How to Fix FPS Drops While Playing League of Legends?

League of Legends (LoL) is an online battle arena video game developed by Riot Games for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, etc. The game enjoys immense popularity in the market and poses stiff competition to the multi-million dollar game, Dota.

League of Legends

Recently, numerous reports have surfaced from users experiencing significant, random FPS drops while playing, even with high-end PCs equipped with GTX 1080 and Core i7 8700k processors. This eliminates low-end PCs and graphics hardware as possible culprits.

Upon investigating user feedback and testing the phenomenon on our systems, we concluded that the FPS drop isn’t due to a single cause but rather a combination of several different factors. Possible reasons for the FPS drops in League of Legends include but are not limited to:

  • Overlays: Overlays from Discord, GeForce Experience, etc., were known to cause issues with the game.
  • Overclocking: Though intended to enhance performance, overclocking can sometimes have the opposite effect in LoL.
  • Full-screen optimization: League has a history of compatibility issues with Windows’ full-screen optimization feature.
  • Game configuration: There may be instances when game configuration files are corrupt, unusable, or improperly set, which can lead to issues.
  • High-end graphics options: While intended to improve user experience, these options can sometimes be the root cause of FPS drops.
  • Frame rate cap: Available in the game menu, this allows users to set their FPS cap. However, it can lead to issues and contribute to FPS drops.

Ensure that you have an active internet connection and are logged into your computer as an administrator before proceeding with the solutions.

Solution 1: Set FPS Cap

The FPS cap feature in League of Legends allows users to limit the game’s FPS. By default, this cap is set to uncapped. However, this setting has been found to cause FPS issues. To address this, we will adjust the FPS cap and see if it resolves the problem.

  1. Launch LoL and enter a Custom game. Once inside, access the options by pressing Esc.
  2. Select the Video tab on the left and scroll down to the Frame Rate Cap box.
  3. Set the cap to 60 FPS.
    FPS Cap option – League of Legends
  4. Click on the Game tab on the left side, locate Movement Protection under ‘Gameplay’ and ensure it is unchecked.
  5. Press OK to save changes and exit. Restart the game to see if this resolves the issue.

Solution 2: Disable Overlays

Overlays, while offering convenient access to third-party software features within the game, can also cause FPS to drop in League of Legends.

The method to disable the Discord overlay, for example, is outlined below. Ensure that all other overlays on your computer are also disabled.

  1. Open Discord and go to User Settings. Select Overlay from the left navigation and uncheck Enable in-game overlay.
    Discord overlay option – Discord application
  2. Completely restart your computer to apply the changes, and then check if this has resolved the FPS drop.

Solution 3: Disable Overclocking, GeForce Experience, and Third-Party Apps

Incorrect overclock values can sometimes lead to FPS drops.

MSI Afterburner

Therefore, disable overclocking and consider uninstalling MSI Afterburner. Also, examine any third-party applications such as NVIDIA GeForce Experience and ensure it is temporarily uninstalled. Additionally, disable all third-party applications running in the background while playing the game and check each time to see if the issue is resolved.

Note: Try disabling the overlay in GeForce Experience and the Windows Game Bar feature as well.

Solution 4: Set Maximum Performance Power Options

Laptops often come with power option settings that let users choose power modes to suit their needs. The default setting is typically balanced, but we need to switch it to maximum performance.

  1. Press Windows + R, type control panel in the box, and hit Enter.
  2. In the control panel, choose Large icons and click on Power Options.
    Power options – Control Panel
  3. Select Maximum performance from the options on the right. Save changes and exit.
    High-performance power option – Control Panel
  4. Try launching League of Legends again to see if the FPS drop issue has been resolved.

Solution 5: Change Game Config File

If none of the aforementioned methods have improved the FPS drop, we can attempt to modify the game configuration file. The game configurations are stored in an external file and are loaded each time League of Legends starts. There could be a possibility that these configurations are not set properly or are corrupt. We will replace them to see if this resolves the issue.

  1. Close all League of Legends processes.
  2. Download the ZIP file from (here) and save it in an accessible location.
  3. Navigate to the League of Legends installation folder and open the Config folder.
    ‘game.cfg’ – League of Legends installation folder
  4. Notice the existing ‘game.cfg’ file in the folder. Copy it to a separate location as a backup. Open the downloaded folder, select the appropriate settings according to your hardware specs, and copy the config file from there to the config folder in the LoL installation directory. If prompted to replace, click Yes.
    Config files corresponding to hardware specs – League of Legends
  5. Restart your computer and check if the FPS drop has been resolved. You can always revert or try different config file settings if necessary.
  6. Additionally, consider appending the following lines to the end of your config file (editable with Notepad):
    AdvancedReflection=0 < default is 1, change to 0
    PerPixelPointLighting=0 < default is 1, change to 0

Solution 6: Change Full-screen Optimization and DPI Settings

Windows’ full-screen optimization feature is designed to maximize application performance on the full screen. Although it is enabled by default and typically beneficial, we will try disabling it and also adjust the DPI settings.

  1. Navigate to the Installation folder of League of Legends. In the search dialogue box, type ‘.exe’ and press Enter.
  2. Several executable files will appear in the results. Right-click on the first one and choose Properties.
    Search results for ‘.exe’ files – League of Legends
  3. In the Compatibility tab, check Disable full-screen optimizations, then click Change high DPI settings.
    Compatibility settings – League of Legends
  4. Tick the box for Override high DPI scaling behavior, choosing Application from the dropdown. Save and exit.
    Override high DPI scaling behavior option – League of Legends
  5. Perform the same steps for all executables associated with League of Legends that appeared in the search results. Save the changes and exit.

Restart your computer and check if the FPS drop issue persist.

Solution 7: Update Graphics Drivers

Should all previous solutions fail, it might be necessary to update your graphics drivers. Being the link between hardware and software, outdated or malfunctioning drivers can lead to FPS drops.

Refer to the Civilization 5 won’t Launch article and consult Solution 3, which details the process of reinstalling the latest graphics drivers. It is crucial to uninstall the existing drivers with a tool like DDU before installing the newest version provided by your graphics hardware manufacturer.

Solution 8: Enable Low Spec Mode

League of Legends includes a Low Spec Mode, designed for users with less powerful systems to enjoy the game. Enabling this mode will automatically lower the graphics settings and optimize performance. If you see a performance improvement with this mode enabled, it may be an indicator that your hardware needs an upgrade or your internet connection speed is contributing to the issue.

  1. Launch League of Legends.
  2. Click on Settings (the gear icon) in the upper right corner of the window.
    Open League of Legends Settings
  3. Check the box next to Enable Low Spec Mode and click Done.
    Enable Low Spec Mode in League of Legends
  4. Close League of Legends, restart your computer, and launch the game again to check whether the FPS issue has been resolved.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.