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5 Best FPS Counter Software for Windows (in 2024)

Video games run at a certain FPS rate (frames per second). The higher the FPS, the better the graphic quality. To get high FPS, you must have hardware that supports it and it must be freed up for the game to use i.e., your GPU should not be in use by other apps.

Many factors lower FPS in a game. If you suspect it’s not as high as it should be, or it falls too often, you can add an FPS counter to monitor it.

Best FPS counter software

A Brief Overview of FPS for Gamers

Frame rates indicate how smoothly your computer runs a game. The more frames per second, the more fluid the graphics appear. FPS counters are a great way to inspect your hardware’s gaming performance.

Frame rate data also lets you troubleshoot your settings more effectively, such as making system adjustments to increase frame rate. Another use for FPS counters is knowing what kind of monitor to buy. If your graphics card isn’t very powerful then there’s no reason to waste money on an expensive, high-performing monitor that will only use a fraction of its capabilities.

FPS counters often show other data, such as hardware stats for your GPU, CPU, etc. These keep you in the loop for weak points and outdated components. Lastly, if you’re into competitive or speed gaming, a high FPS will let you have faster reactions, which could greatly affect your outcomes.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a FPS Counter

Here are some important features to look for:

  1. Price: Many great FPS counters are free, but sometimes you get what you pay for (or don’t pay for).
  2. Feature Rich: If you want all the bells and whistles on top of FPS counting, do your research. Some have much more extras than others.
  3. Easy to Use: If you’re new to the FPS counting game, you want software without a steep learning curve.
  4. Game Performance: Sometimes running FPS counting software can actually make your game lag or stutter. You’ll want something that minimizes gameplay problems.

Our 5 Favorite FPS Counters for Windows

There is no shortage of apps that can add an FPS counter on Windows. These apps will normally only work while you’re playing a game since few apps need to refresh frames at the same rate that games do. Also, all of the apps suggested should work with either Windows 10 or 11. The downloading steps are mostly the same. However, if you have an older version of Windows 10 you might need to run the software in compatibility mode, as is the case with MSI Afterburner.

Here’s a table of our top 5 favorites and all their great features. We’ll cover each one in detail too.

Name Price Feature Rich Easy to Use Game Performance
MSI Afterburner Free Yes Yes Minimally affected
NVIDIA GeForce Experience Overlay Limited Free

$9.99 monthly

Premium $19.99 monthly

Yes Yes, though a little more involved than MSI Network issues affect performance negatively, but otherwise, it improves game performance
AMD Radeon Software Free with AMD Graphics Cards Yes Can be complex to learn Occasionally buggy drivers or other glitches will affect game performance or cause crashes
FPS Monitor (by Overwolf) Free with Ads Yes Yes Minimally affected
Fraps Free version

$37 for full registered version

No Yes Varies

MSI Afterburner

MSI software

MSI Afterburner is a versatile tool that not only displays your FPS but also allows you to overclock your graphics card and monitor your system’s performance. It’s a favorite among enthusiasts for its wide range of features. These include:

  • Real-time hardware monitoring
  • Compatible with graphics cards of all brands
  • Fan speed control for safer overclocking temperatures
  • On-screen display
  • Free
  • OC-scanner one-click overclocking
  • Hardware monitor
  • Custom fan profiles
  • Video capture

To Download MSI Afterburner:

  1. Download and install MSI Afterburner
  2. Go to the app’s settings
  3. Select the Monitoring tab
  4. From the list of items, select and enable Framerate (check mark should be active)
  5. Enable the ‘Show in On-screen display’ option
  6. The FPS counter will be displayed when you run a game

NVIDIA GeForce Experience (Overlay)

GeForce software

If you have a gaming system with an NVIDIA graphics card, GeForce Experience is a great option for an FPS counter. It’s lightweight and easy to use, and it also overlays other useful information like CPU usage and temperature. Be aware, to get the optimal performance from GeForce, you should have good network connectivity or it may cause issues with the overlay display or the gameplay itself. If you have strong network conditions, however, it is a powerful tool with great graphics and helpful display data. Here are some other features of the NVIDIA FPS counter:

  • Improves game performance
  • Overlay lets you access screen-shot capture
  • GPU-accelerated video recording
  • Overlay lets you add cameras and indicators
  • Customizable overlay display preferences and keyboard shortcuts
  • Easily broadcast to Twitch, YouTube, etc.

To Download GeForce Experience:

  1. Download GeForce Experience from Nvidia
  2. Open GeForce Experience and click the cogwheel button at the top right
  3. Go to the General tab and enable the Game overlay
  4. Click the Settings button
  5. Select HUD Layout
  6. Go to the FPS Counter tab
  7. Select which corner of the screen you want the FPS to appear in
  8. Run a game and tap Alt + Z
  9. The FPS counter will appear

AMD Radeon Software (Overlay)

AMD Radeon Software (Overlay)

Similar to GeForce Experience, AMD Radeon Software offers an FPS counter overlay for AMD graphics cards. It also provides access to other features like driver updates and game optimizations. It has a great deal of adjustable settings, menus, and controls. For someone new, it can seem a bit overwhelming. That said, these are all simple to navigate, just be prepared for a lot of options compared to some other FPS counters. Also, there have been reported bugs and performance issues, often because of a recently updated driver that has flaws. Usually uninstalling and reinstalling the driver fixes this. It may require a bit of fiddling, but once you have things adjusted most users really appreciate the details afforded by AMD. Here are some other features:

  • Adjustable recording settings
  • In depth-power management utility controls
  • Preset profiles for GPU performance and power draws
  • Overclocking features
  • Memory frequency adjustments
  • Fan speed control
  • Can set max frame rate to reduce power consumption, heat, and noise from graphics card
  • Real-time game performance analyzer
  • Metrics (like FPS) can be displayed and logged

To download AMD Radeon Overlay:

  1. Go to AMD and download the latest Windows drivers
  2. The Radeon overlay is already enabled by default when you have AMD graphics cards To access it press Alt + R at the same time
  3. You can customize hotkeys from the Preference section

FPS Monitor (by Overwolf)

FPS Monitor (by Overwolf)

FPS Monitor is a more comprehensive option that goes beyond just displaying FPS. It can track a wide range of system performance metrics, including CPU and GPU usage, frame times, and network latency. Overwolf is a platform for developers to create, share, and monetize their in-game apps. Be aware, that downloading the app will install the Overwolf Client. FPS Monitor is one of the apps created for the platform. The strength of Overwolf is that it’s lightweight and free of lag. Each app is only about as demanding on your system as a browser tab, meaning your gameplay performance is in good hands. Other helpful features:

  • Frame rates tracked during gameplay
  • Post-match insights
  • Supports hundreds of games
  • Highlights bottlenecked components slowing down your system
  • Monitors PC performance

To download FPS Monitor:

  1. Go to the Overwolf App Store
  2. Search for FPS Monitor
  3. Download and install the app

Fraps

Fraps software

Fraps is a classic FPS counter that’s been around for many years. It’s a simple and easy-to-use option, but it doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other FPS counters. Fraps has not been updated in a long time. Its product page does not mention Windows 10 and 11. However, it works just fine on the OS. Game performance depends on your system settings or if you’re recording video with Fraps. Otherwise, issues should be minimal. Features of Fraps include:

  • Benchmarking software, such as FPS
  • Screen capture software
  • Real-time video capture
  • Customizable hotkeys and settings

To download Fraps:

  1. Download or purchase Fraps
  2. Run Fraps
  3. Go to the app’s settings
  4. Select the FPS tab
  5. Enable the FPS box under benchmarking
  6. Select which corner of the screen the FPS should appear on
  7. Set a toggle to show/hide it
  8. Open a game
  9. Press the toggle and the FPS will appear in a corner

How to Pick the Best FPS Counter for You

The best FPS counter for you will depend on your individual needs. If you’re just looking for a simple way to track your FPS, then GeForce Experience or Radeon Software (depending on your graphics card) is a good option. If you want a more comprehensive tool that can track other system performance metrics, then MSI Afterburner or FPS Monitor are better choices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do You Need an FPS Counter?

To track frame rates in a video game and help you improve system performance.

What is the best FPS counter for PC?

The most widely respected seems to be MSI Afterburner. It has several features and is free, while only minimally affecting game performance.

Does Windows have an FPS counter?

Both Windows 10 and 11 have a built-in Windows game bar. To open it just hit the Windows key and G at the same time. Several performance metrics will be instantly displayed.

How to get an accurate FPS counter?

You can download multiple FPS counters and compare data since many of them are free. Be sure to compare frame rates on the same game, as the game you’re playing can make a difference.

What is the best frame rate?

For PC gaming, you want at least 60 FPS. If you want really great graphics, 120 or even 240+ FPS are available. Keep in mind, that the best frame rate will depend on the game, your PC, and your monitor’s parameters. There’s no need to break the bank if you’re happy with 120, a very respectable FPS that still looks gorgeous.

Should I turn on the FPS counter?

If you’re interested in optimizing FPS or other system settings, go for it! If you’d rather just play a game without thinking about distracting metrics, feel free to skip.

Does having an FPS counter affect FPS?

Depending on the efficiency of the software, it can. You may need to tweak some settings to eliminate these problems. Other fixes include updating drivers and making sure you have a strong network connection.

Is the Steam FPS counter good?

Steam has a built-in, simple FPS counter that is widely respected as it’s easy to use without much effort.

To enable it:

  1. Open Steam
  2. Go to Steam>Settings
  3. Select the In-game tab
  4. Open the In-game FPS counter dropdown
  5. Select which corner of the screen you want it to appear on
  6. Run the game and tap the Shift +Tab keyboard shortcut to enable it
  7. Pick Your Best Fit

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