On Frame Rate and Player Performance in First Person Shooter Games

On Frame Rate and Player Performance in First Person Shooter Games

Kajal Claypool and Mark Claypool

Springer Multimedia Systems Journal (MMSJ)
Volume 13, Number 1
Pages 3-17
DOI 10.1007/s00530-007-0081-1

The rate at which frames are rendered in a computer game directly impact player performance, influencing both the playability and enjoyability. However, despite the importance of frame rate and the wide-spread popularity of computer games, to the best of our knowledge, there is little quantitative understanding of the effects of frame rate on the player performance in computer games. This paper provides a unique classification of actions in First Person Shooter (FPS) games based on interaction requirements that provide a means to qualitatively assess the impact of frame rates on player performance. This qualitative assessment is supported by quantitative analysis from two large user studies that measure the effects of frame rate on the fundamental player actions in a First Person Shooter game. Nearly 100 users participated in the two user study experiments, providing performance and perception data over a range of frame rates commonly studied for video streaming and inclusive of frame rates found in many computer game platforms. In general, the analysis shows that actions that require precise, rapid response, such as shooting, are greatly impacted by degradations in frame rates, while actions with lower precision and response requirements, such as moving, are more tolerant of low frame rates. These insights into the effects of frame rates on player performance can guide players in their choice for game settings and new hardware purchases, and inform system designers in their development of new hardware.


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number CNS-0423362. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).