For many years, stationary PCs have ruled the world of gaming; enthusiasts have long preferred them to laptops.
This is mostly because desktop PCs are much faster and generally have more power potential.
They've also made it possible to customize your gaming experience.
Gaming fans can replace graphics cards or speed boosters with updated versions that run a better picture. Because of this, many have been staying away from laptops.
In most, if not all laptops, graphic cards are generally built-in and can't be replaced or renewed. That means you'd have to resort to other ways to get that desired gaming experience.
This is not always optimal, especially if you're not very handy with technology.
Despite this, laptops are closing the gap.
Slowly but steadily they have climbed up the ladder and are now offering better graphics than before.
Thanks to gaming fans, the internet is full of tips and tricks on how to optimize your laptop gaming experience.
Laptops have a lot to offer for the gaming enthusiasts. Their portability makes them ideal for catching up on those missed levels while on the go. And with some tweaks here and there, you can get decent graphics and optimal speed, even for new games.
Games such as The Sims 4 and Broken Age are rated among the best laptop plays of 2018.
Both of these require high-resolution graphics and speed to get the greatest possible experience. With the right equipment and how-to tips, you can have an amazing laptop gaming experience.
1. Keep Your Laptop Clean
Keeping your laptop clean is essential for optimal and long life functioning. Unfortunately, this generally does not even reach the top ten on most people's to-do list.
When I'm talking about cleaning your laptop, it's not about wiping the germs off the keyboard or dusting the screen.
Under the hood is where most of the components reside, such as fan blades, graphics card, memory, and so on. Unfortunately, this is also where the notorious dust bunnies love to hide.
Because it's closed off, many of us have never thought of opening to have a look, let alone to clean. But I guarantee you'll be amazed at how dirty and dusty the internal components of your laptop can become. And this could very well be the reason why your games are running slower than usual.
How to Clean a Laptop
Cleaning a laptop is relatively straightforward if you know what you're doing.
Manufacturers generally do not recommend opening the back and taking it apart as this could void a warranty. So if you don't feel comfortable, leave it for a professional or maybe a friend with more experience.
But if you want to try, here's a short guide.
- You'll need a flat-tip screwdriver, compressed air, and cotton swabs or q-tips. Begin by placing your laptop upside down on a table or flat surface.
- Remove the battery and look for the air vents connected to the cooling fan. You should be able to see some screws; use your screwdriver to remove these. Maybe take a photo to remember where they go.
- Once inside, avoid touching too much. Use the can of compressed air to blow out dust. Don't go crazy with the air as you can damage the interior: instead use short, sharp bursts.
- While cleaning the fan blades, try to keep them still with your fingers. Utilize the cotton swabs for larger debris or any that the air couldn't remove. Make sure the air is blowing out of the computer and not in.
- Put everything back in its place once you're finished, and proceed with cleaning the outside.
2. Keep Your Laptop Updated
We're all too familiar with that little pop-up window saying it is time for a software update.
Many of us tend to quickly close it because we don’t want to lose precious time waiting for it to complete. But that is not how you should be thinking; keeping your laptop up to date is just as important as cleaning.
The tech world is constantly developing new updates to improve your computer. This means your old device can quickly become out-of-date.
When updating to improve your gaming experience, it’s important to look at the physical components such as the hardware. But you also need to update the "brain" of your laptop, otherwise known as the software.
When updating your laptop, you are also keeping it safe from intruders. Whether they're coming from outside or inside, your computer is secure. This is very important if you're playing online games, where you can easily be exposed to viruses or other bugs.
The hardware is basically everything you can see and touch.
This includes the screen, keyboard, central processing unit, motherboard, speakers, and memory card.
You don't have to upgrade all of these. When gaming it's always ideal to have a large RAM (random access memory) to house your games.
Choose which upgrades you'll need and look for those coming from the leading brands. This will likely give you the best quality and longest life expectancy for your machine. Make sure you're aware of model numbers, brands, and other factors, to ensure they're compatible with your specific laptop.
As I mentioned above, the software acts as the brains of the hardware and computer functions.
Every bit of information, whether it’s from programs, data, or computer systems, is passing through here. So keeping this up to date is vital for an optimized gaming experience.
Vendors will generally take a lot of time making sure their new software passes all the quality assurance tests. Sometimes, however, flaws won't become apparent until further down the road, which is why they must keep developing. But good software will, for sure, enhance your performance while preventing annoying stutters or other inconveniences.
You want to be sure that your laptop has all the suitable drivers and systems to get the best performance. You might have to put out a little cash to get the updates, but this is usually worthwhile.
High-quality programs will give you the best results.
Definitely make sure that any software updates are compatible with your particular laptop and games.
Keeping not only your laptop’s software but your own knowledge updated as well is always a good idea. This way you'll know when new upgrades are available, which to choose, and those you can skip.
You can stay up-to-date by keeping a close eye on gaming or computer blogs, YouTube videos, or by asking professionals. The tech world is always evolving, so it’s essential to keep up if you want that optimized gaming experience.
3. Adjust In-Game Settings
If you're an average Joe, adjusting the in-game settings to optimize your gaming experience might not have crossed your mind.
It's not uncommon for newbie gamers to keep a distance from the in-game settings other than sound. Unless you're a real techie, the settings can sometimes seem a bit scary.
But the truth is, many games can yield significant improvements just by amending those settings.
You can make your game run faster by modifying the number of frames per second. To get the best experience, keep your game running at your monitor's original resolution.
To further improve the performance, you can change the display settings too.
This may alter the quality of the texture, but it's worth a try. Take your time and experiment, but remember the original settings so you can reset them if things are not improving.
One tip is to aim for a balance between the look of the game and the way it plays.
4. Disable Distracting Background Apps
When playing a game, ideally you'll want all your laptop's focus and energy on the game for the best experience.
Unfortunately, some systems and devices enable other apps and programs to run in the background. This will likely decrease the game’s performance as the speed may slow down, or other distractions might occur.
Fortunately, you can easily find which apps are working in the background. Go to the task manager on your computer, and check which are running. If they're irrelevant, choose the select on the screen and simply close them.
However, just be sure that you're not killing anything significant. If you feel unsure, do a quick Google search of the name of the app. The last thing you want is to delete or close something critical.
5. Adjust the Screen Settings on Your Laptop
Again, this may not be on the top of everyone's list, but it can make a difference.
Go to your computer's settings and re-adjust the texture and details. Look for a configuration that doesn't interfere with the performance. Otherwise, it could weigh down on your speed.
Adjust 3D Settings
On some laptops, you are also able to adjust the 3D settings.
Go to the settings of the computer and select 3D. Many computers have sliders which you can glide between "performance" and "quality." So just like the above, find the right balance between these two.
If you increase the quality too much, you might not get as many frames per second as you otherwise would have. So in turn, you may encounter some lags in the performance.
In contrast, gliding it too far towards "performance" will increase the performance, but you may not get the same graphic effects. Experiment until you discover what serves you best. There should be preset options that you can use if you're not sure how to adjust them.
Try a Third-Party Program
If this seems to be a bit too time-consuming for you, or maybe too complicated, consider investing in third-party programs.
These will work to optimize your game software by tweaking the settings for you. And don’t worry—many people prefer third-party programs overdoing the tweaking themselves.
Most will typically adjust the graphics, clean out unnecessary data and some will even overclock your order. This can bring vast improvements to your performance without all the hassle of sliding and gliding the adjustment settings yourself.
One example is the Razer Game Booster; this program will enhance your performance by disabling unnecessary apps and services. It has a one-click feature that automatically shuts down other apps. Or you can choose which ones to close and it will remember that for next time.
It will also clear up RAM, increasing speed and improving frame rate per second for a better picture. One big plus is that it's free to download. However, if you're savvy with computer settings, it's probably better to do the tweaks manually for a more personalized experience.
6. Increase Laptop Speed
Speed is ideal for a solid gaming experience, so you want to make sure your laptop is set up for the task. Just like any other setting, how to do it depends on your model.
On most laptops, you can usually adjust the speed by clicking on the battery icon and choosing power settings. Here you'll want to switch it to "high-performance" mode to get the best speed.
And just like we mentioned above, close any unnecessary apps and services which feed on your laptop's performance.
Just as you'll need a fast computer if you're playing games online make sure your internet is holding up.
A slow connection is more than likely to lead to pauses and slow-downs. This is the last thing you want while playing against the world wide web.
Points to Remember
Laptops can be great for gaming.
Although they may not be as powerful as desktop PCs, they do have their advantages. It's all about knowing what you can do to enhance them.
First of all, it is vital to nurture your laptop’s need for maintenance. Taking a look under the keyboard and removing those dust bunnies could really make a difference. It is also essential to keep your device up to date, both the software and hardware.
This is especially true when you're playing newer games that require the latest updates.
Remember to clear out all unnecessary data and close all background apps while playing. This will increase the speed and performance of your laptop. And last but not least, give those settings a fine-tune, both within the game and on your laptop.So here you have six ways of optimizing your laptop gaming experience. These are just some initial tricks; continue to expand your knowledge and stay updated and up to speed.