Being one of the Greatest Video Games of all times, Overwatch certainly has tremendous popularity surrounding it.
Most people are passionate about the game, while some just want to try it only for the hype.
Earlier I wrote a guide about Best Laptops for Overwatch, however for some of you who just want to try the game; wouldn’t find it ideal to buy a new laptop.
Hence in this article, I’ve posted tips on How to Make Overwatch Run Better on Laptop that you already own.
To be honest, Overwatch’s developers Blizzard Entertainment have optimized the game skillfully to be playable on an average or everyday laptop.
However, you would still have to compromise on various game features like rendering, shadow details, fog details and so on.
Hence, without wasting much time let’s get onto the tips.
17 Tips on How to Make Overwatch Run Better on Laptop
I’ve divided the following tips in two sections: Easy and Advanced.
Easy steps are the once that you can do on your own without any expert guidance or precautions, whereas the advanced steps are helpful yet bit risky and hence must be only tried if you’re an advanced user or just call a friend who has experience with advanced computer stuff.
Note: You can try all these tips one by one or a few of them and see how the game works, instead of trying all of them at once.
The steps mentioned below; if followed correctly will help you achieve around 50-70% improvement in Gaming Performance.
Make sure to follow them correctly and if you have any issues, do let me know in the comments section.
#1: Clean Temporary Files with CCleaner
The first and necessary steps to follow here is to clear all the temporary and redundant files on your laptop.
These files unnecessarily clog your hard disk and take a lot of valuable space that can be quickly freed up.
Obviously, it will have the most minimal effect when it comes to improving Overwatch’s Gaming Performance, but nonetheless, it’s the foremost and fundamental thing to do.
There are many free applications available for you to clean your laptop’s temporary files; however, the one software that I use consistently is CCleaner.
Check this video on how to use CCleaner and clean your PC.
#2: Close Applications Running in Background
Just because your Windows taskbar doesn’t show any application open or running; doesn’t mean all the applications on your laptop are closed.
Multiple applications run in your laptop’s background without your notice.
To close them, click on the ^ button that shows on the right side of your Windows taskbar, there you will see multiple programs that are open in the background. (See image below)
Hover over each program icon, and it will display its name. Disable all the programs that you don’t need by right-clicking on each application icon and selecting ‘Quit.’
Make sure not to quit any graphical programs that are running in the background like Nvidia or AMD Radeon or Intel HD.
#3: Disable Startup Programs
The primary reason for your laptop to become slower over time is due to the applications or softwares that load up as soon as you start your laptop.
For specific use, we install different softwares and few of these softwares automatically set themselves to start up while your system boots.
These apps then slow down your laptop by hogging critical system resources and in turn deteriorate gaming performance while playing Overwatch.
To disable such startup programs, follow the video guide embedded below.
Though once again make sure to not disable any graphical programs like Nvidia, AMD Radeon or Intel HD.
#4: Update Graphics Drivers
If your laptop comes installed with a Graphics Card, make sure that its drivers are updated to the latest release.
Usually, your laptop will include GPU from Nvidia, AMD Radeon or Intel HD/UHD.
If you’re not sure the Graphics Card included in your system, then you can check laptop’s product specifications or else search for “Device Management” in Windows 10 Search bar and expand ‘Display Adapters’.
If your laptop comes with Intel HD/UHD Graphics, then you can click on this link and easily update your graphics drivers.
In case, you still can’t find the drivers for your laptop, then it’s best to check the official product page of your laptop; on its manufacturer’s website and go to ‘Drivers’ or ‘Downloads’ section and download latest drivers.
Otherwise, you can install free ‘Driver Update Tool’ that scans your laptop and suggests drivers that need to be updated.
However, only install a Driver Update Tool as a last resort, or all the above 3 steps don’t work for you.
Note: In case you use any Driver Update Tool, then make sure to uninstall it once your job is done because some of these softwares are known to install adware in your computer for monetary gains unknowingly.
#5: Is your Laptop Free from Virus, Adware, Malware, and Spyware?
If you use the internet from your laptop, then your laptop is bound to be filled with Viruses, Adware, Malwares, Spyware, Trojans, Ransom wares and what not.
These threats are meant to either monitor your activities, steal data or to unnecessarily hog your system resources.
This, in turn, can hamper gaming performance while playing Overwatch.
To remove these threats, you need software called as ‘Antivirus,’ which is paid software that eliminates all these dangerous threats from your laptop.
In the market, there are multiple Anti Virus softwares; however, not all of them are made equally. Some perform better than others, whereas some softwares do not offer any protection at all and are made only to make money for the developers.
Hence, from my experience, I can suggest reliable Anti Virus software as ‘Kaspersky Total Security,’ which I have been using personally for over 6 years.
#6: Disable Antivirus Software
Let’s say, you already have antivirus software in your laptop, and your laptop is free from threats that I mentioned above.
Then my recommendation is to Disable/Quit Antivirus software from your system. The reason being, Antivirus softwares too run in the background and do a regular check for threats, this again hogs your system resources, thus slowing downing Overwatch performance.
Hence make sure to quit the software for the time you’re going to play Overwatch.
#7: Use Laptop on AC Power
Most modern laptops are set to underperform while taking charge from its battery, whereas offer full performance if connected to AC Power.
This is done to make sure you do not drain your laptop’s battery faster, and then blame the manufacturer on social media for poor battery performance.
Hence, while playing Overwatch, it’s better to plug in your laptop’s charging cord.
#8: Change CPU Power Settings in Windows 10
In case, you don’t like playing games with the power cord on, then this tip might help.
Go to ‘Power Options’ in Windows 10 and click on ‘Advanced Settings’ and scroll down to ‘Processor Power Management.’
There you’ll find two options: Minimum Processor State and Maximum Processor State
All you have to do now is, open up both the drop-down menus and set
- On Battery: 90%
- Plugged In: 90%
Set this for both Minimum Processor State and Maximum Processor State.
This setting will allow your CPU to run at 90% CPU load at all times, even while you’re playing Overwatch.
Now, most people might argue, why set it to 90% and not 100%?
To answer this, let me tell you that, when your CPU reaches 100% load, it will generate more heat and more heat will, in turn, cause your processor to throttle and perform slow.
If your laptop is not a high-end Gaming Laptop, then it surely doesn’t have a sophisticated cooling system.
Enabling these settings will prevent your CPU from maxing out and generating unwanted heat.
#9: Get a Laptop Cooler
To be honest, the cooling system on an average or everyday laptop is a joke compared to cooling systems you get on a high-end Gaming Laptop.
Even if you make the changes as I mentioned in the above point, it doesn’t mean that your laptop won’t get heated. And a heated laptop will result in poor gaming performance.
On Amazon.com, there are multiple laptop cooler pads, and just like antivirus software, some are more effective than other, whereas some don’t offer real performance and are only meant to make money for the manufacturer.
From my personal experience, my suggestion is the Havit HV-F2056 laptop cooler.
A capable laptop cooler will help your laptop cool down by 5-7 Degree Celsius or higher. On paper, it might not mean much, but reducing heat by 5-7 Degree Celsius for your laptop will mean a lot.
#10: Avoid using FPS Calculating Software
FPS calculating softwares like Fraps are cool and display at how many FPS you are playing software.
However, in reality, FPS Calculating software themselves use system resources and reduce gaming performance by around 15-20% and more.
Avoid using FPS Calculating software to enjoy the additional smooth gameplay.
Though Overwatch has its own FPS display option; however, my suggestion would be to disable it too and use only during experimental purposes.
#11: Avoid using Gameplay Recording Software
Just like FPS Calculating Software, Gameplay Recording Softwares also reduces gaming performance.
Unless you’re not playing games for experimental purposes, then avoid using Gameplay or Screen Recording Softwares.
#12: Reduce Game Quality and Resolution
Once you’ve tried and tested all the above 11 options, only then I’d suggest you tinker with Overwatch’s Graphics Quality and Resolution.
Now I’m not going to go deep into its settings; however, you can check the video below to get a gist of how to optimize the settings for better performance.
Most users just reduce the Graphics Quality from Epic to Max or Medium; however, it’s better to tinker with specific graphics settings, rather than changing the singular graphical quality option. The video above will help you with it.
Additionally, if you want the coveted 60FPS recommended by Overwatch for smoother gameplay, then I would consider lowering the resolution from 1920 x 1080 to 1280 x 720.
For the most part, the Easy steps would be able to improve Overwatch’s performance on your laptop by 50-70%.
However, if that’s not the case, then do consider moving onto the Advanced Steps.
As the name suggests, these steps are a bit advanced, and if you’re not familiar with tinkering laptop’s hardware, then I recommend you do it under the guidance of an experienced friend or take his help.
Otherwise, my second best recommendation would be not to follow them if you’re skeptical after reading the steps mentioned below.
#13: Clean your Laptop’s Internals
Dust is the biggest enemy when it comes to electronic components, and your laptop suffers the most because for an average consumer it is challenging to clean it from the inside.
The dust that gets accumulated inside the laptop’s hardware is hard to remove, and the only way to do is opening up your laptop.
If you’re not sure how to open up your laptop, then search on Google or Youtube, and you’ll find many guides on how to open it correctly and few other guides on how to clean it.
However, laptop’s hardware is delicate compared to PCs hardware, hence once you open up your laptop; make sure to handle it with care.
#14: Apply Thermal Paste on your CPU and GPU
Thermal Paste is basically a chemical compound that transfers heat from your processor to the heat sink.
Most of the times, while manufacturing a laptop, thermal paste isn’t applied properly, or a cheap thermal paste is used to keep the manufacturing cost down.
A good quality thermal paste like this one costs around $10+ on Amazon, which helps to lower your CPU and GPU temperature by 3-5 Degree Celsius.
Before applying thermal paste, make sure to remove the thermal paste present on the CPU and GPU using alcohol wipes and then apply the new thermal paste.
#15: Install Additional RAM
If your laptop is a couple of years old, it is better to add an additional RAM stick.
But, before you set out to buy a RAM, first make sure what your laptop supports.
Make sure to check your laptop’s specifications on Manufacturer’s website and get RAM according to it.
If your laptop supports a DDR3 RAM, then get a DDR3 RAM instead of DDR4 and make sure its laptop RAM and not PC RAM.
Improvement in RAM will result in faster load times and a bit speedier gameplay
#16: Install an SSD
If your laptop comes with an SSD; then ignore this, if not, then consider installing a Solid State Drive.
Similarly for SSD, if your laptop comes with an additional SATA slot, then get a 2.5” SATA SSD, if your laptop has only one SATA slot, then the only option left is to replace the HDD with SSD.
If your laptop has M.2 SSD slot, then it comes in two variations: SATA M.2 SSD and NVMe M.2 SSD.
Take a look at the video below, which shows the difference and similarities between the two drives.
Skip the video to 4:32.
#17: Make a Clean Windows 10 Installation
It’s no secret that a Laptop or Desktop runs faster when it’s freshly formatted.
This is because most of the temporary and unwanted files are deleted, and with a fresh install, the system is low on programs to deal with.
This, in turn, improves the operating system’s efficiency and speed.
If you’ve followed all the steps mentioned above, make sure to do a fresh Windows 10 installation to enjoy improved gaming performance.
Obviously, this is not a necessary step, but if done, will result in incremental performance while playing Overwatch.
Before You Leave…
I hope this 2500 Words Monstrous Guide on How to Make Overwatch Run Better on Laptop was able to help you and improve Overwatch performance on your laptop.
No doubt, if you follow these steps, you’ll see between 30%-100% improvement in gaming performance in Overwatch.
The Easy steps are very effortless to follow and can be done even by a novice user; however, as I mentioned earlier, make sure to follow the Advanced steps under an expert’s guidance.
If you still have questions or issues regarding this guide, then make sure to leave a comment below, and I’ll be delighted to help.