5 Ways to Show FPS Counter for Games in Windows [2024]

Key Takeaways
  • Framerate, or FPS, refers to the number of frames displayed on your screen per second, impacting the smoothness of your gaming experience.
  • More FPS improves performance and fluidity, though it's often capped to match your monitor's refresh rate for optimal results.
  • You can display FPS in games using Steam's built-in counter, MSI Afterburner, Windows Game Bar, GPU software, or in-game settings.

Framerate, also known as FPS, essentially means the number of frames displayed on your screen in a single second. Most gamers and enthusiasts desire to know the number of frames their PC can push in certain titles for a multitude of purposes.

How are More FPS Better?

FPS can determine the performance of your system, benchmark your GPU or indicate if there is any bottleneck or instability. It is a common misconception that your monitor’s refresh rate and the framerate are tied to each other. In reality, you can achieve a significantly higher FPS than your screen’s refresh rate. The caveat is that you will not be able to perceive the smoothness.

Low FPS implies that your system is struggling to render frames and this delay is quite noticeable. On the other extreme end, CPUs are often the limiting factor for high-frame rates since each frame has to be processed before it appears on your screen.

Whether high FPS makes you a better gamer is subjective, but there’s no doubt that it greatly enhances your gaming experience and improves fluidity, even on 60Hz panels. After all, FPS is directly linked with your input latency.

How High FPS and High Refresh Rate Impact Gameplay | Source: NVIDIA, hosted by GIPHY

Some gamers tend to lock their framerates to 144 FPS, 165 FPS, typically matching the refresh rate of their monitors. This is because of diminishing returns and greater stress on the system at exceedingly high FPS.

There are many applications and built-in utilities that allow us to capture our framerate in real time. Thanks to improved software, there isn’t much variation between one application or the other nowadays.

READ MORE: The 5 Best Software You can Use to Monitor a Game’s FPS in Windows ➜

How to Display Your FPS in Games?

Depending on your game and launcher, you often have built-in options to display performance statistics. However, in-case of an unsupported title you can use 3rd party tools as we’ll show you in this guide.

1) Use Steam’s Built-In FPS Counter

Steam needs no introduction as it is undoubtedly the world’s largest game launcher on PC. With a massive catalogue of games, Steam also offers users a number of customizability settings. As such, it also has a built-in FPS counter which you may use in any Steam title.

  1. Launch Steam by searching the term “Steam” in the Windows Search Bar.

  2. Click on the Steam Icon at the top-left corner of the screen and click on “Settings” afterwards. This will open up the Steam Settings window.

  3. In the left pane click on the “In Game” option.

  4. In the right pane, click on the “In-game FPS counter” option and select where you want your FPS to be displayed. Ideally, the Top-right corner will do but the choice is yours.

  5. Start your favorite title and check to see if your FPS are being displayed in your desired position.

2) Use MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner despite its name does work on non-MSI GPUs and allows you to monitor your hardware in real-time. It offers an RTSS utility to track your system’s performance metrics. Almost all benchmarking channels on YouTube make use of this software. Let’s learn how to use it:

  1. Search “MSI Afterburner” on Google and open MSI’s website from the search results.

  2. Select “4.6.5 [Final]” on the page and the download should start automatically.

  3. Use WinRAR or any other software or extract the .zip file to your desired folder and run the installation setup.

  4. Install as you normally would, click on “OK” >> “Next” >> Accept the terms then “Next” >> Now make sure RivaTuner Statistics Server is selected as this is what powers Afterburner’s FPS counter then “Next” >> Select your desired folder then “Next” >> “Install“.

  5. Once the installation is finished, you’ll be prompted to install RivaTuner Statistics Server. Install as you normally would. Once the installation is finished and if a reboot is required, restart your PC and start up MSI Afterburner.

  6. Start MSI Afterburner and click on the settings icon.

  7. In the “Monitoring” tab, select the settings you’d like to be displayed. Click on the arrow next to each setting you want to enable. More importantly, scroll down and find “Framerate” and enable it. Now for each setting you chose, in the “Framerate graph properties” section, select “Show in On-Screen Display“.

  8. Now move on to the “On-Screen Display” tab (1) and select a hotkey to toggle the overlay (2). In the same tab, click on “More” at the bottom (3). The RivaTuner Statistics Server window will pop up, now simply toggle “Show On-Screen Display” to “ON” (4).

  9. Minimize MSI Afterburner and open your favourite game to see if the overlay works or not.

REAL MORE: FIX: MSI Afterburner Not Detecting GPU On Windows 11/10 ➜

3) Use Game Bar Offered by Windows

Game Bar is built into Windows 11/10, allowing you to display performance metrics and record your gameplay. Follow these steps to use Game Bar to display your framerate:

  1. Press the Windows Key + G shortcut to open Game Bar.
  2. Toggle the Performance window after opening Game Bar. This will open a small tab displaying performance benchmarks of the game you’re playing.

  3. Once the Performance tab pops up, click on the “Pin” option as shown. Now even after you close Game Bar, this tab will stick around.

  4. Launch your desired game and test this feature out. If you wish to remove the Performance tab then simply open Game Bar again and unpin it.

4) Use Your GPU’s Software

Both NVIDIA and AMD have a strong software suite allowing users to lower latency, apply game filters, record gameplay and as you guessed, display FPS. We’ll use NVIDIA’s updated NVIDIA App for this purpose, but legacy versions should work in the same manner, with minor changes to the UI.

  1. Launch a supported title, since not every game will work with NVIDIA App or AMD Adrenalin.
  2. Press Alt+Z to open the NVIDIA sidebar. Click on “Statistics” at the bottom. For AMD users, press Alt+Z as well to bring up their equivalent panel.

  3. Select “Frame Rate” and click on “Show statistics in heads up display“. Alternatively, you can just press Alt+R to bring up the performance overlay.

  4. Press Alt+Z again to close the sidebar and in the top-right corner, you will see a tab displaying your framerate and whatever options you selected. Do note that for NVIDIA users, this tab will carry over to all apps and even Windows.

5) Use the In-Game FPS Counter

A few games have built-in settings to display your FPS, latency, and whatnot. This is quite common in competitive titles such as Fortnite, Warzone etcetera. We should remind you that not every game will have such an option, especially story-driven games.

Enabling the FPS counter can be as simple as going to the graphics settings and enabling the specific option. You may find this setting in the Graphics/Video menu, or rare cases like Minecraft, pressing the F3 key will do the job. Either way, you’ll have to do some research on your end.

Minecraft FPS Counter

READ MORE: Best NVIDIA Control Panel Settings: High FPS & Low Latency! ➜


While there is no “best FPS overlay” for every situation, MSI Afterburner offers the most in-depth statistics. On the other hand, NVIDIA’s overlay is consistent across almost every app. If your game offers its own FPS counter, that’s even better since it is guaranteed to show accurate results on the game engine level.

As stated above, YouTubers and benchmarkers prefer MSI Afterburner but it can get a bit intrusive as its overlay is quite cluttered. With all the advantages and disadvantages aside, it is up to you to select the best choice for your needs.


Can FPS overlays hinder your game’s performance?

Just displaying your FPS should result in a negligible performance impact. However, if you choose to report a lot of statistics that need to be refreshed frequently, it may stress your PC. Likewise, the graphics in the overlay itself may tax old systems, but the impact should be minimal.

Can I get banned for using an FPS counter?

Generally, no. Nowadays anti-cheat technologies are developed keeping tools like NVIDIA/AMD overlays and MSI Afterburner in-mind. While there are no widely reported incidents, MSI Afterburner does claim that the code used to grab your FPS numbers could trigger a false-positive. However, since this tool is so common, we doubt any of you will face such a problem.

Do these applications only display your FPS?

No! While you can set the aforementioned tools to just show your FPS, they serve a wide variety of purposes. For example, you can monitor your GPU usage, memory usage, GPU voltage, frametime, fan speeds, clock speeds and whatnot.


Abdullah Faisal

With a love for computers since the age of five, Abdullah has always sought to delve into the depths of information, and uses it as his guiding light. He believes success is of utmost importance as history is written by the victor.