by Paul Sanders
PCs are still the most powerful gaming systems, and computer games software offers you more customizability for many of the games you play. You may need to know a bit more about your computer to make the best of PC games you want to play. To expand your basic knowledge of games software requirements, here are a few facts that will help you shop smarter and play computer games that will work on your system.
Newer games require newer hardware. You'll find the minimum and recommended system requirements for computer games software in nearly every game description. If your system has the RAM, processor speed and hard drive space recommended for the game, you should have little trouble running the software on your PC. Video cards are also required for many advanced computer games software, especially those with heavy graphics. If your machine does not meet the system requirements, you may be able to upgrade your video card or RAM to make it capable of playing more advanced computer games.
Games won't run on all operating systems. Most computer games software is released for either the latest Microsoft Windows or Apple OS operating systems. Game discs meant for Windows will usually list themselves as for "PC," while Apple-compatible computer games software will have a "MAC" icon on the box or in the game description. Often, PC and MAC versions are available on the same disc. Before you buy, be sure you are buying computer games software that is compatible with the operating system currently installed on your desktop or laptop.
Some games are online only. Fast broadband Internet connections make it possible to play massively-multiplayer games online with thousands of other players. If you want to play this type of computer games software on your computer, you will need an active Internet connection that meets speed requirements for the game. Certain computer games software will require a subscription to access the online world and will often include a certain amount of free game time when you purchase the game. Check the description for PC games to see whether they feature online play.
PC games are rated similar to other video games. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) provides ratings to computer games software as well as console games. You can use these ratings to screen computer games for inappropriate content before you buy.