HOTS Has Stuttering Issues. Here's How I Fixed Them

For many people, Heroes of the Storm works just fine. But if you're one of the less fortunate souls plagued with stuttering issues, there's very little available in the way of support. This method won't work for everyone, but here's what worked for me.

Heroes of the Storm can stutter a lot. For some, it's constant. For others, it's a massive slowdown that occurs every five seconds. For others still, the game only slows down during team fights. My issue was more of the "every five seconds" variety.

After consulting many blue posts and troubleshooting queries, I set about trying the various fixes suggested by official and unofficial sources. Oddly enough, changing the video settings didn't seem to have much of an effect, even though that's usually the first port of call, and many others have said the same. Some things worked better than others, and the two things that seemed to have the biggest effect are lowering the audio quality, and cranking up my laptop fan like the engines in Mad Max: Fury Road (with less spitting involved).

Changing Your Audio Settings

For some reason, my PC performed noticeably better when it had less to do on the audio front. This means changing your audio quality to low, restricting the noise channels, and even getting rid of things like the announcers. Anything that means additional audio jobs for it to keep track of. If you need some more audio excitement, your PC will likely do much better with these things disabled and VLC pumping your favourite tunes in the background.

Crank Your Fan

So we're getting into "at your own risk" territory here. One of the official Blizzard forum posts I saw, in response to a user with the same stuttering issues who had recorded PC performance while playing, is that the CPU and GPU were running too hot. Apparently HOTS doesn't do so well at temperatures other games are fine at, and it looks like lost frames.

So while it's probably not recommended to crank your fan up to full speed all the time (which can erode its bearings), my solution has been to manually raise the activity of my fan to the point where those lost frames don't occur. This seems to have worked a charm, albeit making my fan sound like a jet engine, and afterwards I can return it back to automatic control.

Head over to HWInfo's website and grab its tool. Once it's installed, you're looking for the Sensors section of the program:

With that window open, you're looking for a very small fan icon at the bottom, indicated by the red arrow here:

With your fan window up, you can use the slider to increase your fan's speed, and then click on Manual. Even if the slider is towards the top (like in the below image), the fan might not actually be going that speed at the time. So you probably don't need to turn it all the way up.

Crank it a bit, and then close the program because it might interfere with performance while playing a game. See how you go after one match, and then adjust the slider as necessary. When you're done, you can click the System Auto button to put your fan back on autopilot.

Ever since trying the above, I've been able to enjoy a steady framerate and fully embrace my HOTS addiction. As stated, there seems to be a million and one potential solutions to this problem which many people are having, so this may or may not help. Making things more difficult is the fact that sometimes the cause seems to be hardware, sometimes the software, sometimes your internet, and sometimes it's your ISP's setup, through no fault of your own.

But it's worth a shot, and if you come across anything that might help your fellow Kotakuers, post them below!


    I had this stutter issue - but it seemed tied to be tied to the network. Closing the launcher and Agent.exe seemed to help a lot of people as well.

    Side note: I haven't seen you on lately Jung - we had some good games, despite some toxic players. I'm having a real tough time breaking past lvl 38.

      True that, I noticed a small improvement when closing the launcher as well.

      Odd, I've been playing quite a bit recently! You're doing Hero League yeah?

        Yeah, playing Hero League - although I'm not sure why, I can't seem to break 38. Maybe the population has increased, as I am seeing a few different names popping up.

        Add me (and anyone else) if you wanna jam together o0SPOONIE0o#6808

        Last edited 14/09/15 11:28 am

          Ah yeah, I think the population has definitely gone up. I was coming up against a whole lot of new people, especially 4 person groups, but the new rules seem to have helped with that.

          Yeah man totally happy to have a game -- I won't be playing much over the next two weeks as I'll be in the US soon, but I'm Junglist#1768.

          I wouldn't worry too much about your rank though, man. It's a fake number designed to give you a feeling of slow progression. The real elo rating isn't shown to players and you can only estimate it with HOTSLogs.

        Yeah my bad on not being on at all since you asked me to add you Jungs. Kinda burnt out on MOBAs to be honest!

    The only way I've managed to get around the stuttering is to do a complete reinstall. Its a terrible issue especially due to the bans for dropping out.

    Should I crank the fan to the max when I'm playing a game or just the necessary speed?

      Just the necessary speed I'd say. I get the desired result with it at about 5500. Smooth enough to play without stutters, so I haven't seen the need to make it go higher.

        Which version should I be using cause I'm using the most recent one and I cant find that fan symbol anywhere.

    Hmmm. I'm wondering if your CPU was throttling it's speed due to heat. Modern Intel CPU's use Turbo Boost 2.0 to adjust their performance.
    Jung, did you check what your CPU utilisation was while playing HOTS? Was it quite high?
    Might also be interesting to know what your system specs are.

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