Did you know that over 43% of American adults say they play video games?
When you want your games to run smoothly, you must have an optimized PC. This matters not whether you’re using a desktop or a laptop. The performance is the key to a wonderful, immersive gaming experience.
So, how do you optimize your computer?
The answer is simpler than you think. Read this guide and learn ways to optimize your Windows 10 PC. These tips are simple enough that you need not have extensive knowledge of computers.
1. Update Everything
This first tip sounds too obvious for some. However, it’s surprising that a lot of people will overlook this simple method of optimizing your PC performance. If you keep your computer up-to-date, your gaming experience becomes free from frustration.
You must know that Windows 10 installs updates automatically. That’s why over 1 billion devices around the world run this operating system. The sad news is that a lot of users turn off this wonderful feature.
If you haven’t updated your Windows 10 for a while, check the updates manually. Type “updates” in the search bar. Pick the “Check for updates” option since it takes you to the update settings window.
Click on the tab that says “check for updates.” Windows will look for any pending updates. Download and install any update that pops up.
To finish it off, restart your PC once the updates conclude. In most cases, you’ll see a marked improvement in your computer’s performance.
Update Your GPU Drivers
Are you experiencing game crashes, lag, or freezes? If so, it’s likely because of graphics card problems. Even when GPU drivers have an automatic update option, it’s rare for them to detect new updates as they roll out.
Do a clean install of the GPU drivers to fix in-game issues. It’s because this process erases the traces of previous drivers. Go to your GPU’s manufacturer website and get the most recent driver update.
Verify Your Game Files
This is a great way to fix a game with issues. Take note, this only works if you’re one of the 24 million daily Steam users in the world. To do this, you must restart your computer before launching Steam.
Right-click on the troublesome game in your library. From the menu that pops up, pick “Priorities” and then the “Local Files” tab. After that, pick “Verify integrity of game files” since this lets Steam validate each game file.
Take note, this process can take a few minutes to finish. This depends on the size and complexity of the game. Once it’s done, start the game and see whether its performance improves.
2. Enable Windows Game Mode
In 2017, Windows 10 gained a gaming mode feature simply known as “Game Mode.” If you keep your system updated, this feature can help you have a smoother gaming experience. It’s especially when you aim to make newer Triple-A video games playable.
Take note, these games will use lots of your computer’s resources. If you have other applications running in the background, this will impact your performance. Game Mode will identify these applications and disallow them from using lots of resources.
Sometimes, Game Mode will disable these applications completely. The good news is that the feature only does this temporarily. This means after you finish gaming, the application’s processes will resume.
Not sure whether your Windows 10 Game Mode is active? If so, go to your search bar and type Game Mode to open your Settings in the relevant section. Toggle the switch on to enable Game Mode.
Game Mode does a decent job of optimizing your gaming experience. However, it does the most benefit if your hardware is older. It isn’t the perfect solution since it won’t give the magic boost in frame rates.
3. Change the Power Plan for Windows 10
The power plan enabled on your PC can affect your computer’s performance. If you’re using a gaming laptop, power management can be helpful. It’s because it saves your battery life.
However, as a desktop user, you won’t receive any benefits from this feature. This means you need not worry about any restrictions. With that, you can set your computer to high-performance mode instead.
Do this by searching “power plan” on the Start menu’s search bar. Click on “Choose a power plan” as it shows up and then “Show additional plans.” Here, you can switch the power plan to high-performance mode.
This tip is more beneficial if you have older hardware. It’s an important tweak to make your Windows 10 system fit for gaming and productivity tasks. As for people with higher-end hardware, you won’t see a lot of difference.
4. Disable Visual Effects
Whenever you open or close windows, you might notice the smooth animations. These are great eye candy and improves your experience a little. However, if your purpose is to improve gaming performance, having these enabled hinder your experience.
This happens because visual effects will hog some processing power. To get the best gaming experience, you must get the most resources. This means you must turn visual effects off.
To do this, go to your search bar and type “advanced system settings.” After opening the first option, go to the Performance tab and click on the settings. Pick the “Adjust for best performance” option.
5. Disable Automatic Windows Updates
This tip seems contradictory to our previous one. However, this isn’t counterproductive because it’s better to do manual updates instead. The reason is simply because of the sheer annoyance of automatic updates in Windows 10.
When playing games, you might see a pop-up to update your Windows OS. Sometimes, the system decides to update without notifying you. When this happens, it becomes frustrating since it will sometimes grind you to a halt.
To turn automatic updates off, press the Windows key and “i” at the same time. This opens the Settings window. Here, open “Update and Security” and click on advanced options.
Here, you can disable the automatic update download option. Once done, Windows won’t suddenly update your system anymore. However, it’s your responsibility to update it when you’re not gaming.
While you’re in this window, look for the “We’ll show a reminder when we’re going to restart” option. Ensure it’s active since this will let Windows notify you whenever it must restart after updating.
6. Replace your HDD with SSD
Adding a Solid State Drive (SSD) won’t impact your gaming performance a lot. However, you must remember that this guide tackles tips beyond running games better. It’s all about improving your gaming experience.
Getting an SSD is a good step toward that goal. It’s because of their impressive speed compared to traditional HDDs. Once you try this, you’ll find how ridiculous the difference in speed and load times.
Take note, laptops with HDDs are slow since they only boast 5400rpm. The best part is you no longer have an excuse because flash storage is cheaper now. This means you can get a great SSD without breaking your budget.
With this, you’ll notice faster loading times in your games. The best part is that Windows will boot up faster as well.
As an alternative, why not replace your gaming laptop with a new one? If your laptop is half a decade old, it’s time to treat yourself and improve your gaming experience. You can make a choice between these Lenovo gaming laptops and become better at games.
7. Disable Mouse Acceleration
Mouse acceleration is a Windows 10-exclusive feature. It moves your cursor depending on your mouse’s movement speeds. Disabling this won’t improve game performance, but it will enhance your experience.
The reason is that mouse acceleration often gets in the way of precision. This is most noticeable if you play first-person shooting games. Timing your shots are critical, so lacking mouse precision is troublesome.
To turn off mouse acceleration, got your search bar and type in “mouse pointer.” Open it and go to the pointer options tab. If the “Enhance pointer precision” is active, untick it to disable mouse acceleration.
8. Disable Windows 10 Notifications
Windows 10 has a Focus Assist feature. This allows you to set when and how you receive various notifications. This is especially helpful when you must focus on your gaming sessions.
After all, popups and chimes will usually come with notifications. This interrupts your concentration, especially when you’re in crucial parts of the game. That’s why you can use Focus Assist to keep notifications at bay.
To do this, use the shortcut earlier to open your Settings. Go to System and choose Focus Assist. After that, select Alarms Only since this will hide all other notification types.
Get an Optimized PC Today!
To get a powerful computer, you must optimize various settings to fit your gaming needs. Follow these tips to achieve this goal more effectively.
Did this help you get an optimized PC? If so, read our other guides to learn more valuable information about video games and other PC-related tips.