Top 10 Lists

9 must-have PC gaming apps that I install on every new rig

Level up your PC gaming experience! This guide explores 9 essential apps for every gamer, from performance boosters to communication tools. Optimize, connect, and conquer!

In the ever-evolving landscape of PC gaming, having the right set of applications can make a significant difference in your gaming experience. These essential tools not only enhance performance but also improve overall gameplay and provide crucial management capabilities for both games and hardware. The importance of these apps cannot be overstated, as they help gamers optimize their setups, manage resources efficiently, and stay updated with the latest gaming trends and updates.

The selection of these must-have PC gaming apps is based on several critical criteria, ensuring that they meet the high standards expected by the gaming community. Usability is a primary consideration, ensuring that the apps are user-friendly and accessible to both novice and experienced gamers. Functionality is another key factor, with each app offering unique features that cater to various aspects of gaming, from performance optimization to in-game enhancements. Popularity among gamers also plays a role, as widely-used apps are often reliable and well-supported by their developers.

By integrating these essential apps into your gaming rig, you can achieve a more streamlined and efficient gaming experience. Whether it’s through enhancing graphical performance, providing better control over hardware, or offering comprehensive game management solutions, these applications are designed to meet the diverse needs of the modern gamer. As we delve into each app in the subsequent sections, you will discover how they contribute to creating an optimal gaming environment, ensuring that your new rig is equipped with the best tools available.

Game Launchers and Libraries

When it comes to essential game launchers for PC gamers, three platforms stand out due to their extensive libraries, unique offerings, and user-friendly features. These launchers are crucial for accessing a wide variety of games, maintaining an organized library, and staying connected with gaming communities.


Steam, developed by Valve Corporation, is the most popular game launcher and digital distribution platform for PC gamers. It boasts an extensive library of games across all genres, ranging from indie titles to AAA blockbusters. Beyond its vast game selection, Steam offers a robust community with forums, user reviews, and the Steam Workshop, which allows for easy modding and content sharing. Additionally, Steam provides seasonal sales and discounts, making it a cost-effective choice for many gamers.

Extensive game libraryOccasional client updates can be disruptive
Strong community featuresSome games require additional DRM
Frequent sales and discountsInterface can be overwhelming for new users

Epic Games Store

The Epic Games Store has quickly risen as a strong competitor to Steam. It is known for its exclusive titles, such as “Fortnite,” “Borderlands 3,” and “Control.” One of its most enticing features is the regular offering of free games, which can be claimed and kept forever. The platform also offers a more generous revenue share model for developers, which has attracted a variety of high-quality games and exclusive deals.

Exclusive game titlesSmaller library compared to Steam
Regular free game offeringsFewer community features
Developer-friendly revenue modelLess polished user interface

GOG Galaxy

GOG Galaxy, created by CD Projekt, offers a unique approach with its DRM-free games. This means that once purchased, games can be downloaded and played without any digital rights management restrictions. GOG Galaxy also excels in integrating with other game libraries, allowing users to manage and launch games from different platforms in one unified interface. This makes it an excellent choice for gamers who value ownership and seamless integration.

DRM-free gamesSmaller selection of current AAA titles
Integration with other platformsFewer community features compared to Steam
User-friendly interfaceLimited exclusive content

Each of these game launchers has its strengths and weaknesses, but collectively they provide a comprehensive gaming experience that caters to various preferences and needs. Whether you prioritize a vast library, exclusive titles, or DRM-free ownership, these platforms have you covered.

Performance and Optimization Tools

When it comes to optimizing gaming performance and maintaining the health of your gaming rig, specific tools can make a significant difference. Here we explore three essential apps: MSI Afterburner, Razer Cortex, and NVIDIA GeForce Experience.

MSI Afterburner

MSI Afterburner is an indispensable tool for any PC gamer. It is primarily used for overclocking your GPU, allowing you to push your hardware beyond factory settings. The software also offers comprehensive monitoring features that provide real-time statistics on temperature, usage, and clock speeds, ensuring your system stays within safe operational limits.

  • Key Specifications:
    • Overclocking: Adjust core voltage, GPU clock, memory clock, and fan speed.
    • Monitoring: Real-time hardware monitoring and custom fan profiles.
    • Compatibility: Works with most GPUs, including NVIDIA and AMD.

Pros and Cons:

Comprehensive overclocking optionsPotential risk of hardware damage if used improperly
Real-time hardware monitoringComplex interface for beginners
Free to useLimited to GPU settings

Razer Cortex

Razer Cortex is another powerful tool that enhances your gaming experience by optimizing your system’s performance. The Game Booster feature shuts down unnecessary background processes to free up valuable resources, while the System Booster scans and cleans your PC to improve overall performance.

  • Key Specifications:
    • Game Booster: Optimizes system performance for gaming.
    • System Booster: Cleans junk files and defragments your system.
    • Game Deals: Finds the best prices for games.

Pros and Cons:

Effective system optimizationMay not show noticeable improvement on high-end systems
Free to useAd-supported
User-friendly interfaceLimited to Windows OS

NVIDIA GeForce Experience

NVIDIA GeForce Experience ensures you always have the latest game-ready drivers, enhancing your gaming performance and stability. It also provides one-click optimization settings for your games, automatically adjusting the graphics settings based on your hardware configuration.

  • Key Specifications:
    • Game-Ready Drivers: Automatically updates drivers for optimal performance.
    • Optimization Settings: One-click optimization for individual games.
    • ShadowPlay: Records gameplay at high quality.

Pros and Cons:

Automatic driver updatesRequires NVIDIA GPU
Easy game optimizationResource-intensive
Built-in gameplay recordingLimited customization options

Communication and Streaming Apps

Effective communication and seamless streaming are critical components of a successful gaming experience. Here are three essential apps that I recommend for every new rig to enhance your gaming setup:


Discord is a versatile platform designed to facilitate both voice and text communication among gamers. Its user-friendly interface and extensive server features make it a preferred choice for gaming communities.

  • Voice and Text Communication: High-quality voice channels and instant messaging.
  • Server Features: Customizable servers with roles, permissions, and bots.
  • Game Integration: Automatically displays the game you are playing and can include game-specific features.
Free to use with optional premium featuresCan consume significant CPU resources
Highly customizable with numerous bots and add-onsOccasional connectivity issues
Supports large communitiesPrivacy concerns due to data collection policies

OBS Studio

OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software) is a powerful tool for live streaming and recording gameplay. Its flexibility and extensive features cater to both novice and professional streamers.

  • Live Streaming: Stream to platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.
  • Recording: High-quality video recording with customizable settings.
  • Scene Composition: Create multiple scenes with different layouts and sources.
Free and open-sourceSteep learning curve for beginners
Highly customizable with plugins and scriptsResource-intensive, requiring a powerful PC
Supports various streaming platformsOccasional bugs and stability issues


Twitch is a popular platform for live streaming and community engagement, primarily focused on gaming content. It offers various tools to help streamers connect with their audience.

  • Live Streaming: Broadcast your gameplay live to a global audience.
  • Community Engagement: Interact with viewers through chat, emotes, and subscriber features.
  • Monetization: Earn revenue through ads, subscriptions, and donations.
Large and active user baseHighly competitive for new streamers
Multiple monetization optionsStrict content guidelines and policies
Integrated with various streaming softwareRequires stable and fast internet connection

These communication and streaming apps are indispensable tools for any gamer looking to enhance their gaming experience, whether through engaging with friends, streaming gameplay, or building a community.

Conclusion: PC gaming apps that I install on every new rig

Having the right set of PC gaming apps is crucial for optimizing your gaming experience. The nine must-have apps we’ve discussed not only enhance performance but also provide essential tools for customization, security, and community engagement. By integrating these apps into your gaming setup, you can ensure smoother gameplay, better system management, and a more immersive overall experience.

While the market is flooded with numerous gaming applications, the selected nine have proven to be reliable and beneficial for a vast majority of gamers. These apps have earned their place through continuous updates, robust features, and a user-friendly interface. They cater to various needs, from performance optimization and secure communication to game management and social connectivity.

To maximize the benefits of these apps, it’s important to keep them updated. Developers frequently release updates that include performance improvements, security patches, and new features, all aimed at enhancing your gaming experience. Therefore, make it a habit to check for updates regularly or enable automatic updates if the option is available.

Effective management of these apps is also essential. Organize them in a way that suits your workflow, perhaps grouping similar apps together or creating shortcuts for easy access. This will ensure that you can quickly and efficiently use them when needed, without disrupting your gaming sessions.

There are countless apps that could potentially aid your gaming endeavors, these nine stand out due to their proven reliability and comprehensive benefits. By incorporating these must-have PC gaming apps into your setup, you are investing in a smoother, more enjoyable, and highly optimized gaming experience. Happy gaming!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button