How-To

How to Enable the FPS Counter in Steam

Are you worried about in-game lag on Steam? You can switch the Steam FPS counter on to check your graphics performance. This guide explains how.

In fast-paced games, every frame counts. That’s why it’s important to monitor your FPS (or frames per second) value during gameplay. This is the number of visual frames that you’re seeing every second. In simpler terms, these frames are the visual changes that you’re seeing on-screen each second as your game is rendered on your monitor.

Imagine a game is like a film, where a noticeable slowdown in FPS would result in a difficult-to-watch movie. If you’re playing Steam games, you can enable the FPS counter to check on your in-game FPS value, which could determine if you need to make changes to your graphics settings.

If you’re unsure how to enable the FPS counter in Steam, follow the steps below.

How to Enable the FPS Counter in Steam

You will need to configure your Steam settings to allow you to see the in-game FPS counter during gameplay. This appears as an overlay counter in the top-right, updating continuously as you play your game.

This is a good way to test out your game’s performance. If your game lags in certain sections and the FPS value drops, it likely indicates a problem with your settings or hardware that you’ll need to troubleshoot further.

To enable the FPS counter in Steam:

  1. Open the Steam client on your PC or Mac and sign in (if necessary).
  2. From the menu bar, press Steam > Settings (on Windows) or Steam > Preferences (on Mac).
    Open settings on Steam
  3. In the Settings or Preferences window, select In-Game on the left.
  4. From the In-game FPS counter drop-down menu, select the position for the FPS counter. You can choose top-left, top-right, bottom-left, or bottom-right.
  5. If you want to be able to see it more easily for accessibility reasons, make sure to select the High contrast color checkbox.
  6. To save your choices, press the OK button.
    Enable FPS counter in Steam

The FPS counter will now appear when you’re in a Steam game on a PC or Mac.

How to Use the FPS Counter in Steam

With the FPS counter enabled in-game, you can use it at any point by launching a Steam game. The FPS counter will usually appear in the position you selected from the In-game FPS counter drop-down menu in your Steam settings.

The Steam FPS counter in-game

If the position isn’t correct, return to the Steam settings menu and change the position. Once activated, the Steam FPS counter will update continuously to give you an up-to-date value of your game performance.

At this point, start playing. If you notice any in-game lag, check the counter, as it should show a drop in performance.

Disabling the Steam FPS Counter

When you’re done, you won’t be able to switch the Steam FPS counter off in-game.

To remove the FPS counter from Steam, you’ll need to return to the Steam settings menu by pressing Steam > Settings on Windows or Steam > Preferences on Mac. Next, select the Off option from the In-game FPS counter drop-down menu.

When you’ve updated your settings, press OK to save your choice. Once you’ve disabled the counter, it’ll no longer appear for you in-game. If you change this setting as a game is running and the counter doesn’t disappear, you may need to restart the game to remove it afterward.

Next Steps

The steps above will allow you to quickly enable the FPS counter in Steam. If your FPS value is too low, you should tweak your in-game graphics settings to make sure you’re getting the best performance. For instance, you may need to reduce your graphics settings to improve performance.

Alternatively, you may want to consider checking your graphics drivers to make sure it’s working correctly. You may need to update your graphics drivers or replace your graphics card entirely.

New to Steam? You might want to set up a Steam wishlist to keep track of the games you want to buy (or be gifted) in the future.