Looking to join the PC Master race? Is your gaming PC struggling with the latest games? If you’re a gamer, you know how crucial it is to have your PC running games at 60+ FPS. Even some milliseconds of lag could make you lose the match.
So if you, too, are struggling with getting to that 60 FPS threshold and want to know how to boost FPS and optimize your gaming PC, then you’re at the right place.
Today we’ll be looking at the best tools and tips that you can use to optimize Windows 10/11 for gaming. So, without taking any more of your time, let’s get started, shall we?
Before we start: why does FPS matter
Frames Per Second (FPS), also known as the game’s frame rate, determines how many images a video card (GPU) can render out in a second.
Remember those cool flipbooks with a collection of images/drawings on every page, and when you flipped through the pages quickly, the image/drawing would appear to animate and come to life? This is how video works, and each of those images is known as a frame. Frame rate or FPS is how fast those images are shown.
So, for gaming, the standard is 60 FPS. This ensures a great gaming experience without any lag or stutters. However, dipping below the standard 60 FPS mark is known as low FPS. Low FPS is bad because it can spoil your gaming experience and even just make the game feel choppy or full of lag.
You can check to see the frame rate of any game you’re playing by using a framerate counter, and we recommend MSI Afterburner as it is one of the best on the internet. Just install it and enable the FPS counter to show the framerate of the games.
Windows 11 vs. Windows 10, gaming performance
Windows 11 and Windows 10 are both very much similar. You can say that Windows 11 is basically a skinned version of Windows 10. However, our tests showed that Windows 10 was slightly faster than Windows 11.
I ran Futuremark 3DMark Fire Strike to compare the graphic performance on Windows 10 and Windows 11. Both the tests were done on Microsoft’s latest 15-inch Surface Laptop 4, and the performance was quite similar.
Windows 10 was slightly faster than Windows 11, with a score difference of only 5-10 points on average.
This is because both builds are very similar, and you can expect to see a minimal performance drop on Windows 11. This might result in a slightly lower frame rate with a difference of 1 to 2 frames. However, this is barely noticeable, and your gaming experience shouldn‘t be affected.
Note: The test was performed with “Game Mode” turned on and the laptop plugged in for the fastest performance.
Quick and free ways to improve FPS
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s get straight into the tips and tools that you should be using to improve your FPS and optimize your PC for gaming.
Here are some quick tips that can help improve your FPS within 5-10 mins.
1. Use Windows game mode
The easiest way to improve your gaming performance is through using the Windows Game Mode. You can quickly enable this in the Settings and can improve your overall performance by killing the other apps in the background.
To turn on “Game Mode”, go to “Settings” and then click on the “Gaming” tab on the left. Finally, toggle on the “Game Mode” button as shown in the screenshot above, and you’re done.
2. Adjust your game’s graphics settings
The next way to get some extra FPS while gaming is to adjust the graphics settings. Well, we all know that decreasing the resolution and texture details can improve your performance. There are other options that you can change to increase the overall performance.
As you can see from the screenshot above. We are changing the “Anti-Aliasing” and “Physics” options to low. This will decrease your CPU and GPU load and increase the overall performance to improve the total FPS.
Note: You can also change the Framerate Limit to 120 FPS so that you get the best FPS while gaming.
3. Manage your active hours
Windows updates can start anytime. This isn’t good if the update starts while gaming. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, customize the active hours to keep everything running smoothly.
You can customize the Active hours by going into “Settings” and then searching for the active hours options. Finally, click on it and adjust the “Start Time and End Time”.
4. Manage steam auto-updates
You can also turn off “Auto-Updates” on Steam. This way, you can ensure that your online connection isn’t interrupted and slowed down. So, turn on “Steam” and then go to the settings.
Next, click on the “Updates” tab and then click on the “Automatic Updates” setting and change it to the “Only update this game when I launch it” option for everything to work smoothly.
Note: You can also turn off background downloads for a better experience.
5. Turn off notifications
While this won’t actually make your game faster, it can help you focus on your games and have a better experience. Notifications can interrupt your gaming time, and hence, I recommend turning it off.
So, simply go to “Settings” and then look for “Notifications” and then turn the toggle off. You can also individually customize the apps to have full control over your gaming experience.
6. Enable high performance mode
Another way you can get the best possible performance is by changing the power option for your laptop. This will really help with your FPS by making the full use of the power on your PC.
Simply open Control Panel and type “power options” on the upper right corner, and then click on Power Options.. The default setting is Balanced (recommended). Make sure you click on High Performance.
7. Disable background Windows services
A massive contributor to lag is background services. This can take up a decent chunk of performance and make your game feel choppy. So, turning off the background services is sure to give a nice boost to performance, and you can do so by:
- Go to the search panel and type run, and hit enter
- Next, a pop-up should appear, type msconfig, and hit enter again
- Finally, click on the “Services” tab and then disable the background services you feel shouldn’t run in the background.
Note: Don’t disable any background service that seems super important. You can also go to the individual apps and then disable them to startup on boot.
Free tools to enhance gaming experience
Here are some free tools that you can use to get a nice performance boost with your gaming PC.
1. DirectX 12 or Vulkan API
You can install the latest API for gaming. This would be the newest installment of DirectX 12 or the Vulkan API.
Both of these APIs have the best performance for gaming and take the best advantage of your CPU and GPU. So, go on to their respective web pages and download the latest version of the API.
2. Razer Cortex
Razer is a gaming brand, and it has its razer fangs with every gaming-related thing. This means that it also has an app that can help you boost your gaming performance. helps you improve your overall performance by optimizing background apps and boosting the GPU to the max.
It can also enable CPU core boosts and manage automatic update settings that can help boost the overall performance of your gaming PC. So, download the app from the link above and run the app. Then go to the “Game Booster” and click on the “Boost Now” button to have better performance all around.
3. Smart Game Booster 5
If you don’t want to use Razer’s Cortex app to boost your gaming performance, you can use Smart Game Booster 5 to achieve the same results. It comes with a one-click Boost button that works by clearing the RAM and optimizing the CPU and GPU for better performance.
You can add your games to the home screen and quickly run any game with a boosted performance of around 5-10 FPS improvement. Hence, making it an awesome game booster tool to look forward to.
4. MSI Afterburner
Another free tool that you can use to improve the performance is to overclock your GPU and CPU. While this seems easy to do, you need to have some knowledge of overclocking. However, if you’re a beginner, you can also use an overclocking tool such as MSI Afterburner to overclock your CPU and GPU with ease.
So, download and install MSI Afterburner and then simply dial up the GPU speeds and voltage depending on your GPU. You can find the perfect overclock for your GPU and CPU by googling them and then dialing them in.
Note: If you face random restarts, try dialing the overclock to a lower speed.
Premium tips to improve gaming performance
Now, we’re diving deep into the premium territory. This means that you would need to upgrade your hardware and need to spend some money to get a boost in performance. So, users looking for free tips should avoid this section. However, if you are okay with spending some money, then here you go.
1. Upgrade to an SSD
The first upgrade you should be looking at is getting a new SSD. An NVME SSD preferably as they are the fastest on the market and can improve your gaming experience by a tonne.
A nice option to look at is the Firecuda series from Seagate. The speeds are awesome and are built for gaming, so you can expect a decent boost while playing and loading games. Other than that, it will also improve the overall performance of your PC, so it is a great purchase to look for.
2. Upgrade your GPU
Upgrading your GPU is a sure way to get a tonne of performance while gaming. There are new upcoming GPUs on the horizon, and you should definitely look to upgrade to them.
However, as GPU prices are soaring, we recommend getting an older gen GPU or a budget pick as their prices are relatively stable. A decent pick would be the RTX 20 or 30 series from Nvidia or a relative counterpart from AMD.
3. Upgrade your CPU
Another upgrade that you should look for is the CPU. This improves the overall performance for games such as Anno or Age of Empires, as they heavily depend on the CPU.
A great pick for CPU is the latest Ryzen series from AMD. They provide incredible value and a lot of cores that enable you to do a lot more than gaming. They are also perfect for professional applications and make live streaming games accessible to everyone.
4. Upgrade your RAM
A slight upgrade to performance is the RAM. While this won’t skyrocket your performance as the GPU or CPU upgrades, it will help make everything feel a lot more smooth.
You should pick the latest DDR4 RAM from a reputable brand, and a great pick that you can buy right now is the Crucial Ballistix RAM. We would recommend a minimum of 8 GB of RAM to start with and then upgrade to 16 GB later on.
Note: Remember to pick a RAM stick with at least 2400 Mhz of speeds.
5. Get a high refresh rate display
Finally, a high refresh rate monitor is the last pick that can make your game feel a lot more smooth. While getting a high FPS is good, it makes zero sense to have the extra frames if you can’t display them.
So, I would recommend sticking to a 120 Hz panel as it has a great performance and is also future-proof for future games. A great choice would be a Free-sync or G-sync panel from Alienware. You can also get a curved 21:9 monitor for a better gaming experience.
Premium tools to optimize your gaming PC
These premium tools are awesome to help you manage your PC’s performance, but they come at a price. So, be ready to shell out some cash to get the best experience possible.
1. Game Fire 6 Pro
Game Fire 6 Pro is very similar to game optimizers such as Razer Cortex and Smart Game Booster 5. However, if you want the full functionality, you would need to get the premium version which can cost you $17.95 for a subscription.
It has a one-click game mode that can kill all background apps and disable notifications to improve your gaming experience. It also helps you optimize your system by monitoring apps and killing all misbehaving apps that take up a lot of RAM or CPU utilization. So, if you want an all-around great game optimizer, then look no further than Game Fire 6.
Are you facing loading speed issues with your games? Does your game take more than 10 minutes on a loading screen? Well, newer games have to load up a lot of particles, effects, and frames to build the world. This is far more common with open-world games, which are the rage right now.
So, how do you make the process faster? Well, you can install the game on an SSD, or you can use GameLibBooster. This app helps you optimize the game files to the fastest storage space and then access the game from there to decrease loading times.
It also helps better manage the disk, which improves performance and also helps streamers have a smoother time streaming their games by optimizing the RAM usage. So, overall it is a fantastic app to smooth out your gaming experience.
3. Advanced SystemCare PRO
While Advanced SystemCare PRO is not a game booster in the name, it sure does deliver some increased PC performance while gaming. It is built for improving the day-to-day performance of apps and the Windows OS.
However, it also comes with a cleaning and optimizing tool that can help kill background apps and free up resources for your games. So, if you need an all-in-one PC optimizer app that can help kill apps and improve the RAM consumption issue, then Advanced SystemCare Pro is for you.
Finally, the last tool that we recommend using is WTFAST. However, this is much more useful for users who play many online games and want to improve their ping for that extra time for quick responses.
It works by improving your connection speeds with a VPN connection. It connects to a fast server that sends your game data over an encrypted channel to help improve ping. It can also improve your gaming performance by managing the background apps and making your game feel much smoother and faster.
Getting a serious performance boost might be challenging. You sure can make slight changes that would help you have a better, smoother gaming experience. While the performance gains from some of the tips above might be small, they sure do deliver a decent performance boost.
So, follow the tips and tools above, and we’re sure that you’ll have a better experience while gaming. Just aim to hit the 60+ FPS mark on most of your games, and you’ll be golden.
With that said, we have reached the end of our guide and for more tips, be sure to read our How to Make Your Computer Faster for Gaming.