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Frame rate

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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 in Minecraft) can temporarily decrease the FPS to a complete stop for some seconds.


[edit] 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.

[edit] Increasing your FPS

[edit] In Minecraft

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 any programs in the background and close any internet browser. (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Chrome, Opera, etc.)
  • Disable sound effects. This is particularly effective when near a large amount of sound-producing blocks (lava, flowing water) or mobs. The downside is that you could only detect hostile monsters if you can see them.
  • Make sure no other programs are running while Minecraft is.
  • Hide the HUD by pressing F1.
  • Looking at the sky has also been known to increase FPS. However if you are deep underground, looking down toward The Void may also.
  • 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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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 also guides available on how to manually increase FPS by editing various files in your system.
  • Also you are free to try Minecraft Tweaker, 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 make framerate, also, Install Drivers for Nvidia/AMD Radeon.
  • The mod FpsPlus may also increase FPS. The downside is that it may not be for your current version.

[edit] Render distance

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
Blocks Chunks Sections
32 chunks 512 4225 67,600
31 chunks 496 3969 63,504
30 chunks 480 3721 59,536
29 chunks 464 3481 55,696
28 chunks 448 3249 51,984
27 chunks 432 3025 48,400
26 chunks 416 2809 44,944
25 chunks 400 2601 41,616
24 chunks 384 2401 38416
23 chunks 368 2209 35,344
22 chunks 352 2025 32,400
21 chunks 336 1849 29,584
20 chunks 320 1681 26,896
19 chunks 304 1521 24,336
18 chunks 288 1369 21,904
17 chunks 272 1225 19,600
16 chunks 256 1089 17,424
15 chunks 240 961 15,376
14 chunks 224 841 13,456
13 chunks 208 729 11,664
12 chunks
192 625 10,000
11 chunks 176 529 8464
10 chunks 160 441 7056
9 chunks 144 361 5776
8 chunks 128 289 4624
7 chunks 112 225 3600
6 chunks 96 169 2704
5 chunks 80 121 1936
4 chunks 64 81 1296
3 chunks 48 49 784
2 chunks 32 25 400

[edit] Void Fog

Fog is a part of the environmental void fog seen as the player approaches bedrock and The Void. Void fog progressively closes in at layer 13 and below. At layer 1, the void fog begins just outside of your reach, and torches are ineffective for vision though still effective for mob stopping power. Bringing sunlight (block-based light such as torches does not affect the gloom effect) to the low layers removes this gloom effect. However, this "render distance" is only fog - it will not load fewer chunks, resulting in little to no FPS increase. Void fog is not present in Creative mode.