How to Fix Stuttering, Freezing, and FPS Drops in Overwatch 2?

The most common causes of lag spikes, stutters, and freezes in Overwatch 2 are improper graphics settings, corrupt/missing game files, and outdated Graphics Card drivers. But these performance issues can also be caused by many other factors.

How to Fix Performance Issues in Overwatch 2

Below, we have listed all the probable causes of these performance issues in Overwatch 2 and their respective solutions. 

1. Check Overwatch 2’s System Requirements

Whenever you encounter performance errors in games, the first step in finding their cause is to check the game’s system requirements. 

The chart below shows Overwatch 2’s minimum and recommended system requirements. Look at this chart and see how your system’s specifications compare to those listed.

Overwatch 2 System Requirements

To have a smooth experience playing Overwatch 2, your system’s specifications must be comparable to the game’s recommended system requirements. They don’t have to be an exact copy of the recommended specifications, but they shouldn’t be too far below them.

If your PC only meets the minimum system requirements, it will likely struggle to run Overwatch 2 without lag spikes, stutters, and freezes. However, if you follow the performance error solutions we’ve listed below, you’ll optimize your system, and you will be able to run Overwatch 2 with much better performance.

2. Update the Game

Newly released games like Overwatch 2 generally have many bugs and performance issues when they’re initially launched. And when the players then report these bugs and other issues, the developers quickly notice and release updates for the game, which fix these issues.

So if you’re playing an outdated game version, you should update it to the latest version to ensure that these glitches and errors do not exist in your game. 

Follow the steps below to update your game to the latest version:

  1. Launch the Launcher.
  2. Go to the “Games” tab.
  3. Left-click the Overwatch 2 icon.
  4. Click on the blue Update button in the bottom-left corner of the menu.
    Updating Overwatch 2

If you follow these steps and only see a “Play” button instead of an “Update” button, your game is already updated to the latest version. In that case, continue with the next solution below.

3. Change Overwatch 2’s Settings

If you haven’t tweaked Overwatch 2’s in-game settings, it is likely the main reason you’re experiencing these performance errors. You need to find the best Overwatch 2 settings to minimize these issues. 

If you don’t change the in-game settings according to your system’s specifications, the game will keep stuttering, lagging, or freezing, even if you try the other solutions we’ve listed below.

But note that if your system’s specifications are above the recommended requirements of the game, the in-game settings are likely not the real cause of the performance errors you’re facing, as you should be able to run the game with the highest settings.

However, you should still tweak the settings as the first solution to your problem, as this will greatly boost performance and decrease input lag. 

So before you try any other solutions, launch the game, press the Escape button on your keyboard (top-left corner), and press “Options” to open the Settings menu.

The settings that affect the game’s performance are all located in the Video tab, so you don’t need to change any settings in the other tabs unless you specifically need to.

3.1 Fixing Video Settings

The first settings category is Video Settings. The settings you need to change in this category are listed below:

  1. Display Mode
  2. Resolution
  3. Render Scale
  4. Dynamic Render Scale
  5. Vsync

    Changing Overwatch 2’s Video Settings

The settings mentioned in the list above have the most impact on the game’s performance. The remaining settings don’t significantly affect the performance, so you can leave them as they are for the time being. 

The Display Mode setting has three options: Fullscreen, Windowed, and Fullscreen Windowed. You should always play the game in Fullscreen mode to get the best performance in Overwatch 2 (or any game). 

When a game runs on Fullscreen, it will always run with a higher framerate, as this Display Mode gives your Graphics Card (GPU) full control over your system’s display. This allows the game to utilize the full potential of your GPU, which results in noticeably better performance. 

The Resolution setting can make or break the game’s performance. If your system has decent specs, you can set the game’s resolution to the native resolution of your monitor.

But if your system has weak hardware, you will likely need to decrease the game’s resolution to get more FPS and less input lag. Remember that the more you decrease the resolution, the more visual quality you will lose. So do not decrease the resolution too much.

The Render Scale setting works together with the Resolution setting. When the Render Scale setting is set to 100%, the game runs at 100% of the resolution you’ve set it to. But if you decrease it, let’s say to 75%, the game will run at only 75% of the resolution.

So this setting also has a massive impact on performance. If your system is capable enough, you can set it to 100% 

The Dynamic Render Scale setting allows the game to change the render scale while you’re playing automatically. If the game detects that your FPS is dropping too much in a given moment, it will decrease the render scale to improve performance.

This sounds good in theory, but this setting can lead to performance errors. If your resolution constantly changes during a match, it can lead to stutters and high input lag. Therefore, the Dynamic Render Scale setting should be set to Off.

The purpose of the Vsync setting is to limit the framerate (FPS) of the game to the maximum refresh rate of your monitor, as this eliminates screen tearing. So if you play Overwatch 2 on a 60 HZ monitor and enable Vsync, the game will be locked to 60 FPS.

The Vsync setting should generally be turned Off since enabling it increases frametimes, which causes a noticeable amount of input lag.  And if you have too much input lag in a competitive FPS game like Overwatch 2, it can put you at a massive disadvantage. 

If you want to limit your FPS, use the “Frame Rate” setting instead of Vsync. This will allow you to lock your FPS to a custom number. 

You should limit your FPS only when you’re experiencing crazy stutters during the game. These stutters are usually caused by your FPS spiking to a very high number, then quickly dropping to a very low number. 

Therefore, Limiting the FPS can help fix these stutters, as it will stop your FPS from spiking too much. If you’re limiting your FPS, you should set the limit to 3x your average FPS.

So if your average FPS in Overwatch 2 is 100, you should limit the framerate to 300 (100×3). This will allow you to stop the stutter issue caused by FPS spikes without increasing frametimes too much. 

If you’re still experiencing the stutters at this framerate limit, you can try decreasing the limit to 2x of the average FPS. This will increase frametimes, but the stutters will be fixed

3.2 Change Graphics Quality Settings

After changing the Video Settings, the next step is to tweak the Graphics Quality Settings. Unlike Video Settings, giving an objective list of the best Graphics Quality Settings is difficult, as these settings completely depend on the user’s system hardware.

You can set the Graphics Quality Settings to high (or above) if you have a high-end PC, as your GPU should be more than capable enough to run the game at these settings.

But if you have a mid to low-end PC, you will need to tweak these settings according to your system’s specifications. 

The most important settings in the Graphics Quality category are:

  1. Texture Quality
  2. Dynamic Reflections
  3. Shadow Detail
  4. Effects Detail
  5. Lighting Quality
  6. Antialias Quality

To find the best settings for your system, start by turning all these to Low. After that, turn them up individually until your FPS starts dropping too much. This will give you an idea of the best graphics settings for you.

Remember to restart the game after changing these settings, as these changes will not go into effect until that game has been restarted.

Changing Overwatch 2’s Graphics Quality Settings

3.3 Change Details Settings

The settings in the Details category will help you track the game’s performance. Navigate to this category and enable the following settings:

  1. Display Performance Stats
  2. Show Framerate
  3. Show VRAM Usage
  4. Show Network Latency

When you enable these stats, they will appear on the top-left corner of your screen. They will help you fix the game’s performance issues, as you’ll be able to see the impact of each performance fix on your FPS and VRAM Usage in real time.

4. Repair Overwatch 2’s Game Files

Corrupted and/or missing game files are arguably the most common cause of game performance errors. While downloading Overwatch 2 on your PC, your internet connection may have experienced an unstable download speed or high packet loss.

When our internet connection experiences these kinds of problems while we are downloading a game, it usually results in corruption in the game files, and some game files can even completely fail to download. 

And when you have corrupted/missing game files, you will encounter all kinds of performance errors in the game, such as low FPS, constant stutters, freezes, and crashing. 

So the next solution to fixing the performance problems is to scan and repair Overwatch 2’s game files. This can be done easily, as the launcher has a built-in feature that verifies the integrity of the game files to fix them.

To repair Overwatch 2’s game files, follow the steps we’ve listed below:

  1. Open the launcher.
  2. Go to the “Games” tab.
  3. Left-click the Overwatch 2 icon.
  4. Click the small gear symbol next to the big Play button in the bottom-left corner of the menu.
  5. Select the “Scan and Repair” option.
    Repairing the Overwatch 2 game files
  6. Wait for the scan and repair process to finish.

After around 5 minutes, the launcher will finish scanning and repairing the game files. It will notify you with a message if it finds and repairs any corrupted/missing files.

After the files have been repaired, launch Overwatch 2 and see if the performance errors have been resolved. If you continue to experience them, move on to the next solution.

5. Disable Windows Fullscreen Optimizations and Run as Administrator

The Fullscreen Optimizations feature of Windows is usually turned on by default for most games, but it should always be disabled as it can cause significant performance issues.

Microsoft designed the Windows Fullscreen Optimizations feature to improve performance in applications that run in fullscreen mode.

If an application has Fullscreen Optimizations enabled and runs in fullscreen mode, this feature runs the application in a mix of fullscreen and windowed. This hybrid display mode is supposed to improve application performance and decrease the time it takes to minimize/maximize it.

However, the feature is poorly designed, as it causes stutters and high input lag in most games, and it has no noticeable effect on the time it takes to minimize/maximize the application.

Therefore, you must ensure that the Windows Fullscreen Optimizations feature is disabled with Overwatch 2. To do this, you must first locate the .exe file of the game.

If you don’t know where this file is located on your system, don’t worry, as the steps listed below will allow you to easily locate Overwatch 2’s game files.

  1. Open the launcher.
  2. Go to the “Games” tab.
  3. Left-click the Overwatch 2 icon.
  4. Click the small gear symbol next to the big Play button in the bottom-left corner of the menu.
  5. Click on the “Show in Explorer” option.
    Opening the Overwatch 2 install location

Overwatch 2’s install folder will open in File Explorer when you click the Show in Explorer option. Right-click on the Overwatch Launcher file in this folder and navigate to the Compatability tab. 

If the box next to the “Disable fullscreen optimizations” option is empty, left-click on it to put a checkmark in there. Before you click the apply button, you should also put a checkmark in the box next to the “Run this program as an administrator” option.

Disabling Windows Fullscreen Optimizations and Running Overwatch 2 as an Administrator

The “Run as administrator” option will grant Overwatch 2 complete read and write privileges. This will ensure that the game has access to all the DLL files that it needs and it has the ability to execute all required commands.  This can help fix stutters and freezes. 

After putting a checkmark next to both these options, press the Apply button and relaunch Overwatch. The game should now run with noticeably better performance than before. 

6. Close Unnecessary Background Programs

Another quick fix to the performance issues you’re facing is to close all unnecessary background programs while playing Overwatch 2.

Most players are generally unaware of how many programs they have running in the background while they play games like Overwatch. Many of these programs are usually non-essential, so there’s no reason for them actually to be active.

These applications quietly use your system’s CPU/GPU power, RAM, Disk space, and network bandwidth, which stops the game from being able to utilize the full power of your system. So if you close all of these programs, your game will instantly get a big boost in performance. 

To close all non-essential programs, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X simultaneously and click on Task Manager.

    Opening Task Manager
  2. Look through the programs list in the Processes tab and see which programs currently use the most CPU/GPU power, RAM, and Disk.
  3. Right-click on the unneeded programs and click on the “End Task” option.
    Closing Background Processes

The programs will most likely not be consuming a notable amount of resources individually, but if you close several programs together, it will make a big difference as it’ll optimize your PC. 

But make sure only to close the unnecessary programs. Do not close programs like the launcher, Overwatch 2’s Anti-Cheat, drivers, etc. 

7. Disable Overlays

If you’re using the overlay feature of programs like Steam, Xbox Game Bar, Discord, and MSI Afterburner, they are likely one of the main causes of the lag spikes and stutters you’re facing.

These overlays can come in handy, as they allow you to access the features of these programs without having to open the program window. However, these overlays are not compatible with all applications.

So if one or more of these overlays is incompatible or buggy with Overwatch 2 or another active overlay, it will likely cause FPS drops, stutters, and even crashes.

Another reason not to use these overlays is that they can consume a noticeable amount of system resources. When you’re playing Overwatch 2, you must ensure that the game has access to all the system resources that it needs, so having many active overlays can cause the game to lag.

The overlays which generally cause the most problem with games are the Steam, NVIDIA GeForce, Xbox Game Bar, and Discord Overlay.

To disable the Steam Overlay, follow these steps:

  1. Open Steam.
  2. Click on the small “Steam” button in the window’s top-left corner.
    Opening Steam Settings

    Select “Settings.”

  3. Click on the “In-Game” option on the left side of the Settings window.
  4. Remove the checkmark from the box next to the “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game” option.
    Opening Steam Settings
  5. Press OK.

To disable the NVIDIA GeForce Overlay, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.
  2. Type GeForce Experience in the search bar and press enter.
  3. Click on the cogwheel icon in the top-right corner (next to your name).
    Opening NVIDIA GeForce Experience Settings
  4. Turn off the In-Game Overlay option.
    Disabling GeForce Experience In-Game Overlay

To disable the Xbox Game Bar Overlay, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings menu by pressing Windows Key + I simultaneously.
  2. Select the “Gaming” option in the Settings window.
    Opening the Gaming Settings menu
  3. Turn off the Xbox Game Bar.
    Disabling the Xbox Game Bar

To disable the Discord Overlay, follow these steps:

  1. Open Discord.
  2. Click on the cogwheel icon in the bottom-left corner (next to your name).
    Opening Discord Settings
  3. Scroll down to the “Activity Settings” category.
  4. Click on the Game Overlay section.
  5. Turn off the Discord Overlay.
    Disabling the Discord Overlay

8. Use your Dedicated GPU (If Applicable)

A common mistake many new PC gamers make is not playing games with their dedicated Graphics Cards. Most PCs have integrated graphics on their CPU and a dedicated Graphics Card installed inside them.

The latter is significantly more powerful, so whenever you play a game, you must ensure the game uses the dedicated GPU instead of the integrated graphics on your PC.

If Overwatch 2 is running on your PC’s integrated graphics, you need to make the game use your dedicated GPU. This will give you a massive boost in performance and will likely eliminate all FPS drops, stutters, and crashes.

To run Overwatch 2 using your dedicated GPU, follow the steps we’ve written below.

  1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.
  2. Type “Graphics Settings” in the search bar and press the enter key.
    Opening Graphics Settings
  3. Press the Browse button.
  4. Select the Overwatch Launcher file.
  5. After adding the Overwatch Launcher to the list, click on it and press the Options button.
  6. Click on “High Performance.”

    Changing Graphics Settings to High Performance
  7. Click on Save.

Once you’ve followed these steps, Overwatch 2 will always use your dedicated GPU. If the game used your CPU’s integrated graphics before, you should now experience significantly less lag while playing it.

9. Update your GPU Drivers

Keeping your Graphics Card (GPU) drivers updated to the latest version is extremely important if you want the newest games like Overwatch 2 to run without any issues.

Whenever long-awaited games like Overwatch 2 are released, NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel release new drivers for their GPUs that are optimized for these games. This leads to more FPS in the game and fewer lag spikes/stutters.

If you’re using a very old version of your GPU’s drivers, it is likely the root cause of the performance problems you’re experiencing. 

So the next fix for this problem is to update your Graphics Card drivers to the newest version. This is a multi-step process, and the first step is to determine the maker and model number of the GPU installed in your system.

To determine this, follow the steps we’ve listed below:

  1. Press Windows Key + X simultaneously.
  2. Left-click on “Device Manager.”

    Opening Device Manager
  3. Expand the Display Adapters list by clicking the arrow next to it.
    Identifying GPU model using Device Manager

When you expand the Display Adapter list, it will show you the GPU that’s installed in your system. But you must note that if the GPU is named “Microsoft Basic Display Adapter,” it is not the accurate name of your GPU.

Device Manager displays this name if the GPU is improperly installed in your system or its drivers are missing or corrupt. 

So if you see this name in Device Manager, you will need to determine the actual model of your GPU through a different method, which we’ve written below.

  1. Press Windows Key + X simultaneously.
  2. Left-click on “Device Manager.”

    Opening Device Manager
  3. Expand the Display Adapters list by clicking the arrow next to it.
  4. Right-click on the “Microsoft Basic Display Adapter” option.
  5. Select “Properties.”
    Selecting GPU Properties
  6. Go to the Details tab.
  7. Expand the drop-down list below Property.
  8. Click on “Hardware Ids.”

    Selecting Hardware Ids
  9. Right-click on the line of text written right below Value.

    Copying Hardware Id
  10. Paste the text into a browser’s search bar and press enter.
    Finding the name of your Graphics Card through Google

When you perform this Google search, the top search results will have your GPU’s manufacturer (NVIDIA/AMD/Intel) and model number in their title. 

The next step in updating GPU drivers is to completely wipe the drivers that are presently installed on your PC. This is a mandatory step, as the current drivers can clash with the latest ones we are about to install. If this clash happens, it will lead to more problems and further game performance issues. 

We will use a program named “Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU)” to wipe the current drivers from your system. This program is much better than the default driver uninstaller feature of Windows, as it wipes every single driver file from your system, leaving no trace of the driver behind. 

Whereas the Windows driver uninstaller will likely leave a few driver files behind. It’s crucial that no trace of the current driver is left behind when it is deleted, as this trace can cause problems with the new driver you will install. 

Visit DDU’s official website and download it by pressing the download button at the end of the page. To use DDU, you’ll need first to boot your system into Safe Mode. 

Only the most essential programs and drivers will be active when your system boots into Safe Mode. This will ensure that nothing interferes with the driver uninstall process.

To start your system in Safe Mode, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Press the Windows Key on your keyboard and right-click the Power button.
  2. Hold the Shift Key and press the Restart option.
  3. Click on Troubleshoot.
  4. Click on Advanced Options.

    Opening Advanced Options
  5. Click on Startup Settings.

    Selecting Startup Settings
  6. Press the Restart button.
    Restarting your PC
  7. Press F4 to boot into Safe Mode.
    Selecting Safe Mode

After you press F4, Windows will start in Safe Mode. Now, open the DDU program, set the device type to GPU (on the right), and select the appropriate brand (AMD/NVIDIA/Intel). 

You can then press the “Clean and restart” button to wipe the drivers from your system. This process will take a few minutes to complete, and your screen may flicker during it, but don’t be alarmed, as that’s part of the process.

Removing Graphics Card drivers using Display Driver Uninstaller

Once DDU successfully wipes all the driver files, it will restart your computer. After your computer restarts, you can start downloading the latest version of your Graphics Card drivers. 

You can find the latest drivers on your GPU manufacturer’s website. Their website will have a separate section where you can find the exact driver you’re looking for.

If your GPU’s maker is NVIDIA, click on this link to visit their website. Use the drop-down lists below the “NVIDIA Driver Downloads” heading to select the model of your GPU, then press the green SEARCH button to find the latest drivers.

Downloading NVIDIA Drivers

If your GPU’s maker is AMD, click on this link to visit their website. Click on the “Search all products” option in the middle of the page and type the model of your GPU in the search bar. After that, press the SUBMIT button to find the latest drivers.

Downloading AMD Drivers

If your GPU’s maker is Intel, click on this link to visit their website. Find the drivers for your GPU by using the filters on the left side of the page and then press the Download button on the left to download them.

Downloading Intel GPU Drivers

After downloading the driver installer file, right-click on it and select “Run as administrator.” The driver installer will have a menu that will give you two different installation options: Express and Custom. You should pick the Express option to have the quickest driver installation.

The GPU driver will be installed on your system within a few minutes. After it is installed, launch Overwatch 2 and track the performance. You should notice a significant boost in FPS and fewer lag spikes.

10. Reinstall Overwatch 2

If you’ve tried all of the solutions listed above and you’re still experiencing performance issues in Overwatch 2, the final solution is to reinstall the game.

This will renew all the game files and ensure that there’s no corruption in them at all. Remember to have a stable internet and power connection while reinstalling Overwatch 2.

To reinstall the game, you need to first uninstall it by following these steps:

  1. Open the launcher.
  2. Go to the “Games” tab.
  3. Left-click the Overwatch 2 icon.
  4. Click the small gear symbol next to the big Play button in the bottom-left corner of the menu.
  5. Select the “Uninstall” option.
    Uninstalling Overwatch 2

After that, click on the Install option in the same launcher window to reinstall the game. Once you’ve reinstalled Overwatch 2, the performance errors should finally be resolved. 


Hamza Mohammad Anwar

Hamza Mohammad Anwar is an intermediate JavaScript web developer with a focus on developing high-performance applications using MERN technologies. His skill set includes expertise in ReactJS, MongoDB, Express NodeJS, and other related technologies. Hamza is also a Google IT Certified professional, which highlights his competence in IT support. As an avid problem-solver, he recreates errors on his computer to troubleshoot and find solutions to various technical issues.