How to set up MSI Afterburner to display statistics while gaming on Windows 11

Ten years ago, gaming was all about playing games with all the settings your hardware could support. But the landscape has now changed. Games have become visually appealing and require more computing resources than ever. That makes you wonder how to check system resource stats in use while playing games.


It is possible to keep track of various stats of components such as CPU, GPU, RAM and more with MSI Afterburner. But it doesn’t work right out of the box. We’ll take a closer look at MSI Afterburner and how to configure it to display system stats while gaming.


What is MSI Afterburner?

MSI Afterburner is a GPU overclocking utility developed and distributed by MSI. You can use it to adjust the performance of the graphics card in your system. In addition, this utility works with all brands of graphics cards, including MSI-made GPUs.

MSI Afterburner is free to use and has been much improved since its release in 2010. You can have MSI Afterburner scan for and apply the best possible GPU overclocking settings. Or you can take over and customize everything yourself. All in all, there is pretty much everything related to GPU performance with this tool. To learn more about overclocking your GPU, check out our detailed guide to using MSI Afterburner.

Can you use MSI Afterburner to check important stats?

Yes. You can use MSI Afterburner to display and monitor the hardware statistics on the screen. Most users consider MSI Afterburner only as an overclocking utility. But the app uses RivaTuner Statistics Server (RTSS) which allows it to display the hardware statistics and frame rates on the screen.

MSI Afterburner relies on RivaTuner Statistics Server to display the statistics of the hardware resources used. You will not be able to see statistics on the screen if you do not install the RivaTuner Statistics Server. The primary purpose of the RivaTuner Statistics Server is to provide OSD capabilities to MSI Afterburner. If you only install RTSS, you can only see the FPS counter and nothing more. So it is crucial to install both MSI Afterburner and RTSS.

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How to Install MSI Afterburner

Here’s how to install MSI Afterburner and RivaTuner Statistics Server in one go.

  1. Go to the official landing page of MSI Afterburner.
  2. Scroll down and click on the Download Afterburner knob. A ZIP file will be downloaded in your browser.
  3. Right click in the installation file and select the Run as administrator option. UAC will appear. Click on the Yes button to continue.
  4. Keep the language as English and click on the Okay knob. Then click the Next button and to accept the EULA.
  5. The setup will prompt you to choose the components. The RivaTuner Statistics Server checkbox is automatically checked. Do not disable it, otherwise you will have to install it separately.
  6. Then follow the instructions on the screen until you see the to install knob. Click to start the installation.
  7. The RivaTuner Statistics Server installer appears while the installation is in progress. Follow the on-screen instructions to install it and click the Finish button to close the installation.
  8. Then click on the Finish button to also close the MSI Afterburner setup. MSI Afterburner will start automatically on your system.

How to set up MSI Afterburner to display statistics on Windows 11

After you have successfully installed MSI Afterburner, you need to configure the settings. You have to select the components whose stats you want to display while playing a game.

Here’s how to set up MSI Afterburner to display statistics on Windows 11:

  1. MSI Afterburner starts as soon as you close the installation windows. Now click on the acceleration icon in the app window to display the advanced properties window.
  2. Below the General tab, click the pick list to select the GPU you want to monitor. Most laptops have both integrated and discrete GPUs built into them. So you have to choose the one you want to check. Here we have selected the discrete Nvidia GPU.
  3. Now switch to the monitoring tab by clicking on it. Go to the Active Hardware Monitoring Charts section. You will find all the charts you can display while playing a game.
  4. To display a parameter in OSD, Click on the finch icon for it to select it. You cannot see a graph unless you enable it with the check mark next to it.
  5. Now scroll down to the Chart properties section and click on the Show in screen view checkbox.
  6. Similarly, you need to enable all the graphs that MSI Afterburner is supposed to display while playing a game.
  7. Click on the Apply to apply the recent changes, then click the Okay knob. Do not close the app, otherwise you will not see statistics on the screen.
  8. Start a game on your system. You will notice that system stats appear at the top left of the screen in the game window. If you switch to another window, you won’t see them.
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To hide the system stats and continue playing the game, press the Insert button to turn off the screen display. You can even go to the Settings tab and change the hotkey to toggle the display on the screen.

How to adjust the on-screen display for better visibility

By default, the statistics shown by the on-screen display appear very small and difficult to see. But you can change the size of the system statistics text that appears on the screen. You can even move the on-screen display to any part of the screen.

Here’s how to adjust the on-screen display for better visibility.

  1. Start the MSI Afterburner. Now go to the icon area in the system tray and click on the arrow knob.
  2. Click on the RivaTuner Statistics Server icon to start the app.
  3. Find the . now Zoom on screen display option in the app window. dragging slide the slider to the right to increase the size of the display on the screen. You can check how big it will look by checking its appearance in the preview area at the bottom.
  4. Don’t increase the size too much or it will block your visibility while playing games.
  5. Now go to the preview area and Click and delay the screen display indicated by the number 60. dragging to move the screen display.
  6. To change the color of the text on the screen, click the On-Screen Display Palette choice. Select a color from the palette and click the Okay button to apply it.
  7. Now launch a game on your system. You will notice that the text on the screen is now larger and in a new color scheme. Press the Insert key to show or hide the on-screen display.
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Easily view your system stats with MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner is a free to use tool that makes it easy to view hardware statistics on the screen while gaming. You can check the system resources used and also how much FPS you are getting with the current PC. In addition, you can adjust the size and other properties of the on-screen display for better visibility.

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