As gamers, we spend a lot of time on our beloved systems, be it consoles or PC. But a majority of people tend to play on a PC because all PCs are flexible and unique. The biggest advantage of gaming on a PC is the level of customization you have. Every PC gamer has their own personal preferences when it comes to customizing their rig and play however they want. Moreover, there are a lot of extra programs you can download that would help make your life easier as a PC gamer. But from the myriad of free programs that exist nowadays, quite a lot of them are less than useful. And for newcomers to the PC master race, the sheer amount of things you can do to a PC can be a bit overwhelming. That is why we have made a list of essential applications that’ll make your PC gaming experience much more pleasant. All these applications are free to use.
First and foremost, every PC gamer should install the Steam application. Steam is the most popular game distribution utilities created and run by Valve. It’s pretty much essential for most gamers to have. Steam offers a convenient location to choose and buy from a vast library of games, both old and new, and is now responsible for more than 60% of global sales of PC games. Steam has a significantly larger amount of games and features compared to any of its competition. Apart from the games that it offers, steam also has a community section where you can post screenshots of your games, view guides written by other players, join the discussions with other gamers or check the steam workshop to download mods for your games. You can add your friends on steam and chat with them too.
There are also some other great game launchers like Origin, Epic Games launcher, Uplay, etc but they don’t even come close to the number of games and functionality that steam offers.
Alongside the cool steam app, you can also use the pin steam application (available for Windows 8.1 and 10) to pin your games in an orderly manner right to your start menu making your life much easier when starting a particular game. You can download the PinSteam application from the Windows Store.
While some PC gamers may be okay without voice communication, a voice chat app is a must-have for players who love to play socially or competitively with their friends. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to voice chat while gaming, but our favorite application is Discord. We feel that Discord is definitely one of the most essential programs for a gamer. With Discord, you can easily connect to your friends via both voice and text chat. Creating a Discord server is no hassle and the app has a high level of customizability when it comes to personal discord servers. Discord is free to download and is highly recommended by us.
GeForce Experience is a must-have software for anyone who owns an Nvidia GPU. First of all, GeForce Experience provides the latest drivers for your GeForce graphics cards so that you don’t face any problems in the latest games. It is also a great tool for tweaking the in-game settings depending on the GPU you have installed. GeForce Experience automatically detects all the games installed on your PC and provides the optimal graphics settings based on your hardware. Additionally, GeForce Experience has features like GameStream, Whisper mode, battery boost, Freestyle, Ansel and VR.
AMD Adrenalin is similar to the GeForce Experience app, but it is used for AMD-based PCs.
Razer Cortex is an app that is designed to boost the entire performance of your computer when you are gaming. Although the emphasis of the program is to deliver better gaming by reducing load time and giving higher FPS, it also gives other solutions to your overall PC regarding performance. It is ideal if you’re looking for a little extra improvement without much effort. Razer Cortex Works with every kind of PC, so whether you have a basic computer or a gaming rig, Razer Cortex has something to offer your machine.
This piece of software will help you push your system to new limits. MSI Afterburner is the perfect app to reveal the true potential of your GPU. MSI Afterburner is an extremely extensive program and it does a great job of giving you a lot of options, most importantly altering the video memory and clock speed of your GPU. However, before overclocking, make sure you have enough cooling to handle the higher temperatures on your GPU. MSI Afterburner also has a mobile app that lets you adjust your settings while in-game without exiting the game.
MSI Afterburner comes bundled with RivaTuner Statistics Server. RivaTuner is an overlay for MSI Afterburner which closely monitors various temperatures and processing load during gameplay. RivaTuner can also be used to lock framerates in any game. The best thing about Afterburner is that it works both on Nvidia and AMD graphic cards.
F.lux is especially useful if you like to play late at night with the lights off. While using computers in the dark, the blue light from the screen can damage your eyes pretty badly. This is why using an intelligent application like F.lux can prove to be of great help. This free windows app works by dynamically adjusting the color temperature of your display depending on the time of the day and the light sources in the place you have your pc setup. It helps reduce eye strain and potentially improve your sleep patterns when you game later at night. F.lux is pretty light on your PC and doesn’t take much of your PC’s resources.
Can you run it:
The next entry in our list isn’t actually a program, but a website. There’s a “can I run it” page on the Game-Debate website. On this website, you can choose which game you are interested in and see if you can run the game by entering your hardware specs. You can also download a hardware scanner which will then automatically enter the correct information. After entering the hardware details, you’ll see if your computer meets the recommended and minimum system requirements for the game that you want to play. It will also show estimated frame rates and other stats depending on the resolution and quality settings for that game.
If you are a gamer who would like to start streaming games, then OBS is your best bet. This free software allows you to stream high-quality videos and gameplay footage to either your personal server or a variety of other popular platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. With OBS, you can adjust your webcam footage, add text or other kinds of graphics to your stream to make it look good and help gain more followers. OBS is very easy to set up and its interface is super intuitive and user-friendly even for new streamers. This is not necessary for most gamers, but if you are a social gamer or potential content creator, you should definitely give OBS a try.
Some gamers also like to record their game while playing for their personal use. Fraps is a dedicated screen record program that helps you record your game while also showing how your computer is performing by displaying the FPS at any given time. You can then tweak the settings according to the fps displayed by Fraps and obtain the best possible results. Fraps has a number of different options including the ability to record minimum, maximum and average frame rates.
We hope this article will help our readers to have a better PC gaming experience. Click here to see more of such articles. Thank you for reading.
Cover image credit: Frontdesk