Frames Per Second, or fps in gaming means the number of images, called frames, the monitor can display in one second. The frame rate may also be known as burst rate or update rate which measures the frequency of the frames appearing on the display screen. This frame rate is not only applicable to computer graphics for games but also to all systems that capture motion such as video and film cameras.

Going by the literal meaning, it may, therefore, seem that having a higher fps is better for gaming. The images of the characters in the game will appear to be much more responsive and smoother in operating and appearance. The images will not stutter making your gaming experience better and more enjoyable.

However, it is not that easy to understand because there is more to it. You will need to know a bit more about the hardware terms, working process and the discussions. The frame rate or fps will typically depend on the performance of the graphics card in your computer. The faster it can render, the more will be the images displayed on the monitor every second.

However, both the graphics card as well as the monitor needs to have some distinctive attributes to support faster fps.

What is fps in gaming?

First and foremost, let’s clarify what FPS is for those who are new to gaming. FPS is an acronym that stands for frames-per-second. Essentially, it represents how many frames your GPU can render each second.

For example, if a game is running at 1 frame per second, you would only be seeing one image every second. This is more akin to a slideshow than a real-time experience, and a game would be unplayable at 1 FPS.

So, basically, the more frames are rendered and displayed per second, the smoother and more responsive the gameplay experience will be.

FPS Brackets

Read below to get an understanding of what FPS you can expect from different types of devices and monitors and how they perform.

30 FPS – This is the performance level usually targeted by consoles and budget gaming PCs. Keep in mind, though, that significant stuttering is only really noticeable at less than 20 FPS, so anything above 20 FPS can be considered playable.

60 FPS – This is the target goal for most gaming PCs. On consoles, only the less demanding or better-optimized games can manage a stable 60 FPS. However, the upcoming PS5 and the Xbox Series X will aim for it in most games.

120 FPS – This is the kind of frame rate that can only be displayed on monitors with 120-165 Hz refresh rates. Usually, only powerful high-end gaming PCs can run demanding games with this level of performance without any settings drops.

240 FPS – This FPS is reserved for the fastest 240 Hz monitors. 240 FPS is as high as modern displays go.

Don’t forget that it’s easier to push triple-digit frame rates in less demanding titles, which is precisely why monitors with high refresh rates are so popular in the eSports scene.

In addition to this, we should note that there are some diminishing returns to consider when FPS is concerned. Namely, while it’s easy to spot the difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS, the difference between 120 FPS and 240 FPS is much harder to notice.

What Is The Best FPS for Gaming?

You might be surprised to know that there’s not really an answer for this. Why?

Well, simply because there is no single frame rate that is ideal for everyone or for every type of game. Personal preferences aside, here are our general suggestions:

30 FPS – Good enough for a single-player. It sometimes makes for a more cinematic experience.

60 FPS – The ideal frame rate for most people, as the extra fluidity makes games more responsive and can provide a more enjoyable experience overall. It’s also a good frame rate for games where reacting to animations is important.

120 FPS – Much more fluid and responsive than 60 FPS. You’ll have an important edge when it comes to multiplayer games. However, some appreciate the extra responsiveness in single-player games, too, even if it means lowering some graphics settings.

240 FPS – Finally, going for 240 FPS is usually only worthwhile if you’re playing competitively and need every edge you can get. Otherwise, getting a 240 Hz monitor might be a waste, as you could get similar responsiveness and, potentially, better visuals in some 144 Hz monitors.

Now that we have touched upon the subject, we should also mention a few more factors that you should consider before deciding on what kind of FPS you’re going to aim for.

First, there’s the monitor.

As we’ve mentioned, the refresh rates vary, and so does the panel technology. For example, TN panels are usually cheaper and faster, but IPS panels offer better colors and viewing angles, while VA panels present a sort of balanced solution.

Therefore, chances are you might end up having to choose between visuals and performance if you want something more budget-friendly. Whatever the case, if you’re shopping for a new monitor, we recommend checking out our monitor buying guide for some good picks.

Then, there’s the hardware.

Naturally, it’s no use investing in a 144 Hz monitor if you only intend to get a budget GPU that can’t really do it justice. If you’re looking for a new graphics card, then we suggest you check out this article, where we offer a narrowed-down selection of the best graphics cards currently available.

Now, as mentioned previously, not all games are equally demanding on the hardware, so you should also keep in mind the games that you usually play.

Hitting a triple-digit frame rate in the latest AAA games isn’t easy, but the same can’t be said for eSports games such as CS: GO, Overwatch, Dota 2, etc. So, if you mainly play less demanding games and want to focus on performance without spending too much, a combo of a 144 Hz display and a cheaper GPU might be a good choice.

If you instead play demanding AAA games and are more concerned with graphics than with performance, going for a 60 Hz monitor and a more powerful GPU would be better.

Of course, you could always have your cake and eat it, too, by going with a powerful high-end GPU and pairing it up with a 1440p 144 Hz monitor, but that would mean a more serious investment that not everyone is ready for.

Why Is It Important?

A good frames per second rate is quite important for gaming as it affects both your performance and your experience. Your ability to interact with the game and play your best is seriously hampered by a poor frame rate, and your enjoyment of a game will also be dented by a low frame per second.

Even if you’re not entirely aware of the difference between frame rates, you’ve probably noticed a slowdown or choppy graphics that occur when a frame rate drops too far. These effects are a hassle, and they make it difficult for a game to feel responsive. It can really contribute to a sense of frustration in the way a game actually performs.

In terms of your performance, frames per second is even more important. The higher the frames displayed, the quicker evidence and responsive you have to your inputs. A low FPS inflates your input lag since even if there is little lag the game can’t display your input until all of the frames of your movement have been rendered.

A high FPS rate helps a game feel more responsive and allows you to have minimal input lag. There are even more advantages for a high FPS when it comes to competitive gaming though.

What is fps in gaming and Why is it Important to PC Gaming

Does a High FPS Give you an Advantage?

A high FPS is really important for making sense of the game that you’re playing by your trackball mouse. With a low frames per second, you will have less time to react to changes in the game. The game will take longer to signal to you that something is happening, like gunfire, since the frames take longer to be displayed. It will then take longer to reflect your input as a reaction to this. If you put all of this into the context of a competitive shooter, the difference can be dramatic.

With a low FPS, you notice that you’re taking fire a lot slower than other players. Your input to move to cover is reflected in-game slower than other players too. This is why frames per second is so important in gaming. It gives you an advantage.

By having access to information in-game quicker and being able to get your reactions to anything in-game to be activated quicker, you can make quicker decisions and actions than other players. A player with a frames per second of 30 will not being able to react to and counter other players with a higher frame rate anywhere near as easily.

What’s a Good Frames Per Second?

A good frames per second rate for gaming tends to start ay 60. 60 is a FPS that most gaming PCs can consistently achieve. For most players, this is good enough.

However, competitive players usually go higher. Some really like to push things, with some games allowing for up to 300 FPS. 120 FPS is a high number to aim for, but this is a good achievement if you’re playing competitively. While you can go higher, achieving a consistent 120 FPS is much better than a choppy and occasionally higher frame rate.

This is part of the issue with higher frame rates, they can be inconsistent. To make the most out of a high frame rate, your game needs to be running at constantly. This is difficult when some sections of a game are a lot more demanding on a PC than others. Optimizing your settings properly can help you achieve a stable and high frame rate. This lets you make the most of your equipment by boosting your reaction times in-game.

Our guides to the best settings for the major competitive games show you how to do this. You could also check out the settings of some pro players for inspiration, these players typically have high and consistent frame rates to get the best performance possible.

Conclusion

In short, at the end of the day, the frame rate you should aim for will depend mainly on your preferences and budget.

Even 30 FPS is playable and can actually make for a more cinematic experience (especially if a game has not-so-stellar animations) but most people will agree that 60 FPS is the ideal middle ground between responsiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Meanwhile, triple-digit frame rates are great for competitive multiplayer or just for people who prefer having extra responsiveness in their single-player games, even if that means dropping some graphics settings.

However, getting a 144 Hz or a 240 Hz monitor means that you might end up spending a bit more on a monitor than you would if it were a regular 60 Hz panel. While it might not necessarily be more expensive, you should only get one if you truly need it and can make use of the extra responsiveness they offer.

Otherwise, you’d either just end up needlessly spending more money or missing out on the visual fidelity that a similarly priced 60 Hz variant could have offered.

Finally, as we have already mentioned, if you’re currently on the hunt for a new monitor, we would advise checking out our thorough guide on the best gaming monitors currently available. We’re sure you’ll find a good fit for your needs there.

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