How to Use Fraps Without the Loss of FPS

By Mike Benson

With Fraps, capturing exciting or impressive game play has never been easier. Since Fraps records a direct feed of your video game, the overall quality will look near identical to how it looked while playing. Unfortunately, improperly configuring Fraps or your game can bring your frame rate down to a crawl. Use Fraps without the loss of your frame rate by adjusting the recording rate and resolution in the Fraps recording settings.

Step 1

Click “Start.” Type “Fraps” in the “Search Programs and Files” field and press “Enter.”

Step 2

Click “Yes” on the User Account Control screen. This opens the Fraps General dialog. Click the “Movies” button at the top to display the video recording settings.

Step 3

Click the radio button next to the rate at which you want to record. The available options are “60 fps,” “50 fps,” “30 fps” and “Custom.” The higher the recording frame rate, the more strain you will put on your system. It is important to note that the frame rate in your game will be capped to this setting. Generally, the “30 fps” option will ensure you are able to maintain a consistent frame rate while recording.

Step 4

Click to deselect the “Lock Frame rate While Recording” check box. Contrary to what the name of this setting implies, this does not lock the frame rate to the actual recording rate specified. This setting locks your frame rate to the actual rate of received frames. For example, if you have your game set to record at 30 fps and during a system intensive moment Fraps only receives 15 of those 30 frames, your frame rate within the game would drop to 15 fps. Users on low-end systems looking to increase or maintain performance should not use this setting.

Step 5

Locate the “Full-size” and “Half-size” settings within the Video Capture Settings area. These are arguably the most important recording-related settings on the Fraps interface. The setting you choose here will be dependent upon the resolution you use in-game and the recording resolution you prefer. Choosing the “Full-Size” option will output a video with the same resolution as your game, and selecting the “Half-Size” option will cut the resolution down by half. For example, if you want to record a 480p video, you could set the resolution in your game to 640 x 480 and set Fraps to “Full-size.” Alternatively, you could use a game setting such as 1280 x 1024 and set Fraps to “Half-size” for similar quality and performance. Using either option properly will allow you to record without suffering frame rate loss.

Step 6

Locate “Sound Capture Settings” on the right side of the screen. Get a quick boost in performance by deselecting the “Record Win7 Sound” check box. This will prevent Fraps from recording any of the game’s audio, which is also useful if you intend to edit over the sound with your own effects, voice or music.

Step 7

Find the “Folder to Save Movies in” field box at the top. This controls the directory containing the Fraps recording. You can often get a huge boost in recording performance by moving this directory to a separate drive on your computer. If you only have one hard drive, you could also move this directory to a fast USB flash drive. Moving to a separate drive will improve overall disk performance, which will help to maintain the frame rate. Click the “Change” button and select the new directory on the Browse for Folder dialog. Click the “OK” button to apply.

Step 8

Minimize the Fraps interface and launch your game. Go into the game’s options menu and make any changes to your resolution or graphics settings. Generally, lowering the graphics options slightly will allow you to increase or maintain performance while recording without adversely affecting the visual quality of your recording. When ready, press the “F9” key to begin capturing your game play.

References & Resources