Playing PC games give you much more freedom than on a console. But because computers are more complex and they lack standardized components such as consoles, graphic problems in games, or performance problems are common.
Most of the common PC game problems you will experience fall into some general categories. In this article, we analyze some of the biggest problems of PC games that you can find and show you how to fix them.
1.- PC games: artifacts and visual failures
The term "artifacts" refers to a strong distortion of visual media. With video games, this manifests as all kinds of graphic oddities. You may see missing or deformed geometry, crooked textures, flickering elements and the like.
Because your video card is the component responsible for processing the images and sending them to your screen, these problems are usually rooted in your GPU. You must ensure that the graphics card drivers are up to date.
If you still experience graphic failures in the games after confirming that you have the latest drivers, you may have a problem with the heat in your system. Clean your PC if you haven't done it in a long time; Too much dust will accumulate excess heat, which will damage your video card and other components.
Make sure your PC also has adequate ventilation. In case you overclocked the GPU, consider putting it back to normal.
You can use PC diagnostic tools like HWMonitor to control the heat of the graphics card. There is no exact operating temperature that you should look for, but in general, an inactive card is approximately 30-40 degrees Celsius.
While playing a game, something in the range of 60 to 85 degrees Celsius is normal. Running above 90 or 100 degrees Celsius is too hot.
Finally, you can do a stress test of your GPU to check for problems. If you see artifacts and other visual strangeness during the test, your video card is likely to be failing.
2.- PC games: extreme lag when you play online
"Lag" refers to a delay between your actions in an online game and the server's reaction to what you did. If you've ever sworn that you directly shot an opponent in an online shooting game, just to make the bullets jump while they hit the wall behind him, you've experienced lag.
The quality of your Internet connection will affect the amount of lag you experience. Because of this, when you experience lag or a delay, you should make sure to close all bandwidth intensive tasks that run on your network. Stop all downloads and video streams, and make sure you don't run torrents.
The lag is more a problem in an unstable Internet connection. If you play online over Wi-Fi, you should consider switching to an Ethernet connection.
You should keep in mind that the game you are playing may also be affected by lag. If the game uses a peer-to-peer configuration (P2P), like some Call of Duty games, your experience will be affected if another player has a bad connection. However, in games with dedicated servers, only the other connection will suffer.
PC games: network ping
When troubleshooting lag, you should consider your ping. This is a value, in milliseconds, that indicates how long it takes for your actions to go to the server and return to your device. As expected, a higher ping results in delayed entries.
Most games allow you to see your ping in real time, which you can use to measure the status of your connection. In general, you'll notice a delay with just over 100. If your ping is 50 or less, you're in a pretty good place.
Keep in mind that location plays a great role in determining the ping. If you are in the United States and play a game on the servers of the EU, you will experience a much bigger ping because your tickets have to travel a greater distance. That is why it is better to select servers that are as close as possible to your country.
3.- Your game "hangs" or stays frozen
When games don't work well, it's a big headache. If you regularly experience sudden crashes in offline games where the game has to "catch up", it is likely that at least one component of your system is a bottleneck.
You can follow some quick steps to solve this game crash problem. If possible, place the graphics in a lower configuration so that the game does not require many resources.
Close other programs that run on your computer so they are not using RAM and CPU power. Make sure you have free disk space so your game has room to breathe.
If these solutions do not solve the freeze, you should check the hardware of your current computer and make sure it meets the specifications of the game you are playing.
You may need to update if your system is not up to par. For example, an SSD will provide much better loading times than an old hard drive, and you may need more RAM to keep a game running smoothly.
4.- Screen tear
We covered general problems of visual "artifacts" before, but tearing the screen is a special case. This visual problem occurs when your screen shows multiple frames of a game at once, divided into two or more parts that do not line up correctly.
Unlike many PC game problems, this is not really the fault of any component. Screen tearing occurs because the power that your video card sends to your monitor does not synchronize correctly with the screen refresh rate.
In effect, your card sends a new frame before your monitor has finished showing you the last one, so you will see a broken image that contains both.
Most games include a feature called V-sync (vertical sync) to combat this. Enabling it prevents the video card from updating your screen until the monitor completes the current update cycle.
While this helps prevent screen tearing, you can also enter a certain input lag. The input lag is different from the network lag and refers to a delay between the control inputs and the game that recognizes them.
Therefore, if you decide to use V-sync it depends on the type of game you are playing. In a multiplayer game where every moment counts, you should probably avoid it. But in a slow game for a player, using V-sync will make your screen look as beautiful as possible.
5.- Damaged games
Visual and performance problems are frustrating, but at least they don't stop you from playing. Unlike games that are continuously blocked. When games crash, it is extremely annoying because you can lose progress. If a game crashes frequently, you may not even be able to play it.
Some of the tips we have mentioned above also apply to games that fail. Make sure you have the latest video drivers installed and that your system meets the recommended requirements to play. Restart your computer to make sure it is not a temporary problem.
From there, you can jump to other troubleshooting steps. Disable antivirus and other software that may interfere with the proper functioning of a game. You should also try to run the game as an administrator, which can sometimes solve blocking problems.
Then, reinstall the game to confirm that all files are installed correctly. At this point, it is worth searching on Google for the specific game to see if other people have had problems. In some cases, you may have to try a specific solution for that particular title.
Why does my game fail? Now you know
In this article, we have analyzed some common problems of PC games and how to solve them. If you have successfully solved the problems, you can now enjoy your favorite games without problems.
You should keep in mind that these are all general categories of problems; You can also find specific failures of a certain title. Maybe it's a visual problem or something that prevents your progress. In these cases, it is expected that the error will be repaired in a future update of the specific game.