Will Playing Games on a Laptop Hurt It? (The Truth)

PC gaming has always been the best option for playing video games for a very long time now. However, as the years go by, gaming technology has increased so that high-end gaming laptops are fantastic options for gamers on the go.

But the extra power consumption of running games puts a lot of stress on a laptop, but can playing games on a laptop hurt it?

Extreme gaming can lead to laptop failure notably of its motherboard, battery supply, central processing unit (CPU), as well as graphics processing unit (GPU). These can happen due to either excess heat, power consumption, or even components if used above the recommended limits.

The damage to your laptop depends on the amount of game ‘punishment’ that you exert onto your laptop, with simple games like minesweeper not putting any pressure on your laptop’s hardware at all.

However, most AAA-games are computer-intensive applications that will surely put a lot of stress on the laptop’s components so playing games in moderation is always a good practice to remember. Keep reading to understand the problems gaming to put on your precious laptop

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Why Playing Games Can Damage A Laptop

  • Excessive heat
    • When computer hardware is bombarded with numerous application processes at the same time it produces plenty of heat which causes the hardware to become hotter
    • As the laptop components reach closer to a boiling point, this will eventually result in specific parts of the laptop getting damaged, or the heat may even damage other components which work together with it on the motherboard.
  • Overcharge of power
    • Every laptop specification has its recommended power supply volumes stated inside its instruction manual (as well as on the laptop’s battery supply).
    • However, when you are gaming for long periods of time, the continuous amount of power consumption can sometimes build-up, especially if you have not taken out the laptop’s fully-charged battery supply.
    • A lot of electrical power supply also generates heat in time, which can be very damaging to any hardware components which might be affected due to a burnt circuitry, or such other examples.
  • Use above recommended limits
    • A look into your laptop’s specifications can provide you with the effective capabilities of the intended computer, and its general limitations.
    • Still, if you overuse your laptop during gaming – particularly ignoring a game’s minimum recommended requirements – the unbearable load on your computer will slowly break the components down in time.
  • Tweaks via third-party software
    • Unofficial third-party applications can also be a cause for concern.
    • Besides the common privacy concerns of hacking, malware, and even viruses, these tools are usually not supported by verifiable organizations, and tweaking forbidden manufacturer settings may result in the untimely damage of your computer’s delicate components.

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What about the laptop’s battery life? Does gaming affect it too?

Carry on below, and find out.

Does Gaming Reduce Laptop Life?

Playing video games extensively can actually reduce the life cycle of a particular laptop by damaging the battery. If a laptop battery becomes faulty, the only way to use the laptop is by plugging it into a nearby power source, essentially limiting its use to that of a desktop.

A computer can only function if it receives enough power to work properly. This means that your laptop’s battery plays a vital role to ensure its working capacity, for your everyday use – including gaming.

However, prolonged use of your laptops during gaming can adversely impact its battery life due to two circumstances:

  1. The laptop battery is fully charged, but the laptop is still plugged into another power source
    • The most common mistake that gamers do is to leave their laptop batteries attached to their laptops, even though it is fully charged.
    • When a laptop (gaming or non-gaming) is then plugged into another major power source, the input voltage will continue to course through the attached laptop battery, trying to overcharge it while simultaneously powering up the laptop during gaming.
    • Although recent laptop battery models have now been designed to automatically divert the excess voltage directly to the laptop itself, occurrences of overcharging as well as ‘bulk’ batteries still do occur, besides them eventually not working at a later time in the future.
    • A good habit to remember is to take off the laptop battery and store it away during designated gaming sessions if you are not going anywhere during that moment.
    • Nevertheless, laptop batteries are never supposed to be used as the primary power source for gaming in the first place, so keeping them as a back-up option during voltage outages or other circumstances is still the best way to go.
  2. Playing games exclusively using the laptop battery, and not plugged into another power source
    • This habit is more uncommon, yet still occurs for some dedicated gamers.
    • When a laptop battery powers the mobile computer during gaming, the extra load of application processes (game calculations, 3D-processes, etc.) will sap more power than it normally would, leading to quicker battery loss besides reducing the overall battery life too.
    • The frequent repetition of recharging the laptop battery (once it is low) can also contribute to the reduction of its shelf-life too. 
    • Gaming – even with a gaming laptop – should primarily be done while plugged into a dedicated power source first, to ensure a longer-lasting laptop battery for uses during emergencies.

Now that you have understood the circumstances surrounding a laptop’s decreasing life span, are there ways for you to improve the scenario to keep your laptop alive for longer? Read on below to find out.

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How To Improve Gaming Laptop Battery Life

  1. Understand your computer’s basic power consumption profiles (performance, balance, saver, etc.). Set and switch accordingly.
  2. Specify which GPU to run during specific application processes (web browser, video games, movies, etc.). 
  3. Reduce CPU power by disabling/ turning down background processes (Chrome updater, anti-virus scheduler, etc.) and settings (brightness, fonts, display effects, etc.).
  4. Lowering the display resolution and refresh rate.
  5. Uninstall unused programs, applications and tools which may hog your laptop’s vital resources.

Your laptop’s battery is purely designed to become the safety net of your laptop, when other primary power supplies are unusable/ not present.

Still, under circumstances where you find yourself utilizing your laptop’s battery supply for gaming purposes instead, changing certain settings as shared above can prolong its battery use to maximize your gaming time in general.

The most common setting which almost every laptop manufacturer provides is an integrated power consumption profiler which allows you to change between maximum power drain (optimal gameplay performance) or restricted power use (slower games, longer battery time).

You can also specify which GPU to use while gaming between different applications.

Let’s say you would like to play a Chess game while waiting for your train’s next stop, utilizing the integrated CPU chip instead of the dedicated GPU will surely keep your laptop afloat while also preserving its overall life span.

However, the most effective method of maintaining a good laptop battery life is undoubtedly one where no applications are running at all.

Unsurprisingly, uninstalling any unwanted software and background applications will make up space for your laptop while also keeping battery consumptions at an all-time low, think of trying to use your phone with tons of applications running; it will just run slower.

There are certainly many other ways to preserve your battery life for longer. Nevertheless, these pointers are always a good start for you to test things out by yourself, with minimal risk of damaging your computer.

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