How to increase fps while streaming OBS? (Best streaming settings included)

You might be playing and streaming Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone/Black Ops, Fortnite, League of Legends, or any other game, frame drop issues in OBS can ruin your stream playback quality and lower the overall streaming experience for yourself as well as your stream viewers. 

How to know if you are having frame drops?

If you have been streaming your gameplay for quite some time, you immediately know when there is a frame drop as the stream gets visually choppy. But what about gamers who are new to streaming? Unless your viewers complain about the decreasing quality of your stream, you may not be aware of the lowering frame rates.

As discussed in this OBS forum, if you know the native frame rate of the game, you can compare it with the frame rate status shown in the CPU usage bar at the bottom of the OBS screen capture window. 

Image credit: OBS forum

How much frame drop is considerable? Minimum FPS for streaming OBS

Frame drop is something every game streamer wants to avoid. However, it may not possible to completely avoid this issue unless you have a well-optimized gaming rig that’s complemented by an ultra-fast internet connection. 

There’s no single answer to address the minimum streaming FPS concern as there are several important factors that come into play. This Reddit post lays an interesting and insightful perspective as to how low streaming fps, e.g. 30 fps, isn’t necessarily bad. This is because 30 fps puts a lesser encoding load on your computer’s CPU or GPU which leaves more bandwidth for game performance. Also, interesting gameplay has the potential to compensate for low fps by keeping the stream viewers entertained. 

Image credit: Reddit 

How to increase FPS while streaming OBS? 

If you want to improve the overall quality of your game stream in OBS, making a few tweaks in OBS can help you achieve the desired output. 

Step 1 – Open OBS and go to the ‘Settings’ section located at the right bottom corner. 

Step 2 – In the settings window, go to ‘Video’ and select the highest resolution in the ‘Output (Scaled) Resolution’.

Step 3 – You can manually adjust the FPS value. In the ‘Common FPS Values’ section, you get the option to choose from different FPS values. If you have a powerful gaming PC, you can choose the max FPS value. 

How to stop dropping FPS while streaming OBS? 6 workarounds

If you are experiencing dropping/lowering frame rates when streaming your gameplay via OBS, there are several workarounds available as result-oriented options. Check them out below: 

1. Upgrade your computer

The root cause of frame drops in many game streaming cases is the lack of sufficient graphics processing power combined with computational power. If your gaming desktop or laptop doesn’t have a dedicated and powerful graphics card, the CPU has to bear the brunt of handling all the encoding load. 

Even if you have a dedicated graphics card, not having the right video encoder can mean that the encoding work will not be distributed to the GPU. This, in turn, overloads the CPU and causes frame drops. Gamers with AMD and Intel GPU have the option of choosing between two encoders, AMD’s very own AMF, and the commonly-used x264. 

If you have plans to upgrade your gaming PC, or just the GPU, it’s worth going for an NVIDIA graphics card as the brand’s official encoder, NVENC, works great in utilizing the GPU for encoding streams and lowering the work for the CPU. In fact, NVENC is optimized for several streaming programs, including OBS. Learn more about it here.  

Image credit: NVIDIA 

2. Adjust the resolution

Resolution plays a critical role in determining the frame rate of your game stream. The higher the streaming resolution you choose, the more the requirement for higher bitrate and processing power. As a result, the odds for rapid frame drops become high. 

Unless you have a beefy hardware configuration in your PC, such as Intel i7/i9/ AMD Ryzen 5 CPU or AMD RX or NVIDIA GeForce series GPU, it’s best to downscale the streaming resolution to 720p. 

720p has half the pixel count of 1080p. This essentially means that you do not need a high bitrate which translates to less video encoding work and more stable frame rates. 

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Step 1 To adjust the resolution at 720p, open OBS and go to the ‘Settings’ section located at the right bottom corner. 

Step 2 – In the settings window, go to ‘Video’ and downscale ‘Output (Scaled) Resolution’ to‘1280×720’. You can leave the ‘Base (Canvas) Resolution’ to 1920×1080. 

Step 3 – The last step is to adjust the ‘Downscale Filter.’ This filter lets you control how you choose to downscale the resolution. It’s best to choose the ‘Bilinear’ option. 

3. Adjust the bitrate

More bitrate puts a heavier video encoding load on your PC’s CPU and GPU which, in turn, can cause fluctuations in frame rates. When streaming at 720p, you don’t necessarily have to stick to a high bitrate. 

Twitch recommends lowering the bitrate to 3000 kbps for 720p at 30 fps streams. 

Image credit: Twitch

Step 1 – Open ‘Settings’ and go to the ‘Output’ section. 

Step 2 – In the ‘Video Bitrate’ section, use the down button to lower the bitrate to 3000 kbps or 2500 kbps.

4. Using the right encoder

The video encoder you use in OBS has got a lot to do in determining the stability of the frame rates. This is because the encoder plays an important part in deciding whether or not the stream encoding work gets assigned to the GPU. 

Step 1 – If your gaming PC has an Intel-based GPU, go to the ‘Output’ tab in the Settings window. In the ‘Encoder’ section, choose the ‘Hardware QSV’ option.

Step 2 – If your gaming PC has a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card, choose ‘NVENC’ as the encoder. 

5. Using Advanced Encoder Settings

Limiting the bitrate to a certain level will help you prevent your PC’s CPU and GPU from overworking. This, in turn, works great in stabilizing the streaming frame rate. One simple way to do this is to use the Advanced Encoder Settings. 

Step 1 – In the Settings window, check the ‘Enable Advanced Encoder Settings’ option to turn it on. 

Step 2 – Upon enabling the setting, you’ll have access to the hidden parameters. In the ‘Encoder Preset’ section, choose the ‘ultrafast’ option. The faster the encoder preset speed, the lesser the CPU usage. 

6. Run OBS as admin

If you are playing GPU-intensive games such as Far Cry 5, Final Fantasy XV, Grand Theft Auto V, and Crysis 3, GPU utilization may increase. In such cases, Windows will place more GPU performance priority on the game. This, in turn, can cause streaming frame drops. To steer clear of this issue, run OBS as admin. 

Image credit: NVIDIA 

Twitch broadcasting settings

If you have plans to stream your gameplay to Twitch, or if you already do, you can try these settings suggested by Twitch to improve your stream quality. These parameter settings work for NVENC and x264 video encoders. 

Image credit: Twitch

What is the best FPS for streaming OBS? 

The best OBS streaming frame rate for you is the one that doesn’t overload your PC’s GPU and CPU. When choosing a suitable streaming frame rate, it’s also important to factor in other parameters and adjust them to make sure your stream quality doesn’t lower. 

We recommend referring to this Reddit post to try out several settings related to CPU and GPU usage. 

Image credit: Reddit

Image credit: Reddit

Image credit: Reddit

To make sure that the frame rate and bitrate you choose are on par with other parameters such as resolution and upload speed, refer to this official OBS settings guide from NVIDIA

Image credit: NVIDIA