Solutions to your PC gaming problems [troubleshooting guide]

PC gaming is fun until it stops being so. If you’re experiencing gaming problems on your computer, this post may help you fix it. In this article, we discuss some solutions to your PC gaming problems so keep reading and let us know in our feedback link below if they are working.

  1. Game is freezing, lagging, or just plain slow | Frame rate (FPS) is too low | Slow performance problem
  2. Game won’t load with errors
  3. Game won’t load without errors
  4. Game becomes pixelated
  5. Game keeps crashing

Before we proceed to the main topic, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.


Game is freezing, lagging, or just plain slow | Frame rate (FPS) is too low | Slow performance problem

Slow performance is a broad description of a gaming problem that may have a specific cause, so the first thing that you want to do is to narrow down the possible factors. Your gaming rig is a complicated machine with hundreds, if not thousands, of potential points of failure. If it does not perform as expected and appears to be slowing down in the middle of a gaming session, the problem may not be the game itself.

Below are the list of things that you can do to fix this type of problem:

Check system requirements. Not all games are compatible with any type of computer. Even when you have the most advanced gaming rig, there’s always a chance that the game you’ve installed may not be compatible simply because it’s too old. Yeah right, installing a game designed to work for computers 10 or 15 years ago may not perform well even if your computer has the best specifications in the market. The same is true in reverse. If you still have an old Pentium machine and you install the most recent first party shooter game like Far Cry Primal on it, the resulting performance may be too intolerable, if you can manage to even install it in the first place.

Make sure that your computer’s hardware meets the minimum system requirements of the game you’re running to avoid performance issues. This is true whether you’re installing a game from Steam or from a disc. In fact, this is an important first step that every gamer must do before finalizing their mind to purchase any PC game.

Sometimes, upgrading the GPU or video card can fix slow performance problems so do some research before you do something drastic.

Adjust your computer’s resources. If your game appears to stutter a lot, it’s probably because your computer can’t produce an acceptable number of frames that’s easy on the eyes. This usually happens if a computer lacks the memory for model loading and graphics rendering.

The first thing that you can do in this situation is to close unnecessary programs that may be hogging precious resources like memory and CPU. If you’re on a slower computer, closing other active programs may not be enough so try to use the Task manager in checking what other background programs you can turn off. Security software that does real-time scans can consume a lot of CPU bandwidth so make sure to turn it off temporarily. Make sure to turn it back on after playing.

The next best thing to do is ensure that your computer has enough RAM. Keep in mind that once RAM has been used completely, your computer’s fall back option in order to continue serving you is to do disc swapping, which, when gaming is not ideal. Disc swapping is essentially using a portion of the hard drive as a temporary RAM to store data. Moving data to and from the hard drive is slower compared to storing them directly on the RAM that’s why frame rate will be significantly affected.

Windows usually starts to use disc swapping when available memory goes below 800 MB. We recommend that you add more RAM to your computer when available memory keeps hovering close to 800 MB while you’re in a game. In general, the more memory the better when it comes to gaming.

Finally, when it comes to gaming, the better the video card, the more enjoyable experience you’ll have. If you’re sporting an older generation video card, make sure that you know how to tweak its settings like video modes to optimize its performance. Use Google to find a way on how to change the settings of your GPU if you can’t find its documentation.

You also want to ensure that the drivers of your video cards are updated. If your video card driver is still the default one, you may not be using full potential of the card. Video card makers often make drivers for their products available in their website. Make sure that you visit it to see if there’s a new update for your card.

Check if your CPU is slowing down. Other causes of slow performance in gaming can be hardware in nature. One such possible cause is CPU slowdown. Basically, this  means that your computer’s central processing unit speed drops to a certain level so as to cause noticeable frame rate drop. CPU slowdowns do not necessarily signal a problem. Sometimes, a CPU’s speed may automatically drop after some time in order to conserve battery power. In other cases, CPU slowdowns can be due to overheating . If you noticed that your game runs fine but the frame rate drops suddenly at random times, it may be due to CPU slowdown.

Some game makers provide tools to help users monitor their CPUs during a game. Valve, for example, usually provides a way to measure CPU speed every few minutes if you enter a certain console command. The tool can run in window mode so you can place it side by side with your game (in Window mode as well).

There are also third party tools that you can install to help you get a picture of your CPU performance in real time. Just do a simple Google search and you’ll have a nice list of good examples of these tools.

As mentioned, overheating can cause a CPU slowdown, or even make your computer reboot on its own. Overheating is indicative of a hardware issue so the only available solution for you are also hardware fixed like improving the computer’s ventilation, replacing the heat sink, or replacing the entire CPU unit itself.

Try to troubleshooting your CPU to identify if it’s malfunctioning or not.

Check if your disc drive is slowing down. Another possible reason why you may be experiencing game stutters can attributed to a disc drive fault. Some games may utilize the disc drive more intensively at times even when there’s more than enough RAM. If the disc drive cannot respond in time, it may lead to noticeable frame rate drop. This can sometimes happen if hard drives go into sleep (if the system stops using it for 10 or 15 seconds). When awakened again, it may take a second or longer to respond to any read request because it has to spin the platter again. Such a situation can lead to too much delay for a game, resulting to lower frame rate for several seconds.

We’ve written a short guide on how to determine if your hard drive is failing in this link. Be sure to use it.

Game won’t load (with accompanying errors)

Depending on the game you play, this type of problem can be caused by a variety of factors so, again, isolating them is the first thing that you want to do.

Some games need a dedicated program to be installed in order to work, while others can be played right out of a regular browser. Regardless of the game you’re playing, it’s important that you take note of the error message every time it fails to load. Some browser games may fail to load if your computer is encountering connectivity issues, or if the browser itself is not working properly.

Installed games that fail to load may be due incompatibility issues so you want to check if your computer meets the minimum requirements.

We don’t compile a list of game error messages but you can always use Google to search for a solution. If you invest some time in researching for that code, you may be lucky to find a solution somewhere.

If the error code is rare and there’s not much literature that deals with it, don’t forget to visit the game’s website, or to contact its developer.

Game won’t load (without any particular error)

If your game won’t launch and there’s no accompanying error to help you diagnose it, there may be a few things that you can try.

If you were able to play an installed game before but it mysteriously shuns you all of a sudden, the only option for you may be uninstall and reinstall. Something must have changed its core files causing it to fail to load. Some games may have their own launchers that you can use to repair damaged files so make sure to use that. A good example is Steam games. If, for instance, your Dota 2 game client has been corrupted , you may still be able to do a quick fix by going under the main Steam application so that you can “verify integrity of game files.”

Remember, each case may have a specific cause so try to do some old school research by visiting the game’s website and other related forums. If a game is new, the problem may only be fixed by a patch that’s yet to be released by the developer. This can sometimes happen to online games that needs constant connection to remote servers in order to work.

Game becomes pixelated

Game pixelation can be caused by a poor coding or a game bug. Sometimes, bad hardware can also be blamed. If the issue only occurs at rare moments, inefficient coding for a small part of the game may be the culprit so you can just ignore it. However, if the pixelation happens more frequently and it shows all over the screen at random, it may be due to a hardware issue. The GPU or video card may not be working properly in this case so what you can do to confirm it is by playing a different game. If the same problem occurs, that’s almost a strong confirmation that something’s wrong with the video card. Try to see if you can fix the problem by updating its drivers. If the problem persists, consider replacing it.

If the pixelation only occurs when playing a particular game, there may be a bug causing it. Try to reinstall the game and observe how it works afterwards.

If a reinstall won’t change anything, try to visit the game’s website or its forum site and see if other users are reporting the same problem. If it’s an old game and it doesn’t have an official support page, try looking for active forums with an active fanbase. Others may experience the problem before and had figured out a cure.

Newer games usually have official forums that can tackle emerging problems so make sure to let others know about your trouble. If you’re lucky, a quick fix may be available at this time.

Game keeps crashing

Like the rest of the problems mentioned above, this type of problem can also be caused by poor coding, a game bug, or hardware malfunction.

To fix it, the first thing that you want to do is see if there’s an available update for it. This is usually an effective solution for newly released games that have become unstable. If that won’t work, consider updating the video card driver too. An outdated driver may be causing some conflicts with the game causing it crash. You also want to visit the game’s website or official support site for answers. Finally, if all else fails, don’t hesitate to reinstall the game. It may be such a hassle, especially if doing so involves downloading huge files but it’s often an effective means to solve this type of problem.


We are here to help

If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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