You’ve spent a fortune on a gaming rig, but things don’t run as smoothly as you’d hoped? There’s likely nothing wrong with the hardware – your PC just needs a tune-up. Start using the five tools we outline here to get better framerates, less lag, and game online with peace of mind.
System Monitoring & Overclocking Tools
The best way to squeeze every ounce of gaming potential out of your rig is through a system optimization app. These show system activity, highlighting crucial info like CPU, GPU & RAM usage or current component temperatures.
You can use them to kill off unneeded processes that hog resources. More importantly, advanced tools let you tinker with component frequencies. You’ll want to know what you’re doing before you start fiddling with the settings, but the rewards are tangible. For example, you could get a performance boost by overclocking your CPU or undervolt your graphics card to maintain performance while getting much better power draw and temperatures.
A Password Manager
No amount of optimization will help if you neglect security. Gaming accounts can fetch a pretty penny, and you’ll lose thousands of hours of progress. Many of us don’t bother to use unique passwords. So, if a company you have an account with gets hacked, all your other logins are at risk.
Password managers minimize that risk thanks to their top-notch password generation ability. They can replace whatever weak phrase you came up with and reuse with long, complex, and secure passwords designed to be uncrackable. They store and can update hundreds of passwords in one go, too.
Having a strong password doesn’t mean someone can’t still steal it, which is where two-factor authentication comes in. The best password manager use it as the second part of their unbeatable two-hit cybersecurity combo. First, they create a password no one can guess. Then, they link an authentication method, like a code sent via SMS, to that account. You need both to access it after that, meaning your account remains safe even if the password isn’t.
Configuration Software for Your Mouse & Keyboard
Beefy system specs aren’t the only components crucial for a smooth gaming experience. Apart from a rainbow of shiny RGB lighting, more high-end peripherals offer lots of tweaks to make your life easier.
For example, you can set your mouse to cycle between DPI settings when clicking one of its extra buttons. That way, you can have one setting for normal gameplay and switch to another when you’re trying to snipe someone and need more granular precision.
Keyboards are even more flexible. Their macro creation features let you pre-program and execute a series of actions with a single keystroke. Super useful for when you want to broadcast DPS tables in your favorite MMO or automate repetitive actions like crafting.
Most high-end peripherals have onboard memory for several profiles, letting you keep preferred settings even if you play on someone else’s computer.
Most people rightly associate VPNs with improved cybersecurity and anonymity. However, they can help boost your gaming experience as well. For example, you might not be able to play some games in your region. This VPN comparison table by a Reddit user can help you install and choose a VPN to bypass such restrictions easily.
In some cases, VPNs may even give you a competitive edge. Lower latency equals smoother gameplay, and lag can be the death of you. Or your character, anyway. Your ISP might not connect to game servers most optimally. VPNs may take a shorter route, cutting lag and improving your chances at a better K/D ratio.
Game Optimization Tools
You can run the latest games even on older PCs if you know which settings to tweak. Many people either aren’t aware or can’t be bothered, which gave rise to game optimization tools. These scan your computer hardware and can determine the best settings for your specific combination for a given game. That way, you’re sacrificing little visual fidelity while getting far smoother gameplay.