StarCraft II Low FPS Troubleshooting Guide

Starcraft II Technical Support
Hello everyone!

I've noticed quite a few people asking for help with low fps issues in StarCraft II. There are many factors that can affect the frame rate of the games you play and often this issue can be resolved by doing some basic PC housekeeping and walking through some basic troubleshooting steps.

Instead of repeating myself, I've decided to write a guide to help those who are experiencing low frame rate issues in the game. The PDF guide can be downloaded here.

StarCraft II Low FPS Troubleshooting Guide (PDF)!391&authkey=!AJyeTw3RV0ZXoR8&ithint=file%2cpdf

It contains a set of basic troubleshooting tips that may help fix low fps issues in your games. It also covers the NVIDIA video card software settings as well as the StarCraft II in-game settings. I've copied the basic troubleshooting tips from the guide and pasted it below. For the non-tech savvy users among us, I've also included easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions for each troubleshooting tip, which can be found in the PDF document. Without further ado, let's get started.

1. Update Your Video Driver
    The latest graphics card drivers can sometimes provide a large boost in performance. To ensure the best graphics performance, it’s a good idea to keep your video driver as up-to-date as possible.

2. Reset Your Video Driver Settings

3. Update The System Drivers
    Keeping all of the major system drivers (chipset, audio, network etc.) up-to-date is essential to the performance of your system.

4. Update Your Operating System
    Use Windows Update to keep your Windows computer up-to-date with the latest patches, bug fixes and performance improvements.

5. Perform a Clean Startup

6. Adjust Visual Settings in Windows
    Disabling many of the visual enhancements and graphical features within Windows can improve your system’s performance.

7. Check Your Power Options
    In Balanced and Power Save mode the CPU may not be running up to its full potential all the time. Enable High Performance mode to run the CPU full throttle and maximize system performance and responsiveness.

8. Check Your GPU’s Power Management Mode
    Another setting to consider is the graphics card’s power management mode setting. If it’s set to ‘Adaptive’, it may run at a lower frequency to conserve power. Setting it to ‘Prefer High Performance’ can increase the frame rate in your games.

9. Disable Windows 10 Game DVR
    If you face any performance issues while playing games, and if you don’t have any need for it, try disabling Windows 10 Game DVR.

10. Configure or Disable OneDrive
    If OneDrive is enabled your frame rate may drop if OneDrive synchronizes the
    folder while you are playing StarCraft II. If you are having frame rate issues and OneDrive is enabled, configuring or disabling it might help.

11. Set Windows for Best Performance for Programs
    While the ‘Adjust for best performance’ setting in the Advanced System Properties is set to optimize Windows for best performance for programs by default, it is worth checking this setting to ensure it is still the case on your system.

12. Optimize Your Hard Drive
    Optimizing your hard drive can aid in improving the frame rate in StarCraft II, especially if game assets like textures, models and shaders are loaded at runtime.

13. Check for Overheating Components

14. Scan for Viruses and Malware

15. Check for Problem Devices
    Check for problem devices to ensure that there are no conflicts between device drivers or problems with any devices on your system.

16. Disable NVIDIA ShadowPlay & Streaming Service
    Increase your frame rate and save precious CPU cycles by disabling NVIDIA ShadowPlay & NVIDIA Streaming Service.

17. Temporarily Disable Your Sound Card
    Disabling your sound card will help you determine if the sound card is the root cause of the low frame rate problem.

18. Check for CPU Hogs
    Programs that require a lot of CPU resources can slow down your computer. Look for resource wasting programs that you can shut down to free up CPU cycles and check your computer’s CPU usage while playing StarCraft II.

19. Turn Off Search Indexing in Windows
    Windows Search Indexing is constantly running in the background. For users with a slow computer it can be benificial to turn off Windows Search Indexing.

20. Enable Intel Turbo Boost
    If your CPU supports Intel Turbo Boost Technology, it can run faster than the noted speeds. Enabling Turbo Boost will result in increased performance in applications and games.

21. Use High Performance Discrete GPU
    To ensure your games take advantage of the faster graphics card in your system, set the preferred graphics processor setting to the High Performance Graphics Processor.

22. Exit Blizzard App When Launching Games
    In rare cases, the Blizzard App can cause high CPU load. If the Blizzard App is causing high CPU load on your system, set it to close itself when it launches a game to improve the frame rate in StarCraft.

23. Disable Superfetch
    Superfetch tries to improve performance by predicting which applications a user is likely to launch and preemptively loads them into RAM. Some players have reported improved game performance with SuperFetch disabled, so disabling it may be worth a shot if you’re experiencing in-game “stutters”.

24. Enable or Disable AMD Turbo Core
    AMD Turbo Core allows the processor to dynamically adjust the CPU operating frequency. Some users have reported better performance with AMD Turbo Core enabled, while some others have claimed that their fps drops stopped with AMD Turbo Core disabled. If it’s already enabled, try disabling it. If it’s not enabled, turn it on and see if that helps.

Please keep in mind that while the suggestions listed above and the ones listed in the PDF document may help improve your PC's performance, they will never be able to improve it beyond the limitations of your system's hardware.

If you're still experiencing low fps after that, I'd recommend running a system benchmark (e.g. PassMark) and compare your computer’s performance with the online results to ensure your system is running at the correct performance speeds.

Good luck, and happy StarCrafting!

April 19, 2018: Removed outdated steps.
May 13, 2016: Initial document release.
May 19, 2016: PDF download link changed from Twitter to OneDrive.
May 20, 2016: Added "AMD Turbo Core" and fixed typos.
i just bought the game today, and i can~t get an access through interface..
i feel like i paid 20 € for nothing :(
my very same issue dw they wont fix if i been waiting for a reply for days
What if none of these things work?
Running the client in 32bit mode helped a lot! You can also try turning off hyperthreading too the rendering engine only uses one core(game uses two cpu cores but one is only just helping out with the UI etc) so hyperthreading won't help. So I recommend turning it off if you have 4 or more physical cores.
Will we ever get an optimized game?

Since SC2 was released, I have already bought three PCs with the hopes to be able to play the game comfortably. Since patch 3.0 team games have been very difficult to play and you do not even have to be engaged in combat.

My current rig is an FX 8350 4.2 Ghz 8 core, 16GB RAM, 240GB SSD, Win 10, Radeon R9 280x 3GB.

I run AC:Origins with this rig in 720p on Ultra and do not go under 20 fps.

In 3v3 or 4v4 in SC2 I can drop to 1 fps sometimes and since most Protosses go air now, almost every game is a powerpoint presentation slideshow. I am sick and tired of this. This is not a system issue, it is a programming issue connected with some of your updates, so please, surprise us with your ingenuity, forget the balance changes for a moment and just make team games playable again.

So frustrating!
I used to play WoL and HoTS on ultras or close to them on way worse PC than I have now (i3-3240 / 12Gb RAM / GTX 1060 6Gb), sudden FPS drops for a few minutes, as well as generally poor FPS on settings higher than low-medium (110 fps until 2nd-3rd minute 1v1) is a joke.
Do I need to have it on SSD to run properly?
I've gone through all the steps mentioned and that did literally nothing.
Interesting moment is that game does not consume more than 30% CPU and still outputs relatively poor FPS. Can I somehow ask it to use more if CPU is bottleneck? Or my only choice is to downgrade resolution from 1080p to 720p or less or play on low settings? Or should I mess with variables.txt in some way?
Hey i have geforce 780, intel i7 3770 4,1 ghz, 1600mhz 16gb ram, windows 10 64 bit.
I used to run game at 60min on full hd - low details in hots and i played big great hunters without problems.
Since lotv it gets laggy soon, reported by other people too.
Since lotv perfomance got worse.
Still i could keep 60 fps min util recently, maybe rarely 56, when there 200 bannelings.
Now have drops to 50, 45.

Ye as you say, problem is, that game doesn't support multicore.
And gpu is not fully utilized.
These tweaks are controversial like Updating system drivers has no effect on perfomance whatsoever.
For example intel engine, cause a lot of input lag, or sound drivers, doesn't make your fps any better, it can only affect system stability.
And you should never use turbo, because it scales cpu frequency and it is not constant, everyone in overclocking tells you to turn it off.
Instead you should overclock your cpu with using multiplier.
What increase you fps linearly is cpu overclocking and highspeed ram.
Check this article
You cpu frequency is to low, you should have at least 4 ghz and even that is not enough, hope you have intel i3-3240 with k, if there is one, because otherwise you are pretty !@#$ed, you can't overclock it otherwise.

And yet what could have any impact whatsoever is running game in 32 bit mode and changing cpu affinity, untick core 0, there most dpc latency on it:
Also go to app, settings -> general and untick hardware accleration, cause extreme amout of input lag.
You can yet set everything in drivers to low with very low impact on fps, but u can try, don't set pre rendered frames more than 1, cause a lot of input lag.

Oh and use unit preloader, if you have hdd, it loads everything to ram and elimite shutters, when loading from disk.
Also i would use windows 7 > windows 10, if i mind fps that much.
I saw a lot of window 10 perfomance problems related to sc2.
Windows 7 is even better in terms of input lag, you can turn off desktop window manager.

And you have true with old hardware, there is video running game at 56fps min on ultra with geforce 460, old hardware was even better than new one, i saw a lot of people with better gigs complaining about very low fps.

Btw i3 with 1060 isn't best combination, you have very weak processor, bottlenecking your gpu.
Dude, I even changed half of the hardware just for lulz to see how SC2 reacts to it and stopped using NVidia overlay (which, surprisingly, was the source of FPS lock-ons), but FPS is still meh if overall settings are above low-hybrid (despite GPU doesn't care).
SC2 is intended to crash upon launch due to RivaTuner but I somehow managed to launch with it.

29/12/2017 07:29Posted by DZDZDZDZDZDZDZDZDZDZDZDZ
you should overclock your cpu with using multiplier.
Except CPU freq SC2 does NOT benefit from anything, changing from 12GB 1600 to 16GB 2400 and using combined OC (bus+multiplier) only grants miniscule FPS benefit, within 3-5.
Outstandingly hilarious.

13/05/2016 18:41Posted by Deanx
Look for resource wasting programs that you can shut down to free up CPU cycles and check your computer’s CPU usage while playing StarCraft II.

13/05/2016 18:41Posted by Deanx
free up CPU cycles and check your computer’s CPU usage

You must be joking right? Giving that SC2 does not allow to properly check this by default and has way more free CPU available than it actually uses (or pretends to use).

upd: sc2 does not react (3-5 random FPS boost can't be called reaction) to changing DRAM voltage between 1.65V and 1.75V, timings between 10-12-12-31 and 11-15-15-36 as well as 2400MHz and 2600Mhz for freq. Same goes for GPU clock and memory freqs.
This reinforces my opinion that game was coded for obsolete hardware and has hard-coded limitations as it cannot recognize modern hardware to use it properly unlike properly made games do.
I can't shut down the app and close my computer.
This doesn't solve anything. Starcraft 2 is single core game: meaning game engine can utilize only 1 cpu core. I used aida in Starcraft 2 hearth of the swarm and results was 1.5 cpu core (max), from 8 cores, 50% gpu utilization (max)
Gpu is bottlenecked because of cpu, you won't benefit from better gpu at all.
I don't know how it is with never gpus like 1080, but still potential is extremelly bottlenecked, because of cpu utilization.
I could play starcraft 2 hots still on 57fps min lategame, on low.
Since lotv game is unplayable i have drops to 20fps lategame, even lower sometimes, playing on low, you can do all tweaks you want, doesn't change anything.
Two issue, Stacraft 2 is not utilizing multicore cpu, Starcraft 2 lotv is poorly optimized, i had 57 fps min in lategame in hots, now i have 20 fps even on windows 7.
im not even trying to play 4v4 or 3v3, might burn down my house if i dont Watch my computer
Except CPU freq SC2 does NOT benefit from anything, changing from 12GB 1600 to 16GB 2400 and using combined OC (bus+multiplier) only grants miniscule FPS benefit, within 3-5.
Outstandingly hilarious.

Not true, this benchmark is proof
Since ivy bridge, cpus using better high speed rams.
Highspeed ram can get you +10 fps as overclocking cpu.
Because sc2 is single core game.
Yes ram aren't that important, but because this game is poorly optimized u need every fps.
Started having low fps problem a few days ago with no reason, I didn't do anything. Just want to play a few games, but now I'm searching for solutions everywherem why do I need to become a computer expert? Really annoying with those sort of problems.
Try this the thing about registry; i think it is some malware we get from browsers, because it started run slow on fps the same time chrome started work bad, a few days ago; so, i guess it is (for me) windows 10 related; that registry edit did helped somehow, from 4 fps to about 20...anyways, i will do a format and windows reinstall...computers nowadays...

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