Frame rate (also known as FPS) 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 large amounts of TNT or spawning in a large number of mobs) can temporarily decrease the FPS to a complete stop.
Monitoring frame rate
Press F3 to bring up the debug screen. The frame rate will be shown under the Minecraft version at the top left.
Note that the debug screen is known to cause more load to your system, resulting in lower FPS than you would normally achieve, so your FPS might increase as soon as you close the display.
Most of the following suggestions are configurable in the game's Options menu, accessible by pressing Esc.
- Turn down your render distance.
- Set Maximum FPS to Unlimited; however, lower-mid end PCs will experience stutter.
- Reduce Graphics from Fabulous! to Fancy or Fast.
- Turn off smooth lighting and clouds.
- Reduce your FOV.
- Set Particles to Minimal.
- Turn off V-Sync.
- If the mouse cursor is lagging, change the mouse sensitivity to HYPERSPEED!!!.
- Disable mipmaps. Note that this can result in water/lava drips not being visible, and thus taking a lava bath.
- Disable biome smoothing.
- Reduce the size of the game's window, as this makes the game render less, making the game run a little bit faster.
- If your computer has a better graphics card, you might want to enable full screen, as this will make your GPU focus more on Minecraft and less on other programs. Test both ideas and see which setting works best!
- Install OptiFine or Sodium to adjust settings to better suit your computers architecture. Note that Sodium only supports Minecraft 1.16+ with Fabric and can't be installed together with OptiFine, but provides significantly higher performance on most PCs. Either mod[note 1] can be paired with Starlight and Lithium to speed up lighting updates and general game systems respectively. Phosphor may also be used in place of Starlight, although Starlight is several times faster than Phosphor. You cannot run both Starlight and Phosphor at once, so it is suggested to use Starlight.
- If your computer is hot or your fan is loud, avoid running mods which add a lot of content and don't do anything that causes your computer to run a lot of calculations. This means closing any browsers or other games.
- Try not to go to the Nether on lower-end PCs. Particularly complex terrain like mountains or jungles can also be troublesome.
- If in multiplayer, move away from areas densely populated by players.
- Large numbers of item frames in view can cause lag. This includes map walls!
- Be careful about building large farms or other devices.
- While crop growth is not usually burdensome, for sufficiently large farms even plant growth can add up.
- Farms that produce large amounts of animals or item entities can cause lag.
- Large and complex redstone devices, especially those driven by fast clocks, can likewise make trouble. Keeping redstone dust and other changeable blocks out of sight can be helpful.
- Rapid changes in lighting are especially troublesome. Several redstone devices emit changeable light: Even switching a redstone torch can require updating the light levels for blocks up to 6 spaces away. Redstone lamps (and mobile glowstone or other lights), can affect much larger areas, especially if they are illuminating a complex landscape or build.
Outside of Minecraft
- Close any programs in the background, including any internet browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Firefox, or at the very least minimize them.
- On Windows, open Task Manager and go to the details section, find
javaw.exe(the one the game uses), right click it and set its priority to "High" (not "Realtime", as realtime will try to allocate all of the PC's resources (RAM/CPU/GPU) to the game, not leaving enough for Windows to function, causing it to freeze or even blue-screen).
- Make sure you have enough RAM available (in a program such as a task manager), else your computer may swap to disk, which could cause the game to stutter intermittently.
- On laptops and most pre-built desktops, uninstall bloatware.
- Do frequent malware scans with an antivirus program, to ensure no malicious programs are consuming computer resources.
- Do not run other CPU- or GPU-intensive programs while the game is open.
- On Windows Vista through Windows 7, disable graphical effects such as Windows Aero and taskbar transparency.
- Disable compositing (sometimes called "desktop effects") on GNU/Linux. When compositing is disabled, all window managers tend to give similar performance, so there is no need to use a "lightweight" one.
- Update your graphics card drivers. You can find these on your GPU manufacturer's website.
- Disable anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering in your GPU driver settings.
- Ensure the computer is running at a cool enough temperature so as to not cause thermal throttling. This is especially effective for laptops and older desktops. If the computer is too hot, look into cleaning out dust.
- Reduce the display resolution. Play Minecraft in windowed mode and make it about half the size of your screen.
- You may be able to switch your operating system to a Linux distribution, depending on what you use your computer for. Linux distributions are generally easier on the computer's resources compared to Windows. However, it is important to research hardware/software compatibility (for example, Nvidia graphics cards) before switching operating systems. This makes the most effect on AMD graphics cards, which can see a 2x performance improvement from Linux drivers on OpenGL games such as Minecraft!
- If you are playing on a desktop computer, look into upgrading your graphics card, which can help the game render objects faster.
- For Windows users: Try using Minecraft for Windows instead of Minecraft Java Edition if you are not using a Java-exclusive feature (such as mods). Minecraft Bedrock generally has smoother performance than Java.
- Use a high performance garbage collector such as ZGC or Shenandoah. These consume more CPU resources than the default one, but reduce lag spikes.
- Allocate a reasonable amount of memory to Minecraft. Minecraft runs best with 2-4 GB of memory. Using ZGC or Shenandoah allows for large 16+ GB allocation without a performance penalty unlike the default G1GC collector. Be sure to leave memory for the system and other programs!
- Use the latest OpenJDK to play Minecraft. If you're on Windows, install OpenJDK from Adoptium.
Stuttering on Mac
- Try testing your performance while toggling the V-Sync option.
- The other option when V-Sync is off to stop the stuttering is to set the maximum FPS down to 30, matching the FPS seen when when having V-Sync off, rather than FPS being set to Unlimited as suggested above.