In this article we’re going to check out the top 15 best free software for PC gaming.
These programs and tools should help to improve your gaming experience, and you’ll become an elite pro-gamer in no time guaranteed.
Streaming in general is becoming more and more popular, especially for PC gaming. If you’re a gamer, at some point you might want to try out live streaming. There’s a website called Streamlabs.com which offers a number of features for YouTube and Twitch streamers. Including donation alerts, chat boxes and much more.
They have now also made their own version of the popular free open source live streaming software Open Broadcaster, or OBS, called Streamlabs OBS. Currently it is only available for Windows.
Streamlabs OBS basically integrates all the features of the Streamlabs website into the OBS software, making it much easier to setup your stream. It also has additional features like overlay themes that you can download and use with only a few clicks.
The interface also looks much better than on the regular OBS Studio.
FBX Game Recorder
A good screen recorder for gamers is the free FBX Game Recorder. It says on their website that it’ll be free as long as its in beta. So at some point it may cost something, but for now it’s still 100% free.
FBX is probably one of the most simple and easy to use free screen recorders for gaming that I’ve tested so far. There’s no annoying ads or watermarks, it’s just a basic game screen recorder. FBX can record 1080p footage at up to 120fps, but it’s only available for Windows.
You do have to also sign up for an account with Flashback, which is the company that develops FBX, to actually use the game recorder. But that’s also free, so it’s not a problem.
FBX can only really be used for capturing your gameplay, it does not support desktop screen recording, so you’ll still need to use OBS or other apps for that.
Speccy, which is an excellent program to get general hardware information and temperature readings from computer components such as your motherboard, CPU and graphics card.
To get more detailed information about specific components, there’s a few more programs that might be useful listed below.
CPU-Z will provide you with more information about your computer processor unit, or CPU.
It also has some CPU benchmarking and stress testing features.
GPU-Z will show you almost everything you need to know about your graphics card.
If you want to overclock your graphics card, then you should check out MSI Afterburner.
It has overclocking features that support both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.
However, before overclocking, make sure that you have good enough cooling to handle the higher temperatures on your GPU.
Game Debate: Can I Run It?
On my videos about gaming laptops I often get asked by people in the comments if a laptop that I’m recommending will run a certain game. There’s actually a website where you can check that out for yourself.
Just go to the “Can I Run It?” page on Game-Debate.com. There you can choose what game you’re interested in and input your hardware specs.
They even have a free hardware scanner, which you can download. It will automatically input the correct information.
You’ll see if your computer meets the recommended and minimum system requirements for the game you want to play. Game-Debate will also show estimated frame rates and other stats depending on resolution and quality settings for that game.
VPN services can be very useful for gamers. For example, if your school or workplace has blocked online gaming, then you can use a VPN to bypass the firewall and play your games.
It’s also useful to get around geographic restrictions, so that you can play on servers all around the world. And of course, if your IP is banned for whatever reason, a VPN could also help to get around that.
With Windscribe VPN you can get up to 15GB of free data per month if you sign up with an email address and promote them on Twitter.
However if you’re a streamer or a professional gamer, you might want to consider getting NordVPN or OctoVPN. Both of these services have specialized DDOS attack resistant servers. They do however cost money, but they’re pretty affordable.
Most games have some sort of screenshot feature. However these are often quite limited. For example if you want to grab a screenshot of a specific area, add annotations or upload it to the internet, you’ll have to use other apps.
With ShareX when you grab a screenshot, you can have it automatically upload the picture to an image hosting service like Imgur.com. Then you can immediately share a link to the screenshot with your friends.
You can also crop out specific areas, add annotations text and other things to the screenshot. But to do this with ShareX, you must run the game in windowed mode. This does not work with the regular full screen mode.
Running some games in windowed mode can often leave borders on the top and sides of your game window, which looks ugly and really triggers my OCD personally. Some games do have the windowed bordeless mode feature, however not every game has it and sometimes it doesn’t work perfectly.
There is however an app for this called Fullscreenizer. It’s a very simple and small standalone program.
Basically you just open it up, refresh the application list, select your game and then click ‘Fullscreenize’. That’s it!
Now you can grab clean screenshots with ShareX, without the ugly borders.
I’m pretty sure you all know about Steam, the worlds most popular PC game distribution platform. It’s pretty much essential for most gamers to have.
But what some of you may not know, is that there’s plenty of free games on Steam.
On the front page of the ‘Store’ tab, scroll down to where it says ‘Free to Play’.
Click on that, then scroll down further and you’ll see lists of free games.
You can then browse by ‘New and Trending’, ‘Top Sellers’ and a few other categories of free games.
There’s also an app for Windows 8.1 and 10, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft store, called Pin Steam.
Using this app you can pin Steam games to your Windows Start Menu for easier access.
GOG stands for Good Old Games and offers thousands of DRM-free video games through its application called GOG Galaxy.
There’s dozens of entirely free games as well.
To access them, click on the Store menu in GOG Galaxy, then click on ‘Browse all games’.
Next select ‘Filters’ on to the right. Click on the last option, which is ‘Price’. Go down a bit and click on ‘Free’.
Now you should see all the free games on GOG.
Some of us have games on many different platforms such as Steam, Origin and GOG. But if you want to access them all in one place, then you can use LaunchBox.
Instead of having to open several programs, you can just import all your games into LaunchBox and access them from there.
It’s also possible to import games that are individually installed on your computer, without using Steam or any other gaming platform. These also include emulators and ROM files for old console games.
Not too long ago gamers were using apps such as TeamSpeak or Skype for voice chat, and IRC or Jabber for text chat.
But Discord combines both voice and text chat into one application. Discord also hosts all of their own chat servers, so you don’t even have to setup one by yourself anymore.
Discord works in your web browser, as a desktop application for Windows, Mac and Linux, or as a mobile app for Android and iOS.
If you want to join public Discord servers, there’s a lot of them. You can check out Discord.me for a list of public servers.