Graphics Performance Troubleshooting

Graphics performance issues are often related to slow frame rates or visual lags. For instance, a token being moved seeming slower, zoom functions loading slowly, or the play area seeming blank while scrolling/panning around the map. The screen is constantly being redrawn, so this document is to assist with troubleshooting these graphical performance issues.


Check Your System

Playing on an underpowered machine may cause you to experience jerky or unresponsive performance. For best results we suggest checking the Roll20 System Recommendations. The better your graphics rendering performance, the smoother your experience should be.

Enable Hardware Acceleration

Hardware acceleration within the browser is one of the best ways to improve performance while using the Roll20 VTT -- Especially when using features such as Dynamic Lighting.

Below offers some assistance on finding and activating Hardware Acceleration

  • On the Chrome browser:
    • Navigate to "chrome://settings/system"
    • Ensure the setting "Use hardware acceleration when available" is enabled
  • On the Firefox browser
    • Navigate to "about:preferences#general"
    • Scroll to the "Performance" section
    • Ensure the setting "Use hardware acceleration when available" is enabled
      • To check this, you may need to check/uncheck the "Use recommended performance settings" option.

Toggle settings that can impact graphics

Below are some options available that can be toggled to often improve performance. These settings typically require additional render processing that may be impacting performance too much:

  • Dynamic Lighting
  • Explorer Mode
  • Update on Drop
  • Map Grid

Experimenting with these settings can help in finding the ideal configuration for you and your players.

Limit the number of Character Journal Entries

Character sheets can get very large very fast. Every field and calculation taking place on the sheet is adding additional data to your game. Finding ways to limit the number of active sheets in the game can help improve performance for everyone playing.

Some options here include:

  • Removing/Deleting old or unused sheets.
    • NOTE: Archiving a character sheet does NOT reduce game size.
  • Utilize the Transmogrifier available to Pro Subscribers to quickly move characters in and out of games as needed.

Limit the number of objects/assets used

Every image or asset uploaded and used on the VTT can increase game size and impact performance. Try to utilize small numbers of images where possible or utilize an external program to construct whole maps that can be uploaded as one image.

The fewer assets that must be rendered individually the better performance will be.

Limit page/map size

Maps or pages are typically recommended to be 25x25. As the map size increases, the effective area that must be rendered increases which can negatively impact performance. This can also be highly subjective to the individual systems used by players in your game.

Where possible, try to break up larger encounters or activities across several pages to improve performance.

Limit use of the Draw tool

The performance impact of the Draw tool is by and large very small. However, in some instances, intensive use of the tool can create a large number of objects on the map that can begin to impact performance.

Performance impact of the Draw tool is most noticeable on the Dynamic Lighting layer where each line must also be calculated in conjunction with Line of Sight and Advanced Fog of War. In very complex maps (such as cave systems) we recommend using the polygon tool instead of the freehand tool to limit the number of individual lines and vertices. 


Chrome Specific Settings

Chrome has adjustable flags that may improve performance on some systems. However please note that these are advanced settings and in certain cases can cause degradation or unexpected behaviors. To view the Flags section, type "chrome://flags/" in the address field.

Flags that may help with performance:

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  • Override software rendering list: This allows GPU acceleration on unsupported configurations. Useful if you tend to run experimental GPU drivers or if you think your GPU is not being recognized for some reason.
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