FPS is obviously just the number of frame changes per second, but I have no idea what UPS is and Google is returning nothing.

ps, this is a tutorial question, so I'm not just making up UPS :P


2 Answers 2


Updates per second could be how often the game world is updated, ie positions of the game objects, colisions etc. as opposed to how often the scene is rendered (FPS).

  • In general, how often the game world is updates is in frames per second, one state of the game being one frame.
    – user56
    Mar 20, 2011 at 23:17
  • @Alex, thanks this is probably what it means in the context of what we're doing :)
    – Matt
    Mar 20, 2011 at 23:18
  • What is with the downvote? Someone's just being nasty, that doesn't make sense. Mar 21, 2011 at 2:40
  • 1
    @Arda Xi I'm not a game dev but I believe it's generally better to have a fixed rate for your gamestate that's independent of the renderer. Theres some pros and cons on this question here Mar 21, 2011 at 4:19
  • @AlexJ.Roberts If that's the case here, then the question belongs on Game Dev.
    – user56
    Mar 21, 2011 at 13:09

If you're referring to multiplayer games, "updates per second" is also known as the "tick rate" of the server, which determines how often it recalculates the game's state.

The server simulates the game in discrete time steps called ticks. [...] During each tick, the server processes incoming user commands, runs a physical simulation step, checks the game rules, and updates all object states. After simulating a tick, the server decides if any client needs a world update and takes a snapshot of the current world state if necessary. A higher tickrate increases the simulation precision, but also requires more CPU power and available bandwidth on both server and client.

"Source Multiplayer Networking", Valve Developer Community Wiki

Even beyond multiplayer games, there is likely a discrepancy between the actual simulation and visual rendering.

  • It's important to note that newer Source multiplayer games run the server at a fixed tick rate of 67. This applies to Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Source.
    – user2974
    Mar 21, 2011 at 1:17

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