Valve adds built-in frame rate counter to Steam client (finally)

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

If there's anything PC gamers are obsessed with, it's resolution. But if there's one other thing PC gamers are obsessed with, it's frame rate. Thirty frames per second? Bah humbug. Sixty frames per second is the hill upon which we PC faithful will make our last, desperate stand—the bare minimum many enthusiasts consider acceptable.

Until now, however, it's been hard for the layperson to gauge frame rate. While certain games offer a built-in counter, most have had to resort to software like FRAPS to monitor status.

On Friday, however, Valve snuck a dedicated frame rate counter into the Steam Overlay—at least, if you're running the Beta client.

To download the Beta client (used in the past for all sorts of things, like Steam Music and In-Home Streaming) you go to your account settings, look for a listing called "Beta Participation," and opt in. Once downloaded, go to the "In-Game" settings menu and look for something called "Show in-game frames/sec (FPS)."

The result? Tiny white numbers in the top-left of your screen which show what your frame rate is at any given moment. Here's what it looks like in the ever-so-graphically-intense game Year Walk.

Steam frame rate counter

Enable FPS tracking and... 

Steam frame rate counter

...Voila. (Click to expand to see the tiny white numbers in the top-left.)

It's pretty handy if you're stress-testing your system, or if you're just obsessive like I am. Bonus: The counter is part of Steam's overlay, and thus won't show up in screenshots taken within Steam (default key F12).

Primary art taken from Crysis because of course.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon