Every Valorant player gets to a point in their journey for improvement where they start looking to get every advantage they can, especially when it comes to FPS and refresh rates. One of the questions that eventually comes up is, should I cap my FPS in Valorant? And honestly, it really depends on why you are capping it and what you want to achieve. So let’s get into it.
What does an FPS cap do?
An FPS cap tells your computer, both the CPU and the GPU, to stop creating or rendering frames once it hits the limit you set.
Be careful not to confuse an FPS cap with your monitor refresh rate. A monitor’s refresh rate is how many frames it can show you in a second, usually labeled in hertz or Hz, e.i. 144hz. FPS is how many frames your computer is rendering and sending to your monitor. This means that you can be producing way more FPS than you can display.
Why should I cap my FPS in Valorant?
Are you a streamer or does your PC struggle at times? If the answer is yes, you may benefit from capping your Valorant FPS.
If your PC is struggling or you have a laptop that keeps overheating, limiting your can help. It leaves your CPU and GPU with a bit more headroom by limiting how much they work. This helps avoid any stutters in Valorant during intensive fights where a lot of utility and action can happen abruptly. The result is that you keep your frame rate more consistent while playing.
When streaming, recording, or running other applications they may need more juice than you might be providing. Valorant usually takes priority in your computer’s processing which could leave the above starved. Capping your FPS allows your CPU and GPU to dedicate resources to those other applications. You should now have more headroom for high-quality streaming or recording gameplay to review.
Why shouldn’t I cap my FPS in Valorant?
Just because your monitor can’t display the extra frames that your PC is producing doesn’t mean they are a waste. In fact, most times it is better to let your PC run the game uncapped. Each frame produced is one that is entirely processed by your computer and the game. So even though you may not see every frame your experience will be more responsive. The game will read your mouse and keyboard inputs sooner since it checks them earlier. Another benefit is that your monitor will always display the most recent frame first. You will always see the most updated information once your monitor does show you your frame.
Optimizing the above is called reducing latency or reducing input lag. As an example, modern gaming mice usually send updates to your system every millisecond, which is labeled as a 1000hz polling rate. At 60 FPS your game renders frames every 16.5ms and if you bump that up to 144 FPS it will go to 7ms while at 240 FPS it reaches 4ms. So while you may not see more information on the screen once you do see the need to flick and shoot your movement will register sooner.
How to Limit Your FPS
In your setting menu, head for the Video tab. In general, you will find quite a few options to cap your FPS in Valorant.
The ones we are interested in are the last two:
Limit FPS always
Max FPS always
All you have to do is set Limit FPS Always to ON
And set Max FPS Always to your desired FPS cap.
If you want to see your FPS while playing the game, which is useful to see if your FPS goes below your limit, you should go to the Stats tab and under Performance, set Client FPS to Text Only. This puts a neat unintrusive counter at the top left of your screen that you can keep an eye on while you play.
What is the best FPS cap?
This again depends. How much processing power does your PC have? How much do you care about your latency? Do you have background apps running that need a bit more juice? You are going to have to balance it out. I recommend playing around with it and seeing how it impacts you and your computer. It is a very subjective thing.
However, there is a negligible return the higher your FPS goes. The improvement in responsiveness when going from 60 FPS to 144 FPS is quite noticeable with the render time going from 16.5ms to 7ms. But will you sense a difference when you go up to 240 FPS and it drops it down 4ms? If you’re competing at the top levels of Valorant, sure, every millisecond of latency could have an impact. So whether you should cap your FPS in Valorant is something you will have to decide for yourself. I say you jump into the Valorant practice range and see how the game feels when you lock it at different frame rates. See what it does for you.
At the end of the day, “should I cap my FPS in Valorant?” is a question with no definite answer. You should play around and see what feels and looks right to you. It is, after all, you that is playing the game.
Once you’re done optimizing your game, how about you also see how to improve your gameplay? Check out our guide on how to get better at Valorant.