The best free software for your gaming PC


Looking for essential free apps for your new gaming PC? You have come to the right place. Whether you’ve just bought yourself a gaming PC or built one from scratch, this buzzing mass of silicon and plastic needs superior software to bring it to these limits. Lucky for you, even if you’ve just spent all your money on your platform, there are a few apps like this that won’t cost you a dime.

Don’t let your shiny new PC sit in the place of honor in your office waiting to be pushed to its limits until you fill your bank balance. There are many essential free apps for your new gaming PC that you can download now at no cost to you, as long as you know where to look.

Our carefully assembled collection of free curatives should get you started on the right foot, just in time to PC Gaming Week 2020. These 10 essential free apps for your new gaming PC will help you turn your soaring beast into a towering powerhouse, letting you track frame rates, chat easily, and stream like a seasoned pro.


To smoke

Valve’s core gaming platform and marketplace

Okay, this one is an easy sell. If you’ve built or bought a brand new PC for the express purpose of gaming, there’s software you just can’t live without: good ol ‘Steam. We love him here at TechRadar, and we’re pretty sure you’ll have a lot of affection for him too.

Steam offers PC owners the kind of secure business ecosystem normally associated with closed-case consoles. You can search for free games, cheap indie games, or full triple A titles, and launch them right from the software. There’s even support for achievements, as well as Big Picture Mode for playing from your couch.


LogMeIn Hamachi

Enjoy multiplayer games on a secure virtual network, completely free

If you want to have secure meetings or record multiple contributors on a podcast or gaming session, you need to be able to rely on a strong and robust VPN (Virtual Private Network).

As you might have guessed, since it’s included in this list, LogMeIn Hamachi is completely free, but don’t let the lack of a price tag scare you – free certainly doesn’t mean ” cheap “.

Hamachi allows you to establish a tight network between multiple computers and do everything from file sharing to private games, using ultra-secure P2P protocol to ensure smooth access to servers, firewalls and routers. It has one of the simplest interfaces we’ve ever used in the VPN world, so if you’re relatively new to the concept, Hamachi won’t make you feel a total noob.


Razer Cortex Game Booster

Optimize your PC settings no matter what gaming platform you use

Razer, as a long-time manufacturer of PC gaming peripherals, also offers some very powerful free software to optimize your machine. Sure, parts of the sequel will take you to some of Razer’s premium apps, but there’s still plenty of free gold left to mine from Razer Cortex: Game Booster.

It was designed to work with all types of PCs, so whether you’re running a basic version or a bloated platform monster, Game Booster has something to offer your machine. Whether you use Steam, Origin, or any other platform to launch your games, Game Booster will start trying to improve your settings to automatically improve your experience.

It’s really smart free software for your gaming PC, and it’s ideal if you’re looking for a little extra improvement without much effort. This is also great if you want to make an older PC work a bit more.



The perfect voice chat app for gamers, with optional encryption

Gambling can be a great source of escape, but not much compares to joining your friends online for a good conversation on your headset. Whether you want to tune into World of Warcraft or just chew on some fat while everyone plays their own thing, a great VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) application is essential.

There are a lot of options when it comes to voice chat, but our favorite VoIP app is TeamSpeak. You can connect with your friends easily, and its suite of options is truly impressive, letting you adjust sound levels, use echo reduction, and even use encryption.

TeamSpeak is free for daily non-commercial PC use, but you will need to open your wallet to rent a server or use the mobile app.


MSI afterburner

The best free overclocking tool to get extra performance from your GPU

MSI originally wrote Afterburner to overclock its own line of graphics cards, but software has since been opened up to allow Nvidia and AMD card owners to push their hardware to the limit. If you even have a passing interest in making sure your new gaming PC’s graphics card wins its prize, free MSI Afterburner optimization software is essential.

Think of MSI Afterburner as the way to unleash the internal potential of your GPU – the software opens up the voltage settings for your chosen hardware and lets you improve its overall performance.

Video memory and clock speed are the two areas where MSI Afterburner shines the most when it comes to overclocking your machine. Be forewarned, however – messing around with these settings can seriously overheat your rig, so make sure your cooling unit is on full power before you start baking your GPU.


OBS Studio

Premium recording and streaming software for YouTube, Twitch and more

You’ve got your new PC, a stable internet connection, and an unhealthy obsession with games. There is only one way to do it: streaming.

There are many options for streaming your games, but far too many limit you unnecessarily. That’s where OBS Studio comes in – brilliantly customizable free software that lets you stream to your own server or a variety of popular portals (including Twitch, DailyMotion, and more).

Setting up OBS Studio is also very straightforward, so if you’re relatively new to the streaming scene, you won’t get lost among all of these options. If you want to take it a step further, you have the option of adjusting your webcam footage and adding images / graphics to add that extra level of professionalism.

OBS Studio also supports HD streaming, so if you want to stream at a higher level of quality, you can keep your blank picture online.



A free app that automatically adjusts your display to protect your eyes

Away from your smartphone, gaming sessions typically mean long periods of time in front of your screen, straining your voyeurs in the quest for trophies and achievements. It’s a beautiful old life, but it’s not going to do any good for you in the long run. One potential solution is software specifically designed to make your monitor a little less damaging over long periods of time.

One of those options is f.lux, and it’s especially useful if you like to play later at night with the lights off. This free Windows app works by dynamically adjusting the color temperature of your screen based on the time of day and light sources in where you’ve set up your new gaming PC. This will help reduce eye strain and potentially improve sleep patterns when playing later in the evening. It’s also quite small and won’t swallow up system resources that are best used by your favorite games.



Get detailed insights into your PC’s performance and identify ways to improve it

Much like MSI Afterburner and f.lux, CPU-Z is all about refining your beloved PC gaming machine into a well-oiled machine.

It’s definitely not an appealing program, but it’s the kind of back-end kit you should really try if you want to put your PC in the best possible condition (especially if you’re trying to break into the eSports scene or if you’re building a career in streaming).

CPU – Z lets you view all kinds of detailed information about various areas of your PC in a fairly simple format. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely worth spending some time with if maximizing PC performance is your bag. You can see what’s going on in real time and save reports anytime in TXT or HTML format.


Piriform CCleaner screenshot

Clean up 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 junk that you just don’t need. All those extra bits and bobs take up valuable space, which means the PC is going to run slower and slower over time. Not the kind of situation you want with a dedicated gaming platform. The solution: a proper cleaning utility like Piriform CCleaner.

It can automatically remove temporary files and damaged Windows registry entries and identify software that your system does not need. There is a caveat, however: CCleaner is very powerful, so be sure to check its settings before unleashing it on your machine to avoid accidentally deleting anything you prefer to hang on (passwords saved in your browser). Web, for example). Still, CCleaner is a great free app for your new gaming PC.


System mechanic Iolo

Analyze and optimize your PC for a noticeable performance improvement

Another great option to clean and optimize your Windows PC is Iolo System Mechanic. There isn’t a whole lot of benefit to running both, but it would be our preference if you are not too confident to tinker with the software settings on your own and prefer a wizard-based program to make decisions on your own. your place.

You’ll need to invest in the premium version of System Mechanic if you want the extra tools like realtime optimization, but to get the gunk out of your system without worrying about accidentally deleting something important, the Free Edition is hard to beat.

TechRadar PC Gaming Week 2020 celebrates the world’s most powerful gaming platform with essential articles, interviews and buying guides that show how diverse, imaginative and remarkable PC games – and gamers – can be. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2020 page to see all of our coverage in one place.

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