Optimizing your PC will allow you to get more out of your games. Even if you don’t own a gaming PC, you can still perform some basic tasks to boost performance. Changing a few settings could help games run smoothly on a budget or older PC model. Perform optimization tasks regularly since the longer you use the PC, the more clutter will accumulate.
Preparing for Gaming Optimization
Before performing any optimization tasks, confirm that your computer has the latest Windows update installed. Check for updates under the “Settings” menu by choosing the “Update & Security” tab. They will appear under the “Windows Update” menu if any updates are available. Select the update and reboot the PC once installed. You may also want to create a restore point before proceeding with any other setting changes. A restore point allows you to easily reset any settings that may have interfered with how well your PC is working.
Enable Gaming Mode
Windows has conveniently built-in gaming optimization settings for users. Instead of making manual changes, you can type in “Game” through the search bar in the “Start” menu. Select “Game Mode Settings” when it appears as an option. Toggle to turn on “Gaming Mode.”
You will also want to turn off notifications after enabling Gaming Mode. Under the “System” menu, you will see a “Notifications” menu. Choose “Turn on Do Not Disturb Automatically” and mark the checkbox for “When Playing a Game.” With the setting, you won’t receive annoying popups during gameplay.
Fix Mouse Settings
Microsoft’s Enhance Pointer Precision can cause significant issues while gaming. The setting aims to change the speed of your cursor based on how fast you’re moving the mouse. To turn off the option, visit the “Control Panel” from your “Start” menu. Under “Hardware and Sound,” you’ll find “Devices and Printers.” Once you click on “Mouse,” go to the “Pointer Options” tab. From there, you can uncheck the box for “Enhance Printer Precision.”
Closing Background Programs
Too many programs in your PC’s background can substantially slow gaming performance. If too many processes are running, older PCs and budget models will have difficulty keeping up with your games. Open the “Task Manager” to see the apps running and close the appropriate ones before launching any games.
Updating drivers is especially important when it comes to graphics cards. The latest drivers confirm your cards have the updates needed to work correctly. Well-known manufacturers such as Nvidia and AMD will routinely offer graphic card driver updates to support the latest game releases. Visit the manufacturer page to check for driver downloads. Select manufacturers are now offering the chance for customers to opt into automatic updates.
Overlays can cause significant performance issues, the most common culprit being the Microsoft Xbox Game Bar. Start by visiting the “Settings” menu on your PC. Navigate to “Gaming” and choose “Xbox Game Bar.” Toggle the option to off as a way to stop the overlay from appearing.