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Microsoft claims that Windows 11 is the best Windows OS for PC gaming. But avid gamers sometimes don’t agree
With Windows 11 fast becoming the next mainstream Windows OS, there are still a few improvements to make as far as gaming is concerned. For example, gamers have reported issues such as low FPS, lagging, and crashing.
If you face these issues then this article may be what you need. Here are some tips for improving and enjoying gaming sessions on your Windows 11 PC.
1. Turn On Game Mode
Turning on Game Mode does a lot to improve gaming performance. It redirects more system resources to gaming applications, turns off notifications, and reduces most background activities, thus improving your gaming sessions.
To enable it, click on the Windows icon from the taskbar and then open the Settings application. Once Settings is open, navigate to Gaming > Game Mode and toggle the Game Mode switch to the On position.
2. Use Auto HDR
High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a big improvement over its older brother, Standard Dynamic Range (SDR). HDR features some great additions to how games look, including better brightness representation and color depth.
As such, try turning on Auto HDR. Simply head down to your Settings app and select System settings. Next, go to Display and click the HDR option.
Choose your display from the drop-down menu if you have multiple displays connected. Then, check under Display Capabilities. If the option to Use HDR is supported, toggle the options Use HDR and Auto HDR to the On positions.
Once they’re on you should be able to enjoy an immersive gaming experience. And if you’re unsure as to what HDR does exactly, be sure to read HDR vs. SDR: what’s the difference?
3. Ensure Your Games Use Your Primary GPU
For graphically-demanding games, it’s a good idea to ensure they always use your PC’s strongest GPU. Most gaming PCs have at least both a dedicated GPU and one built into the CPU, and it’s best to give games the former to use.
Once you follow the above steps to get into the Game Mode menu, select the Graphics option. This will display another default setting you may wish to change; using per-app GPU selection settings. You can also toggle on the Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling while you’re here.
4. Turn Off Enhanced Pointer Precision
This tip to improve gaming experience is relatively unknown to gamers. In an attempt to enhance user experience, Windows 11 provides enhanced pointer precision to improve mouse movement.
However, many games already implement a similar setting within their own control scehem. Consequently, these two settings conflict with each other, causing the mouse pointer to move less efficiently. This is the direct opposite of what the setting was meant to achieve.
For gaming computers, the best thing to do is to disable enhanced pointer precision. Search for Mouse Settings in the Windows search bar and open it. Next, scroll down to the Related Settings section and click on Additional Mouse Settings.
This action opens the Mouse Properties menu. From there, open the Pointer Options tab and untick the Enhanced pointer precision checkbox. Click Apply then OK to save your changes.
5. Update Your GPU’s Drivers
NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, and other graphics cards are at their peak performance when their drivers are up-to-date. So, to enjoy a good gaming experience, you must update your GPU drivers regularly.
Factory-installed graphics card drivers are very likely behind on several updates. As such, you must take time to update GPU drivers on new PCs before installing or running games.
There are a few ways you can update your GPU’s drivers, from downloading them manually to using special software released by the GPU’s manufacturer. Fortunately, all the ways to update your GPU on Windows 10 also work on Windows 11.
6. Update Windows
Just as it’s important to update your GPU drivers, it’s also best to regularly update the Windows 11 OS on your PC. Before you install games and applications on your PC you should check if there are any pending OS updates. These usually come with performance and user experience improvements.
If you’re not sure how to do this, be sure to read how to install Windows 11 updates for more information. Note that Windows won’t automatically update on metered connections. So if you’re on one, you must manually check for pending updates periodically.
7. Apply Generic Windows Performance Tweaks
So far, we’ve covered how to get games working better on Windows 11 specifically. In truth, there are heaps of advice we can give you that apply to all versions of Windows, including Windows 11. As such, it’s well worth looking at some general Windows performance advice and applying them to Windows 11.
For instance, we have a guide on how to fix a low FPS on Windows, which includes tips you can perform on Windows 11. You can also check out how to improve gaming performance on a laptop, which includes some tips you can apply even if you’re on a PC. Finally, our piece on how to optimize Windows 10 for gaming features steps you can perform on Windows 11, too.
We’ve also mainly covered things to enable or tweak in this article, but there are some parts of Windows 11 you should disable for better gaming performance too.
Improving Gaming Performance on Windows 11 PCs
The tips outlined in this article are sure to enhance your gaming performance. However, you should note that the overall improvements will vary per device.
To get the best results, also consider other factors, such as old graphics cards, slow or full hard drives, specific driver issues, overheating, and outdated processors. This will help you make the most out of your gaming sessions.