In recent times, gaming has become quite a popular choice when it comes to entertainment. After all, it’s a momentary escape that takes one’s mind off of the daily routine, worries, and whatever troubles the soul. But even so, things such as lag, old hardware, and toxic gaming communities can take away from experience and, ultimately, your enjoyment.
The great news is that there is a whole lot you can do about it, starting with:
1. Upgrade your internet speed
Do you have a slow internet connection? Then it’s no wonder why your experience isn’t what it’s supposed to be. Given what a powerful connection you can get for so little money these days, sticking with the old package can hardly be an excuse for not making the jump.
In case you’re still experiencing similar issues after upgrading, it’s time to look at other factors that may be coming in the way of your enjoyment. A common one is having too many connections open at the same time. If one family member is binge-watching Netflix while another is sending large files to their friends all the time, try to come to an agreement that the network is not to be overloaded when one of you is gaming.
2. Get a new graphics card and tweak its settings
It should come as no surprise that your graphics card determines the game’s performance in a significant way. Any upgrade you can make to your hardware will make a positive contribution to the overall performance. But you have to understand that upgrading your graphics card will not always do the job – you have to tweak its settings as well.
For instance, in-game shadows add little to the overall scenery, all while taking a huge toll on your computer’s resources. Therefore, you should consider lowering the quality of the shadows or turning them off altogether. It’s also a good idea to reduce anti-aliasing and texture quality. The idea is to find the sweet spot between excellent performance and stunning visuals.
Also, be sure to keep your graphics driver up to date.
3. Get rid of clutter on your gaming device
Every single program you install hampers your gaming device’s performance subtly. While some will have a more significant effect than others, it’s crucial to keep it in tip-top performance. Hence, you should do a thorough evaluation and decide what software you still need.
As luck would have it, numerous programs can assist you with it and make recommendations based on when it was the last time you used a piece of software, how much resources it’s taking up, etc. At the very least, you should make sure to disable the programs you’re no longer using from being launched at startup.
4. Swap out your old hard drive for an SSD
For those of you who are sick and tired of long loading times, getting an SSD will have a massive impact on it in a positive way. Since most modern video games are anywhere between 10GB and 20GB in size, it’s better to shell out some more to get a larger drive with better storage capacity to handle them all.
As an added benefit, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement when it comes to booting up your operating system. At the end of the day, you want to spend more time playing as opposed to watching those rage-inducing loading screens, don’t you?
5. Defrag your disk
When your computer writes down data to your hard drive, it does so in an organic manner and doesn’t take the whole image into account. This means your files will be fragmented and thus not optimized for optimal performance. Over time, this can impact your performance as you start to experience more and more slowdowns.
That’s why it’s important to defrag your disk on a semi-regular basis. On a Windows machine, you can use the disk defragmenter that comes with the installation. Alternatively, you can use any third-party defragmenter of your choosing.
6. Tweak your graphic card’s performance in the control center
Modern graphics cards come with a control center in which you can tweak and fine-tune their behavior. Not every graphics setting can be tweaked from the game’s menu, which deserves to be mentioned.
For instance, you can set the maximum number of pre-rendered frames. This should be more than enough to improve the smoothness of the game. Also, be sure to synchronize the rate at which your graphics card renders with your monitor’s refresh rate. This is an advanced setting, mind you, so if you notice any unwanted lag resulting from it, either revert it back to the default setting or play around with it some more.
Depending on your graphics card manufacturer, you’ll be able to tweak other settings in the main control center, so it’s best to Google this on the spot to see what can be done in your particular case.
7. Block out the trolls
Although it’s important, not every aspect of gaming has to do with the sheer performance of the game. In case you’re playing online, you’ll soon find that having a healthy community is one of the most important aspects of the experience, almost more than the gameplay itself.
Unfortunately, when things get competitive, and ego is at stake, any gaming community can become toxic. Arguments can soon occur when having to do with sore losers, and your opponents can sometimes decide to strike below the belt to gain an advantage over you. For instance, they may find out your real IP and initiate DDoS attacks against you, so your connection crumbles, and they can win in an unethical manner. Or, they may even sniff out your real identity and harass you in real-life.
It’s important to block out the trolls and prevent them from getting the best of you. A great way to hide your IP from toxic and malicious individuals is to use a high-quality VPN such as NordVPN. All in all, a VPN is a great tool for gamers, and you should be using it whenever you’re posting on gaming forums or engaging with other players. As an added benefit, it will also secure your internet connection and protect important information.
With the help of these tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of any game you’re playing and take the enjoyment to the max. Applying some of these may take some time, but it will pay off in spades – promised!