Online gaming

Optimize your PC for online gaming and make every second count

Our gaming PCs often fail to deliver optimal gaming experiences due to issues that go undetected. We rarely know the right tweaks to improve the performance of our PCs, or even if we make a few tweaks, they are ineffective. Investing in a good laptop or gaming PC is the only way to ensure top performance. However, despite your best efforts, some adjustments turn out to be a waste of time.

If you just upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11, I’m sure your gaming experience hasn’t been better. Likewise, many tips and tricks are available online, but not all of them are good for improving your PC performance. In this blog post, we will try to look at some effective tweaks to optimize our PC for an enhanced online gaming experience.

For tips on how to build a gaming PC, you can read our guide.

Background processes eat away at your PC’s resources

Unknowingly or knowingly, we often install programs that eat away at a PC’s hardware resources. So, while playing online games, the PC runs on minimal resources, failing to deliver a decent gaming experience. If you’re using a gaming PC with a low-end configuration, your gaming experience is hampered even more. In such cases, it is best to close background programs. However, don’t expect this to make a huge difference.

Windows Game Mode is designed to provide an enhanced gaming experience. When you switch to this mode, Windows devotes a lot of system resources to games and prevents background programs from consuming CPU power.

Windows 10 and 11 have Game Mode enabled by default, but if you want to double-check, go to Settings and find Game Mode under Games. If it’s not on, you can easily do that.

How can you remove unwanted apps?

There are high chances that your computer has lots of unwanted applications. Even if they didn’t use sneaky delivery methods like software bundling, some programs don’t have guest quality in your operating system. Unfortunately, some stealth apps can also gain persistence on your PC. This means that they come back once you restart your system, even if you delete them. Here are the main options for getting rid of the programs:

  • You can remove it from the start menu. All it takes is finding the culprit and right-clicking on it. Then choose the uninstall option.
  • It is also possible to remove the program via this route: Settings -> Applications -> Applications and features. This option lets you review all the apps you have in one place. Thus, you might find other useless programs to remove.
  • You can use third-party uninstallers to remove more persistent apps. This option works well if the unwanted application has made deeper changes. For example, he could have messed with registry settings, making it more difficult to remove. However, please choose reliable PC software uninstallers to ensure that they will not cause problems either.

Chances are that you have several useless apps on your PC. Therefore, don’t be afraid to remove them in favor of better performance.

Upgrading Graphics Drivers

Unless you are having basic computer issues, there is no need to upgrade hardware drivers. However, graphics cards are an exception and you need to upgrade them frequently to improve PC performance. AMD and Nvidia often release new driver updates optimized for the latest online games. So, installing original drivers from manufacturers and updating them regularly will improve your PC’s performance.

Even if you can see the AMD or Nvidia icon in the taskbar, it doesn’t mean you’re using the latest version. You need to log in to AMD or Nvidia website and go to the download page. Now you need to provide the model number of 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 scans the web for new updates. Then it can automatically install the latest updates, and you won’t have to do it manually.

Improve Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection

Apart from your graphics card driver, your internet connection may be the one that is hampering your PC’s performance. Online games require seamless connectivity to provide an enjoyable experience. However, later on, if you experience any issues like lags or connectivity drops, you need to improve the Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection.

Wired connections are best, so find a suitable Ether cable to connect directly to the router. If you cannot make the connection yourself, call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and have a technician do the wiring. Some homes have Ethernet jacks connected 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.

The best Ethernet cables for gaming include options like Braided Dacrown Cat8 and Danyee Cat7. Also, remember that your cable must match your Internet service. What does it mean? Well, if your internet speeds are limited to 50 Mbps, there’s no need to get a cable that facilitates ten Gbps or more.

If you find it difficult to run the Ethernet option, you can always find out different ways to improve the existing Wi-Fi connectivity. A strong signal with lower latency is always the preferred choice for good Wi-Fi.

Fix ISP throttling if needed

Sometimes your internet connection may be far from what you usually enjoy. Suppose you come back after a long day at work and log into your favorite online game with several friends. However, you keep losing because your internet keeps dying or acting relatively slow. Then you can find the problem on your side. Unfortunately, these slow performance issues can be caused by your internet service provider.

In some countries, Internet Service Providers have the legal right to throttle their customers’ Internet connections. This could be done during peak hours to serve all customers efficiently. But it can also depend on the activities you perform. For example, bandwidth-intensive activities are often the ones that are seen as red flags by ISPs. Then they can intentionally slow down 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, ranging from stronger security to greater online privacy. However, it can also prevent ISPs from slowing down your Internet connection. How? Well, a PC VPN encrypts all internet traffic, preventing the ISP from seeing what you’re doing online. If they can’t determine the type of traffic, they can’t detect bandwidth-intensive actions. Therefore, they will not have the ability to slow down online streaming or gaming activities.

Mouse settings can make a difference

Mouse settings are still appropriate for desktop work and should be reconfigured for better gaming experience. Go to Additional Mouse Settings options under Devices or Bluetooth and Devices to adjust the pointer speed to the 6th notch. Additionally, you also need to make sure that Improve pointer precision is turned off.

Mouse acceleration or pointer precision is a great way to ensure good cursor pointing while moving the mouse faster. However, it is not considered a good option for gaming as it will severely hamper your muscle memory development options. You have to make do with the mouse; it takes a lot of practice. So, ensuring a custom mouse setting is essential if you want to play online games that require cursor precision.

Get a dedicated server for games

While it might not be an option for everyone, a dedicated gaming server is a brilliant solution for improving gaming. Essentially, that would mean buying additional software or reusing an old computer.

This last option might be the most suitable because it does not require spending extra money. Then you can use that old PC to host game servers whenever you need. This can be extremely useful if the main game servers go down. You have the power to host your server and enjoy the game regardless.

A home game server can also mean stable performance. You might not even feel any lag. So, if official game servers frequently fail, consider being the mastermind behind personal servers.

Last word

Games and online games are two activities that require a lot of resources. If you play offline, you mainly rely on your PC to provide the best experience. However, online play is prone to lag and freezes whenever your connection drops.

So, while keeping your PC configuration up-to-date is essential, don’t forget the importance of your internet connection. In some cases, you may need to negotiate a new plan with your ISP. But, for the most part, you can optimize online games in other ways. For example, choose Ethernet cables for your PC to ensure Wi-Fi interference is not an issue. After all, even a microwave can negatively affect your Wi-Fi connection.