The new Windows installation is slim and light and very fast. However, it lacks some essential apps that PC gamers use every day. While some of these programs are obvious like Google Chrome and Steam, there are many other apps that you should have on your system. There are also plenty of useful everyday apps that you can use every now and again.
We’ll list some of our favorite apps. These apps are essential for your system. Here’s a guide to other apps and alternatives: https://www.venostech.com
Brilliant for the basics
Here are our suggestions.
Google Chrome – This is the obvious choice. However, you can also choose Opera or Firefox.
Avira – Windows’ built-in tools are good enough, but if security is important, we recommend this best free antivirus.
Discord – Our favorite gaming messaging client and one that we use almost every day. You can also download the mobile app. Join the PC Gamer Club to chat with us!
Zoom – It’s likely that you will be invited to a Zoom call at some point. You might as well be prepared.
7-Zip allows you to zip or unzip any item. It’s lightweight and free of charge, and you won’t have to pay anything.
VLC – VLC is an all-purpose media player that can play any file and does not require any codecs. Below is a recommendation for another media player.
iTunes – (Optional). iTunes on Windows can be a pain in the neck, but it is the best option if you want to manage your iPhone from your computer.
Spotify – (Optional). If you are a subscriber to Spotify, it might be worth downloading the desktop app.
Audacity (Optional). If you are interested in audio editing or recording, Audacity can be used as a powerful, free and easy tool.
Java and.Net – You’ll need them sooner or later. You might as well get them now than to be groaning every time a program asks you for one.
Perhaps none. OneDrive was most likely installed on your computer, but you might also use Google Drive or Dropbox.
Notepad++ – (Optional). If you are prone to digging through HTML files, game inis and the like, Notepad++ can make that text easy to read and edit.
GIMP – A perennial runner-up for Photoshop. While we prefer Adobe’s software, the GIMP is still a fantastic freebie once you get used its UI.
IrfanView – (Optional). You may already know how you can take screenshots on your computer, or deal with large quantities of images in bulk. But IrfanView is able to run in the background and take shots at different times. It is our favorite tool for mass scaling, cropping, conversion, etc. It is powerful and can be used to view images as well.
Windirstat – Your new computer is clean right now, but that won’t last forever. Windirstat provides a visual overview of your storage allocation, which makes it easy to find large files that you may want to put in the recycle bin.
TeamViewer – A handy tool to remotely access your computer. A free, easy-to-use remote desktop program. It can also be used to assist parents with troubleshooting their computers if they are able to walk them through the installation.
Foxit Reader – Optional You can also grab the more powerful Adobe Acrobat.
Steam – Obviously.
It’s then time to get a few more essential programs.
Other game launchers
Although you may know which launchers are needed, it is worth considering the following:
Epic Games- It’s worth it for the weekly free games, if not.
GOG Gala – This is a great tool for today’s gamers, as GOG can bring all your games together into one interface.
EA Desktop app
Bethesda Games Launcher
Afterburner offers a great combo package to overclock your GPU and make your games run faster. You can adjust the settings to get more performance from a card with more memory or faster processor clocks by using the graphics overclocking feature of the program. You can tune your performance with the built-in hardware monitor. There are many overclocking utilities that can help you do this.
MSI Afterburner’s unique feature is the incorporation of RivaTuner Statistic Server, which allows you to enforce framerates for your games. Some games deliver frames at a slow pace, which can cause performance problems and make it difficult to control their framerates. RTSS allows you to dial in the smoothness , as Durante explained in this Witcher 3 guide.
Yes, it can also capture screenshots.
It can make your screen look weird and orange. For a few days you will be able to use f.lux and wonder how you ever looked at an eye-searing LCD screen at night without it. Although it may seem trite to say that software can make your life easier, when you are preventing headaches, and improving your sleep quality, it is very true. f.lux color-tintes your monitor when the sun sets, to simulate natural lighting. The f.lux feature kicks in at the end of work and turns the LCD from a dull, white-blue color to something that is much more comfortable for the eyes. You’ve probably already seen what f.lux is like if you use iOS’s Night Shift mode. Apple copied it completely.
Free Image Editor Glimpse
This is an offshoot from the famous freeware GIMP. It modernizes its interface to look more like Adobe Photoshop. Glimpse can be used in a similar way to GIMP but is much simpler. If you are looking for something more complex than cropping, it is probably the best tool available.
MPCHC and VLC can play almost any file, thanks to an abundance of codecs. If one doesn’t work in a rare case, the other will almost always work. MPC is our favorite, mainly because of its menu layout and the speed at which it starts up. VLC is a great media player, but MPC is the best choice for our older AVIs and more recent Blu-ray rips. You can also have two large video files running side-by-side if you need to.
Another useful tool that is free. SoundSwitch allows you to set keyboard shortcuts that allow you to switch between audio outputs and inputs. You can create a shortcut to switch between headphones and speakers, so you don’t have to go into the Windows sound settings. It allows you to set up a pop-up that will show you which device you have switched to. This is so you can see which device your computer is trying to output sound from if you don’t hear it. It’s small and easy to use. You can read more about it here.
Software to control mouse
No matter what gaming mouse you choose, there is software that can be used to adjust your DPI and bind your keys. It’s free to download to customize your mouse.
Our favorite tool for making gifs. Gifcam, a small, free program, allows you to capture a portion of your screen and edit it frame-by-frame. You can also add effects and export the file at a compressed size. You can upload at a high frame rate to Gfycat to create a smooth webm.
Are you interested in streaming or recording your desktop and games? OBS, the open-source software of your choice, is free and available for download. You can customize it to fit your needs. It allows you to choose the quality and frame rate at which it encodes video, so that your computer is not overloaded while gaming. OBS can be as easy or as powerful as you need it to. There are many different scenes you can create to switch between the images you capture. However, you can also set OBS to simply capture your desktop and hit a button to do that.