Let’s face it—video game enthusiasts are unlikely to recommend enjoying the hobby on a laptop because the device is not really optimized for playing video games. For some, even the so-called gaming laptops are inferior to custom-built PCs and consoles.
Having said that, it does not mean that you should abandon the idea of gaming on a laptop just because you own one. Sure, you might struggle to run some AAA titles, particularly if you want to enjoy them on ultra-settings, but less demanding video games should run decently on a laptop with decent hardware.
In case you encounter performance issues with the device, consider these tips that should help you.
Improve the Internet Connection
Playing online games requires a reliable internet connection. In case you have no options to switch to a different ISP and you are fed up with your current one, the options are pretty limited.
Some people like to try using a virtual private network to improve their ping. As far as figuring out what’s the best VPN for gaming, you need to focus on a few aspects. First and foremost, find a service that is reliable and has a stable connection. Next, you want security and privacy.
Some VPNs emphasize video games, whereas others offer services that are meant for more general and wider use.
One other important thing to note is that you should not use a free virtual private network. It might be tempting to save a few dollars a month for a free VPN, but it is not really worth it, given how prone free virtual private networks are.
Clean the Dust Inside the Laptop
Too much dust inside spells trouble. The problem with cleaning the dust inside a laptop is that most people are reluctant to take the device apart because they are afraid of damaging it.
Nevertheless, the dust will not clean itself, and you need to do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you.
Once the filth is removed from the laptop, the internal fans will not be clogged, and they can do their work properly. And in case the overheating issue persists, consider getting a cooling pad.
Tinker With Game Settings
Lowering game settings to reduce the graphics and get rid of visual effects does not sound too fun, but it is inevitable at times.
By sacrificing the overall look of a game, you should get a better performance in return. Sure, your enjoyment of a game that is driven by its visuals will reduce, but at least you are not going to encounter as many frame drops, crashes, freezes, and other performance issues while gaming.
Close Redundant Background Apps
Since video games are high-demand by their nature, you want to make sure that your laptop has enough free resources to allocate to a video game. Otherwise, you should not expect to have a good time.
Check how many background processes there are running and figure out which of the applications are unnecessary. Perhaps you forgot about an app after you finished using it and did not close it? Or maybe you have too many startup items and missed them after booting the laptop?
Disable Visual Effects
Visual effects should not be enabled when you are playing video games on a laptop. Similar to how you want to get rid of redundant background applications, you should also look to switch off the backlit keyboard, random animations, and other effects that are not offering anything of value.
If you want to make the most out of your laptop while playing video games, you need to be pragmatic, and visual effects are the opposite of that.
Consider Hardware Upgrades
Unfortunately, upgrading a laptop’s hardware is not as easy as it is to upgrade a PC. However, you still have a few options that improve the device’s performance and, in return, also help with running video games.
One thing that stands out right off the bat is an external GPU. External graphics processing units are becoming more and more popular among laptop owners due to the value they provide.
Replacing an old hard drive with a brand-new solid-state drive is worth a shout as well. SSDs, while not offering as much storage, are still far superior to HDDs performance-wise.
Finally, if you are unhappy with how much memory is available on your laptop, check if there are slots to add more RAM.
Get Rid of Drive Clutter
The last bit of advice is related to drive clutter. You will not have a pleasant gaming experience on a laptop if there is not enough free storage on its drive.
Check through folders and directories to determine which files you can remove for good and which you can transfer to external storage. The more free space there is on the drive, the better your laptop will perform.