Frame Rate VS Graphics. Which is better? Let’s start off with finding which one is more important to provide basic game functions.

Frame Rate

Frame rate is the frequency rate, at which an imaging device displays consecutive images called frames.

Andrew Tarantola, writer of the Gizmodo article, explained the concept as being a group of singular images that are placed together in the same strip of film where light is then projected to bring the images onto a screen. The frequency and speed that the light is omitted onto the film gives the illusion that the images are moving at high speeds. Therefore, frame rates are simply what provides motion and movement of the game’s images and the frames you utilize per second (FPS) will result on smooth or choppy the game will run. The higher the frame rate the better the experience.

Frame Rate VS Graphics Part 1 - TICGN

To get an accurate scale on what constitutes as what FPS will provide a better experience, here are some examples:

  • 0 – 20: Unplayable due to game’s video running too slow. This can sometimes make people nauseous resulting in headaches and eye strain due to the jagged game-play.
  • 30 – 60: Considered acceptable and is the recommended frame rate. Many publishers strive to achieve 60 FPS, particularly with multiplayer based games to provide an equal playing field, but for single player games they can be less than this frame rate.

You can still have problems with FPS if the frames move too fast. Your eyes, when moving too quickly, will not have enough time to take in the same level of details and information that the quicker frames are providing. This is called motion blur and should be avoided if possible.

Be sure not to confuse Frame Rate with Refresh Rate. Although they may be similar, the refresh rate relies more on the number of times an image is flashed within a second.

Graphics

Graphics may seem self-explanatory, but let me clarify that graphics and visuals are NOT the same. Visuals represent the quality and of resolution of graphics which are individual pixels inside an image. Graphics, when talking about the games industry, is the individual details of a certain design. Those designs being; characters and environments.

Many people who play games are not focused on the quality of the graphics, but others consider them as the main priority of the game. With consoles trying to improve their graphics level every couple of years, I have no choice but to question the value of graphics compared to frame rate. Today, there is a growing demand for awe-inspiring graphics within games, but often it tends to affect the frame rate that the games can run at.

As such, has this demand started to outweigh the need for frame rates? People say that they play games for the game-play itself, but the numbers certainly don’t lie when gamers are opening up their wallets and increasing the chart sales for new graphic cards or increasingly powerful consoles. Games graphics are indeed sold as an staple in trailers to show off a new console.

It is only AFTER the game has been released that you begin to see the videos comparing the frame rates of consoles, not before in the trailers. If you release a trailer showcasing the frame rate capabilities of the consoles, instead of the graphics of the game, think about how hard that would be to create and highlight to the consumer.

The selling point is simply graphics and is indeed became a staple in this generation., which has become a huge factor when choosing which console to purchase. With this battle between frame rates and graphics, it has been proven that:

“…Higher frame rates look more real, but it makes things that are not real look less real”, Andrew Tarantola, Gizmodo

Graphics can make things look realistic, but when drawn poorly, graphics have the potential to make things look worse.

Which side are you on?