PC and laptop gaming is more popular than it’s ever been, and each day new PC gamers join the ranks to enjoy all the amazing games available today. But, PC gaming is quite different from console gaming, and you need to make sure you have everything in place if you want to be successful and enjoy your gaming experience.
These tips for new PC gamers should help you and anyone you know that is new to the world of PC gaming get started right. By following these tips, you should be well on your way to becoming an elite PC gamer and you should be able to enjoy any PC game available today and in the future.
1. Get the Right Hardware
I cannot stress enough how important this one is to your gaming experience. In the end, it all comes down to the hardware you use. To run the latest games will need a high-end VR ready laptop with a great video card, such as the Nvidia GeForce 1080 or something similar. On top of that, you definitely need a high end process, such as an Intel i5 or preferrably an i7 processor. Once you have that, lots of storage space and maybe even an SSD will be needed to store and run all your games.
2. Don’t Forget Your Sound
On top of the hardware, you need to think about the sound of your game. Your laptop speakers, no matter how good they are, probably won’t cut it. Modern games have some of the best music and audio available today, and you don’t want to miss out. While not necessary, good speakers or maybe even a high quality headset could really take your gaming experience to the next level.
3. Mouse and Keyboard
Your main source of game control will be your keyboard and mouse, even on a gaming laptop. Sure, they have trackpads, but when you’re playing games a trackpad just won’t cut it. At the same time, you want to be comfortable. That means trying to use your laptop’s keyboard during long gaming sessions is out of the question. A high quality gaming keyboard and mouse is simply a must for any serious gaming. Not only will you get more comfort, but more accurate tracking with your mouse, and a gaming keyboard will give you better comfort along with many cool features such as programmable keys that will improve your gaming performance in each game you play.
4. Add a Monitor
First, just let me say that the displays that are included on gaming laptops are usually top notch. You can easily find Full-HD and 4K displays on some of the best gaming laptops out there. However, in most cases, these monitors are only 17 inches or even smaller. If you want a truly immersive experience, a larger monitor is a must. Pick up a monitor that’s 24 inches or larger and connect it to your laptop. You will find that this added real estate will help you see your games better as well as improve how you play, as visual cues will be much easier to spot. Sure, it’s not required, but I guarantee that you will be glad you added it once you have it.
5. Grab a Controller
I know some PC gamers will come after me for this one, but the fact is some games were meant to be played with a controller. Sure, I prefer the keyboard and mouse for first person shooters and MMO games, but for any type of flying or driving game, I would much rather use a controller. The Xbox One controller or a PS4 controller are great options, and they both can be connected to your Windows laptop relatively simply for games that play better with it.
6. Watch the Heat
Heat is every PC gamers’ enemy, especially if you are gaming on a laptop. Make sure that you clean your laptop regularly. Try using compressed air on any of the vents to keep dust away to ensure optimum airflow. In addition, for really demanding games, you may want to consider purchasing a cooling pad for your laptop to try and keep the heat away. Modern hardware can slow down when things get too toasty, so keeping your device as cool as possible will give you better performance and make your gaming laptop last much longer before hardware begins to fail.
7. Keep Your PC Clean
You want your games to perform as fast as possible. In order for that to happen, you need to make sure your PC is free from anything that could slow it down. Get rid of any applications that you don’t use, and limit what runs in the background while you are gaming. You may even want to consider taking advantage of the Gaming Mode available on Windows 10. Above all, regularly scan your PC for viruses and malware or anything that could be slowing it down. If you keep your PC in tip top shape, your games will perform much better and provide a much better experience.
8. Tweak Your Settings
One of the biggest advantages over PC gaming when compared to consoles is the ability to tweak your settings for the very best gameplay. New gamers are often afraid to mess with the more advanced settings, but I encourage you to try. How you do it will depend on your PC and the games you play, but you should be able to optimize your experience for the best play sessions possible.
9. Sign Up for Steam
Love it or hate it, Steam is one of the biggest names in gaming today. The online service is chocked full of all sorts of games and features. From all the latest games, downloaded libraries, automatic updates, and even communities, Steam has what you need to play all your favorite games. The service is free to sign up for and makes it easy to buy and download your favorite video games with just a few clicks.
10. Use the Internet to Your Advantage
The Internet is a powerful tool, and one you can leverage for your gaming needs. Using the Internet, you should be able to find tips and tricks to help you through even the most difficult games. In addition, you will find communities of gamers for virtually every game you play. Engage in these communities and you will find others to play with. Who knows, you may even make a friend for life.
Bonus Tip: Have Fun
At the end of the day, gaming is about having fun. So many of us forget about this little fact when we are tweaking settings or trying to achieve something in our favorite games. I know so many people that get so angry they rage quit their games. If it stops being fun, take a break or play something else. There is no reason to ever stress about playing a game. In the end, it’s just not worth it.
There you have it. By following this list, you should be well on your way to having everything you need to play any game out there and do it well. While I can’t help you with your skill, these tips for new PC gamers should help you get your setup right so you are prepared for the world of PC gaming that can be quite different from traditional console gaming.
What do you think? Is there a tip you feel like I should have included on this list? If so, sound off in the comments below and let everyone know. That way we can create the ultimate list of tips for new PC gamers.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.