Why Does My Computer Freeze When I Play a Game?

By Erin McManaway

Nothing is more frustrating than bringing home a new computer game only to have your computer freeze when you attempt to play it. Each computer game is coded differently, so the issue could be caused by a number of incompatibilities between the software and your system. While game designers work hard to provide software that runs on the largest number of computers possible, there are some games that may have requirements that your computer just doesn’t meet.

Lack of RAM

If your computer doesn’t have enough RAM to run a game, this may result in stuttering, game freezes or random shut downs. Know how much RAM is installed in your computer before making game purchases. Read the game labels to see if your computer meets the requirements. Often, if your computer meets the minimum RAM requirements, it may be enough to play the game but not enough to play it well.

Lack of Processor Power

If your computer’s processor isn’t strong enough to hold up under the added load that the game places on the computer’s resources, the computer may freeze up. Always know your computer’s processing speed when you go to purchase a game. Read the game labels to see if your computer meets the requirements that will allow you to play the game well.

Incompatible Hardware

If you have incompatibilities between the game and your computer hardware, such as sound cards or video cards, you may experience game freezes and shut downs. It is always a good idea to visit the support site for your sound and video cards and make sure you have installed the latest drivers for them. Also, know what kind of video card your computer is running and make sure that it meets the game’s requirements. A video card that doesn’t have the proper 3D capabilities will not be able to play certain computer games.

Overheating

High-graphic computer games cause your computer and video card to run harder and heat up. If you do not have proper cooling components installed in your computer, the machine may begin to heat up. Once it reaches a certain heat threshold, the game may freeze or shut down unexpectedly. This allows the computer to terminate the program to protect the CPU from overheating.

Game Bugs

There is a possibility that the issue is with the game’s coding and not with your computer. If this is the case, the game developers will often release a patch to cover bugs and other issues that are reported by users. If you are certain that your computer meets all requirements, you may wish to contact the game company’s support or visit the its forums to see if there might be a known bug that will be addressed in a future software patch.