Can ping affect FPS? Not exactly, but you can fix both

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • One of the most pressing matters that haunt gaming forums from all around the world is whether or not ping affects FPS.
  • Although high ping and low FPS might have a lot of similarities (from an observational standpoint), technically they are wildly different phenomena.
  • Visit our Network section to learn more about troubleshooting various connectivity issues.
  • Check out our Gaming Hub for more gaming-related news, guides, and reviews.
Can ping affect FPS

Ping and FPS are two things we always tend to keep an eye on while playing online games. Well, a small portion of the corner of the eye, or a quick glimpse when things seem to get critical, at least.

You can’t afford to spend the whole match watching numbers, else you’d end up as a bottom feeder.

Anyway, many confuse these two critical components and believe them to be closely tied. While this is not completely wrong, confusing ping and FPS can slow down your progress if you’re trying to fix either one of them.

You’ll soon understand why.

What is ping?

ping

To put it shortly, ping is a computer utility that many rely on to test whether certain hosts are reachable or not. Additionally, ping can also help you determine how fast a host’s response time is (considering the host is up and running, that is).

The way ping works is it sends a small packet of data to another device. The device in cause generates a reply and sends it back to the original device (your PC).

After the response arrives, ping calculates the time it took the data packet to complete the round-trip (from your PC to the remote server and back). The value generated by the ping test is called latency, and is expressed in milliseconds.


Do you experience high ping after updating to a newer version of Windows 10? Check out our guide and learn how you can fix it.


Therefore, when you see a ping value of 100ms, you’ll know that between you and the remote server, data packets travel with a latency of 100 milliseconds. It’s no rocket science.

That’s precisely why you experience more slowdowns as the ping number increases. The data takes more time to reach its destination, so you have to wait some more for it to arrive.

One way to improve your online ping is by using a VPN. However, this fix only works in certain situations such as if your bandwidth is throttled or your ISP routes your traffic improperly.

What is FPS?

FPS, short for Frames Per Second, also referred to as Frame Rate, is the frequency of consecutive frames being displayed.

Although this notion applies to most video-related branches, including but not limited to filmography, CGI, benchmark, and video cameras, this term has gained some considerable traction thanks to the video game industry.

So, to put it shortly, framerate, which is measured in Frames Per Second (FPS), is a unit of measure that describe the smoothness of a certain game that runs on your PC, at a given point.

We say at a given point because, as you may have noticed, complex textures may quickly shift the framerate from a whopping 60 FPS to a frustrating 30 FPS or lower.


Getting high FPS drops in Windows 10? Learn how to fix them quickly.


Long story short, FPS means how good your PC (GPU, to be more specific) can handle a game. The more FPS you score, the better.

Can ping affect FPS?

To put it shortly, no. High ping is exclusively tied to networking issues, and is, in fact, a networking/connectivity issue. Sure, having high ping may look somewhat like experiencing low FPS, but the two issues couldn’t be different.

Experiencing high latency doesn’t mean that your GPU stops rendering the game properly, or takes a hit from various connection issues. Jitter, or packet loss (rubberbanding), may seem to be affecting your framerate, but in reality, it does not.

So it’s safe to say that experiencing high ping doesn’t automatically mean your FPS will drop. If it does, it most likely has something to do with your PC’s hardware.

Final thoughts on ping affecting FPS

To wrap it up, can ping affect FPS? No, each of them are caused by distinct factors. High ping is more likely than not a result of poor networking/connectivity, whereas a low FPS is caused by hardware compatibility issues, or your PC’s inability to perform at a higher framerate.

With that in mind, remember that there’s a good reason why the two are displayed in separate sections. Although they may have similar effects, they couldn’t be more different from a technical point of view.