When considering a gaming laptop to purchase, you might think that power and performance are the most important features to look for. But an often overlooked yet critical detail is battery life. While the thrill of immersive gaming experiences can be captivating, the harsh reality is that gaming laptops usually have short battery lives.
High-performance components and advanced graphics in laptops lead to significant power consumption. Consequently, gaming laptops usually have a shorter battery lifespan than standard laptops. However, using the following simple tips, you can extend the time you can game on battery power.
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Lower the Screen Brightness
Reducing the display brightness is one of the simplest and most effective ways to conserve battery power on any laptop, including gaming laptops. Most gaming laptops come with high-quality, bright screens that showcase stunning visuals. However, these displays can be power-hungry.
Use the function keys or go to Start > Settings > System > Display to lower the brightness to an appropriate level. This can save precious battery life without compromising your gaming experience.
Adjust Power Settings
Your gaming laptop has power management settings that allow you to customize its power consumption. To extend battery life, switch to power-saving mode. This mode optimizes battery life by reducing the laptop’s performance, such as lowering the CPU and GPU clock speeds. While this may result in slightly reduced gaming performance, gaming on battery power is a worthwhile trade-off.
Close Background Applications
Gaming laptops often run multiple applications simultaneously, from web browsers to chat apps and system utilities. These background applications consume CPU and GPU resources, contributing to faster battery drain.
To maximize battery life, make it a habit to shut down unnecessary applications running in the background before launching your game. This will free up valuable system resources for gaming and reduce power consumption.You can shut down background apps on a Windows gaming laptop using the Task Manager.
Right-click the Taskbar, select “Task Manager,” or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open it directly. If you see the simple view, click “More details” to expand it.
Under the “Processes” tab, you’ll see a list of all running applications and background processes. Look for applications you recognize and know are unnecessary during your gaming session.
To close an application or process, right-click on it and select “End task.” Be careful not to end processes if you’re unsure what they do, as some are essential for the functioning of your system.
Limit Frame Rate in Games
Modern games often support high frame rates, which can be demanding on your gaming laptop’s hardware and battery. You can reduce power consumption by capping your games’ frame rate without impacting your gaming experience.
To limit the frame rate in a game, start by accessing the game’s settings, typically located in the “Options” or “Settings” menu and often found under the “Graphics” or “Video” settings section. Within these settings, search for the frame rate options, which may be labeled as “Max Frame Rate,” “V-Sync,” “FPS Limit,” or something similar.
Once you find these settings, set your desired frame rate limit according to your preference. If you want to synchronize the game’s frame rate with your monitor’s refresh rate for smoother gameplay, consider enabling V-Sync.
Optimize Graphics Settings
Another effective way to save battery life on your gaming laptop is by adjusting your in-game graphics settings. Launch the game for which you want to change the settings. Once in the game, access the main menu (this is usually done via the game’s start screen). Look for options like “Settings,” “Options,” or “Preferences.”
Lowering graphics settings, such as texture quality, shadows, and anti-aliasing, can reduce power consumption.
- Texture quality. This setting controls the resolution of textures in the game. Lowering it can reduce the amount of VRAM used, which can help performance on systems with less powerful graphics hardware.
- Shadows put a lot of strain on your system. Lowering shadow quality or disabling dynamic shadows can improve performance.
- Anti-aliasing. This setting smooths out jagged edges but can be quite demanding. Options like MSAA, FXAA, or TAA can be turned down or off to improve performance.
Disconnect External Devices
Many gamers use external peripherals like mice, keyboards, or hard drives to enhance their gaming experience. However, these devices can draw power from your laptop’s USB ports, contributing to faster battery drain. When you’re not using external devices, remember to unplug them to conserve battery power.
Enable Battery Saver Mode
Most laptops, including gaming laptops, come with a battery saving mode. When your battery charge drops to a certain level, this mode automatically adjusts various system settings to maximize battery life. Enabling battery saver mode can quickly and effectively extend your gaming sessions when running low on power.
Keep Your Laptop Cool
Overheating can reduce the efficiency of your laptop battery and lead to increased power consumption. To prevent this, invest in a cooling pad or ensure your gaming environment is well-ventilated. Keeping your laptop’s temperature in check will extend its battery life and help maintain its overall performance.
Regularly Update Software
Software updates often include efficiency improvements to help your gaming laptop manage its battery more effectively. Keep your operating system and drivers up to date to ensure you’re getting the most out of your hardware. Sometimes, these updates can lead to gains in battery efficiency.
Use SSD Instead of HDD
If your gaming laptop has a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD), try switching to a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are more energy-efficient and consume less power than HDDs. This upgrade can extend your battery life and improve overall system responsiveness.
Regularly calibrate the battery by allowing it to discharge to around 5 percent and then fully charge it. This process helps maintain the accuracy of the battery’s charge indicator and can prolong its overall lifespan.
Get More Game Time
Gaming laptops give you the versatility to play from any location. But if you are considering gaming laptops vs. desktops, you need to think about how the battery life impacts your gaming experience. By implementing these tips, you can maximize your time gaming on battery power without compromising your gameplay.