If you are having trouble with Skipped Frames, also known as dropped frames on Streamlabs, in this guide you’ll discover all the potential solutions for this annoying issue.
What kind of lost frames could you face?
Before we jump into the skipped frames issue, you should understand that when we talk about skipped frames or dropping frames, we are actually talking about lost frames.
And there is 3 kind of them:
- Lagged frames, caused by a compositor overload (this is usually accompanied by a huge GPU usage)
- Skipped frames, which usually occur when the encoder is overloaded (analogous to the lagged frames, you will see high CPU usage on your computer)
- And Dropped frames, this is something that usually occurs when network issues exist.
How to fix Lagged frames on Streamlabs
As we mentioned before, lagged frames, or slow fps, occur when your GPU is overloaded.
This is something that maybe is not related to Streamlabs itself.
Actually, one of the potential solutions to this problem is to lower the quality of the game you are playing / streaming.
This is: reduce the resolution, the fps (limit them to 120fps and 120hz should do the trick), and the graphic quality itself. You could also try to use V-sync.
By doing so, Streamlabs will be able to get more room to work properly.
How to fix Skipped frames on Streamlabs
The Skipped frames will appear, as mentioned before when the CPU of your computer is overloaded.
The best solution for this issue is to start using hardware encoding (like nvenc or amd) instead of software x264 (you can learn the difference between software and hardware encoding here)
To change this, go to Streamlabs preferences, and within the Output section on the sidebar > Encoder, select within the dropdown menu list, one of the Hardware encoder options.
Remember that these options will be different if you are using macOS or Windows.
Another solution to try if you are experiencing skipped frames on Streamlabs, is to use a faster preset.
Go to the Streamlabs preferences > Output and set the output mode to Advanced.
Then Scroll down until you see the CPU Usage Preset option, and pick in the dropdown menu the fastest preset possible.
As the tooltip says, higher = less CPU usage, and thus, fewer chances of skipped frames.
How to solve Streamlabs Dropping Frames
If you experience Dropped frames on Streamlabs, this is most probably due to the fact that you are trying to stream over a poor internet connection.
One of the quickest solutions to solve the dropped frames issue, is trying to manually connect to your closest server.
You’ll do so by doing again to the Streamlabs preferences > Stream, choosing the platform/service you are streaming to, and within the “Server” dropdown menu, find and select a server close to your location instead of leaving that option as “Auto”.
Other solutions to solve the Streamlabs Dropped frames are:
- Trying to restart your network device, which is probably your router.
- If you are streaming over WiFi, consider switching to an Ethernet cable connection, as this will also improve speed and stability.
- Similar to the first solution, you could try to disable your computer’s LAN adapters and re-enabling them (Open Settings > Click on Network & Security > Click on Status > Click on Change adapter options > Right-click the network adapter, and select the Disable option)
- Reinstalling your network drivers .
- Check if your outbound port 1935 for TCP is open, and if not, open it.
Dropping frames due to a slow internet connection
There is also a chance that you are suffering dropping frames because your video and audio bitrate are exceeding your internet upload speed.
If getting a faster internet connection is not an option, you must then lower your video and audio bitrates.
You’ll do so from the Streamlabs preferences > Output, choosing lower numbers on the Video bitrate and Audio bitrate fields (pay special attention to video, as it consumes the most resources)
If you want to know the exact numbers, you should check your upload speed, using a site like http://speedtest.net.
Depending on the speeds you get, you’ll be able to use different bitrates depending on your resolution and fps you’d like to have:
Here are some estimations
- If you want to stream at 720p30fps
- Use a 1,500-2,500 bitrate if your upload speed is between 2-3MB
- Use a 2,500-4,000 bitrate if your upload speed is between 4-7MB
- If you want to stream at 720p60fps
- Use a 2,250-4,000 bitrate if your upload speed is between 3-5MB
- Use a 4,000-6,000 bitrate if your upload speed is between 6-8MB
- If you want to stream at 1080p30fps
- Use a 3,000-5,000 bitrate if your upload speed is between 4-6MB
- Use a 5,000-6,500 bitrate if your upload speed is between 6-8MB
- If you want to stream at 1080p60fps
- Use a 4,500-7,000 bitrate if your upload speed is between 6-9MB
- Use a 7,000-10,000 bitrate if your upload speed is between 9-12MB
Reduce your resolution and FPS
As you have seen, especially if you have a slow internet connection, lowering your streaming resolution and fps could also help with your dropped frames issue.
To change these settings, go to Streamlabs preferences > Video, and pick a lower output resolution, and a lower Common FPS Value.
In this same window, you can also try to pick a faster downscale filter, like Bilinear instead of Lanczcos.
What was causing your frame issues in Streamlabs?
As you have seen, frame issues are usually caused by CPU and GPU overload.
You’ll be able to quickly spot that if you open your task manager on Windows or Activity Monitor on macOS.
If you sort the processes by CPU or GPU usage, you’ll see Streamlabs on top positions, maybe even number 1!
Summary, all the potential solutions to fix frame issues
Remember that not all the frame issues are the same, but here’s the full list of all the solutions you can try to fix them:
- Lower the quality of the game you are playing / streaming.
- Use a hardware encoder
- Improve your PC specs (more CPU and more GPU Power)
- Use a faster preset.
- Choose a closer server.
- Sign up for a faster Internet connection.
- Decrease the Video and Audio bitrate.
- Reduce your resolution and FPS.
- Restart your router.
- Use an Ethernet cable instead of WiFi.
- Disable and re-enable your computer’s LAN adapters
- Reinstalling your network drivers .
- Open your outbound port 1935 for TCP
Which solution fixed your skipped/lagged/dropped frames on Streamlabs?
Let us know in the comments below!