League of Legends (LoL) is an online battle arena video game developed by Riot Games for numerous platforms including Windows, Linux, macOS, etc. The game has immense popularity in the market and is a direct competitor of multi-million game Dota.
Recently, there have been several reports by users where they have massive random FPS drops while playing. This is even the case for users with high-end PCs having GTX 1080 and Core i7 8700k processors. This rules out the possibility that the FPS drop is because of low-end PCs and graphics hardware.
What Causes the League of Legends FPS to Drop?
After researching from the users and testing the phenomenon on our systems, we concluded that the FPS drop was not because of a single reason but a combination of several different factors. The reasons why League of Legends FPS drops are but not limited to:
- Overlays: Overlays of Discord, GeForce Experience, etc. were known to cause issues with the game.
- Overclocking: Even though overclocking is meant to enhance performance, it was seen to do the opposite in the case of LoL.
- Full-screen optimization: League has a history of having issues with Window’s module of Full-screen optimization.
- Game configuration: The game configuration files may either be corrupt, unusable or set improperly. This may cause issues with the game.
- High-end graphics options: These options enhance the player’s experience by improving the graphics output but sometimes they are the reason why the FPS drop occurs in the first place.
- Frame rate cap: This is an option provided in the game menu and allows users to set their FPS cap. This module is known to cause issues and be the reason for FPS drops.
Before we proceed with the solutions, make sure that you have an active internet connection and are logged in your computer as a computer administrator.
Solution 1: Set FPS Cap
FPS cap is a feature in League of Legends that allows users to set the cap for the game’s FPS. You can set a custom value according to your needs. By default, the cap is set as uncapped. Even though this might seem okay but this option was discovered to cause issues with the FPS. We will set the FPS cap of the game and see if this fixes the issue.
- Open LoL and enter a Custom game. Once you are in a custom game, access the options by pressing the Esc button.
- Select the Video tab present at the left side of the screen and scroll down to find Frame Rate Cap box.
- Change the setting to 60 FPS.
- After saving the changes, click on the Game tab present on the left side of the Options window. Locate Movement Protection under ‘Gameplay’ and make sure the option is unchecked.
- Press Okay to save changes and exit. Restart your game and see if these options do the trick.
Solution 2: Disable Overlays
Overlays are software components that allow users to access certain parts of third-party software while playing the game. This is usually a small bar at the bottom of the screen which can be accessed by pressing a specific hotkey. Overlays might seem appealing but are the cause of FPS drop in League of Legends.
Below is the method on how to disable Discord overlay (if you are using one). Make sure that you disable all other overlays present on your computer.
- Launch Discord and open its User Settings. Now select the option Overlay from the left navigation tab and uncheck the option Enable in-game overlay.
- Restart your computer completely so changes are implemented and check if the FPS drop is fixed.
Solution 3: Disable Overclocking, GeForce Experience, and Third-Party Apps
If the above solutions don’t work, we will move ahead and broaden our troubleshooting area to third-party applications and hardware. Let’s talk about Overclocking first. Overclocking is an act of increases the clock rate of your processor until it reaches its threshold temperature. Once it does, the overclocking is stopped. Even though this is there to increase performance, there are several cases where this causes the FPS drop.
So disable overclocking and even uninstall MSI Afterburner. You should also check for third-party applications such as NVIDIA GeForce Experience. Make sure that you uninstall it temporarily. Next, you should check the third-party applications running on your computer while you have the game opened. Make sure that you disable all of them and check each time whether the application is solved.
Note: Also try disabling Overlay from GeForce Experience and Windows game bar feature.
Solution 4: Setting Maximum Performance Power Options
Laptops are known to have power options embedded inside them which allow the user to select power options according to his need. By default, this option is set as balanced. We need to change it to maximum performance.
- Press Windows + R and type “control panel” in the box and press Enter.
- Once in the control panel, select Large icons and click on Power Options.
- Once in the Power Options, select Maximum performance using the window at the right side. Save changes and exit.
- Now try launching League of Legends again and see if the drop issue is solved.
Solution 5: Change Game Config File
If all the above methods fail to improve the FPS drop of the game, we can try changing the game configuration file. The game configurations are stored in an external file that is extracted every time League of Legends is launched. It might be the case that these configurations are not set properly or are corrupt. We will try to replace them and see if this does the trick.
- Close all League of Legends processes.
- Download the ZIP file from (here). Save it to an accessible location.
- Navigate to League of Legends installation folder and open the folder Config.
- As you can see, there is already a ‘game.cfg’ file present in the folder. Copy it to another location so you can always backup when needed. Now open the downloaded folder and open Config. Here you will see several different settings. Select the one according to your hardware specifications and copy the config file from here to the location of the config file in the LoL installation folder. If asked to replace, click Yes.
- Restart your computer properly and check if the FPS drop is fixed. You can always change the config file to another graphics setting.
- Also, you can add the following code at the end of your config file. (You can use Notepad to edit Config file)
[UnitRenderStyle] Inking=0 AdvancedReflection=0 < default 1 change to 0 PerPixelPointLighting=0 < default 1 change to 0
Solution 6: Change Full-screen Optimization and DPI Settings
Full-screen optimization function in Windows helps applications to have their executable optimized to the full-screen of your display. This is a very helpful feature and is enabled by default. We will disable this and also change the DPI setting. You can revert the changes later on if they don’t work.
- Navigate to the Installation folder of League of Legends. Type ‘.exe’ in the search dialogue box and press Enter.
- Now lots of different executables will be returned in the results. Right-click on the first one and select Properties.
- Select the Compatibility tab from the top and check the option Disable full-screen optimization. Now select Change high DPI settings.
- Now check the option Override high DPI scaling behavior with the second option chosen as Application. Save changes and exit.
- Repeat these steps for all executables of League of Legends which returned in the results. Save changes and exit.
Restart your computer and check if the FPS drop is resolved.
Solution 7: Update Graphics Drivers
If all the above methods don’t work, your graphics drivers need to be updated. Drivers are the main mechanisms connecting hardware and software and make use of your resources. If these are outdated or broken, you will experience issues such as FPS drops.
Look up Civilization 5 won’t Launch and refer to Solution 3 where the entire method of reinstalling the latest graphics drivers is listed. Make sure that you uninstall the current driver first using DDU before attempting to install the latest driver released by your manufacturer.
Solution 8: Enable Low Specs Mode
League of Legends has a low spec mode to help users with low specs to play the game. The low-specs mode will automatically lower all the computer’s graphics settings and set the entire performance to low. Enabling this mode and then playing LOL will clarify if the problem is happening due to PC specs/Internet speed. If the game gets better, it probably means that you need to update your graphics hardware.
- Launch League of Legends.
- In the upper right corner of the window, click on Settings (the gear icon).
- Now click on the checkbox of Enable Low Spec Mode and click Done.
- Close League of Legends and launch it again after restart your computer. Check if the FPS issue is resolved.