- With games becoming ever more demanding, some players are finding it hard to keep them running smooth and instead are experiencing stuttering or microstuttering.
- Today we're looking at how to address stuttering in Windows 10 games. There are several things you can do to improve the performance of games and eliminate stuttering.
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Game stuttering is the irregular delays between GPU frames that can have a notable impact on gameplay. A game that stutters will feel slow, or laggy, and momentarily delay player actions. The motion in a stuttering game might appear to be jerky.
Some players have stated on forums that their games stutter after Windows 10 build updates. That was especially the case after the Windows 10 Creators and April 2018 updates when some players reported that their games stuttered when playing them at higher frame rates.
Below are some resolutions that might eradicate PC game stuttering in Windows 10.
How do I fix game stuttering on PC?
1. Turn Off the Windows Game Bar and Game DVR
As mentioned, the Windows 10 Creators Update generated game stuttering for some players. That might be due to some of the new game settings the Creators Update introduced.
As such, turning off the Windows Game bar and Game DVR might reduce game stutter in Windows 10. This is how users can adjust the Game bar and DVR settings.
- Press the Windows key + Q hotkey.
- Enter the keyword game in Cortana’s search box.
- Select Control how Game Bar opens and recognises your game to open the window shown directly below.
- Then turn off the Record game clips, screenshots and broadcast using Game bar setting.
- Select the Game DVR tab shown directly below.
- Turn off the Record in the background while I’m playing a game setting.
2. Update the Graphics Card Driver
Games are more likely to stutter for players playing them with antiquated graphics card drivers. So, it’s worth checking for graphics card driver updates that can provide some notable graphical enhancements. This is how users can manually update a graphics card driver in Windows 10.
- First, launch Run with the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
- Enter dxdiag in the Open text box and click OK to open the window shown directly below.
- Note down the OS details on the System tab.
- Then click the Display tab, which includes the graphics card, manufacturer, and current driver version details. Note down all those details.
- Open the graphic card manufacturer’s website in your browser, which will probably be AMD or NVIDIA.
- Open the driver download page on the manufacturer’s website.
- Then select your graphics card model and platform on the driver download page drop-down menus.
- Download the latest graphics card driver version compatible with your platform if it doesn’t match the current driver version shown on DirectX Diagnostic Tool’s Display tab. Select to save the driver to the Windows desktop.
- Then users can right-click the driver icons on their desktops and select Run as administrator.
- Some users might need to select an extraction path for the driver files.
- Thereafter, the setup wizard window will open from which you can install the driver.
3. Enable V-Sync
- Right-click the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel on the context menu.
- Click 3D Settings and select Manage 3D Settings to open further options.
- Then select the Force on option on the Vertical sync drop-down menu.
- To turn on AMD Enhanced Sync, which has replaced V-Sync, right-click the desktop and select the AMD Radeon Settings option.
- Click Global Settings on the AMD Radeon Settings window.
- Click Wait for Vertical Refresh to select the Enhanced Sync option.
Tearing and stuttering in Windows games can be due to a frame rate discrepancy between the monitor and GPU. Consequently, some NVIDIA and AMD PCs include V-Sync and Enhanced Sync settings that users can select to sync VDU and GPU frame rates. Syncing frame rates can eradicate tearing and stuttering in games.
4. Turn Off Intel Turbo Boost
- Enter powercfg.cpl in Run, and select the OK option.
- Click Change plan settings to open further options.
- Then click Change advanced power settings
- Double-click the Processor power management to expand that category.
- Then double-click Maximum processor state as in the snapshot below.
- Adjust the On battery and Plugged in values to 99 %.
- Select the Apply option, and click the OK button.
Game stutter can also be due to Intel Turbo Boost, which overclocks processors. So, turning Intel Turbo Boost off can reduce game stuttering.
5. Turn Off Dynamic Tick
- Right-click the Start menu and select Command Prompt (Admin).
- First, enter bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes and press Return.
- Then input bcdedit /set useplatformclock true in the Command Prompt, and press the Enter key.
- Thereafter, enter bcdedit /set tscsyncpolicy Enhanced in the Prompt and press Return.
- Close the Command Prompt window and restart the system.
6. Close Background Software Before Running Games
- Right-click the Start menu button to select Task Manager.
- Select a program on Task Manager’s Processes tab.
- Press the End Task button to close the selected program.
- Users can also turn off third-party services to free up more RAM by double-clicking a service under Background processes. Then right-click the service and select Stop.
Note that there are a few game booster programs which optimize system resources for games. Software such as Game Fire 6, Razer Cortex, and Wise Game Booster include numerous resources for boosting games. This software will also close superfluous third-party programs and services for users.
Game stuttering is more likely when players don’t optimize system resources for games. As such, make sure there aren’t too many background programs consuming system resources before launching the game.
7. Turn Off the Diagnostic Policy Service
The Diagnostic Policy Service is one that users should disable before launching games. Some users have confirmed that turning that service off reduces game stutter. This is how users can turn off the Diagnostic Policy Service.
- Enter services.msc in Run and click OK to open the window in the image directly below.
- Double-click Diagnostic Policy Service to open the window shown directly below.
- Select Disabled on the Startup type drop-down menu.
- Press the Apply button, and then select the OK option.
- Restart the desktop and laptop after disabling Diagnostic Policy Service.
Games stutter more when players select graphical settings that are a little too high for the PCs they’re running the games on. Thus, reducing a game’s graphical settings to standard or low might also eradicate at least some of the stuttering.
Lower graphical settings will certainly ensure the game runs faster and more smoothly. Most Windows games’ setting menus include graphical options, such as resolution, that can players can adjust.
So, that’s how players can fix game stuttering in Windows 10. Then the games’ gameplay will be much smoother than before.
FAQ: Why are games stuttering in Windows 10?
- What causes game stutter?
There are many reasons why you would notice stuttering in games: a dip in your FPS, the game engine loading assets like models or textures or a mismatch between your FPS and refresh rate.
- How do I fix stuttering on Windows 10?
There are 8 main things you can do, as shown in our guide on fixing game stuttering in Windows 10.
- Why does my computer stutter when I play games?
Possibly your PC doesn’t have enough resources to run the game but there are other causes and you can rectify these.
- How do I fix FPS stuttering in games?
You’ll need to adjust your PC’s settings, as shown in our guide and make some changes to the game’s graphical settings. If you have a low-power laptop, there are some settings you can change here as well in order to increase FPS.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.