Apex Legends Season 16: Fix Lag, FPS Drops & Stuttering

Last Updated on March 17, 2023

Apex Legends is a game that came out of nowhere and became the top one within a very short period of time. The game also sets the benchmark of how a battle royale game should be created. Many BR games came and left, but Apex never slipped from the top three positions. The unique blend of weapons and abilities is what made this game what it is. Created by Respawn Entertainment and published by not so loved Electronic Arts, the game is showing no sign of stopping.

Similar to every AAA game, Apex is also plagued with a huge number of problems even today. Every time a new map is announced performance issues start coming up, devs have to push multiple updates to fix the game. My article today will focus on fixing performance-related issues in Apex Legends. Let’s find out how we can do it.

What is the reason for FPS Drops in Apex Legends Season 15?

If the drops are sudden or happen just for a few seconds, then this might be due to some bottleneck that can be easily fixed. However, if you are constantly getting low FPS then you might have to follow through with some tweaks we have mentioned in this article.

The most common bottlenecks are:

  • Your GPU is doing some other work in the background. You might be amazed how much CPU even Desktop Windows Manager uses (The module that enabled hardware acceleration to render graphical UI of Windows).
  • Some CPU-intensive task is running in the background.
  • You are using a 5400RPM HDD. The random FPS drops and stuttering can be attributed to slow hard drives. It’s 2022, it’s best if you upgrade to an SSD. SSDs offer a lot of features compared to HDDs.
  • Your hardware is not capable enough to run the game properly. If this is the case, then you will have to compromise with graphics.
  • High temperature of GPU or CPU. Whenever the temperature reaches a certain threshold, the hardware starts getting underclocked automatically to prevent it from getting overheated and burnt. You can find out CPU and GPU temps using CoreTemp and Task Manager.

To find out these background tasks, you can use Task Manager. Sort by usage and find out if these apps are useful to you or not. Keep in mind that some applications can not be shut down.

System Requirements of Apex Legends

Minimum Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7
  • Processor: AMD FX 4350 or Equivalent, Intel Core i3 6300 or Equivalent
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon™ HD 7730, NVIDIA GeForce® GT 640
  • DirectX: Version 11

Recommended Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7
  • Processor: Ryzen 5 CPU or Equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon™ R9 290, NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970
  • DirectX: Version 11

I am not sure when these requirements were updated officially by the devs, they certainly look outdated. The minimum requirement of i3 6300 is absurd, you might not even get 60FPS with this hardware. This information comes out when the game is launched and is never updated later on.

Enough about Apex Legends, let’s move on to making the game run better:

Install Apex Legends on an SSD to Fix Stuttering

As technology continues to evolve, so does the need for better storage. Although hard drives have been around for a while, they are quickly being replaced by solid-state drives due to their increased speed and decreased energy consumption. SSDs are more expensive than hard disks but offer many more benefits. On top of the increased speed, they also consume less power. This is one of the key reasons why SSDs are being used in so many new devices, from smartphones to computers.

Moving the game to SSD will also prevent the game from stuttering. We’ve seen multiple posts on Reddit where users have seen improvement just by migrating the game from a traditional HDD to SSD.

Debloat Windows and perform optimizations

These are Windows only optimizations that you need to perform to make sure we have the most resources available for gaming.

Disable Useless Startup Apps

All of us have a lot of apps installed on our computers, many of these apps will start whenever we boot Windows. Most of these apps are useless and are not required at all.

  • Launch Task Manager
  • Go to Startup Tab
  • Look at all the app names and disable the ones that you don’t use.
  • Right click on the app and click Disable

Optimize the apex exe file

Disable Full-Screen Optimization & High DPI in Windows 10

Full-screen optimization and DPI settings come pre-configured with Windows 10. These are known for causing trouble with games leading to several issues. To disable:

  • Locate the game installation
  • Find the .exe file of the game
  • Right-click > Properties > Compatibility Tab
  • Tick the “Disable Full-Screen Optimizations” tab
  • Now, click the “Change high DPI settings” button
  • Tick “Override high DPI scaling behavior” and select “Application” from the drop-down menu
  • Save Settings.

Enable High Performance Mode for Apex Legends

This might actually be configured to default as High Performance for most of us. But in some cases, Windows might change it to Power Saving if the setting is set to Let Windows Decide. We have read a few cases of this happening on Reddit Forums, mostly for Gaming Laptops.

Steps to do this are as follows:

  • Go to Graphic Settings > Search for Graphic Settings in Windows Search
  • Click on the result
  • Now from the newly opened window, located graphics performance preference
  • Search for Apex Legends
  • Click on the App > Options
  • Select “High Performance” and check “Don’t use Auto HDR” (Applicable for HDR Monitors)

Disable Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling

This option was added to the graphic settings page after the Windows 10 May 2020 update. Many YouTubers such as Linus Tech Tips, Jayz2Cents, Gamers Nexus have done various tests to compare the performance when turned on or off. They found that setting makes little to no difference, good or bad on mid to high-end machines and slight improvement to framerates on low-end machines (but also brings instability at times).

Conclusion: Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling

Disable Core-Isolation to Boost FPS on Windows 11

Core Isolation is a new feature built-in Windows 11 that protects your PC from untrusted applications and drivers. The tradeoff is obviously the performance. But this is not going to be an issue for anyone that doesn’t download anything from untrusted sites.

Here’s how you can disable it:

  • Click on Start Menu button and select settings
  • Click Privacy and Security > Windows Security > Device Security
  • Here you will find Core Isolation, click on Core isolation details
  • On the next screen, you will find a radio button for “Memory Integrity”, just turn it off.

You’ve successfully disabled VBS on Windows 11. Many users on Reddit have reported this to significantly improve performance for many games. We’re talking about improvements of about 20-30 fps straightaway.

Enable Game Mode

We’ve noticed huge improvements in the Game Mode in Windows 11. For Windows 10, we suggest disabling both Game mode and game bar, whereas this option should be enabled on Windows 11.

To Enable: Just type game mode in search and enable it.

Use Compatibility Settings

Of course, not all the titles are optimized for the new operating system yet. This should change soon. Until then you can use Windows’s inbuilt compatibility setting. To do so:

  • Right click on the app’s exe file
  • Go to properties > Compatibility
  • Click on the “Run this program as an administrator” checkbox
  • Also click on “disable fullscreen optimizations” checkbox
  • Click Apply and close the box.

One more thing suggested by Reddit users is doing a clean Windows 11 install, rather than upgrading it from Win 10. Also, DX12-optimized games are getting benefited while older ones are taking a hit.

Update Windows

recent couple of updates were weird and broke a lot of games, to fix those issues, Windows has already pushed out hotfixes and you can download them right away. If you are running an older version of Windows, I’d recommend you download the updated version.

There was also an update that caused windows to use up a lot of RAM for its search bar’s function called Cortana. This also has been fixed, you just have to update.

If you are using Windows 11, then updating is even more important for you because this new operating system is not exactly flawless as of yet.

Game Optimization for Apex Legends

Now that we are done with Windows Optimizations, let’s move on to the Game Optimization Section:

Use the Right Launch Options on Steam

Options we use: +exec autoexec.cfg -dev -preload -high +fps_max 0 -novid -fullscreen -dxlevel95

  • Launch Steam
  • Head to Library > Right-Click on Apex Legends > Properties
  • Under Launch Options, paste the options that we have given above

We have a full-fledged guide here that covers all the options that we use and what they do. Make sure to read it.

Download Custom Configuration Files

These custom files are created by YouTuber Panjno which has some pre-defined settings that will help you in boosting your FPS.

  • Download the file from here
  • Extract the zip file
  • Now paste the files in the locations given below

Location for Autoexec.cfg

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Apex Legends\cfg

Location for VideoConfig File

C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\Saved Games\Respawn\Apex\local

Location for Settings.cfg File

C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\Saved Games\Respawn\Apex\local

Important Note: Go to properties of the VideoConfig file and check the Read-Only checkbox. If you don’t do this, your chances will be overridden by Apex Legends as soon as you launch the game.

Best in-game Settings for Apex Legends

Please read this article for Apex legends best settings, we have covered them in detail.

Update Device Drivers and Change GPU Settings

Now that we are done with game-related optimizations, let’s move on to the GPU Section.

Update Device Drivers

Whenever a new game makes its arrival, especially when it’s a AAA title, Nvidia is known for pushing their optimized updates for the best performance with their graphic cards. I am not sure about AMD because I’ve never used an AMD card. Below are the links for downloading the latest drivers.

Change Graphic Card Settings

Below are the settings for AMD and Nvidia graphics card users, apply these settings for the best performance.

For Nvidia Users

  • Open up Nvidia’s Control Panel. Right-click on desktop > click Nvidia control panel
  • Click Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings
  • Find “Apex Legends”, you can manually add the game if it’s not in the list
  • Now, make the following changes:

Monitor Tech: G-Sync (If available)
Maximum Pre-rendered frames: 2
Threaded optimization: On
Power Management: Prefer Maximum Performance
Texture Filtering – Quality:  Performance

For AMD Users

  • Anti-Aliasing Mode: Use Application settings
  • Anti-aliasing Method: Multisampling
  • Morphological Filtering: Off
  • Anisotropic Filtering Mode: Use application settings
  • Texture Filtering Quality: Performance
  • Surface Format Optimization: On
  • Wait for V-sync: Off
  • OpenGL Triple Buffering: Off
  • Shader Cache: AMD optimized
  • Tesselation Mode: Override application settings
  • Maximum Tesselation Level: Off
  • GPU Workload: Graphics
  • Chill: Off
  • Frame Rate Target Control: Disabled

The settings given above are universal and work best for almost all the games available today.

These settings and optimizations were tested on PCs with the following configuration:

  • i5 8500 with GTX 1060 @1080p
  • i3 10300 with RTX 2060 @1080p
  • i7 8700 with GTX 1650 @1080p
  • AMD Ryzen 5600x with RTX 3080 @2k

You have reached the end of this article, we hope this article helped you out. If you are still having performance-related issues please make sure to comment below with your specs and we will reply back with what changes you can make.

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Written by Vikas

Hey, I am Vikas. I've had a longstanding passion for computing and gaming for over a decade now. With a computer science degree under my belt sparking my initial interest in the industry from a young age, you'll often find me immersed for hours in the latest PC titles, especially enjoying multiplayer online games, while also enjoying sharing my insights and reviews. My work has been featured on IGN, Kotaku, MSN and Forbes to name a few. In my spare time, I read books and play with my cats. You can read more about me here. My favorite games are Destiny 2, Warframe, COD Cold War, and Minecraft.

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