Fixing game performance problems

Modern games can strain a computer’s resources. A computer that runs some programs perfectly can become sluggish and potentially unresponsive when faced with the demands of complicated games. You might notice flickering graphics or lowered frame rates that make playing your game feel like you’re watching a slide show.

The following sections list several factors that can contribute to the reduced performance of games and describe steps you can take to address the problems.

Check for software and driver issues

The first place to start when diagnosing software problems is to make sure that all of your software—including drivers—is up to date and properly adjusted.

  • Check for known issues and updates for the game. Most software problems are not unique, and when you encounter one, it’s likely that other people are having the same problem. Frequently, game publishers will issue updates that contain fixes to known problems. To learn more about known issues and get updates for games and devices, visit the game publisher’s or device manufacturer’s website.

  • Update Microsoft‌ DirectX. DirectX is a suite of multimedia technologies that helps create the special visual and audio effects that come with games. Many games rely on DirectX to help get more performance from your computer. Make sure that you have the latest version of DirectX so that you can take advantage of all of the latest features. For information about making sure that you have the latest version of DirectX, see Which version of DirectX is on your computer?

  • Get the newest device drivers. Because game performance can be affected by device drivers, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have the latest drivers for all of your hardware. For more information about keeping your drivers up to date.

  • Adjust your game’s settings. Most games have settings that allow you to control the resolution and level of detail that’s displayed, as well as the quality of the audio. Check the information that came with the game to find out how to use those settings to optimize the game for your computer’s hardware.