How to Fix Fortnite Lag

Play Fortnite with less lag on the platform of your choice

Lag or jerkiness in gaming is frustrating, especially when you're in the middle of an epic battle in Fortnite. If that's a problem for you and you want to fix Fortnite lag and learn how to make Fortnite run better, you're in the right place.

FPS Lag and Network Lag

It's important to clarify what you actually mean by "lag." There are actually two types of lag relevant to gaming. We'll refer to them as "FPS lag" and "network lag."

  • FPS lag: Frame rate is the speed your game runs at, measured in frames per second (FPS). You experience FPS lag when this frame rate decreases, especially during frantic in-game battles with a lot going on. Single-player or multiplayer, PC or console, FPS lag can strike anywhere.
  • Network lag: Similarly platform-agnostic, but is exclusive to multiplayer experiences. Network lag refers to a network connection that has slowed down or been interrupted, which can cause garish in-game stutters and freezing. Even best-case scenarios for network lag will at least reduce the responsiveness of your controls, resulting in a sluggish in-game feeling.

Console gamers don't have many options for reducing FPS lag, since their graphical settings are locked. Your best bet in these scenarios is to either upgrade to the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, which have improved game performance in all titles. Nintendo Switch owners should also switch to Docked mode whenever possible to maximize in-game FPS.

How to Fix Fortnite FPS Lag on PC

Before moving onto the platform-agnostic option, we're going to give a brief rundown of improving Fortnite performance for PC players. While there are in-game explanations for each of these settings, we're going to help you choose which to lower or disable first, and how you should be tweaking them.

A screenshot of the graphics settings in Fortnite: Battle Royale, optimized for maximum performance.

If you don't care about tweaking and you just want the highest possible frame rate and the lowest possible input lag, go ahead and copy the settings you see in the screenshot above. Otherwise, read on and we'll walk you through each of these settings.

  • Display Resolution: For the best experience, match this to the highest resolution your monitor supports—in other words, your monitor's natural resolution. This will ensure all heads-up display (HUD) elements scale to your screen, and the game is as clear as possible. If you're worried your PC can't run Fortnite at your best resolution, adjust 3D Resolution and other settings first.
  • Frame Rate Limit: You'll want to limit your frame rate to either your monitor's natural refresh rate or make it unlimited. The former will reduce screen tearing, while the latter will lower input latency.
  • Quality: These are presets that auto-select the rest of the options for you, and are generally not recommended for advanced tweaking like this.
  • 3D Resolution: The higher your 3D resolution, the clearer your game will appear to be, especially when viewing players or items from far away. This has the highest impact on performance and visual quality. Reduce this as a last resort.
  • View Distance: View distance determines the maximum distance at which enemy players and items will appear. Lower settings are a gameplay disadvantage, but improve performance, especially for weaker CPUs. Set to Epic for best results; reduce as a last resort.
  • Shadows: Shadows come at the cost of some performance, but greatly improves how "grounded" a player or object appears in the world. Set to Off for best performance, but otherwise, adjust according to personal preference.
  • Anti-Aliasing (AA): Reduces "aliasing", or "jaggies," in an image. This is particularly useful when running in resolutions like 1080p or lower, where pixelation can make faraway objects difficult to make out. At resolutions like 1440p, 1800p, and 4K, the necessity of this setting is greatly reduced, due to higher pixel density. Set to Off for best performance, especially at higher resolutions. Otherwise, adjust to personal preference.
  • Textures: In-game models are typically made from two things. First is the model, which by itself just looks like a colorless mannequin version of the complete model. Second is the texture, which adds all the colors and detail to complete the model. Lowering texture detail will improve performance, especially on systems with limited Video Memory (VRAM). Set to Low on VRAM-constrained (2GB or lower) cards, otherwise, adjust for personal preference.
  • Effects: Muzzle flashes, explosion smoke, etc. These will look nicer at higher settings but can be problematic for in-game performance. That's because many of these effects will appear at once in intense fights with multiple players—which are especially common in a Battle Royale- and will reduce performance as they appear. Set to Low for more consistent performance and less FPS lag spikes in intense fights.
  • Post-Processing: Post processing mostly functions to improve lighting, color blending, and general color vibrancy. It has a minor impact on performance- adjust according to personal preference.
  • V-Sync: V-Sync, or Vertical Sync, is a technology used to prevent screen-tearing. It does this by syncing your graphics card output with your monitor's refresh rate. Unfortunately, V-Sync also comes with a greater FPS stutter when your frame rate drops below your monitor's refresh rate and still increases input latency in the best-case scenarios. Disable this to reduce input lag.
  • Motion Blur: Motion Blur creates a blurring effect whenever you move your view quickly. While this can look nice, especially at lower frame rates, it comes at great cost to visibility and performance. Disable this.
  • Show FPS: This is a real-time FPS counter. Great to have, especially when testing different graphics settings. Enable this, and keep it enabled until you're satisfied with your in-game performance.

Fix Matchmaking Region (All Platforms)

This step is pretty simple. Open Settings > Game and verify your Matchmaking Region is set to wherever is closest to you.

A screenshot of Fortnite: Battle Royale's settings menu, emphasizing matchmaking region.

Set it to Auto and the game will usually take care of this on your behalf, but if you move around a lot or have an unusual network configuration, manual tweaking may be necessary.

How to Fix Fortnite Network Lag on All Platforms

Unfortunately, this is where we get to the hard part. If you've adjusted your in-game settings, but still experience network lag, you're going to need to go outside of the game to fix it.

Online multiplayer games are reliant on low latency to function properly. Poorly-configured networks are particularly problematic in this regard, since these increase latency.

In order to have the best Fortnite experience, you want to reduce your network latency in any way possible. Here are some ways to improve this outside of the game.

This will also reduce lag in other online multiplayer games.

  1. Use an Ethernet cable. The best thing you can do to improve any online gaming experience is to use an Ethernet cable.

    While Wi-Fi has made great strides over the years, it's still prone to higher latency and more network interference, even in the best-case scenarios. For the fastest, most consistent gaming experience, an Ethernet cable is a necessity. For the best results, get at least a Category 5 Ethernet cable.

    All home consoles and PCs should have an Ethernet port for you to use. A few laptops may skip out, but USB-to-Ethernet adapters are available for these scenarios. Opt for USB 3.0 or better in these scenarios.

    For Nintendo Switch users, Ethernet cables will only work in docked mode and will require a USB adapter. For best performance, get a USB 3.0 USB-to-Ethernet adapter, and plug it into the USB port on the back of your dock.

  2. Enable Quality of Service (QoS) in your router settings. QoS is used to prioritize certain packets on the network. When available, this setting will prioritize latency-sensitive applications like online games and VoIP services. This is great for connections with limited bandwidth, and will usually have minor (if any) effects on streaming video and non-latency-sensitive applications.

  3. Reduce background network activity. If QoS isn't an option or simply isn't working, it's time to reduce overall activity on the network. High-speed downloads, torrenting, and video-streaming can negatively impact your in-game latency. Put a stop to these on your own device, and, if possible, other devices to improve latency.

  4. Upgrade your Internet connection. The nuclear option, but sometimes the necessary one—upgrade your connection. If a lot of people are using the network while you're gaming and it's impacting your in-game performance, chances are your network is congested, and higher speeds will improve your experience.

    From worst to best, Satellite, 3G, Dial-Up, 4G, LTE, and 5G Internet-based connections will be inherently laggier than cable broadband, DSL, or fiber Internet. As long as you're on cable, DSL, or fiber, a plan upgrade should be all you need. Dial-up and wireless Internet options may not be viable for low-latency gaming, though, regardless of what you do.

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