What does "FPS" mean in gaming? Explained


What does FPS stand for?

FPS is an abbreviation that can stand for two different things in gaming.

There’s “First Person Shooter”, which is a game genre that includes titles such as VALORANT, Call of Duty, and CS:GO. If a game involves a lot of shooting and is played in the first-person camera view, chances are it can be described as a First Person Shooter.

There are even sub-genres of FPS games, such as MMOFPS, which is an abbreviation of "Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter." This is used to describe games such as PlanetSide 2 and Destiny 2, which allow a large number of players to play alongside each other.

The slightly more complex version of what FPS can stand for is “Frames Per Second”. We’ll be breaking down exactly what that means for you on this page.

What is a frame?

All screen types, whether it’s a TV, monitor, or phone, use series of images made up of pixels to provide a display. Each individual image is known as a frame, and when these are packed together fast enough they create the fluid visuals we expect from our computer or TV.

What does ‘frames per second’ actually mean — and what does it do?

FPS, commonly referred to as your ‘frame rate’, is used to define how many of those frames your monitor/TV is displaying within a single second. A low frame rate will cause your game to feel choppy and laggy, while a high frame rate will make it feel smooth.

60 frames per second is the standard these days in gaming, unless you’re playing a very new or graphically-intensive game.

When searching for a monitor to purchase, you may see terms like 60Hz and 144Hz being thrown around. These are known as ’refresh rates’ and indicate how many times the screen refreshes itself every second.

Therefore, if you have a gaming setup that can run modern titles at well over 60 FPS, you’ll want a 144Hz monitor in order to really see the results.

What are the benefits of a higher FPS?

A higher FPS will make your game feel smoother and more responsive. A game running at 144 FPS using a 144Hz monitor is going to display more information than a 60Hz monitor at 60 FPS as there are 84 more frames available to show on screen.

Higher frame rates can be the difference-maker in many games as you’ll be able to see enemies on screen faster, allowing for quicker reactions. This is why many esports players opt for 144Hz or even 240Hz monitors as it closes the gap between how fast they’re able to react mentally to what is happening in the game.

How do I improve my FPS?

The easiest way to improve your FPS is to lower your in-game graphic settings to reduce the strain on your graphics card and CPU. Turning your graphic options from ‘high’ to ‘medium’, for example, can significantly improve your FPS in many situations.

You’ll typically want to aim for at least 60 FPS whenever possible. 30 can be acceptable, but most modern systems are capable of higher for popular titles.

In competitive games, many players even choose to play on the lowest graphic settings possible to maximize their FPS and reduce any chance of lagging in-game.