Nothing is more frustrating than your gaming laptop battery dying during an important boss fight, loot drop, or online play session. Unfortunately, gaming laptops are infamous for their poor battery life. But there’s some good news: you can get the most out of your battery life with these tips.
- Understand why gaming laptops have a poor battery life
- How to extend gaming laptop battery life
- 1. If you can buy a better gaming laptop
- 2. Close any applications you aren’t using
- 3. Lower your display brightness as much as possible
- 4. Check your battery performance slider settings
- 5. If possible, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- 6. Unplug or turn off your USB peripherals
- 7. Make sure your laptop has proper airflow
- 8. Keep your laptop clean and free of dust
- 9. Update any drivers and software
- 10. Keep your DVD disk drive empty
- 11. Use headphones or keep the volume low
- 12. Turn off your keyboard backlight
- 13. Replace your mechanical drive with an SSD
To make a gaming laptop battery last longer, you can adjust your battery usage settings, turn off or disconnect unnecessary apps and processes, keep your laptop clean, and ensure proper airflow at all times. If you can, disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to preserve battery life even longer.
Let’s look into the many tips and tricks you can utilize when it comes to extending the life of your gaming laptop’s battery.
We’ll also talk about why your laptop’s battery might not have the lasting power you think it should.
Understand why gaming laptops have a poor battery life
You may have already heard in your gaming communities that gaming laptops don’t have the best or longest-lasting batteries.
In fact, laptops, in general, don’t have particularly powerful batteries due to their small and compact size.
Overall, the larger your battery is, the longer it can power your computer.
So while desktop computers can easily accommodate bigger batteries, laptops have to conserve as much space as possible and typically use smaller and weaker batteries.
Thus, if you’re using a laptop for gaming, you’re already at a disadvantage in terms of battery life regardless of what brand or type it is.
But there are more reasons why gaming laptop batteries specifically don’t last very long.
The following components in your laptop are huge battery drainers:
Powerful CPUs and GPUs
Gaming laptops are designed to handle far more than just light tasks like web browsing.
PC games are getting bigger, faster, and more complex every day, so gaming laptops have powerful processors and graphics cards built into them to keep up with such demanding games.
Your computer dedicates a significant amount of battery life to your processors and graphics card just to run properly.
Multiple cooling fans
Since gaming laptops use so much power, they need more than one fan to stay cool and avoid overheating.
Your high-powered CPU and GPU produce a lot of heat while gaming, and they’re packed into a tiny space.
While standard laptops usually have a single fan, most gaming laptops need at least two to prevent overheating.
RGB Backlit keyboards
While a backlit keyboard is a bit of a rarity with most normal laptops, laptops of the gaming variety often implement bright lighting underneath their keyboards to find specific keys easier and improve your gaming performance.
Naturally, this high-powered lighting will drain your battery significantly.
Higher resolution displays
A resolution of 1080p and a screen size of about 15 inches (38.1 cm) is usually adequate for typical laptops.
However, gaming laptops have larger and more detailed displays to make your games’ graphics look and perform better.
Resolutions of 1440p and screen sizes of 18 inches or more are becoming more prevalent with gaming laptops.
Such a demanding display will contribute to poor battery life.
More powerful speakers
Gaming laptop manufacturers know you want your games to sound as crisp and loud as possible.
Also, the louder speakers help to cover up the sound of your laptop’s fans whirring away while you play.
Most gaming laptops have much louder and more capable speakers than those of the non-gaming variety.
Now that you know why your gaming laptop’s battery might not be living up to your expectations, let’s explore some ways to improve its performance and make it last as long as possible.
How to extend gaming laptop battery life
1. If you can buy a better gaming laptop
Of course, this solution isn’t going to be an option for many of you, as gaming laptops are pretty expensive, and top-tier contenders are exceptionally costly.
You’ve likely already bought a gaming laptop that you want to get the most out of, so simply up and purchasing another is probably not realistic for you.
However, if you happen to be looking into a new gaming laptop anyway, it’s worth looking into the best-performing gaming laptops on the market.
Of course, that’s as long as you’re willing to make a sizable investment.
If you aren’t looking to purchase a new laptop and would rather extend the life of your existing one’s battery, keep reading because you have plenty of options.
2. Close any applications you aren’t using
Before you start a gaming session, it’s always a good idea to check on any apps you have running in the background and close them.
That way, you won’t have to worry about them crashing your game or causing any lag.
Certain applications will significantly drain your battery when left open, even if you aren’t actively using them.
For Windows users, simply go into your laptop’s settings, go to Apps and Features, and type see which apps are affecting your battery life into the search bar.
This will bring up a list of the applications that are sapping your laptop’s power.
If you see any apps that aren’t directly necessary to your gaming session, go ahead and close them.
Many people forget about apps like Skype or Spotify that they’ve left open in the background and end up wondering why their laptops are running so slowly.
Meanwhile, the apps are draining a massive amount of power while not contributing to anything meaningful.
3. Lower your display brightness as much as possible
It’s certainly understandable if you want your brightness turned up as high as it’ll go so that your games look exceptionally vivid and clear.
However, sacrificing a small amount of brightness can go a long way when trying to preserve battery power, especially when you’re on the go and don’t have a charger with you.
Keep in mind that having your brightness turned up to 100% constantly contributes significantly to eye strain.
Not only will you be conserving battery life by turning it down, but you’ll also be protecting your eyesight.
While turning up your brightness to the maximum setting is tempting, you probably won’t even notice much of a difference if you turn it down slightly.
You’ll prevent your laptop from overheating and keep your cooling fans from working overtime, too, which is a practical yet simple way to help your battery last longer.
4. Check your battery performance slider settings
Regardless of which operating system your gaming laptop uses, you have access to battery usage settings that you can adjust to help extend your battery life while gaming.
Let’s look at your options for both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Windows battery performance slider
Click on the battery icon on your bottom taskbar to open your battery performance slider.
You’ll also notice a “battery settings” option for more specific settings, but for now, turn your attention to the big slider that pops up.
You essentially have four options here. Let’s briefly sum up each setting so you can decide which is best for you and your battery.
- Best battery life/battery saver: If you pull the slider all the way to the left, you’ll enable battery saver. The battery saver is great if you’re willing to lose a bit of performance and speed to save as much battery as possible, but you may have some issues with more demanding gameplay.
- Better battery: This is the second option from the left. This is typically the recommended setting for most PCs and laptops. It’s a good compromise to save some battery life without hurting the performance of your games too much.
- Better performance: This is the second option from the right. You won’t be saving much battery life with this one, but it’ll help prevent any problems with your gaming performance while not absolutely crushing your battery life.
- Best performance: Finally, this is the option all the way to the right. Even though your games will look and perform better if you select this setting, it isn’t recommended if you want to prolong your gaming laptop’s battery life. You’ll end up using a lot of power with this option selected, and your battery will drain very quickly.
Also, if you click on the battery settings option underneath this slider, you’ll see a few more ways you can preserve your battery.
From here, you can turn on your battery saver if the battery life drops below a certain percentage and choose whether or not you want the screen dimmed while using this setting.
Additionally, you can check your power and sleep settings and select exactly when you want your laptop to go into sleep mode or shut off, depending on its battery life percentage.
macOS Battery settings
Like the Windows Battery Performance settings, macOS also has detailed battery settings you can adjust to prioritize performance or battery life.
Although there isn’t a slider like with Windows computers, you can click on the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen, type Energy Saver in the search bar, and click the Battery tab.
To preserve your battery life rather than optimize performance, you should do the following:
- Check the boxes for Put hard disks to sleep when possible and Slightly dim the display when on battery power.
- Uncheck the Enable Power Nap while on battery power box.
- Adjust the Turn display off after slider to around 5 minutes. You can adjust this more if you wish. This way, you’ll save power whenever you aren’t actively using the laptop.
- Check the box for Show battery status in menu bar so that you can quickly and easily check how much battery life you have remaining at any time.
You might end up adjusting these settings slightly depending on your preferences and your laptop’s battery life, but the above selections are a great place to start.
5. If possible, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Turning off your Wi-Fi won’t be an option for many online games for obvious reasons, but if you happen to be playing offline, go ahead and turn off both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
They won’t be necessary, and by keeping them on, you’ll be dedicating more battery life to a useless process.
If you leave Wi-Fi on even when you’re not connected to a network, your laptop will constantly search for a network to connect to, even if all of the nearby networks are out of range.
The same goes for Bluetooth connectivity. If you leave the app on, your laptop will be searching for Bluetooth devices to connect to, using up a small amount of power in the process.
6. Unplug or turn off your USB peripherals
Keeping certain USB devices plugged in will also use up battery power, so be sure to unplug any of them that aren’t directly necessary for your gaming session.
Whether it’s a webcam, a USB drive, a charger for your phone, or any other device you aren’t using while gaming, disconnect it so that your laptop isn’t dedicating any battery power to keeping it connected.
Keep as many of your USB ports empty as possible. Even though the battery usage for most USB devices is minimal, it still helps you avoid any unnecessary battery drainage.
7. Make sure your laptop has proper airflow
As mentioned earlier, most gaming laptops use multiple fans to keep them cool and avoid overheating.
These fan vents are at the bottom of your laptop, so always keep it on a hard, flat surface to prevent blocking off the air vents and restricting airflow.
The vents will become blocked off if you use your laptop in bed or on a soft surface.
8. Keep your laptop clean and free of dust
Over time, your gaming laptop’s air vents will accumulate dust.
Unfortunately, dusty air vents are inevitable, so don’t forget to check and clean them frequently, as the dust will retain heat and block off vital airflow.
You can clean your laptop’s air vents by using compressed air. Most cans of compressed air come with a long, thin plastic nozzle you can attach to the sprayer to get into tight areas.
You could also use either a soft, clean cloth or a cotton swab to grab any dust that you miss with the compressed air.
Some gamers even use small, handheld vacuums to pull air out of the vents, but this can be tricky depending on the size of your vacuum.
The most simple and accessible options are compressed air and cotton swabs.
Another way to prevent excess dust from accumulating in your laptop’s vents is to avoid smoking and burning incense or candles near your laptop.
9. Update any drivers and software
Be sure to check often for any updates available for your laptop’s drivers and software. Even minor updates will help your laptop run faster and more efficiently, thus preventing excess battery usage.
10. Keep your DVD disk drive empty
Never leave a disk spinning in the disk drive if you aren’t using it. Before you start a gaming session, always check your drives for any disks.
By keeping any unnecessary disks sitting in your disk drives, you’ll end up draining a small amount of battery power.
11. Use headphones or keep the volume low
Since gaming laptops have more powerful and demanding speakers than typical laptops, it’s best to use headphones while gaming or keep the volume lowered to a reasonable level whenever you’re relying on battery power.
If you really want to save power and aren’t too concerned with the audio from the game you’re playing, you can mute the speakers entirely.
Muting your speakers is a great option for games that don’t have music, voice acting, or other audio that’s particularly important to the plot or overall gaming experience.
12. Turn off your keyboard backlight
While backlit keyboards are a rarity in standard laptops, most gaming laptops have built-in backlighting to enhance your gaming experience.
A backlit keyboard makes it easier to see specific keys and helps when gaming in poorly lit environments.
Unfortunately, the powerful lighting also uses up quite a bit of battery life, so if it isn’t necessary to your gaming experience, go ahead and turn it off.
You can also toggle it on and off if you only need it for certain parts of your game to get more out of your battery.
13. Replace your mechanical drive with an SSD
If your gaming laptop still has an old mechanical drive, you’ll be using extra battery power to keep it spinning.
Replace the hard disk drive with an SSD which will use less power as it doesn’t have any motors to spin up with heavy platters attached to it.
SSDs are more reliable against knocks and provide impressive longevity.
Additionally, you will enjoy some extra performance from it.
Although gaming laptops are notorious for having abysmal battery life, there are many ways to reduce battery usage while relying on battery power if you’re on the go or don’t have a charger on hand.
By turning off or disconnecting any unnecessary processes, adjusting your battery settings to suit your needs, keeping your laptop clean, and overall minimizing excess battery use, you can extend the life of your gaming laptop’s battery.