Tips for Dealing with Frame Drops and Lag


#1

No game always runs perfectly all the time, especially not online games.

Here are some tips and possible solutions to improve your experience.

A lot of players call frame drops “lag” too, which just makes it harder to pin point issues and be of assistance. Hopefully I will also be able to provide some information to help you distinguish the two.

Definitely try different platforms if you run into any of these issues to find out which works best for you. At the end of this post there is a list.


Frame Drops


Client Only

Symptoms

  • Screen shortly freezes in bursts
  • You and enemies might jump around for a split second when it catches up
Caused By
  • Programs in the background using up processing power
  • Too many particles on screen
  • Flash doing a lot of processing at once (for example, loading all pets in the yard)
  • High memory usage (too high usually results in a crash eventually)
Countermeasures
  • Refresh/restart browser/client regularly
  • Make sure no unnecessary programs are running in the background (use Task Manager to check processes)
  • Try playing with and without hardware acceleration to figure out which works best. It will depend on how good your CPU and GPU is, respectively. If the option is red, follow this little guide to enable HA
  • Reduce render quality: on the main menu - Right Click -> Quality -> Low
  • Use the various graphics options: disable particles, shadows, text bubbles, high UI quality, hp bars
  • For Steam or Flash Projector - reduce the window size, fullscreen will usually result in less FPS


Lag


Client or Server

Symptoms

  • Enemies, pets and other players either stand still or wander off indefinitely into one direction and bounce back once it catches up, also known as rubber-banding
  • Black void tiles visible or even blocking the way (map not loading)
Caused By
  • Short disconnects or bad connection in general (server far away, internet slow)
  • Other programs or your siblings/roommates/parents accessing the same connection (downloads are a prime example of course)
  • Server is doing some additional processing (aka Oryx or Castle lag - in the Castle itself it is most likely caused by generating the new realm)
  • Server can’t keep up (pro-tip: realms are not designed to hold more than 85 people, of course overpopulated ones will be laggy)
Countermeasures
  • Stop any software that could be downloading stuff
  • Make sure nobody else is using the connection excessively
  • Play on servers that are close to you (Best Server)
  • Make sure your connection isn’t acting up

If it happens, back off to where you know there are no enemies, so you don’t get shotgunned when it catches up - don’t try to keep fighting. If it persists for too long - close the window. It’s not worth the risk.

I usually ping Google to make sure everything is fine on my end. To do that, run “cmd” and enter “ping www.google.com”.


Input Lag

Client Only

Symptoms

  • Input keys will not react instantly, causing movement to be delayed and your character to do things you don’t want it to do
Caused By
This one is a bit harder to pinpoint as it seems to vary for everyone. It tends to depend on the platform. For me personally it happens in Firefox and on Steam.

I suggest trying out different platforms and browsers to see what works best for you if you are affected by this issue frequently:

My guess is it's a way it sometimes compensates for frame drops, so also follow steps to improve performance and make it less likely to happen.

Hopefully this thread helped you, good luck everyone and happy Realming!

Update 2019 (not written by Pfiffel):

  • Note that the the experimental options (added after the original post was made), for disabling ally projectiles, notifications and damage numbers are very helpful for frame drops
  • Most people get a much better framerate on older flash projector versions (11-18)
  • If you’re really desperate, then you can run flash projector in 480*640 mode for a slightly better fps (~5 for me) via rightclick menu (in the explorer)>properties>compability

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#2

On Windows boxes, let’s not forget the advantage of disabling Nagle’s algorithm by using regedit to set TcpNoDelay and TcpAckFrequency. It’s a subtle thing, but every little bit helps!


#3

Thanks for reviving your “How to lag” post!

Update the link on your site though. :slight_smile:


#4

And don’t forget enabling decamenu to disable some options and help reduce lag.


#6

#7

#8

+1 on bringing this back up
Another thing not mentioned in the OP is that nearly everybody has a better performance with the older flash projector version (11-18) than the newer ones.


#9

Updated the OP

Anything thats missing?