How to Play Games on a Low-End Laptop
While many PC enthusiasts build their own custom rigs with the latest hardware, or invest in powerful gaming laptops, some of us are cursed with integrated graphics and two gigs of RAM. Though we have previously found a way to build a gaming PC for less than $1,000, not everyone is going to take the time to piece that together.
The good news is that many more laptops with integrated graphics can now play mid-level and indie games than in the past. Still, if you have an ancient or crappy laptop, that doesn’t mean you can’t play games—it just means you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Here are a few strategies that can help you start gaming, without needing to invest in a super expensive rig.
Lower Your Graphics Settings
Let’s start with the obvious: You’d be surprised how many games will run below the minimum requirements, as long as you’re willing to give up some graphical fidelity. When you start up a modern game on a low-spec machine, it may not always use the most optimal graphics settings by default, so before you try anything else, head into your game’s Video Options menu and turn down everything as low as possible.
And by «turn everything down,» we mean everything. Not only should you lower fancy graphical effects like anti-aliasing, shadow detail, and texture quality, but you’ll want to crank down the resolution, too. If running a game at 720p (or less) is what it takes to reach a playable framerate—typically agreed to be 30 fps—that’s what you’ll have to do. (Track your framerates to be sure.)
I was shocked at how well some of my test games ran on a $500 laptop with integrated graphics, with nothing but a few settings tweaks. If you aren’t sure whether a game will run, Reddit’s /r/lowendgaming(Opens in a new window) subreddit is a good resource to learn from other gamers’ experience.
Hack the Config Files for Even Better Performance
Let’s say you have a truly low-end laptop, though. Perhaps it’s more than a couple years old, and was cheap even in its heyday. If your game looks like a slideshow even with the lowest video settings, you might be able to improve performance with a dive into the game’s config file.
YouTube channel LowSpecGamer(Opens in a new window) regularly tackles hidden settings in popular games, in an effort to run them on as many PCs as possible. The performance gains are impressive, even if the graphics aren’t.
Through the game’s config file or console, you’ll be able to push the graphics lower than its in-game settings allow by enabling lower resolutions, turning off shadows, decreasing view distance even further, and so on. In some cases the results can look downright silly, but the game will be playable…and isn’t that what gaming is really about?
If you’d rather not do that work yourself, a popular piece of software known as Low Specs Experience(Opens in a new window) can perform all the tweaks in just a few clicks. It supports a number of different AAA games(Opens in a new window) and offers multiple profiles for balancing graphics and performance.
I generally recommend tweaking the settings yourself rather than using third-party software. That way, if something ever breaks, you’ll know why (and how to fix it). But it’s a valid option if you want it. Just remember to keep your PC backed up before pursuing either of these methods.
Stream Games Over the Internet
If low-res graphics are a total deal breaker, you have another option: Stream your games over the internet. There are a number of services that will essentially run the game using high-end hardware on a server, then stream the feed right to your low-end laptop.
The graphics will look great, though it does inherently produce a little input lag, and you’ll need a decently fast internet connection for a smooth experience. I recommend connecting your computer over Ethernet, too, if you can, because t’s a bit more reliable than Wi-Fi streaming, in my experience. If your laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port, a cheap USB-to-Ethernet adapter(Opens in a new window) will do the trick.
Among the most popular game streaming services are Nvidia GeForce Now and Amazon Luna. Other services—like Parsec(Opens in a new window) and Shadow—are similar, but with varying pricing structures.
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You’ll need to do the math to figure out which is most cost-effective for you—and keep in mind that in the long term, you may be better off putting that money toward an affordable gaming PC or even a home gaming console.
Try Classic Games and Low-Fidelity Indie Titles
If all else fails, remember that not all games require beastly PCs to play. There’s a whole world of low-spec titles out there, especially if you dig into the past and want to play retro video games. Check out stores like GOG(Opens in a new window) for tons of classic titles that have been repackaged for modern operating systems. (Hint: filter games by release date(Opens in a new window) to find the older, laptop-friendly ones.)
Never got around to playing Baldur’s Gate as a kid? There’s no better time than now, thanks to the Enhanced Edition. Can’t run Skyrim on your antique laptop? Some argue its predecessor Morrowind(Opens in a new window) is the superior game. Never played Chrono Trigger(Opens in a new window)? Steam has you covered.
In addition, there are lots of indie titles that trade polygons for inventive gameplay. You can check out adventure games like The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles(Opens in a new window) and Gone Home(Opens in a new window). Looking for strategy? Try Into the Breach(Opens in a new window) or Slay the Spire(Opens in a new window). If you want an RPG, go for Undertale(Opens in a new window) or Disco Elysium(Opens in a new window). You can even make action games, like Terraria(Opens in a new window) and Risk of Rain(Opens in a new window), work.
There are plenty of games that will run on lower-spec machines, and they’re usually cheaper, too. Some games will claim higher minimum specs than others (like Superhot(Opens in a new window) with its required 4GB of RAM and GTX 650), but with Steam’s 24-hour refund window, you can always give it a shot. Just don’t forget to turn those graphics settings down.
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Why Can’t My Laptop Run Games? (Explained!)
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.
When many people think of a typical gamer, they might get images of someone running a high-end desktop rig with many bells, whistles, and peripherals to enhance the whole experience. While it is true that desktop computers tend to be the go-to choice for gaming, there are specific subsets of laptop computers that are intended for the same purpose.
Laptops for gaming might be a bit less customizable than their stationary counterparts, but they are more portable, and they allow many gamers to take their entertainment with them to have fun when they are out and about. Further, they can plan cooperative gaming sessions in which they meet up with friends, which can provide a welcome change from just online gaming.
Even though many modern laptops can run games without issues, some players can see that their own models don’t seem to be running quite as smoothly as they thought. There are various reasons why specific laptops don’t seem to run games well, and we will go through some of the most common ones here.
Similarly, we’ll check out how different users might make their own laptops more compatible with particular games they would like to play, what sorts of titles you might play on a budget laptop that is not meant for gaming, and why gameplay might lag over a network even when the internet connection is solid.
Table of Contents
Can You Use Your Phone if Disconnec. ..
Why Can’t My Laptop Run Games Smoothly?
Most laptops should be able to run some games without issues. However, many models can’t run high-end games without having some problems with the smoothness of the gameplay. Although gaming-centric laptops should deal with this better, even their specs can hamper the types of games you might be able to play.
Additionally, how well a game plays on your laptop can have much to do with the specific settings that you choose for the title. Many games offer various video and audio options that are designed to enhance the experience and make it more immersive. This is great if your machine can handle it, but it can make for a jarring experience if the laptop has trouble rendering things.
The main reasons why your laptop might not be running games in the smoothest ways possible have to do with the specifications of your laptop or the types of games you are trying to play.
Sometimes, these things can intertwine with each other, too. The first thing to do is check the minimum requirements of the games you would like to play.
Your laptop must meet at least these specifications in order to run the games at all. You could get lucky and be able to play a title that runs on your laptop even when the machine doesn’t match these specs.
However, this will almost certainly result in very choppy gameplay, and that will make for an experience that just isn’t enjoyable for most players.
Additionally, there are also recommended requirements for most games. These are the specifications that the game developer thinks are the minimum that machines would need in order to make the experience as immersive as possible.
You should not be getting many issues with gameplay if your computer can run on at least these settings. If your laptop cannot meet this bar, you may experience issues with choppiness, lagging, problems rendering, and general things that take you out of the game.
It is even possible that freezing or the game going to the desktop could occur, making it harder to play the title at all.
How Can I Make My Laptop Compatible With Games?
This section assumes that you might have a laptop that is not necessarily optimized for gaming. However, the machine should still be able to play some games. In other cases, you may want to make changes to the device’s hardware in order for it to run the games of your choice later.
Before we recommend specific things to do to the laptop or things to upgrade, it might be worth trying to change some of the settings of the game itself. If you’re familiar with all of the video options in the game, you can turn these down to the lowest setting to which they will possibly go.
This will have some negative impact on how the game looks, but it may improve how it runs on your system. Some titles even have automatic categories from which you can choose in order to run them on low, medium, or high settings, and each of these will try to optimize the game by using different levels of your laptop’s resources.
That said, many gamers run into issues with playing titles at all, and it is possible that the laptop just isn’t compatible with many of the ones you might like to enjoy. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do that might improve the device’s performance in this area:
1. Typically, it is much harder to upgrade laptops than their desktop cousins. However, there are three main things you can upgrade, and each of them can have a massive impact on the performance of your machine. These upgrades include RAM, general storage, and the battery.
2. You should see a big boost in performance if you upgrade the RAM, and switching to faster storage can help with load times and rendering, too.
3. Although not an upgrade per se, switching the kind of mouse and keyboard that you use can offer a smoother gaming experience.
4. Keep the drivers as current as possible. What your laptop can do is directly tied to the kinds of drivers it has at its disposal. A driver is a set of files that acts as instructions for how the computer can do the things you want it to do. Later driver versions typically offer more options.
5. For Windows laptops, DirectX is meant to help with gaming, particularly with the graphics side of things. Make sure your laptop can run the latest version of this for the best results.
6. Although this is not recommended for novices in computer hardware, you can try to overclock the graphics processing unit in order to squeeze more performance out of it.
7. You can increase the power settings to support a high level of performance.
8. If it is available, you can activate gaming mode to run titles at the highest settings your device can support.
9. Close unrelated background processes to free up system memory for gaming.
Can You Run Games on a Normal or Cheap Laptop?
Yes and no. The answer to this question depends on the kinds of games you are running. The latest, most resource-intensive games probably won’t run well on a budget laptop that is not optimized for gaming. In some cases, they may not be able to start at all.
You may be able to run some of the latest titles on very low settings, but it is not likely. Having said that, many regular laptops made within the last few years can run some games that were developed and produced around the same time. Some games, especially those made by small studios without many resources, are not intensive on the resources of your system.
A regular laptop can still run many titles like these, even on recommended settings. If you are ever unsure about things and want to check before you buy, there are websites like this one that will tell you what the minimum and recommended requirements are for many popular titles that may interest you.
Why Is My Game Lagging but My Internet Is Fine?
Online games are popular with many players, and you would need both a fast internet connection and a good laptop in order to enjoy these kinds of titles to their full potential.
There are cases in which you might still experience lag with such games, and this can be true even when you know your internet connection seems to be operating at good speeds. This lag problem could have several causes, but there are a few general things you can try to see if you can fix the issue.
Firstly, it is important to try to eliminate some of the possibilities. You can do this by doing a clean boot of your laptop. Doing this will start it up with minimal drivers and utilities, and it may allow you to isolate the problem you are facing.
If you can’t seem to pinpoint the solution in this way, it may be a different issue altogether. You can try running a diagnostic on the RAM itself to see if there are any problems with the system’s memory.
Lastly, you can turn down the overall appearance settings of the laptop but set its performance to the maximum values to see if this helps with lag.
Laptops are great for light tasks when you need to be on the go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some more concentrated fun with them. Even a regular laptop can run some older or less intense games on its system well, and many computers in this form factor are made for gaming.
If you’re experiencing any issues while playing games, you may need to change the settings of your device or upgrade it, and you can use some of our troubleshooting tips here to assist you.
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Will the game run on my computer. How to check before installing it
Not only children love computer games. Adults also sometimes go into them with their heads and for a long time. I am not such an avid gamer, but sometimes I allow myself to hang in them and get away from everyday problems. My favorite toys are Tomb Raider and Clive Barker’s Undying. The latest versions of Lara Croft are so fancy that not all computers can support it. Sometimes you install the game, but it does not work or it constantly freezes. And how can I determine in advance whether the game will run on my computer? Is that possible? That’s what we’ll talk about now. nine0003
- How to check the compatibility of the game with my computer
- browser Firefox
- video “Whether a game on my computer”
has a characteristic, there is a characteristic, there is a characteristic which lists the minimum computer requirements.
How to find out the characteristics of your computer or laptop
But in reality, everything is not so simple. And many, like me, will still try to install the game and see for themselves that it will not work. nine0003
But I would like not only to be convinced, but also to understand why the game did not go. And there it’s already up to you to decide whether to buy a new computer or just upgrade something.
How to choose a video card for a computer for the motherboard
How can I find out if my computer’s memory can be upgraded?
The site is in English, but everything is intuitively clear.
The Yandex browser immediately translates into Russian.
Consider an example in the Yandex browser and the Firefox browser, because they work a little differently.
Let’s check if Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Forge will run on my computer.
To do this, in the field under the number 1, we begin to write the name of the game. nine0003
If the browser has a translation, then the name of the game will most likely be in Russian.
A list with similar names will immediately open.
We choose what we need and below we press the blue button “ Can You Run it ” (You can Run It) under the number 2.
parameters, as well as recommendations.
For my video card, it is advised to update the drivers. nine0003
If you click on the link » Click here to see what games you can run » in the Yandex browser,
a list of these games will open.
In the Firefox browser, enter the name of the game in English, and also press the button « Can You Run it «.
On the next page, where the minimum requirements for the game are indicated, you must again click on the button « Can You Run it .”
We will be prompted to download the file. We agree and download it.
Find this file « Detection.exe » on your computer and run it.
A small window will open.
We are waiting a bit. The file tests the system and synchronizes data with the site. After that, the site page will open, where the data of our computer regarding the game parameters will be shown.
Video «Will the game run on my computer»
You can now test your computer before installing the game.
«How to speed up Windows 10 without third-party programs
Assessing the performance of your Windows computer»
Will GTA 5 run on a laptop, what are the minimum system requirements?
What laptops does GTA 5 run on? Will the game run on my laptop? All answers are in the article. nine0003
After the long-awaited release of GTA 5 in the PC version, many gamers tried to run the game on a laptop, however, not everyone succeeded. There are various reasons for this problem: poor performance, an inappropriate driver for the video card, or the version of Windows. This article will help you figure out which laptop GTA 5 will still run on.
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
NVIDIA GTX 965M
100% DirectX 10 compatible
minimum 65GB free space
We advise you to read: Online test — will GTA 5 run on my computer
It is very important that the processor is quad-core, as stated in the system requirements. Of course, there are Kulibins who run GTA 5 on a dual-core processor, and then only if they have a video adapter with a memory of at least 1 Gb, but this is done, as a rule, for experimental purposes, because it is simply unrealistic to play with an FPS of 10-20. Of course, in addition to terrible lags and friezes, you will not be able to enjoy the graphics and complete interaction with the game world. nine0003
Which laptop GTA 5 will run on (examples of models)
Game developers advise using laptops that have a minimum of:
video card is not worse than GTX 965M (or equivalent).
Video card specifications:
GeForce 900M Architecture Maxwell Number of shaders 1024 Clock frequency 944 MHz + boost Memory frequency 2500 MHz Memory type GDDR5 Memory bus width 128 bit Maximum video memory 4096 MB Release date January 5, 2015
For a comfortable game, you can use different models of laptops, we will give some examples of laptops from different manufacturers:
- ASUS ROG G751JL-WH71(WX) Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2. 6 GHz 17.3″
- ASUS ROG G751JL-DS71 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz 17.3″
- ASUS G751JL-BSI7T28 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz 17.3″
- DELL Alienware AW15R2-1546SLV Gaming Laptop Intel Core i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz 15.6″
- DELL Alienware AW15R2-4623SLV Gaming Laptop Intel Core i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz 15.6″
- MSI GE Series GE62 Apache-002 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz 15.6″
- MSI GS Series GS60 Ghost-607 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-5700HQ 2.70 GHz 15.6″
- MSI GT Series GT80 Titan SLI-255 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-5700HQ 2.7 GHz 18.4″
- Lenovo E560 Intel Core i7; AMD Radeon R7 M370 2 GB
- Lenovo E555 AMD FX-7500; AMD R5 M240
- ACER Aspire VN7-571G-51PS
- ACER Aspire V Nitro VN7-591G-771
- HP Envy 15-ae004ur
- HP Pavilion 17-f212ur
- Samsung 700G7A
What to do if GTA 5 does not start or slows down on a laptop
Tip: How to increase FPS in GTA 5
If your laptop fully meets the minimum system requirements, however, the game does not start, you need to check which video card is used:
- Go to the device manager and disable the discrete graphics card
- Start the game, and then, through the task manager, turn it off
- An error window will appear, without closing it, turn on the video card, and press «retry»
Unfortunately, you will have to do this procedure regularly when you start the game.