How to Make Games Run Faster on a Laptop

Updated on March 27, 2016
Anurag2008 profile image

Anurag loves playing video games. His guides and listicles revolve around popular iOS, Android, PC and console games.

On a desktop PC, you can easily improve game graphics by swapping out your old graphics card. But in most laptops, the graphics chipset is integrated into the system board and can't be removed or replaced. So newer PC games may not run smoothly on your laptop, and you may experience choppy graphics.

However, there are many ways to make games run faster on a laptop. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on a new notebook, try the tips below to improve gaming performance.

1. Adjust 3D Graphics Settings

Most notebooks allow users to manage and tweak 3D settings via a separate graphics control panel.

You can access 3D settings on your AMD or Nvidia-powered notebook by right-clicking on your Windows desktop and choosing Graphic Properties.

Intel’s Graphics and Media control panel, on my Acer laptop, lets me adjust 3D settings by moving a slider between "Performance" and "Quality." Click on "3D" and "Global Settings" to find the slider. Moving the selector toward "Quality" improves 3D graphics, but may lead to slower frame rates and choppy performance; moving it towards "Performance" will enhance gaming performance. I always choose "Performance" over "Quality" to ensure a stutter-free gaming experience.

This Intel HD Graphics and Media Control Panel has custom settings as well as preset options. Below, I show my laptop’s 3D settings to explain each custom setting. You may apply these settings to your own graphics panel for a smoother gaming experience.

Tweaking Intel HD Graphics Setting
Tweaking Intel HD Graphics Setting

Custom settings are commonly found in all graphics panels, including Intel HD or NvIdia/AMD. Common options include texture quality, vertical sync, and anisotropic filtering. You can tweak these settings or leave them as they are. Here are some tips:

1. Texture Quality: Tweaking this option will sharpen pixels in a texture (texels). On my Intel HD Graphics control panel, I had to choose the “Performance” preset option to lower texture quality. This greatly improved graphics performance, although it resulted into blurry visuals. You can keep it in "Balance" mode if you don’t wish to tinker with this option.

2. Anisotropic Filtering: Adjusting this graphics setting will improve the sharpness and clarity of textured objects in a game. But I always keep it under “Application settings” and prefer not to change it. Keep it as it is.

3. V-Sync: When playing graphics-intensive games, you may be experiencing screen stuttering and tearing, especially when playing a first-person shooter game. This normally happens when the frame-per-second rate in a video game is higher than your laptop’s refresh rate. To avoid stutters, turn on V-Sync via the graphic cards control panel when the frame-per-second rate is higher than the refresh rate, and turn it off when it is less. Enable V-Sync when playing games like Crysis 2.

2. Tweak In-Game Settings

Adjusting in-game settings is one of the best ways to make PC games run faster on your laptop. You can get access to these settings by pressing the ESC button while playing. Some games let you adjust display settings via a separate launcher at the start of play.

Adjusting display settings improves gaming performance, but may reduce texture quality.

Batman: Arkham City In-Game Settings (Click to Enlarge)
Batman: Arkham City In-Game Settings (Click to Enlarge)

The screenshot above shows the display settings of Batman: Arkham City. Almost all options are configured to provide a smooth, stutter-free gaming experience.

I have set Detail Level and anti-aliasing to low, enabled V-sync to improve frame rate, and turned off options such as motion blur, ambient occlusion and dynamic shadows. Also notice the resolution. If you have a low-end notebook, then set the resolution to the lowest (640 x 480) and play it in windowed mode. While this may not provide the most visually satisfying gaming experience, it will improve performance.

3. Consider Third-Party Game-Boosting Programs

Game-boosting programs are an option if the above tips don’t work, or you are scared to tweak settings manually. These third-party applications tweak graphics settings, disable processes, defrag your system, and even over-clock your CPU to improve performance.

Essentially, these programs offer way to tune up all settings automatically at the click of a mouse, instead of manually tweaking every setting.

Warning: While game-boosting apps have the potential to improve frames per second by tweaking key settings, they can be risky because changes in settings may affect the registry. Use them at your own risk.

IObit’s Razer Game Booster

Razer Game Booster
Razer Game Booster

IObit’s Razer Game Booster improves game performance by disabling non-essential processes and services on your laptop. Game Booster’s single-click boosting feature makes it easier to use even for non-computer savvy people. The listed processes can be disabled all at once, or selected one by one. Developers claim that the app cleans up RAM and enhances CPU performance.

When I enabled Game Booster, I noticed a slight difference in frame rate per second, a +2 increase.

Razer Game Booster is a good program that lets you shut down unwanted processes, but for the best overall game performance, you will still have to tweak the in-game settings as well as graphics control panel settings.

After I closed the game, I had to restart my laptop to turn back to normal settings after closing the game. I even had to manually switch back to my laptop's power previous settings.

An application called Game Gain also makes gaming performance faster and smoother on your PC and laptop. Game Booster is free, but Game Gain costs money. You can try out the trial version first, and then buy the full version if you are satisfied with its performance.

Additional Tips to Improve Gaming Performance

  • Update graphic drivers regularly. For AMD and Nvidia-powered notebooks, new drivers are available at the official websites. If your laptop is powered by Intel, you can search for new driver versions via Device Manager > Display Adapters > Intel HD Graphics > Update.
  • Use programs like CCleaner to get rid of unwanted registry items and disable unnecessary startup items. With this program you can also get rid of memory dumps. Using such programs optimizes PC performance, which ultimately leads to smoother gaming, but make sure you are aware of the implications of disabling key startup items. Do a Google search to find out which items can be safely disabled.

  • Use anti-virus programs that have a built-in gaming mode. While playing, most users turn of antivirus programs to ensure smoother performance, because these programs hog resources, especially on older systems. However, programs like Avast Antivirus and ESET Nod/Smart Security do not take up resources on your laptop, are lightweight, and have a nifty gaming/silent mode that lets you play your game while the program silently runs in the background.

These are some tweaking tips to improve gaming performance. Do you know any other trick to make games run faster on a laptop? Share your tips and suggestions via the comment box.

Screenshots by the author.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    4 years ago

    If your game is lagging, just start task manager CLRT+ALT+DLT ( control, alt, delete) and look at what processes are using a lot of memory and end them. I find gameboosters to be the same thing but sometimes annoying. Take caution when ending processes that says User - System. Just end things you don't need to use. If you don't know what a process or service name is or what it does, literally just google the name you're looking at and you'll find a page or thread that will give you an answer. Don't end anything if you have no idea what it does. Research always before you do something, if you don't know

  • Manikandan001 profile image


    5 years ago from India

    Nice one,i didn't use more software.For me using small memory taking software.I using it Soft Cleaner software.Its giving healthy performance while regular doing.

  • WestelCS profile image

    Tim Anthony 

    5 years ago

    Interesting tricks! I have never heard of the Razer Game Booster software. I have installed the software in my laptop and its supported the game to run fast and smoother.

  • DealForALiving profile image

    Sam Deal 

    5 years ago from Earth

    Good article. My current machine's too weak to do much more than FB but will keep in mind when I buy my next.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    did not work for me on my laptop

  • Karanja Joseph profile image


    6 years ago from Kenya

    I have found it hard playing recently released games on my old laptop computer. However, I found that a few process were consuming resources yet I did not have the slightest hint. Thanks for the enlightenment

  • Anurag2008 profile imageAUTHOR

    Anurag Ghosh 

    6 years ago

    Thanks @Datalog

  • DATALOAD profile image


    6 years ago from Michigan

    Great advice! I have never heard of the Razer Game Booster software. I'll have to give it a try.

  • Anurag2008 profile imageAUTHOR

    Anurag Ghosh 

    6 years ago

    Thank you

  • ravenrage07 profile image

    John Fox 

    6 years ago from Richmond, VA

    You could always get an SSD drive if you have that kind of money. Voted up!

  • toptengamer profile image

    Brandon Hart 

    6 years ago from The Game

    Interesting tricks although I guess for the most part you're suggesting tweaks to in-game information rather than actually making your PC run at a relatively faster FPS. Have you tried IObits with success?

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Control Panel, performance information tools, adjust visual effects, adjust for best performance.

  • RaoJi321 profile image

    Sandeep Rao 

    7 years ago from Gurgaon

    Alternately, you can use your flash drive to use it as a RAM booster. It can be used to Readyboost your PC's performance in Windows7 and Windows8.

  • Anurag2008 profile imageAUTHOR

    Anurag Ghosh 

    7 years ago

    Thank you.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Great suggestions.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)