How to Make PC Games Run Faster and Smoother
By Joshua Phillips
Updated September 22, 2017
PC gaming and console gaming has one major difference: while a game made for a specific console will run the same on every such console, a PC game does not work the same on every PC. This is due to a number of factors: your computer's hardware, the software you are running on your computer or the settings in the game itself. When one of these factors is affecting your PC game negatively, it causes it to run choppy and sluggishly, ruining your enjoyment of the game. There are a variety of techniques you can use to make your PC games run faster and smoother.
Upgrade your hardware. The three most important PC components to run a PC game are your CPU, video card and RAM. Upgrading any of these three components will result in smoother and faster gameplay.
Upgrade your video card drivers. Often, video card manufacturers release updates, called drivers, that improve the functionality of your card. Many times, these drivers target specific games in an attempt to increase your frames-per-second, or FPS, resulting in faster or smoother gameplay. Video card drivers are available for free on the manufacturer's website.
Lower the in-game graphics options. Many PC games have a number of graphics settings that you can lower or disable to increase performance. Turning off graphics settings such as shadows or anti-aliasing could increase the fluidity and speed of your game.
Close all other applications before playing a PC game. In general, a PC game needs as much of your computer's resources as it can get; running programs in the background, such as a Web browser or word processing software, will not allow the game to access your computer's full resources. This results in choppy or slow gameplay.
Clean out your computer case. Dust build-up can cause fans and cooling devices to not work properly, resulting in your hardware running at decreased speed.
Run an anti-virus or anti-malware scan. Viruses and malware can both have a detrimental effect on your hardware, causing it to run at decreased speeds.
Plug your PC into a wired Internet connection. If you are experiencing choppy gameplay in an online game while using a Wi-Fi connection, the cause is that your PC is not establishing a strong wireless connection to the router. Plugging the PC into the router directly will give you a large boost in the speed and fluidity of your online games.
Verify that your computer meets the minimum requirements for a PC game, often listed on the game's website, before purchasing. Not meeting the minimum requirements usually guarantees that your game will run sluggishly.
Joshua Phillips has done it all when it comes to video games: strategy guides, previews, reviews, in-depth interviews with developers and extensive public relations work. He has written for websites such as Hardcore Gaming 101 and MyInsideGamer.