Expert Tips: Why Does My Pc Crash When I Play Games

Hey there, gaming enthusiasts! Ever wondered, “Why does my PC crash when I play games?” This post is for you. We’ll uncover potential reasons, from hardware to software issues. Additionally, we’ll offer expert tips to prevent these crashes. Let’s dive in!

Understanding PC Crashes

Hello, folks! Today, we’re diving into the world of PC crashes. You know, those dreaded blue screens and freezes. But what exactly causes them? Let’s explore.

Firstly, hardware issues can be a culprit. For instance, overheating is a common problem. Moreover, faulty RAM or hard drive failure can cause crashes too.

Secondly, software conflicts play a significant role. To clarify, when two programs don’t play nice together, crashes can occur. Especially, outdated drivers often lead to problems.

Another key point is power supply issues. In detail, an unstable or inadequate power supply can trigger crashes. For example, this is often seen in PCs with high-performance hardware.

Furthermore, malware infections are not to be overlooked. They can significantly degrade system performance and stability. Undoubtedly, a good antivirus program is essential.

Finally, let’s not forget about operating system errors. Occasionally, a system update can introduce new bugs. These can, unfortunately, lead to PC crashes.

On the positive side, understanding the root causes of PC crashes can help prevent them. After all, prevention is better than cure!

In conclusion, PC crashes are a common problem. They can result from hardware issues, software conflicts, power supply issues, malware infections, and OS errors. Therefore, staying vigilant and keeping your system updated can help avoid them.

Remember, your PC is a workhorse. It needs proper care and maintenance. We will explore on “Why does my PC crash when I play games?” in the next section.

Why does my PC crash when I play games, bsod
Image credit: Help Desk Geek

Why does my PC crash when I play games?

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of “Why does my PC crash when I play games?”. Here’s what you need to know:

a) Hardware Incompatibility

Firstly, your game may demand more than what your hardware can provide. In other words, your CPU, GPU, or RAM might not meet the game’s system requirements. If so, crashes can occur.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to play a new AAA game like “Cyberpunk 2077.” This game requires a powerful GPU, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB or AMD Radeon RX 470. If your PC is running on an older or lower-end GPU, it might struggle to process the game’s graphics. This strain can lead to crashes.

Similarly, some games demand a lot of RAM. For instance, “Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020” recommends at least 16GB of RAM. If your PC only has 8GB, it might not be able to handle all the game’s processes at once. This could lead to a crash.

Finally, the CPU is the brain of your PC. If a game requires a high-end CPU, like the Intel Core i7-4790, but you’re using an older or less powerful CPU, your PC might not be able to keep up with the game’s demands. This could result in a crash.

b) Overheating

Secondly, gaming pushes your hardware to its limits.

When you play games, particularly high-end ones, your PC works harder. This effort generates heat. The GPU and CPU, in particular, can get very hot. If this heat isn’t effectively removed, the temperature of these components can exceed safe levels. This is known as overheating. When a component overheats, it can cause your PC to crash. This is a protective measure to prevent permanent damage.

For instance, imagine you’re in the middle of an intense gaming session. Your GPU is working hard to render high-quality graphics. If your cooling system isn’t up to par, the GPU’s temperature might skyrocket. If it gets too hot, your PC might shut down suddenly. This is a clear sign of overheating.

c) Driver Issues

Thirdly, outdated or incompatible drivers can cause crashes. In particular, graphics drivers are often the culprits. Therefore, keep your drivers up-to-date.

Drivers are software that allow your PC’s hardware and operating system to communicate. For instance, your graphics card driver enables your OS to use the card’s features. However, outdated or incompatible drivers can cause communication issues, which can lead to crashes.

For example, let’s consider your graphics card driver. You might be using an NVIDIA card and have the driver that came with it. However, NVIDIA frequently updates their drivers to fix bugs, optimize performance, and add support for new games. If you’re still using an old driver, it might not work well with a new game or a recent update to your operating system. This mismatch can cause your game to crash.

Another example could be a new piece of hardware you’ve installed. Say you’ve just upgraded your sound card. The new card might need a different driver to work correctly. If you keep using the old driver, it might not communicate effectively with the new card, leading to crashes.

Therefore, it’s essential to keep your drivers up-to-date. Regularly check the manufacturer’s website for driver updates. For graphics cards, both NVIDIA and AMD offer software (GeForce Experience and Radeon Software, respectively) that can automatically check for and install driver updates.

d) Game Bugs

Every game is a complex piece of software. It’s created by human developers, and, as such, it can have bugs. These are errors or flaws in the game that cause it to behave in unintended ways. Sometimes, these bugs can cause a game to crash.

For instance, let’s take an open-world game like “Grand Theft Auto V”. This game has a huge, highly detailed world. However, there might be a particular location in the game that, due to a bug, causes the game to crash whenever it’s loaded.

Similarly, game updates are intended to fix bugs, add new features, or improve performance. However, these updates can sometimes introduce new bugs. For example, an update might be intended to improve the game’s graphics. However, it might inadvertently cause issues with certain graphics cards, leading to crashes.

In either case, the solution often lies with the game’s developer. They’re responsible for fixing bugs and releasing patches or updates. Therefore, if your game is crashing due to a bug, you might need to wait for a fix. In the meantime, you can try reinstalling the game, or running it in a different mode (like windowed mode or with lower graphics settings) to see if that helps.

e) Background Applications

Running too many applications simultaneously can cause crashes. To put it another way, these apps might be hogging your system resources. Thus, close unnecessary programs before gaming.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for Windows users:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.
  2. From the menu that appears, select “Task Manager.”
  3. In the Task Manager window, you’ll see a list of all the applications currently running.
  4. To close an application, simply right-click on it and select “End task.”

For Mac users, the process is similar:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Go to the “Applications” folder and then to the “Utilities” folder.
  3. Open “Activity Monitor.”
  4. Here, you’ll see all the currently running applications.
  5. To close an application, select it and then click on the “X” button in the top left corner.

Before you close any application, make sure it’s not something crucial for your system or a task you’re currently working on. Also, remember to save any unsaved work before you close an application.

f) Malware

Next, malware could be at play. For instance, some malicious software can cause system instability. Therefore, regular scans with a reputable antivirus are recommended.

Here are some reputable antivirus software options you could consider:

g) Hardware Failure

Hardware failure is another possibility. If your hardware is failing, it might crash under the strain of running a game.

CPU Issues

Firstly, the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is a key player. An overheating CPU can cause crashes. In detail, it’s due to inadequate cooling or overclocking. Therefore, monitor your CPU temperature regularly.

You can check your CPU temperature using various software tools. Here are a few examples:

  • Windows Task Manager: As of Windows 10, you can see your CPU temperature straight from the Task Manager. Here’s how:
    • Right-click on your taskbar and select “Task Manager.”
    • Click on the “Performance” tab.
    • Look for your CPU temperature in the bottom-right corner.
  • BIOS/UEFI: Your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings screen often shows the CPU temperature. However, accessing these settings requires restarting your computer, which isn’t always convenient.
  • Third-Party Software: There are many free programs that can monitor your CPU temperature in real-time. Examples include Core Temp, HWMonitor, and SpeedFan. Simply download and install the software, and it will display your CPU temperature.

Please note that the temperature reading can differ slightly between different programs due to varying methods of measurement. If you’re unsure whether your CPU is overheating, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another program.

Graphics Card Problems

Secondly, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are often culprits. For instance, a failing or overheating GPU can cause crashes. Moreover, outdated GPU drivers can lead to compatibility issues. Always keep your drivers updated.

RAM Deficiencies

If your PC doesn’t have enough RAM, it can struggle to run games smoothly. In this case, the game might freeze, stutter, or even crash. Surprisingly, even if your PC has sufficient RAM, if a portion of it is faulty, you can encounter similar issues. To clarify, a fault in your RAM can lead to system instability. Unquestionably, this can cause game crashes or even blue screens of death (BSODs).

Now, how do you tackle this? Above all, consider running a memory test. MemTest86 and Windows Memory Diagnostic are popular tools for this purpose. These tools will check your RAM for errors.

Hard Drive Failures

Fourthly, your hard drive can be the root of the problem. A dying hard drive can crash, freeze, or slow down your PC. Regularly check your hard drive’s health to prevent this.

To check your hard drive’s health, you can use built-in tools in your operating system or third-party software. In Windows, for instance, you can use the Check Disk utility. To use this tool, you need to:

  1. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type the command chkdsk C: /f /r /x and hit Enter. This command will scan your C drive; if you want to scan a different drive, replace “C” with the letter of that drive.
  3. The /f parameter tells CHKDSK to fix any errors it finds; /r tells it to locate bad sectors and recover readable information; and /x forces the drive to dismount before the process starts.

Additionally, there are third-party tools available that can provide more in-depth information. For example, you can use the free tool CrystalDiskInfo. After downloading and installing it, you can run it to check the health of your hard drives.

Power Supply Unit (PSU) Concerns

The PSU is essentially the lifeblood of your PC, providing power to all of its components. Imagine, for instance, you’ve bought a high-performance GPU to improve your gaming experience. However, your current PSU can’t provide the necessary power that the GPU demands, especially under load. As a result, your PC can crash when gaming, because the GPU isn’t getting the power it needs to function properly.

Similarly, a PSU that is failing or is of poor quality can cause issues. It might provide unstable power, with voltage spikes and dips that can harm your components and cause crashes. For example, when you’re in the middle of an intense gaming session and the PSU fails to provide steady power, your PC might suddenly switch off or reboot.

That’s why it’s always recommended to invest in a good quality PSU from a reputable brand. Additionally, you should ensure it provides enough wattage for your system, particularly if you’re using power-hungry components like high-end CPUs and GPUs. To calculate the power requirements of your system, you can use online PSU calculators like the one provided by Cooler Master.

h) Software Conflicts

Lastly, software conflicts can cause crashes.

  • Game Overlays: Some games come with built-in overlays which provide additional functionality, such as chatting with friends, streaming, or taking screenshots. Examples include the Steam Overlay, Discord Overlay, and NVIDIA GeForce Experience Overlay. However, these overlays can sometimes conflict with the game or with each other, leading to crashes.
  • Screen Recorders: Screen recording software like OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), Bandicam, and Fraps allow you to record or stream your gameplay. However, some games may not be compatible with these software, causing crashes.
  • Antivirus Software: While antivirus software is crucial for protecting your PC, some of them may interfere with your games. They might mistakenly identify a game’s executable file as a threat, causing the game to crash.
  • Background Applications: Other applications running in the background can also conflict with your games. For example, if you have a software updater running while playing a game, it might try to update a driver that the game is currently using, causing a crash.

General Tips to Prevent PC Crashes While Gaming

Now, let’s explore some general tips to prevent your PC from crashing while gaming.

  1. Regular Maintenance: Firstly, regular maintenance is crucial. It keeps your PC running smoothly. This includes cleaning your PC to prevent dust buildup and updating your software.
  2. Monitor Temperatures: Secondly, keep an eye on your PC’s temperatures. Overheating can lead to crashes. Therefore, use software tools to monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures.
  3. Update Drivers: Thirdly, always keep your drivers updated. Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause crashes. Remember, updates often provide stability improvements and bug fixes.
  4. Manage Background Applications: Fourthly, manage your background applications. Close unnecessary programs before gaming. This helps free up system resources for your game.
  5. Install Reliable Antivirus Software: Next, install a reliable antivirus software. Regular scans can detect and remove malware. Malware can cause system instability and crashes.
  6. Check Game System Requirements: Additionally, always check a game’s system requirements before playing. If your PC doesn’t meet these requirements, you might experience crashes.
  7. Invest in Good Hardware: Investing in good hardware is also important. High-quality components are less likely to fail. Particularly, a good PSU and cooling system are crucial.
  8. Regularly Check Hardware Health: Lastly, regularly check your hardware health. Faulty hardware can cause crashes. Use diagnostic tools to check for any potential issues.

In conclusion, there are many ways to prevent your PC from crashing while gaming or prevent you from asking “Why does my PC crash when I play games?“. Regular maintenance, temperature monitoring, and keeping your software updated are just a few. By following these tips, you can ensure a smoother and more stable gaming experience.


In conclusion, “Why does my PC crash when I play games” can be frustrating. However, understanding the causes is the first step to solving the problem. From hardware issues to software conflicts, we’ve covered the main culprits to answer the question “Why does my PC crash when I play games?”. By following the tips and steps provided, you can enjoy a smoother gaming experience. Until next time, game on!

For all the gamers in Singapore, if you have any gaming needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to VOLTA PC. They are a trusted name in the gaming community and can assist you with anything from upgrading your hardware or customise PC.

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