- Oct 26, 2021
- Reaction score
1. OBS Studio
High-end recording and streaming software for YouTube, Twitch, and more
You’ve got your new PC, a stable internet connection, and an unhealthy obsession with gaming. There’s only one way this is going to go: streaming.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to broadcasting your games, but far too many constrict you with unnecessary limitations. That’s where OBS Studio comes in – a brilliantly customizable piece of freeware that enables you to stream to your own server or a variety of popular portals (including Twitch, DailyMotion, and more).
Setting up OBS Studio is really easy too, so if you’re relatively new to the streaming scene you won’t get lost amid all those options. Should you want to get a little more advanced, there’s the option to adjust your webcam footage and add images/graphics to add that extra level of professionalism.
OBS Studio also supports HD streaming, so if you’re into broadcasting with a higher level of quality you can maintain your pristine image online.
2. LogMeIn Hamachi
Enjoy multiplayer games over a secure virtual network, completely free
If you want to organize secure meetings or record multiple contributors to a podcast or game session, you need to be able to rely on a strong and robust VPN (a virtual private network).
As you might have guessed since it’s included in this list LogMeIn Hamachi is totally free to use, but don’t let the absence of a price tag scare you off – free most definitely does not equal 'cheap'.
Hamachi enables you to establish an airtight network between multiple computers and do everything from sharing files to playing private games, using a super–secure P2P protocol to ensure it can smoothly access servers, firewalls and routers. It boasts one of the simplest interfaces we’ve ever used in the world of VPNs, so if you’re relatively new to the concept, Hamachi won’t make you feel a total noob.
Optimize your PC's settings, no matter what gaming platform you're using
Razer, as a long-established maker of PC gaming peripherals, also makes some very powerful free software to optimize your machine. Of course, there are areas of the suite that will lead you to some of Razer’s premium apps, but there’s still a lot of gratis gold to be mined from Razer Cortex: Game Booster.
It’s been designed to work with every kind of PC, so whether you’re rocking a basic build or a souped-up monster of a rig, Game Booster has something to offer your machine. Whether you’re using Steam, Origin, or any other platform to launch your games, Game Booster will start trying to enhance your settings to improve your experience automatically.
It’s a really clever bit of free software for your gaming PC, and it’s ideal if you're looking for a little extra improvement without much effort. It’s also great if you want to make an older PC work a little harder.
A free app that adjusts your display automatically to protect your eyes
Away from your smartphone, gaming sessions usually mean long stretches in front of your display, straining those peepers of yours in the quest for trophies and achievements. It’s a fine old life, but it’s not going to do your eyes any good in the long run. One potential solution is a piece of software specifically designed to make your monitor that bit less damaging over long periods.
One such option is f.lux, and it’s especially useful if you like getting in your gaming hours later at night with the lights down low. This free Windows app works by dynamically adjusting the color temperature of your display depending on the time of day and the light sources in the place you have your new gaming PC PC set up. It will help reduce eye strain and potentially improve sleep patterns when gaming later in the evening. It's also pretty tiny, and won't gobble up system resources better used by your favorite games.
Clean out junk files to free up space, and suspend resource-hungry programs
Whether you realize it or not, your gaming PC or laptop is full of files and various bits of digital detritus you simply don’t need. All those extra bits and bobs take up valuable space, and that means said PC is going to run slower and slower as time goes by. Not the kind of situation you want with a gaming–dedicated rig. The solution: a proper cleaning utility like Piriform CCleaner.
It can delete temporary files and broken Windows registry entries automatically, and identify software your system doesn’t need. There is a caveat, though: CCleaner is very powerful, so make sure you check its settings before turning it loose on your machine to avoid accidentally deleting anything you'd rather hang onto (saved passwords in your web browser, for example). Still, CCleaner is an excellent free app for your new gaming PC.