Frame rate (also known as frame frequency) is the frequency rate at which a video device produces unique consecutive images called frames. Frames are still pictures that when sequence together form a fluid animation that is the basis for all moving media. Frame rate is most often expressed in frames per second (FPS).
Low FPS will result in a "choppy" gaming experience, as far as looking like a slideshow in extreme cases. Difficult calculations (like blowing up huge loads of TNT or spawning in a bunch of mobs in Minecraft) can temporarily decrease the FPS to a complete stop for some seconds.
How to check your FPS
Note that your displayed FPS might not be accurate, as the game has to render all of the info in the debug menu, so you may get an increase as soon as you close the display.
- Press F3 to bring up the Debug screen. Frames per second are listed after the Minecraft version at the top left. (Note: The debug screen is known to cause more load to your system, resulting in a lower FPS than you would have without viewing the screen.)
- Bring up the Options screen (press Esc), select Snooper Settings, and look for 'fps'.
- Various mods have options to show the FPS without other debug screen information.
Increasing your FPS
Most of the following suggestions are configurable in the game's Options menu, accessible by pressing Esc.
- Turn down your render distance.
- Set graphics from Fancy to Fast.
- Turn off smooth lighting and clouds.
- Set particles to minimal.
- Set the game to small screen mode, as this makes Minecraft load less on screen, making the game run a little bit faster. Also note, minimize/close any programs in the background and close any internet browsers. (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Chrome, Opera, etc.)
- Make sure no other programs are running while Minecraft is.
- Hide the HUD by pressing F1. You will be unable to see hunger, hotbar items, health and armor points.
- Looking at the sky has also been known to increase FPS. However if you are deep underground, looking down toward The Void may also have the same effect.
- If in multiplayer, hold down Tab ↹. This will show the online players. The more players, the more lag there will be, so this could be a problem. Note that this is mostly network lag rather than FPS processing.
Outside of Minecraft
- On Windows, open Task Manager and go to the processes list, find javaw.exe (the Minecraft program), right click it and set its priority to high (not realtime. This will cause all other programs to crash.)
- Put the .minecraft folder on a solid-state drive so that the world and the game itself can be loaded faster. If you have enough free RAM, you can also put the folder on an RAM drive, which is even faster. Make sure the RAM drive is saved before a shutdown, or else its contents will be lost. A power outage could also erase everything, so make sure you have backups.
- Make sure you have RAM available (in a program such as a task manager), else your computer may swap to disk, which will cause Minecraft to slow down by a lot.
- Do not run other CPU or GPU-intensive programs while Minecraft is open.
- Turn off Aero in Windows Vista/7.
- Disable compositing (sometimes called "desktop effects") on GNU/Linux (Compiz, Kwin, Xfwm, Openbox...). When compositing is disabled, all window managers tend to give similar performance, so there is no need to use a "lightweight" one.
- Update graphic card drivers and make sure antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are turned off in the driver settings.
- Find ways to cool down your computer (e.g. removing dust), this case is more rare but happens to some computers, mostly laptops. High temperatures (usually 80°C or higher) will cause the hardware to throttle, thus slowing down the game, it can also reduce life span of the hardware.
- Turn down your screen resolution.
Third party methods
These mods are not guaranteed to work and may contain malicious files or corrupt your Minecraft program. Be careful when downloading and installing them.
- OptiFine is a mod which can substantially speed up and stabilize Minecraft's framerate.
- There are some guides available on how to manually increase FPS by editing various files in your system.
- You can try Minecraft Tweaker, a tool developed to install mods above and some minor tweaks.
- Not exactly a mod, but using a ramdisk greatly improves the performance of Minecraft by storing the save files in RAM, which is much faster than a hard drive. However, there is some risk involved. If the computer crashes, you will lose all progress since your last backup to the hard drive.
- If you have any Nvidia card, then adding minecraft to your Nvidia control panel should increase framerate, also, Install Drivers for Nvidia/AMD Radeon.
- The mod FpsPlus may also increase FPS; however, it may not be updated to the current version.
- You could try installing Razor Game Booster, which closes background programs. There is no proof that this works, however, and it may not do anything.
The render distance controls how many chunks of the world are visible at once, and can be set from the Video Settings menu. The fewer chunks that are included, the faster each frame can be rendered, resulting in a higher FPS.
The most distant terrain is faded into the sky color as if by fog, to avoid a sharp edge to the visible world; so this option is also known as "fog".
Note: diameter = radius × 2 + 1
|Name||View distance (radius)||Total count|
|32 chunks ("Extreme")||512||4225||67,600|
|16 chunks ("Far")||256||1089||17,424|
|8 chunks ("Normal")||128||289||4624|
|4 chunks ("Short")||64||81||1296|
|2 chunks ("Tiny")||32||25||400|