If you’re thinking of diving into the world of gaming, you probably have a specific title or series in mind that you’re most excited to play.
You want to make sure the hardware is capable of running your favorite games before laying down the cash for a new laptop, though!
Wondering what overall settings you can get with a range of games from the latest AAA modern titles or classics from ages past?
We’ve got you covered whether you need to know the absolute cheapest laptop that can run Overwatch or find a higher end laptop that can run Fallout 4 on ultra settings!
The Cheapest Laptops That Can Run Every Major Game
In the table below we’ve rounded up more than 50 of the most popular PC games across every style and genre.
Our list spans MMORPGs and single player RPGs to shooters, MOBAs, battle royale titles, strategy games, and everything in between.
Those games are then broken down by the overall base price you can expect to pay for a laptop to run each title at different graphics settings.
Obviously there will be price differences depending on what specific manufacturer, model, or features you are looking at, and sales or price drops may throw these numbers off. Here’s what we mean in general with the numbers in the graph below:
- $300 range: a potato laptop with 4GB of RAM and nothing else
- $500 range: a decent laptop with 6 – 8GB of RAM and potentially a very low end graphics card
- $700 range: 8 – 16GB of RAM, an SSD, and potentially a mid-range graphics card
- $1200 range: 16GB of RAM, an SSD, and a graphics card comparable to a GTX 1060
- $1500 range: 16 – 32GB of RAM, an SSD, and a higher end graphics card such as a GTX 1070
With these basic price ranges in mind, you can pick the best laptop to play Steam games so you can build up an insane library of titles when the Summer and Winter sales arrive!
Using our price to settings cheat sheet, you’ll find a laptop that can run Guild Wars, Dragon Age Inquisition, PUBG, or the Sims series from low all the way up to ultra settings.
Even better, we show you exactly how to get away with buying the cheapest laptop that can run Fortnite, The Witcher 3, Starcraft 2, CS:GO, and more!
Don’t Forget Peripherals Like An External Gaming Mouse
While gaming laptops offer you unprecedented portability, they do have some downfalls in comparison to a desktop machine.
Most notably, the touchpad and keyboard setup of a laptop aren’t ideal for all types of games. We highly recommend getting a wireless or USB gaming mouse with multiple buttons on the side.
It may seem frivolous, but trust us when we say it will seriously improve your gaming skills.
This is particularly true for games like Fortnite, where you need to be able to quickly craft a wall for defense against another player.
Having that button directly next to your thumb — rather than having to find it on the keyboard — can make all the difference in the world.
We also recommend picking a gaming mouse with multiple DPI configurations that can be changed on the fly with a single click.
This is extremely helpful for shooters where you want your mouse to move more slowly while zoomed in with a scope. With a single click your mouse speed slows down, and with another click it speeds back up when you are done zooming in to snipe.
High quality headphones or external speakers are another must-buy when picking up a gaming laptop.
Your laptop may have extremely high specs, but it’s a good bet the internal speakers and webcam microphone won’t be amazing.
Especially if you plan on gaming online with friends and need to stay in communication, don’t forget to get a headset with a speaker and a push-to-talk button!
Prices May Fluctuate With Screen Quality
Besides setting aside a little extra money for peripherals such as external mice, keyboards, or speakers, there is another major issue to consider before buying your gaming laptop.
Our table above is primarily focused on the internal hardware specs like CPU speed, amount of RAM, and overall graphics card power.
It’s important to note that prices can change with other features however, and those features can drastically impact your gaming experience.
For instance, you can often find cheaper laptops with 1366 x 768 screen resolutions. While that works fine for typing emails, it isn’t ideal for gaming and won’t give you the best viewing experience.
In general, any serious gamer is going to want to stick with 1920 x 1080 as the lowest acceptable resolution.
For serious videophiles who only want the best, 4k laptops are much more expensive, but offer significantly better visuals.
After consulting our price-to-settings table, you should have a very clear idea of how much to spend to get the cheapest laptop that can run any game you want to play.
Still need a little more help and wondering if the laptop you are looking to buy meets the minimum or recommended specs for any specific game?
You can check out the requirements for nearly any game at SystemRequirementsLab here, or drop us a note below and we’ll help you find an answer!