Playing some of your favorite games after a long day is a great way to unwind. With games becoming more advanced, so are the requirements for your laptop to run these games without any interruptions. Dealing with lag, unresponsiveness, and overall choppy gameplay takes away the most enjoyable aspects of being a gamer.
It is important to note that not all laptops are designed for gaming. You may have a laptop that works perfectly fine for Netflix, word processing, and administrative work, but it doesn’t work nearly as well in running large games. Gaming laptops are equipped with powerful GPU and CPU, allowing you to enjoy video games at their full potential.
In addition, there are a few techniques that can help you run games better on laptops. Even if you’re still hanging onto an older laptop, there are improvements to enhance your overall gaming experience. Check out these eight suggestions on how to run games better on a laptop:
1. Turn down in-game settings
Play around with the settings in your favorite games to see if you can improve performance. Switching graphic details from high to low can make a significant difference in terms of playability, especially if you’re on an older machine. You can also adjust and lower the resolution output via the in-game settings. Look for shadow detail, texture quality, and shader detail settings to turn them as low as possible.
If you want to go all out in enhancing performance, you can turn off the sound and music. Doing this reduces how much your laptop has to load, which improves the gaming performance. Of course, the trade-off is that shutting off too many features will make your gaming experience very restrictive.
Instead of compromising, get a top-of-the-line laptop like the ROG Zephyrus S17, which has up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU. Along with a GPU that goes up to GeForce RTX 3080, this laptop has outstanding specs designed for gaming.
2. Lower your laptop resolution
Lowering the resolution on your laptop is another way to enhance performance. High resolution levels allow for high FPS rates, which forces your GPU to work harder. If you’re trying to game on an old machine, high-resolution levels will put too much burden on your laptop, likely causing it to overheat.
To fix this, type “Display Settings” in the Start menu and test out a lower resolution level. Lower the resolution by one level at a time, until you find the most optimal setting to take pressure off your GPU. As long as your CPU can keep up, lowering the resolution on your laptop and in-game will help you to get a better performance.
3. Adjust power settings
Another way you can enjoy games on an older laptop is by telling Windows how you want to use your power. If you have Windows 10, you can click on the battery icon in the taskbar and adjust the slider between ‘Battery Saver’ and ‘Best Performance’.
The ‘Best Performance’ mode disregards your battery life in exchange for improved performance and responsiveness. This means your CPU is allowed to run at full speed without being pulled back to save energy. The other power modes on your laptop reduce and increase CPU usage as needed. To optimize the ‘Best Performance’ option, only play video games while your laptop is plugged into a long-term power source.
4. Update all your drivers
Not having the latest drivers can affect how your laptop performs. This is especially true for all the drivers used by your graphics card. Using the most current version will help your graphics card to maintain consistent performance.
Driver updates contain information that helps your device better communicate with your laptop. These new updates also contain security updates and fixes to bugs exposed in previous versions. Make sure you check your video, sound, and network drivers for updates regularly.
5. Keep your laptop cool
Heat is one of the biggest culprits that interfere with gaming performance. The more you use your laptop, the harder it needs to work, which results in heat generated from your GPU, CPU, and other components. If you have fans on the back of your laptop, play games with your laptop in an elevated position to encourage airflow.
Keeping your laptop clean will help you to fight overheating. Dust and debris get caught in the vents and act as insulation, which makes your laptop even hotter. When your laptop starts overheating, you may experience thermal throttling. This is when performance begins to drop, specifically because your laptop can’t get rid of the heat that it generates.
You can get laptops that prioritize cooling like the ROG Strix G15 G513 from ASUS. This laptop uses liquid metal thermal compound, four heatsinks, and sophisticated fan outlets to push airflow with less turbulence. Plus, the gaming laptop has powerful specs with a GeForce RTX 3070 GPU paired with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, which contribute to ultra smooth gameplay.
6. Test your network speed
Improving your Internet speeds is another way to get better performance from your laptop. If you’re playing online games, your laptop will struggle to produce a smooth experience if you have a weak connection. Poor Internet speeds cause delay, lag, and result in a high ping.
You can use Internet speed websites to assess your current network performance. Investing in a better Internet connection may help you get more mileage and run games better on a laptop.
7. Uninstall programs you don’t need
When you uninstall unnecessary programs, this will optimize your gaming performance and the overall performance from your laptop. Programs you don’t need are just taking up resources on your laptop, which could be used to give you better gaming performance. It’s worth using a program like IObit Uninstaller, which deletes all leftover files and registry items that simply clicking ‘uninstall’ doesn’t achieve.
8. Don’t play games on battery power
Playing games on your laptop takes a lot of computing power. Between your CPU and RAM being pushed to the limits, your laptop will run out of power quickly if you are only on battery mode. Your laptop battery simply can’t provide the same level of sustained power compared to a plugged-in source.
Quickly draining your battery also creates heat in your laptop, which is another factor that reduces performance. Plus, gaming on battery forces you to drain and charge the battery more often, which reduces the battery’s lifespan. Before playing games on your laptop, plug in to a nearby power source to improve gaming performance in all areas.