Our gaming PCs often do not provide an optimal gaming experience because problems go undetected. We are seldom aware of the right tweaks to improve the performance of our PCs or even when we do some tweaks they are ineffective. Investing in a good gaming laptop or PC is the only way to ensure optimal performance. But despite your best efforts, some adjustments turn out to be a complete waste of time.
If you simply upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11, I am sure your gaming experience was no better. Likewise, many tips and tricks are available online, but not all are well suited to improve your PC’s performance. In this blog post we will try to explore some effective adjustments to optimize our PC for an improved online gaming experience.
Check out our guide for tips on building a gaming PC.
Background processes eat up your PC resources
Often, unwittingly or knowingly, we install programs that consume a PC’s hardware resources. Therefore, when playing online games, the PC works with minimal resources and does not deliver a decent gaming experience. Using a gaming PC with a low-end configuration will further degrade your gaming experience. In such cases, it is better to close the background programs. However, don’t expect it to make a huge difference.
Windows Game Mode is designed to provide an enhanced gaming experience. When you switch to this mode, Windows dedicates a large part of the system resources to games and prevents the background programs from consuming CPU power.
Windows 10 and 11 have Game Mode turned on by default, but if you want to double-check, go to Settings and locate Game Mode under Games. In case it is not turned on, you can easily do so.
How can you remove unwanted applications?
Chances are that your computer has many unwanted applications. Even if they don’t use sneaky delivery methods like software bundling, some programs lack the quality to be invited into your operating system. Unfortunately, some stealthy applications can remain on your PC as well. That means they will come back as soon as you restart your system, even if you delete them. Here are the top program removal options:
- You can remove it from the start menu. All you have to do is find the culprit and right click on it. Then select the uninstall option.
- It is also possible to remove the program via this route: Settings -> Apps -> Apps & features. This option allows you to review all your applications in one place. Therefore, you may find other unnecessary programs that need to be removed.
- You can use third-party uninstallers to remove more persistent applications. This option works well when the unwanted application has made more profound changes. For example, it might have played with registry settings, making its removal difficult. However, please choose reliable PC software uninstallers to make sure they don’t cause problems.
Chances are that you have several unnecessary applications on your PC. So don’t be afraid to remove them in favor of better performance.
Update graphics driver
Unless you have basic computer problems, there is no point in updating hardware drivers. Graphics cards are an exception, however, and you’ll need to upgrade them frequently to boost PC performance. AMD and Nvidia frequently release new driver updates optimized for the latest online games. Therefore, installing the original manufacturers’ drivers and updating them regularly will improve your PC’s performance.
Even if you see the AMD or Nvidia icon in the taskbar, it does not mean that you are using the latest version. You need to login to AMD or Nvidia website and go to the download page. Now you need to provide the model number for your PC’s graphics card and then download the latest driver.
However, it is also possible to automate the driver update process. All you need is driver update software that will scan the internet for new updates. Then it can install the latest updates automatically, and you don’t have to do it manually.
Improve Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection
Aside from your graphics card driver, your internet connection can affect the performance of your PC. Online gaming requires seamless connectivity to provide an enjoyable experience. However, if you later experience issues like lag or connection loss, you need to improve Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection.
Wired connections are best, so find a suitable Ethernet cable to connect directly to the router. If you can’t connect yourself, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and have a technician do the wiring. Some homes have Ethernet jacks that connect to the router and you can use them to connect to your PC. Powerline adapters allow you to use existing electrical wiring to run network data cables.
Some of the best Ethernet cables for gaming include options like Dacrown Cat8 and Danyee Cat7 braided. Also, don’t forget that your cable should match your internet service. What does that mean? Well, if your internet speed is limited to 50Mbps, you don’t need a 10Gbps or higher cable.
If you find it difficult to run the Ethernet option, you can always try different ways to improve the existing Wi-Fi connectivity. A strong signal with low latency is always the preferred choice for good WiFi.
Fix ISP throttling if necessary
Sometimes your internet connection is far from what you normally enjoy. Suppose you return after a long day at work and turn on your favorite online game with several friends. However, you keep losing because your internet keeps disappearing or responding relatively slowly. Then you could look for the problem yourself. Unfortunately, such slow performance issues can be caused by your internet service provider.
In some countries, internet service providers have the legal right to slow down their customers’ internet connections. This could be done during peak hours to serve all customers efficiently. But it could also depend on the activities you do. For example, bandwidth-intensive activities are often the ones seen as a red flag by ISPs. Then they can intentionally slow down the traffic for those activities.
Luckily, you can prevent ISP throttling based on your traffic type. A Virtual Private Network is an application that can provide many benefits, from increased security to more privacy on the Internet. However, it can also block ISPs from slowing down your Internet connection. As? Well, a VPN for PC encrypts all internet traffic and prevents the ISP from seeing what you are doing online. If they can’t determine the traffic type, they can’t detect bandwidth-intensive actions. As a result, they have no way of slowing down streaming or online gaming activity.
Mouse settings can make a difference
Mouse settings are always tuned to work on the desktop and need to be reconfigured for a better gaming experience. Go to the options for additional mouse settings under Devices or Bluetooth and Devices to set the pointer speed to the 6th level. In addition, you also need to make sure that Enhance Pointer Precision is disabled.
Mouse acceleration, or pointer precision, is a great way to ensure the mouse pointer is pointing correctly while moving the mouse faster. However, it is not considered a good option for gaming as it would severely impact your ability to build muscle memory. You have to get your way with the mouse; this requires a lot of practice. Therefore, it is important to ensure an appropriate mouse setting if you want to play online games that require cursor precision.
Get a dedicated server for gaming
While it might not be an option for everyone, a dedicated gaming server is a brilliant solution for better gaming. Essentially, it would mean buying additional software or repurposing an old computer.
The latter option might be the most suitable as it doesn’t require you to spend any extra money. Then you can use that old PC to host gaming servers whenever you need them. It can be extremely helpful when the main game servers go down. You have the option to host your server and still enjoy the game.
A gaming server at home can also mean stable performance. You may not even experience any delays. So if official game servers go down frequently, consider being the mastermind behind personal servers.
Gaming and online gaming are two activities that require a lot of resources. When playing offline, you rely primarily on your PC to deliver the best experience. However, online games tend to lag and freeze when your connection drops.
Therefore, although updating your PC setup is essential, do not forget the importance of your internet connection. In some cases, you may need to negotiate a new, better plan with your ISP. But for the most part, you can optimize online gaming in other ways. For example, choose Ethernet cables for your PC to ensure that Wi-Fi interference is not a problem. Finally, a microwave can also negatively affect your WiFi connection.