How to fix low FPS on game startup

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
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low FPS on game startup

The FPS (frames per second) rate can have a big impact on games’ gameplay when it drops. FPS rates aren’t always consistent as some Windows users have found that their frame rates are somewhat lower when they start games up. The frame rates might drop to 10-20 FPS on some games’ startup menus. These are a few resolutions that might fix low FPS frame rates on game startups.

Low FPS on game startup

Fix low FPS With the Alt + Tab Hotkey

This is a basic, but effective, fix for raising the FPS rate during a game’s startup. When you launch a game, press the Alt + Tab hotkey to return to the Windows desktop. That opens the Alt + Tab switcher with which you can reopen the game. When you return to the game, its FPS frame rate will usually jump up.

Switch Game DVR Off

However, the Alt + Tab hotkey is only a temporary fix. The Windows 10’s Game DVR gameplay recording wastes system resources and lowers FPS. Thus, switching Game DVR off could be an effective fix for random FPS drops on game startups. Since the Creators update, you can switch Game DVR off via the Settings app as follows.

  • Open the Settings app by pressing the Win key + X hotkey. Then select Settings from the Win + X menu.
  • Select Gaming and click Game DVR to open further options.
  • Then click the Record in the background while I’m playing a game option to switch it off.
  • In earlier Windows 10 versions that predate Creator, you can switch DVR off with the Xbox app. Press the Cortana taskbar button, and then enter ‘Xbox’ in the search box.
  • Select to open the Xbox app. Note that you also need a Microsoft account for the Xbox app.
  • Press the Settings button in the app to open more options.
  • Click the Game DVR tab to open its customization settings.
  • Switch the Record game clips and screenshots using Game DVR setting to off.

Check for New Updates

Developers release updates to fix issues in their latest games. Some updates might fix known FPS issues. For example, SEGA released an update to fix a frame rate bug in Vanquish. Check the games’ official websites for new updates from which you can then download and install patches.

Update or Reinstall the Graphics Card Driver

Dodgy or outdated graphics card drivers can certainly have an impact on frame rates. Windows Update usually automatically updates graphics card drivers so you shouldn’t need to. However, anybody who has switched the update service off should check for graphics card updates. Alternatively, you can fix a corrupted graphics card driver by reinstalling it. Device Manager is the window to open for updating or reinstalling drivers.

  • You can open Device Manager by pressing the Win key + X hotkey. Select Device Manager on the menu to open its window below.

  • Click Display adapters and then right-click the listed video card to open its context menu.
  • Select Properties to open the window shown directly below.

  • Click the Driver tab to open further options.

  • The driver date on that tab tells you when it was last updated. Press the Update Driver button on that tab if the driver hasn’t had any recent update.
  • Then you can select a Search automatically for updated driver software option to find a more update driver.
  • Uninstall Device is an alternative option you can select on the Driver tab. Press that button to uninstall a driver that might be corrupted.
  • Windows will automatically reinstall driver when you restart the OS.

Automatically update drivers (third-party tool suggested)

We also strongly recommend Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool, as it is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and uses an advanced updating technology. Follow this easy 3 steps guide to safely update your drivers:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
      driver updater scanning phase
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      Automatically Update complete
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

Launch Games With Game Booster Software

Background software and processes always reduce system resources for games. Whether your games have low FPS rates or not, you should always free up RAM before launching them to ensure they run smoothly and reduce potential system conflicts. There are a few game booster, or launcher, software that automatically optimize Windows when you launch a game.

Razer Cortex: Boost is a renowned freeware game launcher for Windows 10/8/7, and some Razer users have stated that it dramatically boosts FPS rates. One of the best things about the software is its Game-Boosting mode that automatically closes superfluous background processes when you open a game from Cortex’s library, the Start menu, Steam, Origin or a desktop shortcut. Furthermore, the software also includes a FPS counter and stats tools.

Those fixes might boost your games’ startup FPS rates and ensure they stay consistent with the average frame rate. For some more general tips to increase frame rates, check out this Windows Report article.