Just built your own gaming PC and ready to join the PCMR but you’re not sure how? Or maybe you received a new gaming PC for the Holidays and you don’t know where to begin? Or perhaps you’re a long time PC gamer and you’re just curious if you’ve missed something throughout your journey?
Either way, you’ve come to the right place! This article is packed full of helpful tips that every PC gamer should know. It’s time to put that new gaming PC to use so follow along and you’ll soon be on your way to experiencing games the way they were meant to be played.
Here are the 5 tips that every PC gamer should know:
1. Downloading Games Like A True PC Gamer
Your new gaming rig is looking great and you are ready to put it to good use. There’s only one problem, you’re staring at a fresh copy of Windows with no games in sight!
Here are some downloading tips for the PC gamer:
- Download Steam: Steam is the ultimate online gaming platform and is widely known in the PC gaming community. With Steam, you can browse their massive library and find just the GabeN, I mean, the game that you were looking for.
- Don’t rush: It may be tempting to load up on all the games but slow down! One of the best things about PC games is the sales. You will often find Steam sales anywhere from 15-80% off. If you don’t plan on playing it right away, add the game to your wishlist and be patient. You will then be notified if it goes on sale. You can also check Humble Bundle for deals as well. It’s another site that allows you to save by bundling.
- Prepare for a massive library: There are quite a few jokes about lonely PC games in your game library and you’ll soon understand why. As your collection expands, it’s important to keep the installations organized so you don’t eat up your storage space. Be sure to configure your installation path. You can learn more about this by checking out steam support on how to install games in different locations.
2. Connect With Your Fellow PC Gamer
You’ve installed your games but you can’t seem to find your friends. Now what? Try shouting their name really loud? Nope, that didn’t work. We are just teasing. We know exactly how to find them but we wanted to enjoy the thought of you screaming all by your lonesome.
Here are some tips on how to link up with old friends or make new ones:
- Add friends on Steam: Steam isn’t only for downloading games. You can also find and add friends to your friend list. Steam also gives you the option to join a community and be part of a group so you can make new friends. Just add their username and you are good to go. PC Gamer Steam Community Group, anyone?
- Download Discord: Discord is an all-in-one voice and text for gamers. It allows you to connect with several people and find others who have similar interests. You can even download an app for your phone so you can stay connected on the go. Best of all, it’s FREE! In fact, once you’ve installed it, come join our NZXT Discord and say hi to the team. We promise we won’t call you a PC N00b.
- Attend meetups IRL: The PC gaming community is all about connecting with each other on a level that’s like no other. Not only will you make friends online, but you may end up meeting them in real life. There are several conventions and events that help make this happen, such as TwitchCon. Arrange a meetup and thank your healer in person. Healers need all the love they can get.
3. Tweak Your Settings
If you’ve come from console gaming, you’re in for a treat. PC gaming allows you to tweak your graphical settings to achieve a perfect balance between graphics and performance. Gone are the days of accepting 30-60 FPS with limited options.
Here are some tips on how to maximize your graphical performance:
- Play around in-game: You don’t have to settle for the default settings. Play around with the graphics menu in game and be amazed at how many sliders are available at your disposal. Mess with all the settings and find out what works best for your setup. Altering your graphics to provide the best experience is one of the best things about PC gaming. Consoles, eat your heart out.
- Download Nvidia and AMD software: Depending on your graphics card, you can either download Nvidia GeForce Experience or AMD Radeon Adrenalin. Both of these programs will help you configure your PC hardware with the best settings to achieve the best performance. You can also tweak game settings and even stream or record your gameplay.
- Download monitoring software: As the PCMR saying goes, “may our framerates be high and our temperatures low.” But how do we know if our frame rates are high and our temps are low? That’s easy, we download monitoring software that helps us get a better view of how our hardware is doing and whether it’s performing as expected. Our suggestion: download CAM to check your PC. It provides you with those two features plus a bunch of other helpful information about your PC. Other options are Fraps and HWmonitor.
4. Keep It Clean
With great power (gaming power, that is) comes great responsibility. PCs must be kept up to date and it’s up to you to make that happen. Be sure to give your PC that TLC to prolong the life of your hardware and continue smashing those games at 100+ FPS.
Here are some tips on how to keep your PC clean:
- Keep your drivers up to date: It’s important to keep your drivers up to date to get the best performance out of your hardware. This is especially true with your graphics driver. This gets updated often and will usually include a fix to a performance issue that can result in higher FPS. Remember the GeForce Experience and Radeon Adrenalin software we told you to download in step 3? Both of those programs can also help you keep your graphics driver automatically up to date.
- Install Windows updates: Arguably one of the most annoying parts of PC maintenance but it’s a necessary evil. These updates help keep your system protected from malicious attacks. and often provide necessary updates to keep your system running smooth. Be prepared to shut your PC down only to be interrupted by the inevitable “installing updates” screen. Be patient, it will soon pass…we hope.
- Dust your PC: Literally. No seriously, go buy a 12 pack of canned air and stash it away so you’ll always have some available. Dust is the silent killer to PC components and it’s your job to prevent this murderer from getting its dirty hands all over your precious PC components. Don’t let those dust bunnies kill that $500-$1000 GPU that you’ve spent your hard earned money on.
5. Enhance The PC Gamer Experience
PC gaming isn’t only about have a powerful rig, it’s also about the other amazing gaming peripherals and gaming monitors and at your disposal. It’s an amazing time to get into PC gaming and there are several options out there that push the boundaries of performance, functionality, and style.
Here are some tips on how to enhance your gaming experience:
- Buy a new gaming monitor: Playing on a fast gaming PC while using a slow monitor is like owning a Ferrari and never being able to drive faster than the speed limit. (Not that we encourage that!) It’s important to look into purchasing a monitor with a high refresh rate to take full advantage of your gaming PCs speed. You can find monitors with 120+ Hz refresh rate which will allow you to experience your games in full motion. You can also find monitors with low response times (1-5ms) and IPS panels for the best color accuracy.
- Get some gaming peripherals: Don’t use that old keyboard and mouse from 1995, get yourself a gaming keyboard, mouse, mousepad, and headset. There are several options out there and it all comes down to personal preference. Take a look around and find the peripherals that best suit your style and needs. If you want to buy them one at a time, start with a mechanical keyboard. That clickity clack feeling will change your life and some people even swear that it helps them perform better when gaming.
- Use a controller: This is the only time we will tell you that your console will come in handy. Even then, it’s not the console we want, it’s the controller. Grab that Xbox controller and connect it to the PC. Feel free to then use the console itself as a footrest while you proceed to game on the only platform that will allow you to enjoy a deeper, more immersive gaming experience. Too much console bashing in one section? Sorry, we digress. Jokes aside, some games just play better with a controller. (We’re looking at you, Dark Souls.) Luckily for us PC gamers, we can still use them if we want.
Before we go, we’ll leave you with the most important rule: HAVE FUN!
Do you feel like a PC gamer now? We hope so! If you have any tips of your own, be sure to let us know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to let us know if these tips were helpful for your breakthrough into PC gaming. Go ahead, don’t be shy. We welcome all types of feedback. Thanks for reading!