How do I find my frame rate (in FPS) in Skyrim?
Really this goes for any game, but for my current needs, how do I measure my Frames per Second in Skyrim?
If possible I would like to avoid installing any additional software.
Unfortunately, Skyrim does not provide a method for displaying its FPS to the player. The console command
tdt(ToggleDebugText) was expected to work by many players, as it did in previous Bethesda games. It doesn't work in Skyrim, though, so third-party software really is your only choice in this case.
I've used FRAPS successfully with Skyrim, the free version is sufficient for just an FPS readout.
In general, if a game or its engine doesn't specifically provide an implementation of an FPS readout (usually via some sort of console command or similar), then additional software is your only choice.
DMA57361 is correct. I recommend FRAPS as well: but keep in mind other factors such as vertical sync ( a setting which can be in your graphic card's software or in game or both) that limits your FPS to 60. This prevents screen tearing. With the beta patch (1.4?), it increased 10-15+ FPS but it is still a little buggy - hence beta.
+1 for FRAPS, even nVidia recommends using it for their Skyrim settings tweaking guide.