As a whole, laptops are not that popular among video game enthusiasts. More often than not, people go with a console or a custom-built PC and consider gaming laptops as the last option.
However, the hardware has advanced in recent years, and it is possible to run some decent video games on a laptop that is not necessarily manufactured with gaming in mind. Sure, modern video games, particularly AAA titles, require powerful hardware, but you can go back to older, less demanding games or pick ones that do not have high requirements.
Keep in mind, though, that playing video games on an older laptop might not translate to a great experience. You will likely struggle and experience performance issues, including FPS drops and random crashes.
If the situation sounds too familiar and you want to change your laptop’s performance for the better to enjoy some gaming on it, consider the ideas mentioned in this article.
Cleaning the Dust Inside
Let’s start with the dust inside. Over time, the filth that accumulates inside a laptop leads to internal hardware problems. Once you notice that the internal fans are making loud noises and the laptop is overheating, do not wait because the issue will only snowball.
Clean the dust yourself or take the computer to a service store and leave it in the hands of a professional. It is no secret that many laptop owners are reluctant to clean the dust themselves because of how difficult it is to take and put a laptop back together.
Freeing Up Drive Space
Not enough free space on the drive could be another issue behind poor performance and struggles with video games. Look through the files you have on the computer’s drive and consider which of them you can remove.
Some piece of info and advice on temporary storage—it is better to get a cleanup utility tool and leave the removal of temporary junk files to it instead of taking care of the issue manually.
Other than removing files from the laptop, you should also consider external storage. It is a great alternative and should help a lot with potential storage issues. An external HDD and cloud services are what you want to be looking at.
Scanning for Infected Files
Get a reliable anti-malware tool and put it to use. Scan the laptop’s system and eliminate potentially corrupted files from it. Moreover, make sure that an antivirus is running in the background while the laptop is active. Doing so will improve the device’s security.
Checking for Updates
Another thing to keep an eye on is updates. From OS updates to drivers, you want to run the latest version for compatibility and optimal performance.
Some updates download and install automatically, whereas others need manual initiation. It varies depending on operating systems and what you are looking to update, so do not forget that.
Managing Background Processes
For background processes, you need to use Task Manager for Windows and Activity Monitor for macOS.
Sort running processes to see which of them are consuming the most system resources. If you notice a random application that should not be running in the background, do not hesitate and quit it. Doing so will free up system resources, which, in turn, should improve how a video game runs on your laptop.
Taking Care of Desktop Clutter
Desktop clutter is also an issue that might fly under your radar. Too many desktop shortcuts are a hindrance to the overall computer performance, including video games.
It might be convenient to keep important documents and other files on a laptop because you can access them right away, but such a habit spells issues for the device’s speed.
Tinkering With Game Settings
Laptop aside, you should also try to tinker with game settings to see whether that improves the situation. These days, most video games give you the option to change the resolution, disable shadows and other effects, lock FPS, enable v-sync, and so on.
Lowering graphics means playing a video game in worse quality visual-wise, but if reducing visuals improves the actual gameplay, then the sacrifice is worth it.
Trying Windowed Mode
Try playing a game in windowed mode rather than full-screen mode. Some video games run better when you have borderless windows enabled. On the other hand, you might find that switching from windowed mode to full-screen mode is also a way to improve the performance. The bottom line is that you should try both modes to see which one is better.
Investing in New Hardware
If you have money to spare but do not wish to purchase a new computer, hardware upgrades could be one of the solutions.
Extra RAM, an external GPU, or replacing an outdated hard drive with a brand-new solid-state drive are some of the most popular options for laptop hardware upgrades.