how to

How to buy a graphics card—Six things you must know about GPUs

PC Gamer at

In a perfect world, the hardware experts at PC Gamer would accompany you on a shopping trip to pick up your next graphics card. We'd happily share our experience and tell you what to watch out for, what to avoid, and what you need from a GPU to squeeze the highest number of frames per second out of your gaming rig. Then again, would you really want to spend an afternoon with our posse of hardware-obsessed game addicts? The good news is you can receive the same benefit by reading our new buyer's guide below. When you're done, you don't even have to shake our clammy, mouse-worn hands.

How to configure Counter-Strike: GO for the maximum competitive advantage

PC Gamer at

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s surge in popularity over the past few months makes now a great time to join one of the most competitive multiplayer shooters on PC. This visual guide will teach you how to set up your game for the maximum competitive advantage. There’s no singular best practice, as a lot of configuration is personal preference, but there are tweaks you can make to graphics and network settings, keybindings, and more to help outplay the competition.

Tomb Raider screenshots: running the classic at 2400x1800 on LPC

Wes Fenlon at

The Lara Croft of 2014 may have fancy TressFX hair and a killer bow, but we still have fond memories of the original Lara, who fearlessly explored mysterious and oppressive tombs way back in '96. The rebooted Tomb Raider's Definitive Edition may be a console exclusive, but we say the definitive Tomb Raider has been on PC for 18 years.

To prove that the sunglass-wearing Lara looks as sharp as ever, we grabbed Tomb Raider 1+2+3 from GOG and installed the games on the Large Pixel Collider. The LPC deemed Tomb Raider's original resolution unworthy, however, and opted to run the game at 2400x1800–about 3.5 million more pixels than the Voodoo graphics cards of the '90s were used to pushing. We left everything else about the game pure and unmodified. No mods. No texture packs. Original 4:3 aspect ratio.

Kerbal Space Program chronicle, part three — Coconut Monkey presents Fuel Trader

Ian Birnbaum at

Kerbal Space Program is an open-world universe simulator that specializes in modeling orbits, atmosphere, gravity and rocket physics. With nothing but your wits and an array of space vehicle parts, your task is to explore. In this chronicle, I will be recording the first missions of the PCGSA, PC Gamer's ambitious new space program.

How to build a gaming PC

Henry Winchester at

A few years ago, we invited PC Gamer's tech guru Adam Oxford into a giant changing room to film a short piece about building a new PC. The resulting video has never been seen, but we've finally managed to cut enough of the improbably scary stuff out to get it past YouTube's content filters.

Yes, it is a bit old, but a lot of the points still remain - physically, the act of building a gaming PC hasn't changed at all in the last few years. Not wanting to blow our own trumpets but, parp, this is a great guide to getting started with a self-build, covering everything from how to install a CPU to your very first boot up.

How to install custom League of Legends skins

Josh Augustine at

Too fashion-forward to allow your League of Legends champions to get caught wearing the same 'ol attire day after day? Start the new year with a fresh look! In this Protip, Josh demonstrates how to find and install custom League of Legends skins to make your champions the best-dressed little warriors on the block. Check out the introduction above, and watch Josh's complete instructions in the consecutive videos, as well as a rundown of the PC Gamer US office favorites...

How to play Saints Row 3 as a toilet

Graham Smith at

Saints Row 3 is the unrestricted id of gaming smeared across an open world city. It's brash, juvenile, violent and obsessed with toilet humour. So much so that you can play the game as a toilet.

Watch the video above, and then read on for how you can easily do it yourself in an instant and without mods.

How to save space on your SSD: Part 2

Adam Oxford at

Struggling to stay on top of the tiny amount of space you have on your SSD drive? Fear not, as promised in our first guide on how to save save space on your SSD we have a few more tips on creating room for games on your new flash drive.

How To: Survive another day in the League of Legends arena

Lucas Sullivan at

If you frequent this site, then you’ve probably heard of Riot Games’ free-to-play MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), League of Legends. You’ve probably also heard that it involves copious amounts of ganking, killing sprees, and people rage-typing in all caps. Maybe you even gave it a try, only to be discouraged by other players hating on you for being unfamiliar with every tiny facet of the game.

It can be a harsh community at times, but to be fair, one weak player on a team can make your chances of victory spiral downward in a hurry. Once you understand LoL, though, you’ll see why so many people are playing it: its addictive combat is some of the best around. I’ve put myself through the online grinder so that you don’t have to, and put together a dozen tips that will let you step into the arena with confidence and march onward to victory.

How to: Create Your Own Frontier in Star Trek Online

Chris Perry at

Like most players, I’ve had moments in MMOs when I thought that I could write a better quest than the developers did. “The story was wrong—there should’ve been a fight against dwarves instead of rats at the end of the mission, and the pacing sucked!” Cryptic has responded to Star Trek Online players with a software-based “Oh yeah?” by launching The Foundry, which turned everyone into a mission scripter after it hit live servers earlier this month.

How to edit your skin in Minecraft

Michael Quach at

Are you jealous of all those players running around Minecraft in their spiffy duds? Are you tired of your boring, default skin? Do you long to be unique and appreciated for your good looks? Well, for absolutely no cost to you--other than a bit of your time--you can change your appearance and finally be confident that wherever you go, people will gasp in awe at your grandeur (in Minecraft).

How to update Dwarf Fortress (without losing your saves)

Jaz McDougall at

Dwarf Fortress has just been updated to version 31.15. That's good news! But maybe you want to get your saves over to the new version, or maybe you use the Mayday Green tileset to add intelligible graphics to the game but its creator hasn't updated his pre-packaged release yet. Thankfully, manually updating the game and porting these things over isn't that hard. It's just a bit fiddly. Read on to be illuminated.

How to install a Minecraft texture pack

Michael Quach at

Tired of the bland boring bright look of Minecraft? Want it to be more realistic looking? Darker? Perhaps a higher resolution look? Then look no further for today, you will learn about the wonders of texture packs in Minecraft.

UPDATE - The way in which you install texture packs has changed, the new method is inside.