Thanks to its ability to deliver amazing gameplay, true-to-life graphics and visuals, and a wide range of components, PC gaming is known to be one of the most immersive and intense kinds of gaming available and widely preferred today. Having been in the market for quite some time now, Windows 10 happens to be one of the leading choices of operating systems for gamers. The operating system not only allows gamers to play their favorite latest titles, but also supports retro gaming titles, allows the mixing of native games, and enables Xbox streaming as well.
While Windows 10 is one excellent OS for playing games, there are a few things you can do to optimize it for better gaming experience and to use it to its full potential.
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Quick Tips to Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming
Update the Drivers Regularly
When you talk about drivers, perhaps the main driver you should consider with any gaming PC or laptop is their graphics card. This is because these gaming machines rely hugely on their GPUs to deliver any desired level of gaming performance and other aspects, which is why updating them regularly is vital, as it helps avoid game crashes, visual glitches, poor performance, reduced graphics quality, etc.
When it comes to Windows updates themselves, the OS does a great job by automatically installing the same whenever they are available; however, in the case of GPU updates, you cannot expect it to be that efficient. Therefore, you need to set this up on your own. Based on the graphics card you use on your device, you can either set up for the driver to update automatically or visit the GPU manufacturer’s website and download and install the right driver updates by choosing your GPU model.
If you are not sure about the GPU model used by your computer, you can find the same by right-clicking on the main screen and choosing Display Settings > Advanced Display Settings > Display Adapter properties.
Disable Automatic Updates
Yes, Windows performing automatic updates is definitely a boon. However, it won’t be the case when you are in the middle of a game. This is because the OS will automatically start downloading and installing updates regardless of what you are doing on the computer, and sometimes can even restart the machine without your permission, which can cause you to lose your game progress. In addition, this can also slow down your network connectivity, intruding your gameplay. Therefore, it is better to turn this feature off, which can be done by clicking the Start button, and then choosing Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update tab > Advanced Options and turn off Automatically download updates, even over metered data connections.
Optimize Steam Updates
If you are using Steam on your Windows 10 computer to buy and install games, you should optimize its update feature. The problem with this feature is that it could automatically update those games that you don’t always play, thus consuming a lot of valuable memory space, and can also hinder your network connectivity when performing updates in the background. Therefore, your only option is to change Steam’s update settings, which can be done as follows:
To stop Steam from updating games that you don’t play often or don’t really need to be updated, go to Library where the games are installed, right click on each game you wish to modify and choose Properties. Under Automatic Updates, choose Only update this game when I launch it.
On the other hand, to prevent the platform from performing updates in the background, choose Steam 🡪 Settings 🡪 Downloads and uncheck Allow download during gameplay.
Use Game Mode
Game Mode is a new update introduced by Microsoft, which is basically designed to improve your computer’s gaming performance, and this is done by distributing your system’s resources to the game. To enable Game Mode on your Windows 10 device:
- Click the Start key and select Settings.
- Select Gaming 🡪 Game Mode.
- Turn on Use Game Mode.
Once this system-wide Game Mode feature is enabled, you can enable the same for any preferred game. To do this:
Launch the game you would like to optimize. If the game supports the feature, you will be automatically prompted by Windows 10 to press Windows key + G to open Game bar. Once the Game bar is open, click Settings.
In the resulting dialog box, make sure the checkbox for Use Game Mode for this game is enabled.
Change the System’s Power Plan
Changing the power plan of your Windows 10 PC or laptop is another easy and quick change you can make to optimize the OS for gaming. By default, the performance settings of a Windows device will be set to balance, which basically runs the CPU with a power level that will be sufficient to carry out only those tasks or activities that are currently running.
While this setting helps save your device’s battery life, it is not the best case for gaming. So, to boost the operating system’s gaming performance and thus your overall gaming experience, follow the steps given below and change the power plan of your device:
Type Power Plan in the search bar of your Windows 10 device.
You will be displayed the current power or performance settings and the option “Change Advanced Power Settings”.
Go to Advanced Settings by clicking on the tab.
Click the drop-down menu, choose “High Performance”, and click Apply.
Use an SSD
Yes, this would be a hardware upgrade and not a Windows 10 upgrade. However, what you should note here is that upgrading to an SSD will make significant improvements in the loading time and other similar aspects of your OS as well as your games. This can be very useful for gamers, especially when you download and play games that are bigger in size.
Also Read: SSD vs HDD: Which One Should You Choose?
Windows 10, without a doubt, is a great operating system for gaming, and with its latest updates, the OS allows gamers to perform various customizations to optimize it and their device for gaming purposes. The tips given above will be very helpful as the first steps to optimizing your system.