How to Increase the FPS on a Laptop

By Ruri Ranbe

A low frame per second (FPS) rate in a game can make the game difficult or, depending on the game mechanics, even impossible to play. Upgrading computer hardware can increase the FPS rate, but laptops aren't as easy to upgrade as desktop computers; most laptops don't even have a dedicated graphics card, so updating the graphics capabilities is not an option. Reducing visual effects, changing the graphical user interface (GUI) in Windows and upgrading the video adapter driver to the latest release can all improve FPS on a laptop, however, when hardware upgrade is not possible.

Step 1

Click "Start." Click "Control Panel." Click "Appearance and Personalization." Select "Change the Theme" from below "Personalization."

Step 2

Click "Windows Classic" to change the GUI to a less memory-intensive theme, which can lower FPS. Click the "Back" button, then select "Screen Resolution" from beneath "Display."

Step 3

Click "Advanced Settings." Click the "Properties" button on the "Adapter" tab. Write down the name of the display adapter, then click the "Driver" tab to see the driver date and manufacturer.

Step 4

Open a browser, and navigate to adapter manufacturer's website. Go to the "Download," "Drivers" or "Support" page and search for the model. Compare the driver date for the most recent release. If the driver release is newer on the website, download the driver to the PC.

Step 5

Double-click the file, if it is a ZIP file, to extract the contents. Select all of the items in the ZIP folder, then drag-and-drop the files into a new folder.

Step 6

Return to the "Driver" tab in "Advanced Settings," then click "Update Driver." Click "Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software." If Windows fails to find the driver, click "Browse My Computer for Driver Software," then follow the onscreen instructions to find, and install, the upgraded driver for the laptop.

Step 7

Restart the computer if prompted. Click "Start." Right-click "Computer." Click "Properties." Click "Advanced System Settings." Select "Settings" from beneath "Performance."

Step 8

Click "Adjust for Best Performance." Click "OK" to reduce visual features on Windows, which can slow down FPS.

Step 9

Close all open programs before running the game. Background programs can cause significant lag. Click the arrow on the right of the taskbar to view all open processes, then right-click each application. Click "Close" or "Exit."

Step 10

Launch the game. Open the game settings, then click the "Video," "Graphics" or "Performance" tab. Reduce the texture, shadow, shader and quality settings to low. Click "OK" or "Apply" to improve the FPS on the laptop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some video cards come with software that can overclock the video adapter from within Windows. After locating the adapter name, review the product manual on the product website to learn what features the video card has.