS and thus a competitive edge.