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5 ways how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming

5 ways how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming

5 ways how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming

It’s no doubt that Windows 10 is one of the most favorite OS for gaming. Microsoft really has done a great job of optimizing the system to adapt it to the needs of the gaming world. Given all of this, there’s still some room left on how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming.

Contrary to the previous versions, Windows 10 offers better gaming performance and faster frame rates. It also serves as a base fo the best graphic drivers currently on the market – crucial to gaming. It supports all native games (including retro ones) and also supports Xbox streaming with the Game DVR features.

But, it’s easier said than done. To benefit the most as a gamer from all of this, you need to know how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming.

Here’s a quick guide to setting up your PC for gaming. It mostly consists of tweaks and updates to make and what to enable/disable on the menu to make Windows 10 faster for gaming.

Here are 5 ways how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming:

  1. Use “Game Mode” provided from Windows 10 
  2. Use an SSD
  3. Manage your active hours
  4. Disable the “Mouse Acceleration”
  5. Tweak your “Visual Effects” settings

Use “Game Mode” provided from Windows 10

One of the easiest ways to optimize Windows 10 for gaming is to use a tool that the system provides. “Game Mode” appeared in the most recent releases of the OS. It’s designed specifically to improve the gaming experience in Windows 10. It does so by dedicating more system resources to the game – more than the previous versions.

It also prevents some other programs (such as Windows Update) from hogging resources while you’re playing.

To find the “Game Mode” settings, press Windows key + I and type “game mode” in the search box. Next, click Control Game Mode for optimizing your PC for games. 

A menu will open, and you should click on Game Mode. Switch it on and the Game Mode is on. If your PC supports Game Mode, the system will optimize your PC to gaming performances.

If you fail to locate it, it means that the Windows Creators Update is not installed on your PC.

Game Mode on Windows 10

Game Mode on Windows 10

Use an SSD

Upgrading from an HDD to an SSD will drastically improve your game performance by reducing loading time significantly. The downside of using an SSD is the price, as they’re much more expensive than your usual HDD.

To many gamers, it may seem that loading times it not that big of an issue and it’s not worth investing money to. It certainly is not the first thing to think about when speeding up your PC, but it’s not the last either.

Today’s games take more and more disk space – like the latest Call of Duty update – so if you want to follow the trend you have to switch to an SSD. It’s also a real time-saver and your game loading times can go down from 30 seconds to 3.

If money is really that much of an issue, you don’t have to go for a big SSD for both the OS and games. You can get a small SSD just for your OS, and keep the big HDD for your games. Problem solved!



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Manage your active hours

It’s pretty common for Windows 10 to start installing updates and reboot your PC in the middle of your gaming session. With no excuse whatsoever! That can be disappointing, especially if you’re more of a competitive gamer and your unplanned exit impacted your teammates or ranking.

But even without kinds of restarts, which are not so rare, the downloading updates on the background limit your connection speed and takes up working memory on your PC. Resources that gaming could benefit from.

While your first thought is to just completely turn off automatic updates, there is another better solution to it. Window’s aggressive updating without asking is the way it is because back then users would never update on their own. This may not seem like a big deal, but it lead to their system to be exposed to cyber threats regularly. Keep in mind that Windows auto-updates are not there just to ruin your raid, but also protect your system and work optimally.

So, long story short – set your active hours appropriately. You can specify your gaming and working schedule in Windows and it will prevent the OS from updating during these hours.

To do so, press the Windows key + I and go to Updates and Security. Next, click on Change active hours. There you can set up 18 active hours, leaving 6 hours for Windows to install your updates.

Windows 10 Active Hours

Windows 10 Active Hours

Disable the “Mouse Acceleration”

While this falls more into the category of enhancing your personal gaming performance, it still needs to be mentioned. Mouse acceleration is a setting that enables your mouse to move based on speed alongside the detection of physical movements.

This option (Mouse Acceleration) actually makes your mouse movements less accurate because it adds an extra parameter to the movement that you convey to the mouse. Given how fundamental precision is to gaming, you should definitely turn that off. Especially if you’re playing first-person shooter games like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, or Overwatch.

To disable the “Mouse Acceleration” press Windows key + I and type “Mouse pointer” in the search box. Go to Change mouse pointer display or speed, and in the window that opens go to the Point Options tab. There, uncheck the Enhance pointer precision option.

While you’re there, you might want to tweak the pointer speed slider to a configuration that suits you best.

Disabling Mouse Acceleration

Disabling Mouse Acceleration

Tweak your “Visual Effects” settings

There are a lot of fancy visual effects in Windows 10 graphical user interfaces – known as GUIs.

Despite them being good for the eye, like pretty background graphics, they can harm your gaming experience. Usually, most of them are turned on by default and affect the available processing power of your PC when it’s running on the background. So, one way to optimize Windows 10 for gaming is to turn these off.

In order to do so, press Windows key + I and type performance. Select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. Next, a window will open and you have to click on Adjust for best performance. Next, go to the Advanced tab and verify that the setting is applied to Programs.

If you want to keep at least the minimum of graphics so that your interface doesn’t look so dull, we recommend you keep at least these three options from the list checked:

  • Show thumbnails instead of icons.
  • Show window contents while dragging.
  • Smooth edges of screen fonts.
Adjust for best performance in Windows 10

Adjust for best performance in Windows 10