General gaming

What FPS is ideal for gaming?

“May our PCs be cooler, and the framerates higher.” – all PC gamers in unison. It’s indeed the wet dream of any PC gamer to have considerably higher FPS or framerate. 60 FPS gamers want to reach 144. 144 FPS gamers want to graduate to 240+. And all sorts of other FPS brackets in between too. All in all, there’s much talk about FPS and how much of it is necessary or good for PC gaming. That’s what we’ll talk about today.

The FPS is one of the most important aspects of any video game. It’s also called the framerate. It stands for frame per second. But that’s not why you’re here, is it? In a nutshell, the FPS is the quality of experiencing images smoothly.

The FPS in a lifelike or AAA game should not be below 30. This is not the ideal FPS but games are playable at 30 FPS. The framerate is less important in some genres. While in many games (mostly indie), you can’t increase the framerate beyond an often low point, which is where the game is playable as per the developers.

Consequently, we’re going to talk in regard to popular game titles only.

Every gamer has different preferences, and so everyone has their own take on the ideal FPS (which collides with the average FPS they play at). It’s true, however, that nearly everyone wants smoother gameplay.

And FPS increases smoothness. After all, it stands for frames or rendered images per second. 60 FPS directly means that your hardware is rendering 60 separate images in a second.

FPS is very important in esports and competitive games. Within competitive games, first person shooters (also called FPS) need the highest framerates whereas MOBAs can usually do with much less.

10 fps vs 5 fps
An outrageously oversimplified analogy.

What FPS is ideal for gaming?

FPS is directly dependent on the configuration of the hardware and the resolution of the screen. Now, what FPS is ideal for gaming? 

Actually, it depends on the personal taste of the gamer. Some love to play at 30 FPS, and others prefer more than 30 or 60 FPS. Most of the users prefer 60 FPS and it can easily be called the goldilocks zone of gaming. 60 FPS gaming provides a flawlessly unblemished, unpaused, and more responsive experience.

But for gamers with hardware that only let them play at 40, let’s assume, 40 FPS will be the ideal framerate.

However, recent games and innovation in gaming hardware have both contributed significantly to making the 60 FPS moniker sound outdated, and for good reason. Games now utilize hardware to churn up to 200-300 frames per second, which is considered the new norm among the more elite gamers.

184 fps in game counter

How many FPS can the eye see? 

It has been a topic of debate for many years and is always going to be so. The ideal answer is that a healthy human eye can easily see up to 60 FPS.

The best answer is to claim that the human eye can see 30 to 60 frames per second easily.

Movies have historically been shot at 24 FPS. Although there are more technical reasons behind that, what it means is that 24 is considered to be the best framerate to enjoy a movie, the minimum so to speak, without increasing the file size too much.

In a Verge article, Jacob Kastrenakes talks about how The Hobbit was shot at 48 FPS and why James Cameron has also shown interest in shooting the next couple of Avatar flicks at 60 FPS, if not more. The reason here is animation and detailing improve at higher FPS as seen in games, and movies like Avatar are mostly CGI.

In 2D animation principles, 12 FPS is considered to be the “bare minimum” for the human eye to see movement comfortably. However, a game is neither a movie nor 2D animation. For example, in animation, an exaggerated approach can show a movement in 12 FPS, but the same thing when adapted into a movement in an AAA game will need at least 30 FPS to feel comfortable.

Most people’s ability to detect flickers ranges between 50 and 90 Hz. If an eye can detect flickering, it won’t take the output from a screen as a continuous stream of motion.

Bottom line? The ability of the human eye to see all frames in a second is topped at 60. Beyond 60 FPS, most of us cannot distinguish between frames anymore. However, many effects within games indeed become smoother to the human eye beyond even 100 FPS.

miracle playing dota in frankfurt major

What’s considered a “good” framerate?

60 FPS can be considered a good framerate because it is neither very high nor very low. It is the standard rate to experience games without any flicker or jump and provides a smooth, more comfortable feel.

For lower-end PCs or older games, 30 FPS can be the “good” framerate. 

How much minimum FPS should you have for good gaming?

The minimum FPS suggested for gaming is 30. Anything below 30 FPS is still gaming but not good gaming.

Which hardware parts affect gaming FPS?

CPU and GPU matter a lot and affect the FPS primarily. The process of running a game includes rendering the data or instructions and this includes the CPU. After receiving the instructions from the CPU, the GPU programs the data and supplies the images to the monitor.

So, the graphic card is the most important element for gaming.

nvdia geforce rtx 3080
A powerful GPU is the most important aspect for high FPS gaming.

Take note that monitors have a maximum cap called the refresh rate. If a monitor’s refresh rate is 60 Hz, it cannot output more than 60 FPS even if you have a powerful GPU pushing out 120 FPS. All the extra power consumption is simply going to waste in this case.

Apart from the GPU, CPU, and monitor, the RAM, motherboard, power supply, cooling, etc. also affect FPS.

By Earl "sl0th" Richards

Earl is a big-time FPS lover. Since his childhood, he has found peace amid the sounds of bullets and explosions. Currently a Legendary Eagle Master in CS:GO, he fails to believe anything can be superior to his beloved title. He’s recently got his shooting skills more versatile by becoming quite the professional in Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch as well.