How to Increase Frames Per Second in Second Life

By Xah Lee. Date:

This article shows you how to increase the Frames Per Second (FPS) in the virtual world Second Life, important for first-person shooter games.

A HTML version of this note is available at: http://xahlee.org/sl/increase_fps.html

Having a faster screen update is one of the most important aspect in winning a shooting game.

Find Out Your FPS

To find out what is your screen update rate, called Frames Per Second (FPS), by pressing 【Ctrl+Shift+1】. Below 15 is considered low. The number also depends on how busy is a sim. If your enemy's fps is 10 more than you, you are likely to lose one-on-one dual, unless your enemy's shooting skill is far below you.

Besides getting a new computer with cutting edge graphics card and fast internet connection, here are some things you can do that can increase your fps by 5 to 10.

If you are doing combat, and have a lousy graphics card, doesn't matter what settings you do, you are not likely to win the combat unless your opponent is a newbie.

How To Increase Your FPS

Reduce Graphics Settings

Reduce your draw distance to 64. (this is the minimum possible) This is under Preference 【Ctrl+p】, Graphics tab.

Reduce your Grapics Detail. Go to Preference, Graphics Detail tab, then drag all sliders to the left. Also, disable Vertex Shader, Bumpmapping, Ripple Water. Also, disable local lighting and others.

Increase Network bandwidth. Go to Preference, Network tab. Increase it to 600 if you have a fast connection. (the optimal setting depends on the ratio of “internet speed”/“CPU speed”.)

Turn Off Unnecessary Features

Turn off Flexible Objects. Turn on Advanced menu 【Ctrl+Alt+d】, then go to 〖Advanced ▸ Rendering ▸ Features〗. Turn off Flexible Objects 【Ctrl+Alt+F9】. You might also want to turn off Foot Shadows 【Ctrl+Alt+F5】 and Fog 【Ctrl+Alt+F6】. These setting will not stick after relog. You need to do it for each time you log in.

Turn off Animated Texture. This is under menu 〖Advanced ▸ Rendering ▸ Animate Textures〗. This setting will not stick after relog.

Turn Off unnecessary rendering. Go to menu 〖Advanced ▸ Rendering ▸ Types〗, and turn off Tree, Grass, Clouds, Bump. You need to do it for each time you log in.

Reduce CPU Load

Turn off streaming video, streaming music. This is under Preference, Audio & Video tap.

Turn off Voice Chat. Even if you are not using voice chat, having the feature on sucks your CPU because it runs a background process. To turn Voice Chat feature off, go to Preference, Voice Chat tab.

Quit other applications. Close your web browser, your PhotoShop, your Microsoft Word, your music player.

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