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Explained: What gaming options are open for low-spec desktops and laptops

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There is no doubt that gaming desktops and laptops are becoming more feature-laden than ever. The latest graphics cards like the GTX 2080 help to deliver on-screen visuals akin to what you might find on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

However, most of the users are not all that lucky enough to be able to afford such a powerful piece of hardware. In some cases, you might not want to. You may prefer owning a lighter notebook such as a Chromebook that's more agile and versatile. You'll be pleased to know that doesn't mean you have to kiss goodbye your thirst for gaming.

Online slots are a good starting point

When it comes to minimum hardware requirements, they don't come much lower than video slot games. Several years ago, online slots used to be considerably more resource-hungry than they are today. That's because slots used to be powered by Adobe Flash within web browser plugins. These plugins used to drain the resources from most modest desktops or laptops, creating a sluggish entertainment experience.

Fortunately, slot software developers have found new ways of designing and publishing more agile, fluid slot experiences on even the lowest-spec devices. Thanks to the advent of HTML5 technology, which allows for cross-platform games to be designed regardless of screen size, games can operate more smoothly within web browsers or indeed native apps. Casino sites like Royal Panda team up with all the major slot game studios to provide a library of slot titles that can be accessed 24/7, wherever you are and whatever hardware you are using.

MMOs will also run smoothly on older or low-spec computers

If you are a long-time fan of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games and you have just switched to a low-spec or laptop, there are plenty of MMO titles that have been designed to run just fine on the most modest of devices. RuneScape is a prime example of an MMO that wanted inclusivity for its gamers, providing a MMO world that would run on pretty much any computer. Even in 2020, the latest versions of RuneScape are still built so that low-power devices can get gamers involved.

Villagers and Heroes is another hugely immersive MMO title that runs seamlessly on tablet devices as well as older or low-spec desktops and laptops. Dubbed the world's biggest cross-platform MMO, it's also a free-to-play game, which is an even bigger bonus for those downsizing their hardware on cost grounds.

Some desktop games are built with low-spec gaming in mind too

Even if you don't have a fancy graphics card, there are still plenty of conventional PC games that you can install or download for a low-spec machine. One of the best examples of a PC game that celebrates old-school gaming whilst embracing state-of-the-art developments is Sports Interactive's Football Manager franchise. This database-driven game can be played with low-spec graphics cards as the matches are designed to be shown in the overhead 2D format as well as the new 3D version.

Following the success of Doom's resurgence in 2016, there has been a spate of old-school-style shoot'em up desktop games that resemble the gameplay and visuals of classic 90's gaming. Amid Evil from developer, Indefatigable is a big hit with low-spec gamers, with graphics so basic they would run on (possibly). If you prefer a little more detail to your first-person shooter visuals, there's always Ion Fury and Dusk to try.

The key takeaway from this is to remember that even if you purchase a low-spec desktop PC or laptop, it's never a barrier to enjoying some form of gaming. There are plenty of games that will immerse you and stimulate you without needing to overload your system. Should you fancy the idea of a dedicated , there are plenty of budget-friendly models available to buy online.

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