Every gamer has their trusted utilities. From multiplayer communication clients, to emulators; gamers are always connected to their games. Here’s a list of 5 of the gaming communities favorites.
Long gone are the days of configuring autoexec.bat and config.sys files on the PC. While they were required for cd-rom, memory and Sound Blaster settings at system start-up, they were really nothing but a nuisance to deal with. Fortunately today’s modern operating systems are much more transparent in their configuration. Unfortunately, modernization poses a problem for those that want to play some old-school games. Enter DOSBox. Designed specifically for use with classic games that ran in a MS-DOS environment, DOSBox is an x86 emulator that handles all configuration settings for those old favorites we still love to play.
Grabbing a quick screen capture of an in-game accomplishment or some high-quality video of a secret location in a popular title may be the motive to seek out a reliable screen capture utility. No matter the reason, Fraps is one of gaming scene’s most trusted utilities. Being a real-time video capture utility for DirectX and OpenGL applications, Fraps is popular for both benchmarking a computer’s performance and for creating video. Capable of capturing at 1 to 120 frames per second, Fraps allows gamers to create simple screen shots, record FPS for comparison, or for fan created machinima video production.
Every gamer has an emulator (or two) installed on their gaming machine. While there are quite a few available for a variety of past gaming systems, MAME could be considered the king of them all. In development since the mid-nineties as a non-profit project, MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. The software’s goal is to support classic games from the past for education and preservation purposes. As many of the original images from arcade classics are under copyright, MAME does have a catalogue of original and derivative works available for free download and enjoyment.
Video Card Utilities
Video cards have come a long way since the early days of PC computing. In general, a modern video card is a computer within itself. GPU (Graphics processing Unit) speeds and memory found on high end gaming video cards have far surpassed the power of computer from even only a few years back. While most games contain mobile app installs, basic to intermediate graphics setup controls, there is no substitute for the manufacturers latest drivers and the usually overlooked optional control panels. Popular brands such as AMD and NVIDIA offer a control panel specifically designed for their cards that allow for optimization of its performance.
Gamers usually unite, collaborate, and compete while playing their favorite titles. To do so , some form of messaging client is needed. One of the long standing favorites is XFire. XFire which has been around since 2002 is capable of being a game browser and a chat client with plug-ins available for popular messaging clients. Other useful features include XFire’s Livestream technology which allows for in-game video footage to be broadcast as it happens.