Fix: Huge FPS Drop when Laptop is Unplugged

When it comes to competitive gaming, having decent (60+) fps is crucial. This becomes even more important in multiplayer games like PUBG and Apex Legends. Well, not everyone wants the same thing though.

Why does FPS Drops when I Unplug my Laptop?

Most commonly there are two reasons:

  1. On Windows, Your power plan is set to Battery saver. This plan reduces overall performance when the laptop isn’t plugged in. Your laptop runs slower to conserves power.
  2. Your Graphics card driver has a power-saving option turned on. When running on battery, it throttles GPU performance and caps maximum FPS to 30. This altogether results in a choppy and laggy gaming experience.

Does laptop battery affect FPS?

No, the battery doesn’t directly affect FPS. But lithium batteries tend to have a limited lifetime. And since GPUs draw a lot of power, OEMs put a lot of software safeguards like the ones I mentioned. These safeguards limit rapid battery drain when playing resource-heavy games. These sort of Rapid discharges can deteriorate your battery health over time.

How do I get high FPS on battery?

While not recommended, you can always turn off the power-saving mode. You just have to change a few settings in a few places.

1. Check your Power plan in Windows 10

If your laptop is running slower, always check power plans first. People often turn on power-saving mode when running low on juice, then forget, and then complain about performance. This happens often, so always check.

You can change power plans by simply clicking on the battery icon in the taskbar notification area, move the slider to the right to select a performance profile.

(Windows) Clicking on the battery icon brings up power options.
Image: Clicking on the battery icon brings up power options.

Or you can go to Settings > System > Power & sleep > Additional power settings. This will open up the Power options window. Change it to High Performance to get high FPS.

Power Options window in Windows 10
Image: Power Options window.

2. (Nvidia GPU) Disable Power saving mode.

Since GPUs are power-hungry, Nvidia has a software restriction on performance when running on battery. You can view and change these settings inside the Nvidia control panel (not Geforce Experience).

But first make sure your drivers are up to date.

To disable power saving, open Nvidia control panel, go to 3D settings > Manage 3D settings > Program Settings tab.

Nvidia control panel
Image: Disabling Power saving mode for certain programs.

Here, Select a program from the dropdown, and set Power management mode = Prefer maximum performance.

[Note: Don’t set the Power management mode in Global settings to Prefer Maximum Performance. It will drastically increase Power Consumption while the video card is idle, draining the battery fast.]

3. (Older AMD GPU) Change Swithcable graphics settings

Older AMD card drivers had this setting. If your laptop is a few years older and is getting low fps on battery, update your drivers first. see if these exist.

Right-click on your desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings.

Or you can click on the Radeon Settings icon in the System Tray:

Click on the Radeon Additional Settings:

[Note! Radeon Additional Settings will only load if it’s available for your specific hardware configuration. If you see an error, your chip is not supported]

The following window should appear:

Now go to Power Tab. Depending on your GPU, the settings in this window may vary.

Check for Switchable Graphics Global Settings/Switchable graphics Application Settigns.

Change to Optimize Performance. Click Apply and Close.

Newer Amd drivers doesn’t include this setting, BUt yo cn try Radeon Boost & Anti-lag.

I’m still getting low FPS

Most cases of fps capping and performance drop can be fixed by following this guide. But if the problem still persists, you can try these methods reported by WindowsReport.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *