In our first Minecraft tutorial, we did the most important thing: set up a Minecraft account, install Minecraft, and create our first world. If you only read the first tutorial in this long series, you’ll still be completely ready to play. Today we’re going to look at the second most important thing: optimizing Minecraft for the smoothest possible gaming experience.
Getting started with Minecraft
Improving Minecraft Performance on Old and New Computers
Get to know Minecraft biomes
Exploring Minecraft Structures
Meet Minecraft Mobs
Exploring Minecraft Game Modes
Survive your first night in survival mode
Your first mine, armor and further research
Advanced mining and magic spells
I am a farmer, you are a farmer, we are all farmers
Engineering with Redstone
Creating Custom Minecraft Maps
Download and install custom maps
Set up local multiplayer and custom player skins
Exploring Minecraft multiplayer servers
Most people are caught off guard by how resource intensive Minecraft is. At first glance, it looks so simple: just a sea of low-res blocks and what seems to be pretty elementary game mechanics. The game is much more complex than a simple shell would suggest.
There is a huge amount of activity going on below the surface. Both the CPU and the GPU are taxed to bring together the Minecraft worlds we enjoy exploring.
The game engine is responsible for rendering everything you see, keeping it up-to-date, keeping track of how all elements interact with each other (for example, when lava meets water or the player falls off a cliff), rendering lighting when day turns to night, spawning and the disappearance of the game’s creature, and dozens of other small subtle changes. It might seem like a simple game compared to a super slick modern game with photorealistic graphics, but there’s a ton of stuff under the hood.
Whether you have an inexpensive computer that struggles with the game, or a high-end computer that provides quick access to Minecraft, there are plenty of tricks and tricks you need to be aware of to ensure a stable and enjoyable experience. time with the game. Let’s take a look at all the ways you can tweak things to make sure you’re getting the best frames per second (FPS) you can.
Preparing your computer
While tweaks are important to the game, and we’ll get back to them shortly, there are a few things you’ll want to do before you even launch Minecraft to make sure you’re not accidentally killing the game’s performance.
lighten the burden
If you’re not using a powerful computer, the first thing you should do in your quest to improve Minecraft’s performance is to close any application that you’re not using while you’re actually playing, such as when you might leave your music app playing in the background, there is no reason to leave a word processor and web browser open and suck up resources.
Also, if you’re playing on a laptop, you should always keep it plugged into the wall while you’re playing Minecraft. Laptops typically reduce GPU and CPU performance when on battery power to conserve power and increase time between charges. It’s great when you’re finishing a book report, but not so much when you’re playing.
Minecraft runs on Java, so any issues with the general installation and version of Java on your computer will be cured and cause issues with Minecraft ranging from FPS drops to complete crashes.
First, if you are running a 64-bit computer/operating system (many computers are 64-bit these days), you want to run the 64-bit version of Java. If you’re not sure, check your computer’s system settings.
Windows users can open a command prompt and type:
wmic os get OSArchitecture
The value returned will indicate whether the OS is 32-bit or 64-bit.
Second, make sure the version is up to date. At the time of publication, Java 7 is the general release of Java. You can run Java 8 for even more performance.
Third, make sure you only have one copy of Java installed. Many Minecraft players are reporting issues when they have multiple copies of Java on their computers (older versions alongside newer versions, 32-bit alongside 64-bit, etc.).
Update GPU drivers
When you’re just using your computer to surf the web, pay bills, and perform other light tasks, it hardly matters if you’ve updated your GPU drivers, as any performance improvements and fixes will likely go unnoticed.
However, when it comes to a game like Minecraft where you can really sweat your computer, all those little updates in the new driver pack can really help. Check the make and model number of your GPU, and then visit the manufacturer’s website to see if updated drivers are available.
Monitoring Minecraft using the debug menu
The basics of the previous section ensure that you don’t limit your productivity before you even get started. Once you launch Minecraft, the best thing you can do is start tracking your in-game performance. You don’t have to keep the monitor on all the time, but it’s very handy for understanding how various performance settings and game events affect performance.
Launch Minecraft and enable debug information by pressing F3 on your keyboard.
Temporarily saving this text overlay while playing can really help diagnose problems with the game. Let’s see what information you get. The very first line at the top of the left side is the most useful as it shows your game version and in brackets your FPS (frames per second) and the number of recent chunk updates.
Remember how we mentioned that Minecraft maps are essentially endless? While this is true, no desktop computer will be able to display the entire map at once, which is why the game relies on «chunks». Each chunk is 16×16 wide and 256 blocks high (world height limit). As you move, the game loads additional chunks, one 16x16x256 chunk at a time. Each piece is continuously loaded from the rock at the bottom of the world all the way to the sky.
On faster computers this process is fast and you will see the world rapidly expanding in front of you as you fly. On slower computers, things can slow down if you try to zoom in on the world in Fly mode. Luckily, if you’re just walking around, you’ll be moving slowly enough that even less reliable computers won’t struggle too much.
So, looking at the debug output, our two most important and immediate entries are on the first line: FPS and chunk updates. If your FPS drops below 30, the game will look less fluid than when playing videos, and you will definitely find a little instability here and there. If it drops below 15 or so frames per second, you will experience hesitation when moving. Below 10 fps and the game becomes almost unplayable.
The second part of the first line, chunk updates, indicates how many chunks were just updated. If you’ve been idle for a few minutes, this number will be low (and possibly zero). If you have just been fast moving around the map using flight mode (as we did when the screenshot above was taken), you will have a very high number of updates as your movement caused the game to load a bunch of new pieces and possibly update the pieces you passed again.
Reading these two numbers together helps determine why your frame rate (FPS number) is lower. If you just flew over a brand new part of the map, blew up something with a big pile of TNT, or otherwise forced the game to do some major upgrade, it would be highly unusual to see your FPS number drop and your chunk number upgrade.
If the game has been loaded for some time and you are not actively moving (and loading new fragments in the process), your frame rate should pick up/stabilise. If your frame rate is still low when you’re idling or barely moving, your machine may not have enough power to play Minecraft smoothly.
Optimization through the video settings menu
Before you throw in the towel, let’s take a look at what’s under your control (and doesn’t require you to buy a new graphics card). If you’re struggling with low frame rates, jump into the game menu by pressing the «ESC» key while playing and then going to Settings -> Video Settings.
Let’s go through the list of settings to highlight the ones you need to focus on in order to squeeze out the best frame rates. We’ve explained all of them, but put those related to FPS increase in italics.
Fancy is more resource intensive; among other things, it includes shadow rendering, dynamic water, volumetric clouds, and transparent leaves. Switch to «Fast» to disable effects and increase FPS.
How far the Minecraft engine renders the game in chunks from the player’s current position. Reducing this number increases FPS.
This setting has minimal performance impact; we recommend leaving it enabled because switching to lower settings is pretty ugly (and you get a very small FPS boost in return).
Max. Frame frequency
This section is actually a bit counter-intuitive. Your computer cannot display frames that exceed your monitor’s refresh rate, so it’s a good idea to limit it to your monitor’s refresh rate (30, 60, or 120Hz).
For use with traditional red and blue 3D glasses.
When the player is on, the head bobs slightly while walking; when off, the view is stable.
Adjusts on-screen displays (eg quick access bar and health/hunger). If you’re playing on a very large monitor and think the GUI is too small, you can fix it here.
Works only on machines with GPUs that support OpenGL 2.0+; helps increase FPS just by rendering what is visible to the player. There is no risk of turning it on (if you don’t have the right GPU, nothing will happen).
Turning off the clouds gives a very slight increase in performance.
Doesn’t affect performance, just gamma adjustment of in-game lighting levels.
Turning off particles (such as smoke from flares) provides a very modest increase in performance.
Switching the game to fullscreen can improve performance since most of the GPU is directed directly at the game.
Vsync locks the frame rate to match your monitor’s refresh rate. Turn this off if you normally get less than your monitor’s refresh rate (e.g. your monitor is 60Hz but you usually only get 25 FPS) because it can cause lag and really annoying stuttering on the image screen. If you have a powerful computer, Vsync is an easy way to limit your frame rate to the monitor’s current refresh rate.
Higher levels offer higher texture smoothing; lowering the mipmap level can improve performance, but at the cost of uglier textures.
Works with the Mipmap system and restores detail (especially on surfaces visible at a distance or at an angle); disabling autofocus can improve performance.
A note about Vsync before we continue: if you have a powerful computer, it’s a good idea to disable Vsync temporarily to see how useful your performance settings are, but you should enable it when you’re done. While it may seem exciting to see that you can hit 500+ FPS with your new GPU, the reality is that your monitor’s refresh rate is wasted and your GPU is just overworked. If your monitor is 75MHz, that means it can’t display more than 75fps and anything higher, which is effectively useless as your eyes will never see it.
If playing with these settings helps a little, but not enough, don’t despair. In our next Advanced Minecraft series, we’ll show you how to mod the game with performance mods that can hit over 30 FPS on older hardware.
Before leaving the debug screen, there is one more very useful new player info tucked away in the debug menu: the second block of data on the screen that starts with «x:» is your coordinates/direction data. X/Z corresponds to how far you are from the center of the world map (think of it as X/Y coordinates on a typical coordinate graph), Y value corresponds to your height (1 is the base at the very bottom). maps and 256 is the upper limit of the space available for assembling in the game).
Finally, F indicates the direction both by name (for example, north) and by degree (for example, -155). By using the more advanced materials in the game, you can create a primitive compass, but it doesn’t come close to providing the accuracy and utility that specific coordinates on the debug screen do.
We recommend taking notes using the debug screen coordinates when you find something cool you want to go back to, or if you’re about to go far from your home base so you can come back. For example, in the screenshot above, if we get lost and need to go back to our little house, we need to go back to coordinates -258.66 x -1949.82 to get to home, sweet home.
Next Lesson: Get to Know Minecraft Biomes
Tomorrow’s lesson will focus on the beautiful geography of Minecraft: there are so many points of interest in such a simple game!
Your homework for the evening is to continue exploring your new Minecraft world in Creative mode to familiarize yourself with the movement commands, as well as start exploring the wide variety of terrains (and features in them). Tomorrow we’ll name all the new places you’ve discovered.