If you’ve been searching for ways to make your PC more like a console, you’re not alone. It would be wrong to say computer gaming is on the rise, as it has always been there and competing with consoles. Some users have been strictly PC gaming their entire lives, while some of us have been doing a combination of both for a very long time. My opinion on the apparent rise of PC gaming is the fact that many kids from the Atari and NES console era are now older. They have never lost their love of gaming. Couple that with the fact that they might now have greater resources of disposable income and here we are. People want the very best gaming experience, but they may also want the casual experience of having a console.
Make Your PC More Like A Gaming Console With These Steps
Let’s outline what we need to do here.
- A console boots directly to the dashboard, where our games and apps live.
- A console has seamless controller support.
- A console’s main job is to play games and launch apps.
- A console can be easily powered off with the controller.
- A console doesn’t have a ton of unnecessary, resource-heavy processes running in the background.
As you can see, a lot of the above console behaviors contradict how computers are designed to operate.
Boot Directly Into Steam Big Picture Mode
Steam is one of the most predominate game launchers for the PC and has been around for nearly twenty years. It has a console-type interface called Big Picture Mode. Turning it on is easy enough, but you still have to boot the computer, and then click on the Steam icon before Big Picture Mode launches. Who has time for that? By copying the Steam.exe file and dropping it into your StartUp folder, it will launch as soon as you boot your computer, giving you that console experience XBox, Playstation and Nintendo provides.
Create a Steam shortcut:
Navigate to the Steam install location (by default this is located at C:\Program Files\Steam). Right-click the Steam.exe icon and select create shortcut.
Move the Steam shortcut to the Windows StartUp folder:
Copy or Cut the shortcut you just created, and then navigate to the Windows StartUp folder and paste the Steam.exe shortcut into that folder. C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp.
Steam will now auto-load when you boot up your PC and go directly into Big Picture Mode, giving you that console feel. Just grab your controller and go!
Disable Auto-Loading Secondary Launchers
Unfortunately, the bane of computer gaming is the multiple launchers you might be using. If there were one to rule them all–and maybe one day there will be–we would not have to worry about these one-off launchers loading in the background. But we do. Whether you have the XBox app, the Epic games store, Origin, or any of the other third-party launchers, you should limit what runs automatically when you boot your computer.
Disable Game Launchers Via Task Manager
- Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
- Click on the Startup tab.
- Scroll to and right-click any launcher or service you do not want to run at boot.
- Select Disable.
You can still manually launch these programs, but they will not run and consume system resources any longer.
Get A Wireless Controller For Your Computer Gaming Console
A keyboard and mouse is fine for computer gaming–and even preferred in some cases. But if you’re looking for that sit-back, gaming console feel, you will want to buy a wireless controller and a transmitter capable of supporting it.
We like the Skywin Wireless Controller Adapter, as it is compatible with the Playstation, XBox, and (allegedly) Nintendo Switch controllers.
We have used it to connect XBox and Playstation controllers to the PC without issue.
Disable Unnecessary Background Processes in Windows
As in the example above disabling unnecessary game launchers, you can make your PC more like a gaming console by treating the computer less like a computer and more like a console. Scrutinize what programs you have installed, what loads automatically in the background. Do you need Office 365 on your gaming rig? Maybe your do, and that’s fine. If not, uninstall it.
Windows computers have a ton of unnecessary applications running in the background at all times. Even if you have the most advanced gaming rig in the world, you still should not dedicate even 1MB of RAM to a process that doesn’t need to be running for gaming.
If you enjoyed this, please be sure to check out our other gaming articles, or feel free to comment below and share your efforts to make your PC more like a gaming console.