PC gaming has come a long way since the days of DOS when you had to type in commands to access your favorite titles. Now, most games can be instantly accessed via online platforms and downloaded in a matter of minutes, if you’ve got a fast connection.
But PC gaming doesn’t end there. There’s a whole world of apps working behind the scenes to make gaming the best experience possible. Here are some of the apps that you need to have if you’re a PC gamer.
Ventrilo has been around for well over a decade. The app was originally used by World of Warcraft fanatics to help them coordinate raids using voice, but now it’s used by gamers playing all sorts of modern titles. After its glitches were sorted out, Battlefield 4 because a showcase game for the team shooter and thousands of teams used Ventrilo to communicate with one another as they did battle.
The cool thing about the app is that it is really easy to set up. Although it looks basic, it’s quick to navigate and feels a bit like VLC player: minimalist, but functional.
If you want your computer to run at its best, it’s a good idea to keep it free from junk. However, using Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox can leave you with lots of cookies and temporary internet files you don’t want. Plus, installing and uninstalling games all the time can leave you with registry key issues which can affect the overall performance of your computer.
CCleaner is an app that wants to help you deal with these problems. It aggregates all the temporary junk files on your computer together so that you can eliminate all of them with a single click of your mouse button. The cool thing about CCleaner is that it will allow you to keep things like recently typed URLs or your web history, just in case you want to see which sites you’ve already visited after deleting your temporary files.
CCleaner is also able to help you to get rid of registry issues. Registry issues can cause a computer to slow down over time if they’re not dealt with. To get rid of registry issues using CCleaner, all you have to do is click “scan for issues” and then “fix all” to automatically correct any problems.
Are you an extreme gamer, constantly looking for the latest in gaming hardware on sites like Xgamingchair.com? Well MSI Afterburner is the app for you. The purpose of MSI Afterburner is to allow hardcore gamers to overclock the components in their computers, making them run hotter and faster. Faster components mean better performance in games, and better performance in games allows players to react to the in-game environment faster.
The cool thing about MSI Afterburner is that it is compatible with both major graphics card vendors, Nvidia and AMD. And unlike many GPU tuning programs, MSI Afterburner has a bunch of features that allow you to fine-tune the voltage of your graphics card, helping to keep the overclock stable.
Even if you aren’t overclocking your computer, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on the temperature of your components. A higher than normal core temperature for your CPU or GPU could be indicative of a problem. It’s not uncommon for fans to fail in high-end systems – and if they do, it could spell disaster. Core Temp provides the user with the tools to figure out why they experience random slowdowns in games. It could be because the components are throttling back as a result of becoming too hot.
Fraps is used by both amateur gamers and hardware review sites testing the performance of new CPUs and graphics cards. Essentially, Fraps is a frame rate counter, telling you how many frames per second you are getting in your game at any moment in time. The program overlays any 3D application, like a game, with a counter in the corner displaying the real-time frame rate output of the graphics card.
Fraps is a good tool to use if you want to test different in-game settings. You could try playing around with graphics options, like anti-aliasing and bloom, to see whether it has a detrimental impact on your frame rate.
Today’s hard drives have lots of storage. But no matter how many gigabytes of space manufacturers give gamers, they never seem to have enough.
WinDirStat doesn’t give gamers more hard drive space. What it does do, however, is show them where they could free up space on their drive. The app has a tool which colour-codes different parts of the drive depending on how much storage is being used. It’s a helpful way to visualize which games and applications are taking up the most space. Just don’t try to say the name of the app in public: your fellow gamers will think you’re drunk.
Ventrilo is a near-perfect cross-platform voice app. Is there are messaging equivalent?
The answer, fortunately, is “yes” – and it’s called Raptr. Raptr integrates with both Steam and GfWL, as well as other Windows chat clients, like MSM, allowing you to talk with your buddies, no matter what platform you’re using. Unfortunately, Raptr doesn’t work with Blizzard’s Battle.net at the moment, thanks to Blizzard’s insistence on using their own proprietary chat service.
Recuva is made by the same people who bring you CCleaner. Whereas CCleaner is all about getting rid of stuff off your hard drive, Recuva is all about bringing it back.
Recuva isn’t actually a gaming app, per se. Like CCleaner, it can be used for multiple purposes. But for gamers who find themselves constantly uninstalling and reinstalling stuff on their hard drives, it can be very useful.
Windows setting are annoying, especially for gamers. The reason? Settings are hidden away behind layers of menus and, sometimes, they’re not available at all. EnhanceMySe7en wants to change all that by bringing relevant system menus to the fore in an easy to access app that replaces the control panel.