Frame rate checking
For real-time tracking of frame rates in games, you may need some extra software. While some games include live fps counters (like Destiny2), you’ll likely need to activate a separate overlay to monitor your frame rate while playing. If you’re on Steam, then good news: Steam packs an in-game overlay that includes an fps counter. You can turn it on under “Settings ≥ In-Game,” and then it’ll activate automatically in any game you boot up. You can’t turn it on while playing, though.
Otherwise, you’re going to need some external software. Unfortunately this does mean there’s a bit of extra load on your CPU, but you shouldn’t notice much of a difference on modern systems. The GPU overclocking software MSI Afterburner is our go-to program for this, as it can display a number of other live stats in an overlay. It’s free to download and can be used to track things like GPU temperatures and clocks, as well as your frame rate. Afterburner is, however, a rather arcane piece of software. The UI is busy and unnecessarily stylised, which might prove annoying for some. Thankfully, there’s a good alternative for those who like to keep things simple.
Fraps (known as FRAPS, if you like yelling) is another piece of software that can be used for monitoring your frame rate. Its primary use is for screenshot and video capture, but the free version enables you to pop up an fps counter on a hotkey when you’re gaming. It’s useful for making checks if you’re experiencing frame drop, but easy to hide so your UI won’t get too cluttered in games.
Fraps might look and feel a bit dated, but it’s an effective tool, with a simple, easy-to-use interface that won’t bash your CPU while it’s running, so we recommend it. If you’re not looking to overclock your GPU, we’d recommend it over Afterburner.