How to optimize Windows 10 for gaming

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Bernard Perron
@bernardperron
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Windows 10 can be a powerful and versatile system for gaming, but it's not perfectly suited for this purpose right out of the box. Some tweaking is required if you want to experience the best possible gaming performance on your Windows 10 PC.

In this guide, we will share tips on optimizing your Windows 10 computer for gaming. We've included important game-related points, from internet connection latency to graphics and hardware. Read on to find out how you can improve your gaming experience on Windows 10.



How to optimize Windows 10 for gaming

Windows 10 has a built-in game mode. It's a quick way to adapt your PC to the game if you don't want to dig deep into the settings. Here's how to enable Game Mode on your computer:

  1. Simultaneously press the "Windows" and "I" keys to open the search bar.
  2. Type "Game Mode" and press the "Enter" key.
  3. From the suggested options, click "Game Mode Settings" or "Enable Game Mode".
  4. Move the toggle button under "Game Mode" to the "On" position.

How to Optimize Windows 10 for Online Gaming

Online gamers, however, may not see a difference when activating the game mode as it does not resolve latency issues. This issue is often related to Nagle's algorithm, a useful method for improving TCP/IP network efficiency but which reduces Internet connection speed and consistency. To disable Nagle's Algorithm on your PC, follow the steps below:


  1. Simultaneously press the "Windows" and "X" keys.
  2. From the menu, select "Windows PowerShell".
  3. Type “ipconfig” and press “Enter”.
  4. Find your PC's IP address and write it down. You will need it later.
  5. Open the "Start" menu and type "redegit" to open the registry editor.
  6. In the registry editor address bar, paste “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParametersInterfaces”.
  7. You'll see a list of subfolders with names made up of random letters and numbers in the left sidebar under the "Interfaces" folder. Find one that matches your PC's IP address and right-click on it.
  8. From the drop-down menu, select "New", then "DWORD (32-bit) Value".
  9. Name the “TcpAckFrequency”, set the value data to 1, and click “Ok” to confirm.
  10. Right-click the folder again and select "New", then "DWORD (32-bit) Value".
  11. Name the second value "TCPNoDelay", set the value data to 1, and click "Ok" to confirm.

Another way to improve online gaming performance on a Windows 10 PC is to make some network tweaks to get DNS faster. Here's how:


  1. Simultaneously press the "Windows" and "I" keys to launch Windows Settings.
  2. Type “Network and Internet” in the search bar or search for it in the menu.
  3. Go to "Change adapter settings" and right-click on the name of your Wi-Fi network.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select "Properties".
  5. Click on “Internet Protocol Version 4” and note two DNS entries. You will need it later.
  6. Change your current DNS entries to "1.1.1.1" and "1.0.0.1," then click "OK" and "Close."
  7. Restart the browser you use to play online games.

How to Disable Automatic Steam Updates on Windows 10?

Many Windows 10 gamers install games through Steam. However, Steam's automatic updates can drain your PC's memory by updating games you don't want to update and decreasing the speed of your internet connection. To disable automatic updates during gameplay, follow the steps below:


  1. Open Steam and log in to your account.
  2. From "Settings", navigate to "Downloads" located on the left sidebar.
  3. In the "Download Restrictions" section, uncheck the "Allow in-game downloads" box.

You can also disable updates for a specific game by following the instructions below:

  1. Launch Steam and right-click on the game you want to stop updating.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select "Properties".
  3. Expand the menu under "Automatic Updates".
  4. In the menu, select “Only update this game when I launch it”.

How to Improve Windows 10 Game Graphics

Graphics are an important factor for many gamers, and in-game settings aren't the only way to improve the visual appearance of a game. You can also change visual effects settings right on your PC. Here's how:


  1. Simultaneously press the "Windows" and "I" keys to open the search bar.
  2. Enter "performance" and click "Adjust Windows appearance and performance".
  3. Select "Adjust for best performance" from the list and click "Apply".
  4. Go to the "Advanced" tab and choose "Programs" in the "Adjust for best performance of" section.
  5. Click "Apply" and "OK" to apply the changes.

How to Adjust Mouse Settings for Best Gaming Performance on Windows 10

Your mouse lag can have a big impact on your gaming performance, especially when it comes to shooters. Adjusting the mouse settings can be a big help here. Follow the steps below to adjust pointer precision on Windows 10:


  1. Open the "Start" menu and click on the gear icon to open the settings.
  2. Select "Devices", then "Mouse". Find the name of your current mouse if you have multiple devices.
  3. Go to the "Pointer Options" tab and uncheck the "Improve Pointer Precision" box.
  4. Optionally, adjust the pointer speed by moving the toggle button under "Select a pointer speed".
  5. Click "OK" to confirm the changes.

How to Update Windows 10 Drivers for Better Gaming Performance

Even the best GPU won't perform as expected if you neglect driver updates. To keep your GPU drivers up to date, follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click anywhere on your desktop.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select "Display settings", then "Advanced display settings".
  3. Scroll down and locate "Display adapter properties".
  4. Under "Properties", click "Update driver" to install the latest updates.

How to optimize Windows 10 for games with DirectX 12

Finally, you can install the latest version of DirectX to improve your Windows 10 gaming performance. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Check which version of DirectX you currently have. Launch Windows PowerShell, type “dxdiag” and press the “Enter” key. You will see the current version next to the "DirectX Version" line.
  2. If you haven't installed the latest version, press the "Windows" and "I" keys simultaneously to access Windows settings.
  3. Go to "Update & Security".
  4. Click on “Windows Update”, then on “Check for updates”.
  5. Updates will install automatically.

Keep it up to date

Some of the changes listed in this guide may be minor, but all of the measures combined have a big effect on Windows 10 gaming performance. However, even perfectly tuned software can't make up for outdated hardware. So, make sure your internet connection, mouse and keyboard are suitable for the game and keep the drivers up to date.

Which trick to improve Windows 10 gaming performance did you find the most useful? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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