It doesn’t matter what game you play – lag can disrupt your gameplay. A computer that has not been optimized for gaming can often cause crashes in gameplay, with everything from outdated software to poor networking. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your Windows gaming experience.
If you want to learn how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming, start with the basics. Let’s take a look at everything you can do to improve the performance of your Windows gaming PC if your hardware is working properly. Before doing anything else, make sure you have the latest version of Windows 10.
Optimize Windows 10 for Games with Game Mode
The first thing every Windows gamer should do is enable Gaming Mode in Windows 10. If you see mixed performance while playing a Windows game, this can help improve the frame rates you see while playing.
This isn’t to say that Gaming Mode is a magical solution to any underlying performance issues with your PC, but it can help you get a little more out of your hardware during those intense gaming sessions. You need to activate Game Mode before you can use it, although some games may turn it on automatically.
- To use Gaming Mode in Windows 10, right-click the Windows Start menu and click Settings. From here, click Games> Game Mode and make sure the Use Game Mode slider is set to the highlighted position.
Update graphics drivers
As you might expect, your graphics card plays a big role in determining how well your computer performs during gaming sessions, especially in graphics intensive games. Updating your graphics drivers can help optimize Windows 10 for gaming, which can improve your overall gaming experience.
If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, be sure to update your NVIDIA graphics drivers to the latest version from the GeForce website AMD users can find new and supported drivers for their graphics cards by visiting the AMD website instead.
Alternatively, you can search for drivers using Windows Update, which can be accessed by right-clicking the Windows Start menu and choosing Settings. From here, click Update & Security> Windows Update and check for the latest available updates containing new drivers.
Improve network performance
Gaming is a social experience that can be seriously impacted by poor network performance. If latency is lowering your kill count, then you should consider improving network performance on Windows 10.
Start with the basics – make sure your connection is stable, for WiFi connections, remove any obstacles, amplify your WiFi signals with repeaters, and consider switching to a high-quality router that’s rated for gaming performance. Also consider using gigabit Ethernet connections or Wi-Fi networks in the 5 GHz band.
If the problem persists, you may need to investigate other causes of network lag, including poor broadband connection at home. If you are unsure, you can run the Internet Latency Test to check the performance of your connection.
Reduce the Visual Effects of Windows 10
On a modern PC, you are unlikely to find that the visuals used in Windows 10 will greatly affect your performance, but that depends on how well the game has been designed and the system resources available. P>
Reducing the number of visuals used in Windows 10 is easy, and after doing that, you may notice a slight improvement in performance, especially if you have a lot of memory.
- Right-click to start. Click the Windows Start Menu button and click Settings. In the search bar at the top of the Options menu, type “Customize the look and feel of Windows” and click the option that appears to open the “Performance Options” window.
From here, select the “Adjust for Best Performance” radio button in the “Visual Effects” tab, and then click the “Apply” button.
- On the Advanced tab, ensure that the Optimize Performance option is set to Programs. Click OK to save.
Use High Performance Mode
If you are using Windows 10 on a device with a battery, you may notice that your performance changes when you are in low battery mode compared to when you are connected to the network. This is because Windows lowers the requirements on your battery by slowing down your PC when it is turned off to give you power for as long as possible.
Typically, Windows 10 defaults to a balanced plan that tries to offer a better user experience, with good battery life while using too much power. To optimize Windows 10 for gaming, switch to High Performance Mode.
- To do this, right-click the Windows Start Menu button and select System. From here click Power & Sleep> Additional Power Settings.
In the Power Options window, click the High Performance switch to switch to this power mode. The power mode you have selected should be applied immediately.
Install the latest version of DirectX
DirectX is the API that Windows uses to turn games into reality on Windows – without it, you probably wouldn’t be able to play any games at all. While major DirectX releases are quite rare, they do appear from time to time and usually come with breakthrough enhancements, optimizations, and support for new hardware types.
If you only have an older version of DirectX installed, it could mean that you are not getting the best gaming experience available for your hardware. Updating DirectX might fix the problem if it does.
You can check the currently installed version of DirectX using the dxdiag tool, which can be launched by simultaneously pressing the Windows + R keys on your keyboard, typing dxdiag in the Run window and pressing Enter.
If DirectX is outdated, you will need to update it to the latest version using Windows Update, as an offline installer is not available. Right-click the Windows Start Menu button and select Settings, then Update & Security> Windows Update to check your computer for new updates.
Better Windows 10 Games
This isn’t the only way to help you if you want to learn how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming. You may want to consider upgrading your PC to newer hardware, which should help improve your gaming performance instantly. You may also want to consider moving to a console platform like the Xbox, which runs a customized version of Windows 10.
Alternatively, you can ditch expensive gaming equipment altogether. Game streaming services such as GeForce Now let you play high-quality games on any device of your choice by offloading heavy processing to hosted servers. How do you prefer to play your games? Let us know in the comment section below.