To get the best experience while playing Minecraft, you’ll want to focus on making two major improvements: boosting your Minecraft FPS and eliminating lag from your network.
Both are worthy objectives. An FPS boost will give your game smooth visuals and fluid animation: Say goodbye to choppy and sluggish gameplay. Less lag, meanwhile, means that your mouse clicks and inputs are registered without a noticeable delay when playing online.
So how do you get Minecraft running optimally on your PC? By fine-tuning your software and video settings, troubleshooting a spotty internet connection, and upgrading the appropriate hardware components.
Optimize Your PC
Before you overhaul your Minecraft settings and network equipment, make sure your software and operating system are optimized and updated. To keep the game running smoothly, you’ll want your system to be operating at full capacity.
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Update your software. For the best results, gaming-related software should be kept up to date.
- Update your OS. Start by confirming that you are running the latest version of Windows. To do so, navigate to the “Windows Update” panel in “Settings” and check for updates.
- Update Minecraft. The Minecraft Launcher keeps your game updated to the latest version automatically. It also gives you the option to playtest “snapshots,” or future updates that are still in development. If you experience poor performance while testing a snapshot, go back to the last official release — the snapshot you’re using may be poorly optimized.
- Update your graphics drivers. Graphics drivers are frequently updated with performance improvements and game-specific optimizations. Use your GPU’s proprietary software to update your drivers and apply optimal settings. Alternatively, you can download the latest drivers manually from the manufacturer’s website.
Pro-tip: If you have a discrete GPU installed and are seeing lower FPS than expected, check your GPU settings to make sure the “javaw.exe” Java executable is directed to your discrete GPU, not your CPU’s integrated graphics.
Close resource-draining applications. Other applications can compete with Minecraft for system resources, reducing in-game performance. It’s best to close any apps that are nonessential.
- Close desktop apps. Pull up the Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) to see a list of all the applications that are currently open. Close any that are unnecessarily consuming large chunks of CPU and RAM. A quick way to manage resources while playing is to pull up the Xbox Game Bar widget (WIN+G). That way, you won’t have to ALT+TAB out of your game to the desktop.
- Stop background activity. Even when closed, some applications run processes in the background. This can have an adverse effect on in-game performance. If you see a background process taking up CPU resources (Task Manager > Processes > Background Processes), you can ban the offending app from running them.
- Tweak sharing settings. Streaming and capturing high-resolution gameplay require markedly more resources than playing the game on its own. Try lowering your recording settings to improve in-game performance. If your frame rate isn’t as high as you’d like, it might be time for a PC upgrade.
In Windows 10, click Settings > Privacy > Background apps.
In Windows 11, go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features, then click on the three dots next to the app’s name to enter the Advanced Options menu.
Alternatively, prevent unwanted background applications from launching automatically at login by accessing the Startup tab in Task Manager. Click the “Disable” button in the bottom right to stop the selected app from launching on your next reboot.
Reduce Minecraft’s Load on Your PC
Now that your software is running optimally, the next step is to calibrate Minecraft’s video settings to boost your FPS.
Measure your FPS. Before you start making changes to Minecraft’s default settings, take note of your current level of performance. This will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of any adjustments you make to the video settings. The visual downgrade may not be worth it in all cases.
To view your FPS in Minecraft Java Edition, pull up the debug menu by pressing F3. Your FPS is displayed in the top left corner, one row down. For a more comprehensive reading, or if you are playing Minecraft Bedrock Edition, use third-party FPS monitoring software. These tools can help you track advanced metrics like average FPS and frame time (the consistency of your FPS).
What is a good Minecraft FPS? That depends on the level of performance you are satisfied with. 30-60 FPS would be on the low end of the scale, while 144 FPS and above would be on the high end.
Adjust Minecraft’s video settings. Once you have a solid feel for your present FPS, you’re ready to try giving your Minecraft FPS a boost. Go ahead and navigate to the “Video Settings” in the “Options” menu. Start with adjusting the settings that will have the widest impact.
- Decrease resolution. Resolution determines the number of pixels the game is rendered in. Turning it down allows your system to render the game faster, improving your FPS. Find a balance between detail and performance that you are comfortable with.
- Reduce render distance. To raise FPS, set the render distance slider between low and medium. This decreases the maximum distance at which 3D objects are rendered and can significantly lighten the load on your system. Turning it down won’t reduce your ability to perceive important game objects like other players or incoming mobs.
- Turn off Vsync. If you have a variable refresh rate monitor, enable G-Sync or FreeSync technology in your GPU settings instead. This can reduce screen tearing while resulting in more stable FPS. Even if you don't have one of these monitors, try toggling VSync on and off between games to see if its benefit is worth the performance hit. Learn more about adaptive sync here.
- Turn on fullscreen mode. This will help negate intrusive background processes that can make your FPS dip.
Fine-tune Minecraft’s graphical effects. While in “Video Settings,” you’ll also want to reduce or turn off any graphical effects you can live without. These little flourishes make Minecraft more visually pleasing, but they can add up to a significant performance cost.
- Reduce the “Graphics Settings.” This setting adjusts a variety of small touches — including vignette and transparency effects — that make the game world look more nuanced and lifelike. For improved performance, lower it from “Fancy” to “Fast.”
- Lower mipmaps. They apply less detailed textures to objects in the distance, lending the world a greater sense of depth. Decreasing the number of layers can give you more FPS.
- Reduce the biome blend. This setting smooths out abrupt visual transitions between clashing textures as you move between biomes, such as from forests to badlands. Try bumping it down a notch.
- Turn off clouds. Otherwise set them to “Fast,” which will flatten the floating masses into simple, two-dimensional objects. In Minecraft Bedrock Edition, the “Beautiful Skies” setting gives you the option to disable clouds along with the sun, moon, and stars. In this case, it’s wise to leave the setting untouched, as the heavens assist with celestial navigation and determining the moon phases, which affects enemy spawns.
- Decrease particles. While particle effects add flair to fiery furnaces and exploding creepers, they often do so to the detriment of performance.
- Turn off “Smooth Lighting.” Blocks cast more realistic shadows when this setting is activated, but it comes at a performance cost.
- Reduce anti-aliasing. Only supported in the Minecraft Bedrock Edition and Minecraft Virtual Reality, this feature smooths out jaggies, those unsightly sawtooth edges that make games look pixelated and break immersion. Reduce the effect for a potential FPS gain.
- Learn more about visual effects. Read up on other common in-game graphical settings here.
Go vanilla. Much of Minecraft’s appeal is in how it gives you the freedom to customize your experience and play however you want. That said, add-ons like mods, datapacks, resource packs, and other user-created enhancements are well-known resource drains. Use discretion here, as poorly-optimized additions can have a real impact on your FPS.
On the other hand, texture packs designed to bolster performance may yield a modest improvement. Other mods provide more precise performance tuning for advanced resource management.
Improve Gaming PC Hardware
While lowering your graphics settings can raise your framerate, a hardware upgrade will make the greatest impact on your FPS. Playing on a system with more capable components has a direct impact on Minecraft’s performance.
Evaluate your hardware configuration. If you’re looking to improve your hardware for increased performance, the best place to start is the current system requirements.
For stable performance in unmodified Minecraft, verify that your system configuration meets or exceeds its minimum system requirements. For a higher FPS and improved performance, your system should meet Minecraft’s recommended requirements. Exceeding the recommended specs will yield even higher performance advancements.
Type “system information” in the search bar to view your CPU, GPU, and memory specifications. The GPU will be listed in “Components” under “Displays.”
Boost your FPS with a CPU upgrade. Upgrading your processor can give your FPS a serious boost in a CPU-intensive game like Minecraft.
The latest Intel® Core™ CPUs take your game to the next level with innovations like Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which unlocks more power when you need it most. The performance hybrid architecture shares the workload between performance-cores and efficiency-cores, making multi-tasking less intensive on your CPU. This makes it easy to listen to tunes, watch videos, and video chat while you play.
Learn more about the latest Intel® Core™ processors and their hybrid design architecture here.
Overclock your CPU. Overclocking boosts the speed of a processor beyond its factory defaults, pushing your Minecraft FPS even higher. Look for a CPU with the “K” designation if you plan on overclocking. Learn to overclock using easy automated tools here.
Upgrade your GPU. A high-performance GPU lets you experience Minecraft’s world in striking visual detail. By upgrading your GPU, you can crank up the video settings without causing game-breaking dips in performance. You can also use the ray tracing and advanced graphics features in Minecraft Bedrock Edition (depending on your GPU’s capabilities).
Upgrade your monitor. Even if your system is capable of dishing out high frame rates, you won’t see the benefits unless your monitor’s refresh rate is high enough to match it. For instance, a 60Hz monitor can display up to 60 FPS, while a 144Hz monitor can display up to 144 FPS.
To find out the refresh rate, navigate to your display properties and make sure the highest refresh rate available for your monitor is selected.
In Windows 10, click Start > Control Panel > System > Display > Advanced Display Settings > Monitor tab > Screen Refresh Rate menu.
In Windows 11, go to Start > Settings > System > Display > Advanced Display > Choose a refresh rate.
Utilize faster RAM. If you have high speed RAM installed, overclocking it with Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (Intel® XMP) technology can result in modest performance improvements (depending on your system configuration).
Pro-tip: Some players allocate more RAM than recommended to the Java application for improved stability and performance. This should only be necessary if you plan on installing an extreme number of mods and resource packs.
Improve Your Connection to Minecraft Servers
For a responsive and lag-free online experience, you’ll want to establish a stable connection from your PC to the server. Speed requirements for online gaming are relatively modest, so you should be safe there provided you have a cable, DSL, or fiber connection with adequate speeds up and down. However, lag issues can still crop up. Here’s how to resolve them.
Play on a different server. If you’re noticing a lot of lag — in other words, delay between your inputs and the game’s reaction to them — try playing on a server with a better connection, indicated by the green signal bars next to the server’s name in the server selection interface. Some server connections are simply more stable than others.
Use a wired connection. Ethernet cables provide a reliable connection at high speeds with minimal latency from your PC to your router. That means less lag within your home network.
Boost your signal strength. If you’d rather use a wireless connection, make sure you have a good signal. Ideally, you should be as close to your wireless router as possible. Adjust your router placement to get an optimal signal. Place your router at the same height as your gaming PC, not on the floor. Don’t enclose it inside a confined space. The fewer walls the signal passes through, the better.
Pro-tip: you can test your signal strength by typing “netsh wlan show interfaces” in Command Prompt (accessed by typing “cmd” in the search bar and press enter) and looking for the “Signal” reading.
Connect using Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 6. A substantial upgrade over previous generations, Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 6 brings wired and wireless connections closer to parity. Crucially for gaming, Wi-Fi 6 has up to 75 percent less latency than Wi-Fi 5, helping to keep Minecraft lag at a minimum. You can learn more about Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 6 here.
Close open apps. Use the “Network” column in Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) to keep tabs on your system’s current network usage. While it’s natural to have some apps open while gaming, watch out for apps consuming an excessive swath of bandwidth.
Close background apps. Some apps will download sizable updates when you least expect it. If you notice a sudden spike in lag while playing, pull up the Task Manager to see if you can identify a culprit. It would be listed in the “Processes” tab under “Background Processes.” Once the intrusive app is identified, revoke its background permissions following the steps provided in the “Optimize your PC” section of this guide.
Reduce network traffic. When networks become congested, it causes packet loss, which results in lag. Instead of fussing with your roommates over who gets to use the internet, use a quality of service (QoS) tool to prioritize gaming traffic over other types of traffic. Many routers have this functionality built in. Another option is upgrading to a Gigabit connection, which provides high bandwidth to improve latency on busy networks. If you want to learn more about how to fix packet loss, check out our guide.
Update your router’s firmware. This not only helps protect your network from outside attacks, but can also clear up connectivity issues like untimely lag spikes. Router updates must be performed manually from within the router’s app or configuration interface. See the manufacturer’s instructions.
Build the optimal network for gaming. Learn everything you need to know about gaming on a wired or wireless network here.
Get More Frames and Less Lag with a PC Upgrade
Tricks like lowering your settings and freeing up system resources can help you squeeze more performance out of your PC. However, they will only get you so far.
Upgrading to a PC with a faster CPU lets you do more in Minecraft without having to make concessions. A new PC could let you install more mods, see more detail in the game world, and maintain a higher FPS at high resolutions. Likewise, a PC upgrade may be required to take advantage of the latest advancements in network protocols like ultra-low latency Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 6.
If your current system is holding your Minecraft frames back, think about upgrading to a laptop or desktop with more CPU resources and the latest game-enhancing features. Another option may be choosing a new gaming CPU and installing it yourself for an improved Minecraft FPS.