Is Gaming Bad For Your Computer? What You Should Know

Can playing games on a computer damage it

Is Gaming Bad For Your Computer?

If you’re planning to play video games on a computer, one concern you might have is whether or not playing video games on a computer can end up damaging it in the long run.

So, is gaming bad for a computer? The short answer is that gaming is not necessarily bad for your computer, but any use runs the risk of wear and tear. There can be some negative effects to a computer as a result of gaming, specifically if your computer is an older model or has some outdated parts.

In this article, we’ll address some of the gaming-related dangers your computer may face and how you can prevent them from causing damage.

Potential Dangers Of Gaming On A Computer 

Computers Can Overheat While Gaming

Running games puts a lot of strain on a computer. All of the electricity required to display the graphics and store every detail as it happens causes a lot of heat. Computers have cooling systems such as fans or water cooling present in order to help disperse heat away from the components generating it.

But sometimes it doesn’t work as well as it should. Running really complex games or games with very modern graphics can put a lot more work on your machine, which can lead to overheating.

Sometimes, overheating will just cause a crash. Crashes are annoying and inconvenient, but you can recover from them. But more extreme cases of overheating can result in melting parts irrevocably, or even catching the computer on fire.

Virus Risks When Gaming On A Computer

Do you get your games from reputable sources? It may feel like you’re getting away with something fun when you pirate games, but pirated games can come with unfortunate surprises.

If you’re not purchasing a game from a licensed distributor, there’s a good chance that grabbing a free or discounted game from who knows where and opening it could introduce malware to your computer.

Viruses can simply cause your computer to crash and never be salvageable. But as a worst-case scenario, you can also have personal information like your home address, banking information, and social security number stolen through a virus attack. This would not only be a negative result of gaming to your computer, but also to your whole life, as identity theft can be difficult to recover from.

Rage Quitting & Temper Tantrums

Slamming your computer closed out of rage can cause a lot of damage to your computer. As much as we love gaming, we all experience moments when we’re angry enough at a game to throw something–often right at the computer screen. This can obviously have physical ramifications.

Stomping, banging on the desk, kicking your feet, and pushing off from your desk to fly backward on your wheeled office chair can all be dangerous to your computer. Cords, screens, and other inner workings can be damaged in a fit of rage as a result of playing a video game on your PC, and sometimes that damage is irreparable. 

How To Prevent Computer Damage While Gaming

Fortunately, there are ways to stop these unfortunate problems from taking place. Consider these recommendations and save yourself the annoyance and expense of repairing or replacing the computer you currently have.

Don’t Multitask While Gaming

Since every action that a computer performs uses electricity and therefore causes the release of heat, close all other applications and internet tabs while gaming in order to reduce the amount of work your computer is trying to do at once. Take care not to play multiple games at once or scroll through Facebook on another tab while you wait for a game to load.

This can help make it easier for your computer to perform better during your gameplay and maintain a safe temperature more easily.

Add Cooling Features To Your Computer

For more help with overheating-related challenges, add cooling features. This could include moving your computer to a cooler part of the house or placing it directly above or below an air conditioning vent. If it’s winter and heat comes through the vents, move it away from the vents and set it near a cool window if possible.

You can also add another fan or two to blow heat away from the computer. And, as a last resort, you can keep track of how long your computer will go before crashing and set a timer to pause your game and give your computer time to cool down in between playing sessions. While this isn’t ideal, it could help your computer last a little longer while you save up for a new unit, even though it may limit your multiplayer abilities significantly.

Only Purchase Computer Games from Credible Stores 

In order to avoid introducing a virus to your computer, only purchase games from reputable sources. While you have to pay for the games this way, you save yourself the immense expense and trouble of having a virus kill your computer or having your identity stolen.

Reputable sources include Steam, PlayStation Store, and Xbox Store. While there are several other reputable but less well-known websites from which you can acquire games, there are some clues to help you figure out whether the site is legitimate.

Sites with a short word or collection of words followed by “.com” are more likely to be reputable than a gibberish site name (domain name) or an extremely long name.

Sites with a lot of spelling and grammar errors are less likely to be reputable.

Exercise Self-Control While Gaming Or Plan Ahead

Perhaps the most obvious way to prevent physical damage to your computer due to tantrums is to have a little self-control. But of course, that is easier said than done. If you cannot control yourself and stop yourself from throwing a soda can or controller or shoe at the screen whenever it pisses you off, consider taking some precautions to protect your computer.

Remove things that could be pitched at the machine from your reaching distance. If you can’t quickly grab it, you might calm down enough not to go through with it by the time you find something to throw.

Consider setting a beanbag or pillow near the computer and throwing things at that rather than the computer itself whenever you feel frustrated.

Or, if you want to get really fancy, consider mounting a clear plastic or plexiglass screen in front of your computer screen so that you can throw things right at it without having to worry about breaking the computer itself.


We wish you the best of luck in the care and maintenance of your gaming computer!


Hello there! My name is Collin. I’ve spent hours studying game design via podcasts, articles, and videos. This is where I share the helpful information I’ve learned about creating and marketing great games.

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