Improve Frame Rate In Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a fantastic game. Offering beautiful graphics and a rich, detailed world, there wasn’t another MMORPG released in 2012 that can touch it in regards to sheer value. If I absolutely had to complain about something though, it’d have to be the frame rate and lag. There are times when the game almost comes to a stop, and in modern gaming and on modern hardware, that shouldn’t ever be an issue. Today we take a very quick look at the best ways to optimize your Guild Wars 2 experience, how to improve the frame rate and reduce lag caused by the PC hardware (andyou’re your connection) while making it look as shiny as it should.
Pick the Right Resolution To Improve Guild Wars 2 Frame Rate
If you’ve got mid-level hardware, you have to be realistic in how you play your games. There is no magical trick to suddenly improve gaming performance. I would recommend checking Guild Wars 2 system requirements / specs if you haven’t purchased the game yet. If you’ve already got the game and experience frame rate or lag problems, let’s see what we can do to fix them. Generally speaking, if you don’t have the best gaming CPU in the world there are some extra steps to take to improve frame rate in games. You can either lower the graphical effects like shadows, and the anti-aliasing, or you can drop the resolution. If you need a real pick up in FPS in Guild Wars 2, dropping the resolution is probably the way to go. By reducing the amount of pixels your computer needs to render in any given moment, the process that puts that picture onto your screen becomes easier and the more frames a second can be displayed.
Frame rate dropping already?
This is the easiest solution for poor FPS, asides from actually rebuilding your computer and getting better gaming hardware (like that best gaming CPU you have been looking at). Of course, it’s not Guild Wars 2 specific either, so if you’re having problems with modern games across the board, it’s either time to buy a new graphics card or start playing in a resolution lower than 1080p or the maximum resolution your monitor supports.
Be Honest: Can You Run Extreme Games On Your PC?
If you don’t want to abandon max resolution in games, your next best bet is to be honest with yourself about what your computer is capable of. Having everything set to max is going to be taxing on your machine, and although it might look better as a result, you want as many frames per second as possible. 20FPS is doable if you absolutely have no choice, 30FPS is passable and 60FPS is what you’re aiming for.
Do a test: knock off one graphical feature at a time – reduce shadows and textures, reduce anti-aliasing and measure your FPS after each reduction. Bandicam or FRAPs are the best way to easily check your FPS, although there’s a counter in the menu as well.
If, after everything is turned off or is on its lowest setting, you’re still having problems, it’s time to reduce the resolution or upgrade your hardware.
Upgrade your Graphic Card Drivers For Online Games
Have you ever had a problem with your PC? Chances are if you asked for help solving the issue online, somebody suggested you upgrade your graphics card drivers. This is easily enough done, and whether you’re a nVidia or AMD fan, both companies offer simple solutions to keep your graphics card as full of life as possible. Besides, if you have Windows Update set to automatic, you shouldn’t worry about updating graphics card drivers anyway.
Not all of us have a fancy graphics card like this
The men and women behind these driver updates are experts at figuring out why their card isn’t running a specific game properly, and although it can take days, weeks and sometimes even months to come out with a patch that suitably fixes a game for a certain card, they’re constantly working on improving things. If you’re having problems with Guild Wars 2 and you find that everybody else with your graphics card is as well, there’s a good chance it’s a driver issue and it might be an issue already addressed in an update.
On the other hand, you might just have to wait for the next update.
You might find your frame rate doubles or you might find it only goes up by a few frames per second. Still: it’s definitely worth doing. Check your manufacturer’s website for more information.
And you wondered why your PC struggled in games?
When was the last time you opened your PC case? Motherboard and all PC components need regular maintenance and dust-cleaning. Use a compressor or one of those compressed air cleaners to gently rid your pc hardware from dust. Dust can clog your PC fans and increase component temperature drastically.
Keep the components cold
It’s also a good practice to keep an eye on component temperatures. CPUID HWMonitor is a perfect little utility to check your system. It gives you information on temperatures, fan speeds, power figures and voltages. Gaming performance does not have to be always related to poor PC hardware but it can be due to overheating problems with components, either caused by too much dust or a malfunctioned fan. It could also be related to power supply issues. There are other great tools to monitor and adjust graphics card and CPU fan speed, such as Gigabyte’s EasyTune application which gives you control over CPU fan speed, or Sapphire’s Trixx which allows you to control graphics card fan. With applications like Trixx, you can set your graphics card speed at maximum to keep your graphics card cold as possible during Guild Wars 2 or any other game. Do check your motherboard and graphics card manufacturer’s websites for similar apps.
Gaming performance suffer from overheating components too
Time for an Upgrade To Improve Gaming Performance
Of course, if all else fails, it’s probably time to upgrade your computer. This can be done relatively cheaply and there are hundreds of guides telling you what equipment to buy, which to overclock (if you have the confidence and skills to do it) and which to avoid completely. Arenanet have done a pretty good job at making Guild Wars 2 work on systems of all shapes and power levels, but it’s still a relatively new game and it looks better than 90% of the free-to-play games on the market. It looks better when your PC can handle it, when you play it at high resolutions and with more detail.
Building a new computer or choosing something ready made from a story is too big an issue to deal with in a single section of another article, but if you can afford it and want something that will keep you going on at least medium settings for the next couple of years, you might be surprised by how little you have to spend.
Wintersday events were not too nice on frame rate in Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 lag from in game events
Before you start investing in new graphics cards and processors, there’s one important point to make. Guild Wars 2 is terribly optimized sometimes. Going into a city, especially if there’s an event on, is going to kill your FPS – mine sometimes drops almost by half when there’s nobody around – and you shouldn’t presume it’s a problem with your hardware. If you have a fairly decent internet connection and have tried with both wired and wireless connections, the problem may well be on the ArenaNet side of things. The best thing you can do in this situation in log-in and try again at a later date (or when America is asleep).
On the flip side of that, if you don’t have a great connection, you might find that is the cause of your low frame rate. If you can’t upgrade your internet connection for whatever reason, consider sticking to the less densely populated areas or consider a move to a less busy world. You can change worlds on the character select screen.
Choose a less busy world in Guild Wars 2 if you can
Filling Your Computer
While it’s not the most obvious issue, if you’re alt-tabbing out of the game while doing other things, you can expect a knock to frame rate. If you haven’t got an awful lot of RAM and you expect to be doing multiple things at once, everything is going to be affected.
Guild Wars 2 is a great game with occasional frame rate issues that hopefully will be fixed, either by the developers or by graphics card makers, sooner rather than later. It’s difficult to believe that Guild Wars 2 has only been out for three or four months now and it’s still very much in its early days. Still with the simple hints and tips made to improve your FPS above, there’s every reason to believe your experience shouldn’t be too impacted by low-end hardware, poor connections or terrible optimization. The key to improving Guild Wars 2 frame rate and fixing lag problems is experimentation: pushing your computer right up to the line and understanding exactly where that line is and why it’s there. If you can do that, you’ll be able to fix any game on your computer and you’ll maybe even get the most out of Guild Wars 2 as well.
- Also see our Guild Wars 2 Diary.
- If you don't have Guild Wars 2, visit the Diary every weekend for a chance to win a Free Copy of Guild Wars 2