How to Optimize Windows 10 For Gaming? Tweaks, Hacks, Settings, and More

Windows 10 and AAA titles— a killer combination that isn’t hard to optimize. But then, how good is it to use a Windows 10 PC for gaming, and is an OS upgrade even necessary if you have an older version of Windows installed on the device, precisely to improve gaming performance.

Yes, you need to use Windows 10 for gaming as this operating system has been streamlined and fixed for handling diverse high-end titles, provided the hardware permits the same. Windows 10 isn’t just great for gamers but it also helps you innovative by supporting:

  • Retro titles
  • Native games
  • Console-centric streaming

But then, why do you need to optimize Windows 10 for gaming if it already supports the same, right out of the box. Read on to know more!

Why Optimize Windows 10 for Gaming?

No operating system is perfect, period. But Windows 10 comes close to gaming perfection, owing to its massive reach in the gaming community. Still, optimizing Windows 10 for better gaming is necessary, especially for improving gaming performances.

Despite the PC or laptop being considered powerful enough to handle most high-end games, the OS serves as an impressionable bottleneck. However, if you can optimize Windows 10 for gaming, you automatically align the operating platform with the existing specs sheet and adjust for best performance.

Windows 10, inherently, is a productivity-centric operating platform. Therefore, to activate the gaming potential and better frame rates, you can rely on certain gadget-centric tweaks and optimize Windows 10 OS, in any way desired.

The end results include faster games, better frame rates, minimized latency, zero screen tearing, minimal trailing, and lastly better power management

How to Optimize Windows 10 For Gaming Performance?

Nothing beats the validations of quantifiable results. Therefore, before you optimize Windows 10 for better gaming performance, check the usual gaming performance of Windows 10 by recording gameplay with a screen-recording resource.

Once, recorded, you can follow these optimizing strategies to improve game appearance and performance, almost significantly:

Step 1: Optimize Windows 10 Game Mode

The Windows 10 OS allows you to activate the Game mode for improving gaming performance. Added by Windows in the latest version update, the Game Mode is best used if you have the requisite gaming hardware to rely on.

Plus, the Windows 10 gaming mode makes the AAA titles more responsive to the commands, whilst allowing you to adjust for best performance.

How to Activate the Windows 10 Gaming Mode?

  1. Press Windows Key simultaneously with the I Key
  2. Once the search box opens, type in the ‘Game mode
  3. Typing this opens up the settings, thereby allowing you to Turn on the all-important Windows 10 Gaming Mode
Activate the Windows 10 Gaming Mode

Once the Windows 10 gaming mode is activated, the Windows 10 PC is better equipped to handle the game playing resources, to achieve optimal frame rates. Game mode for certain support PCs activates the G-SYNC, which allows optimal game performance by limiting frame rates as per the maximum capabilities of the screen.

The only gripe with the Game mode is that certain mid-range notebooks end up experiencing frozen screens as the fps rating is often limited beyond the capabilities of the graphics card and the screen. Therefore, you should use game mode only if the gadget requires optimization.

Step 2: Disable Mouse Acceleration

While activating the game mode improves the overall device gaming performance, you can disable mouse acceleration to improve personal gameplay and amplify the experience. Accurate mouse movements are good for productivity tasks but not gaming. For games, you need minimal mouse acceleration, where the physical movements are driven by speed.

As the mouse is now controlled even by speed, the extra parameter adds to the accuracy of aims but disables acceleration for productivity tasks. Plus, you can access this control by visiting the device manager and enhance pointer precision, if needed.

How to disable mouse acceleration?

  1. Hit the Windows Key along with the I tab
  2. Once the search bar opens, type in the ‘Mouse Pointer’ in the search bar
  3. Once the Mouse Properties show up, you can change the pointer speed by reaching out to the pointer options tab, at your convenience
  4. Uncheck the ‘Pointer Precision’ to lower the pointing accuracy

Once again, disabling acceleration is synonymous with playing games better and not comparable to PC gaming performance improvement.

Step 3: Disable Nagle’s Algorithm

If you are more into playing MOBA, FPS, and MMORPG games, you should keep an eye on the latency. In most cases, Nagle’s algorithm is enabled on a Windows 10 machine, which reduces the overall number of data packets required to be transmitted. While the internet connection is smoother this way, games end up experiencing latency.

Disabling the algorithm ensures faster data packet movements and better online gaming experience with minimal latency.

How to disable Nagle’s algorithm?

  1. The first step is to open the Windows 10 Registry Editor by hitting the Windows Key simultaneously with the Q tab.
  2. Once the Windows Registry is open, type in ‘Regedit’ and access the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE option
  3. You should access the computing path that reads \SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interface

Note” Once you access the mentioned path, you need to determine the IP address and match the same to the concerned DHCP IP Address.

If you are unsure about the IP address of the PC, hit the Windows key and the X tab to access Windows PowerShell. Enter ipconfig as the concerned command and search for ‘IPV4’ identity to determine the IP address.

Once you know the IP address of the machine and can get the DHCP IP folders open by editing the Windows registry, R-click on the concerned folder and enter the New-DWORD 32 bit value. This in turn allows you to set the TCPNODelay and TCPACKFREQUENCY value to 1, which disables Nagle’s algorithm.

The main significance of disabling the same is to get a free data flow across the TCP/IP protocols, precisely for optimizing issues related to latency and improving gaming performances.

Step 4: Update Windows 10

Updating the Windows 10 OS might not seem like much but it is a highly pivotal point when it comes to getting the best gaming performances. Plus, Windows update is the most underrated and overlooked aspect of managing the system.

While in most cases automatic updates are set up for the ease of installation, metered connections require you to approach the same manually.

How to update Windows OS?

  1. Head over to the start menu and type in ‘Updates
  2. Check for Updates’ and allow the Windows 10 PC to automatically identify the same, if available
  3. Let the Windows update setup run on its own and allow the device to restart to finish off the update installation process
  4. But then automatic updates aren’t the best option if gaming is your priority! Confused, check our next step right now!

Step 5: Set Device Active Hours

While we did talk about the Windows updates, it is necessary to disable automatic updates just for the sake of seamless gaming. Instead, we would urge you to set active hours, simply to help the Windows 10 PC determine the timings when the gadget is free to be used.

Updating the device at odd gaming hours can be frustrating and interfere with the gaming experience.

How to turn off automatic updates and manage active hours?

  1. Hit the Windows key and simultaneously press the I button
  2. Once the Update and Security tab opens up, select the Windows Update tab and look for advanced options
  3. Once you can locate the update options, disable the ‘Restart’ intimation that is often required to install certain updates
  4. Also, Enable ‘Show Notification’ to make the updates pop-up organically
  5. However, if you still want additional control, ‘Pause’ Updates’ by locating the same in the ‘Advanced Options

To manage the same, Windows 10 allows you to set active hours by heading straight to the Update-Security section, as mentioned before. Active Hours help you instruct the device to manage, download, and install updates at a particular time of the day, which doesn’t interfere with your gaming schedule.

Step 6: Update graphics drivers

Your gaming PC problem might be extremely rudimentary, provided you know where to look for the same. A pretty straightforward strategy is to update the graphics drivers associated with the device, provided your Windows 10 PC isn’t brand new.

Updating GPU drivers allows you to manage crashes, freezes, and other issues related to frames, response time, and gaming experience. However, you need to be mindful of the automatic update support relevant to the GPU drivers.

How to update drivers?

  1. Head over to the GPU menu and erase existing driver
  2. Once erased, opt for the clean install, provided you know where to get the drivers from

The only gripe with this hack is the inability of certain users to download the right set of GPU drivers. Still, if you are unsure about the make and specs of the concerned graphics processing unit, you can simply head over the ‘Display Settings’, reach out of the advanced display settings, and finally get the desired information using the ‘Display adapter’ properties.

Note: A good approach here is to download the NVIDIA GeForce Experience or the Software Adrenaline interface for managing Radeon GPUs.

Step 7: Tweak the Steam Settings

Steam is one interface that is synonymous with PC gaming. Starting from verifying game files to disabling auto-updates via Steam, tweaking the settings can go a long way in optimizing gaming performances. The idea here is to not allow downloads during gameplay, which is more like disabling automatic windows updates.

The biggest problem with Steam auto-updates is their ability to slow down certain PC-centric processes whilst slowing down the games that are being updated.

How to Manage steam settings?

  1. Head over to the Steam Client
  2. Select the settings and click on downloads
  3. Disable the tab reading ‘Allow downloads’ during gameplay

In addition to this tweak, you can even disable automatic update settings for the unused games. You can simply:

  1. Head over to the library
  2. Right-click on the name of an unused but installed game
  3. Select automatic updates from the list of properties
  4. Select ‘Update when I launch’ functionality to prevent auto-updates

Besides, you can even use the Steam library to verify certain game files, to fix the existing issues. The steps include:

  1. Restart the device for launching steam
  2. Click on the game creating issues
  3. Select game ‘Priorities’ and select ‘Local Files’
  4. Finally, click ‘Verify Integrity‘ of game files and do the same for every game creating an issue

Step 8: Change the Windows 10 Power Plan

This step makes more sense if you are using a Windows 10 laptop instead of a PC. Setting the device in the high-performance battery or power plan seems like the best option to extract the most out of the processing components.

However, changing the power plan isn’t the best option if the battery is one of your priorities.

How to change the Power Plan?

  1. Hit the Windows tab simultaneously with the I key to access the Power-Sleep settings
  2. Head over to the additional power settings and look for the performance plan available
  3. If you do not automatically see a high-performance plan, you can create one of your own and select High Performance to make the most of the power plan

The performance power of the Windows 10 OS readily eats into the battery life and, therefore, you should proceed with caution, provided you own a laptop.

Step 9: Manage Visual Effects

If you are seriously looking at game improvements that focus on better performance, it might just be the time to tweak the visual settings. Managing visual effects is easy if you are aware of the impact of the game and display-centric resources.

How to Manage Visual effects?

  1. Hit the Windows tab and the I button
  2. Type in ‘Performance
  3. Adjust appearance and performance according to preferences
  4. Or, you also adjust the OS for best performance
  5. Click on the apply button
  6. Access the ‘Advanced’ tab and set the best performance adjustment to Programs
  7. Apply the changes and click OK to confirm

This approach minimizes the GUI-specific hindrances, whilst shifting the PC priorities to performance rather than gaming appearances. However, for this to work, you need to access the visual effects settings and make the changes right before every game.

Step 10: Purchase an SSD

While we did talk about the step-pronged approaches for better performance, getting an SSD is one of the better ways of minimizing the game loading times. Firstly, a hard disk drive isn’t all that bad but it can push the game loading times by almost 30 to even 40 seconds at times.

SSD on the other hand, increases game loading speeds and ensures that the program loads up with 2 to three seconds.

However, if you are restricted by finances, it is better to get a smaller SSD for the Windows 10 OS and a usual hard disk drive for the games.

Step 11: Get hold of Game APIs

A game API allows game content and resources to run more efficiently. Therefore, if you are looking to optimize gaming performances and ensure interactions between resources, it is necessary to manage the game APIs with precision.

For those who aren’t aware of how game APIs work, you can consider these as software interfaces, capable of connecting the GPU and the processor for an optimized gaming performance. For instance, if you choose to install DirectX 12, the PC will be optimized for gaming whilst consuming lesser power than usual.

Other related APIs include Vulkan and OpenGL, which are also capable of amplifying the gaming experiences associated with certain AAA titles. However, if you have an AMD graphics card installed, Vulkan is a far better option, especially for games like Red Dead Redemption, DOTA 2, and more.

However, if your game and graphics card works better with DirectX 12, you can install the same by Opening Windows PowerShell, Typing in ‘dxdiag’, and tapping ‘Enter’ to confirm. This opens up the Diagnostic Tool to install DirectX 12, which you can take care of via the following steps:

  1. Press Windows Key and the I tab simultaneously
  2. Select Update-Security settings
  3. Check for Updates
  4. Click OK if you get an intimation to install updates

Conclusion

Each of the 10 mentioned steps can readily optimize the Windows 10 for better performance. However, if you are still concerned as to how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming and which steps to follow, we would urge you to try out each mentioned strategy, depending on the nature of the game, internet, power options, internet connection, APIs like DirectX 12, graphics support, and other factors.

If you are talking tech, it’s unwise to keep Ananda far from the matter of concern. An inventive gadget expert with nerdy predilections, Ananda Banerjee is the person to rely on for actionable, clarified, and practical insights relevant to gadgets, IT verticals, AI, Deep Learning, and everything tech.

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