Playing on a computer: what parents need to know

Joueuse League of Legends 3 écrans

Consoles are as popular as ever, but the past few years have seen personal computers rise in popularity. Using a computer, after all, brings its share of advantages: access to virtual reality systems (like the Oculus Rift, valve Index and so on), more power, more customization… For gamers on a budget, powerful computers can even play their favorite games with more detailed graphics (better graphics, textures, shadows, and resolution) than on console!

Playing on a PC or Mac is an interesting option for both novice and passionate gamers, but the platform that offers this freedom of choice is also… a little difficult to understand. There are so many ways to start playing, it’s to get lost.

In this article, we elucidating the many mazes of PC gaming,and we will help you start playing on your computer!

Are all games available on my computer?

Most of the games available on Playstation or Xbox are also available on PC.

Unfortunately, Mac owners will sometimes have a hard time playing all games: a large amount of games are not compatible with Macs, even if your computer is powerful enough to play them. Developers are increasingly adapting games for Macs, thankfully, but the practice isn’t universal.

Some of the most popular games of the moment are only available on PC and Mac, even!

League of Legends Screenshot 1
League of Legends is one of the games that are only playable on computer.

MOBAs like League of Legends,Smite, and Dota 2 don’t exist (or rarely!) on console. The same goes for tactical shooting games, like Valorant and Counter-Strike. Several digital card games like Hearthstone and Legends of Runeterra are only available on desktop and mobile devices (iOS and Android). Strategy games like the venerable Civilization and Age of Empires series almost only exist on computer, too!

There are several new types of games to try on computer and we’ve only scratched the surface here.

Launchers

Unlike console and mobile games, there are several ways to install games on a computer: the famous launchers,these platforms that allow you to buy games and install them on your computer.

The most popular is undoubtedly Steam, a platform developed by Valve Corporation. There are many others, including the Epic Games Launcher, Battle.net, and many others. We have a full article on the subject, to help you clear brush how each launcher works.

These platforms frequently offer discounts on the games they sell, especially during the summer and winter. Plus, you can get prepaid Steam cards at most tech stores (a great gift, by the way!)

Some games will require you to download special launchers to play them. This is particularly the case for free games such as Fortnite (which requires you to download the launcher from Epic Games), and Valorant and League of Legends (which will make you download the launcher from Riot Games). Most of these launchers are only used to install the game, download updates as well as make it easier to launch the game on your computer.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for PC

Microsoft’s offering in the world of video games has exploded with the recent arrival of Xbox Game Pass, a monthly service (much like Netflix) that allows subscribers to play more than 100 very high-quality PC games starting at $10 CAD per month.

Players can install and play games like Forza Motorsport 7, Doom Eternal, all the games in the Halo series and much more! For frequent gamers, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a cheap way to get access to an inexhaustible amount of entertainment.

Backward compatibility on PC

Phew, a dirty word that.

Backward compatibility is the idea that old games can continue to run on new computers, even if they were programmed a long time ago. Behind the screen, technology is constantly improving and it is not uncommon for old software to stop being compatible with new software.

On console, backward compatibility is very difficult to do and is therefore very rare. Most games on Xbox 360 don’t work on Xbox One or the next generation of Xbox (Series), for example

On PC, however, it’s quite the opposite! Most games developed for Windows in the last 15-20 years are still playable, even if you are using Windows 10! For some games, you have to do a few sleight of hand, certainly, but for the most part, developers have produced updates to adapt their games to modern computers. Hurrah!

In addition, because computers are much more powerful now than they used to be, you will often be able to enjoy higher quality graphics than you could have played when the game was released.

Multiplayer games on PC

Unlike the Playstation and Xbox, almost all online games on PC are accessible for free, without the need to pay an additional monthly subscription. However, some PC games, including massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV Online, require paid monthly subscriptions to play.

Screenshot of Final Fantasy XIV Online

A new way to play

PC games use either the keyboard and/or mouse, or a controller. Fortunately now all console controllers are now compatible with PC games that support them. However, be aware that the controllers on the Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 consoles are much more likely to be compatible with your game because of Microsoft’s support for it, and the fact that you play on Microsoft Windows.

PCs are becoming more and more popular for playing video games, and with good reason! New players will find a variety of fascinating games to try. What are you waiting for?

About Cédric Duchaineau

Actuellement étudiant à la maîtrise en communication, jeux vidéo et ludification, Cédric est toujours curieux d'en apprendre plus sur les jeux vidéo, les communautés et les réalités de notre monde numérique.

View all posts by Cédric Duchaineau

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