How to fix low FPS on game startup

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • A lot of players have reported a short period of low FPS whenever they launch a game.
  • If you are among them, then you need to follow the steps written below.
  • For more articles that will help you with your PC, check out our dedicated Troubleshooting section.
  • Your inner gamer might also like to read what we've covered in our extensive Gaming section.
Gaming

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.


How do I fix low FPS in games on startup?

Update or reinstall the Graphics Card Driver

  • 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 updated 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 the driver when you restart the OS.

Automatically update drivers (third-party tool suggested)

updated outdated drivers

We also strongly recommend DriverFix. Follow this easy 3 steps guide to safely update your drivers:

  1. Download and install DriverFix
  2. Launch DriverFix
  3. Wait for DriverFix to detect all of your faulty drivers
  4. DriverFix will now show you all of the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
  5. Wait for DriverFix to download and install the newest driversDriverFix automatically update drivers
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect
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Launch games with Game Booster software

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.


Use 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.


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.


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.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.