[Solved] Why Is My Computer So Laggy When I Play Games?

Why is my computer so laggy when I play games? And it is also sluggish when I load programs and boot the operating system; what can I do? If you’re facing these issues too, this article will give you help.


By Lucas / Updated on August 28, 2023

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You've heard the worst tale in the gaming community. You've been playing your favorite game for hours, hoping to fight the last boss, break a record, or complete the goal you're on. You're on the verge of accomplishing your objectives. But just as you're ready to serve your final strike, your game becomes choppy, you lose control of your character, and you lose.

Lag is a widespread problem among gamers, and it is especially troublesome for online multiplayer games since it can lead you to lose a game or, worse, lock you out of the server. And lag may really ruin your pleasure. Nothing is more aggravating than launching your favorite game only to have it lag. Lag, especially in fast-paced genres, might render the game unplayable.

So, here, we’ll analyze the common causes of why your computer goes laggy and how to fix your lag game computer in different ways.

Why is my computer so laggy when I play games?

Several factors might cause your system to slow down, stutter, or degrade your experience.

Lag has an impact on more than just gameplay. It can also stifle our browsing or streaming efforts. However, when it comes to gaming, it might be a deal-breaker, increasing the gamer's dissatisfaction.

Lag is the delay between a gamer's action and the server's response, which leads to slower control responsiveness. This impact is more noticeable in fast-paced games where quick reflexes matter.

Lag comes in two main forms:
▶ Latency lag occurs when network congestion leads to delayed data transmission.
▶ Graphics lag (FPS lag) arises when the computer lacks processing power, resulting in lower frames per second (FPS). This often results from demanding graphics settings overwhelming the hardware.

In some cases, both types of lag can occur concurrently. For instance, when numerous online players gather in a small area, the computer and network struggle to manage the data load. This causes graphics to switch to a lower FPS mode for power conservation, while network performance slows due to increased server activity.

High latency and a high ping rate create lag. Gamers who encounter lag should familiarize themselves with these two phrases, as they are at the root of every source of latency in gaming.

Ping is the signal sent by gamers when they push a button to have their character act. The signal is routed to the server. The lower the ping rate, the less likely it is that the game will lag. In contrast, a high ping rate produces latency.

Latency describes the amount of time that elapses between an action and the signal's reply. That time should be as short as feasible; low latency is preferable to high latency, which creates lag.

There are several sources of lag, just as there are numerous forms of lag. As previously stated, lag is caused by excessive latency. Further investigation reveals that excessive latency is caused by network difficulties or a low-performance graphics card.

The following are the most typical reasons for game lag:
Insufficient internet bandwidth
Issues with internet speed
Type of bad internet connection
Wireless internet problems
GPU (graphics processing unit) overworked

Fixes for [why is my computer so laggy]

Based on the listed reasons, we find some solutions for you.

Fix 1. Solve bandwidth issue

Bandwidth pertains to the maximum data volume that can be transmitted via your internet connection. Megabits per second (Mbps) serves as the measurement unit. However, it's important not to confuse total bandwidth with internet speed. Bandwidth represents the data capacity of your network, whereas speed indicates the rate at which data moves. The data constraint is known as the bandwidth cap and can range from a few Mbps to Gbps.

Sufficient bandwidth is necessary for an optimal gaming experience. When multiple users share the same network, the bandwidth cap is reached more swiftly. If bandwidth becomes a concern, upgrading to a higher-tier subscription with gigabit capacity or without data limitations should be considered.

Fix 2. Improve Internet speed

Unlimited data holds little value if you're grappling with inadequate internet speed. Various factors can impact your internet speed. Refer to the list below and experiment with these straightforward remedies:

1. Restart your router: Begin by powering off and then on your router.

2. Disconnect unused devices: Deactivate devices not currently in use.

3. Lower game graphic resolution: Opt for a lower graphic resolution to reduce data consumption in your game.

4. Close background programs/websites: Shut down any running programs or websites that are utilizing internet resources to some extent.

5. Upload speed may be the culprit: Slow internet speed might be due to upload speed. Asymmetrical internet connections prioritize downloads over uploads, but gamers require both for a seamless experience. To prevent lag, target an upload speed of at least 3 to 6 Mbps.

For those using wireless internet, consider relocating your router to a more central position within your home or using WiFi extenders to expand its coverage. If you possess an Ethernet cable, it's advisable to forgo WiFi and connect your computer directly to the internet. This approach will help eliminate your Wi-Fi connection as a potential cause of game lag.

Fix 3. Release overworked GPU

When your graphics card is under excessive load, you encounter graphics lag, which arises due to your computer's inability to generate an adequate number of frames per second (FPS). To alleviate GPU lag, follow these steps:

1. High-quality graphics might impede your gaming experience. Adjust the frame rate or graphics resolution within your game settings.

2. Keep your computer free of dust. Utilize a microfiber cloth and disinfectant, but avoid spraying the disinfectant directly onto the computer. It's advisable to clean your computer once or twice annually.

3. Consider upgrading your graphics card. Identify the most suitable card for your specific games and the necessary specifications. Give particular attention to factors like memory capacity (VRAM), ports, and power connectors. Perform cost-effectiveness assessments and compare graphics card options from manufacturers such as Nvidia and AMD.

These three fixes are specifically listed for the most possible causes of why is my gaming computer so slow. In the next part, we’ll offer you some other tricks to improve your computer speed further.

Further reading: Other tricks to improve game PC speed

In general, latency on a computer can be caused by either hardware or software. We'll show you how to repair "Why is my computer so slow all of a sudden" as well as how to get rid of lag on your PC in this section.

Opt 1. Improve CPU performance and fix insufficient RAM

An overheated, inadequately fast CPU can lead to elevated CPU usage, which in turn can trigger lag or even sudden lag spikes on your computer. To simplify, a high-performance CPU results in a faster-running PC.

To ensure your computer's CPU is operating at full capacity, it's recommended to conduct a CPU stress test (freely available for Intel CPUs) and use AMD's System Monitor to observe the performance of your AMD CPU. If it demonstrates subpar performance, consider replacing it with a newer model.

Conversely, a corrupted or insufficient amount of RAM can detrimentally impact computer performance, causing random restarts, blue screens, and other issues. When RAM is damaged or inadequate, the system memory struggles to manage processes and services effectively, resulting in computer lag.

In such situations, consider replacing the malfunctioning RAM module or adding more memory to your computer. This will help eliminate lag on your PC.

Opt 2. Upgrade old disk

The speed of your hard drive determines loading times. If you are playing games on computers that are still using the traditional mechanical hard disk, or an almost full SSD, your computer would lag especially even freeze when you are playing games fairly demanding for speed.

For this reason, we suggest upgrading the old hard disk to a larger SSD. If you configure SSD properly, it would dramatically speed up your gaming speed to solve computer lagging and freezing issues.

Some users may hesitate because upgrading a disk means losing data and reinstalling and resetting everything. Well, there is always a safe shortcut. You can upgrade better SSD or migrate Windows to SSD with professional disk cloning software. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can help you easily finish disk upgrades and system migration.

Its Migrate OS feature can help you to move OS only to another disk or transfer the entire system disk. Besides, the “Clone disk” is designed to clone the entire system disk or data disk to another hard drive.

To upgrade the disk for fast speed to solve computer lagging issues, both of them can be used.

Download Pro Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. After you connect your disk, install and run the tool, click “Clone Disk” in the right menu.  

Disk clone wizard

Step 2. In the popup, choose an appropriate method to clone your disk, and click “Next”.

Disk clone method

Step 3. Select the source disk, click “Next”.

Clone system disk full

Step 4. Choose a destination disk and click “Yes” in the new pop window.

Step 5. Click “Yes” to continue.

Clone system disk

Step 6. Select the partition size on your destination disk.

Resize partiton

Step 7. Click “Finish” and “Apply” in the upper left corner of the screen to finish the procedure.

Clone disk quick

If you want to separate your OS and games, you can use the Migrate OS function to only move system on your new disk.

Migrate OS

Or, if your disk has other partitions, you can also only move your games to another drive without reinstalling and make your C drive a system partition only.

Choose apps

Opt 3. Clean junk files

Excessively accumulating junk files can also slow your PC. When you use Internet Explorer, your browser history is saved in the depths of your computer. Similarly, installing something or running the operating system will produce temporary files that are saved in the Windows Temp folder.

You may use Disk Cleanup to erase those temporary files to free up system space and eliminate PC slowdown.

Step 1. Open My Computer or This PC and right-click on the system partition C to choose Properties.

Step 2. Under the General tab, click the Disk Cleanup button.

Step 3. Scroll down in the Files to Delete list, and then select Temporary Files.

Step 4. Click OK and confirm the deletion by clicking the Delete Files button.

Disk Cleanup

Tip: You can also use “PC Cleaner” to do a deep clean on your computer via AOMEI Partition Assistant.

To sum up

In this post, we've discussed why is my computer so laggy when I play games. This essay will provide you with some explanations and solutions to stop lagging. Simply attempt the methods listed above to resolve computer lagging and freezing issues. We hope this post was useful to you.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.