Can You Play Video Games on a Non-Gaming Laptop?

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Every online and traditional retail store for electronics has different sections for work laptops, student laptops, business laptops, and of course, gaming laptops. Does that mean a laptop from the work section cannot be used to game? What about a gaming laptop that a student intends to write his essays on? Is there really a distinction between gaming laptops and laptops marked as being suited for studying, working, or anything else? There is no universal answer here and we need to delve in a bit deeper into computer hardware to understand it. Let’s start by trying to answer the main question: can non-gaming laptops run video games?

Non-Gaming Laptops Can Run Video Games, But…

Yes, even PCs not branded as gaming laptops can run video games. However, that does not mean all non-gaming laptops can run all games in general because the answer is not as simple. There are several variables:

  • The hardware configuration of the laptop.
  • The kind of games you want to play.
  • When the games were released.
  • Each game’s official, minimum system requirements.

As we explain the aspects in brief next, you will know pretty much all that there is to know before buying your new laptop.

Hardware Configuration

The hardware configuration of a PC is the single most important factor that decides whether it can be used for one purpose or the other. For example, the latest Intel Arc Graphics processors are powerful enough to be used for rendering, editing, and designing in 3D. Some of the world’s best creative laptops are powered by Intel’s new accelerated processing units (APU) with enhanced GPUs. 

Can a laptop like that also run the latest games? The answer is yes, coupled with 16GB RAM, these are indeed powerful enough to run even the latest AAA games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Forza Horizon 4, and Hitman 3. You will need to tweak the graphics settings a bit to get 30fps+ on average, but you can certainly play AAA titles on a professional laptop PC with Intel Graphics. Click here to see the most versatile laptops with Intel Arc GPUs.

Game Type

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is a collection of five amazing 2D platformers built in nostalgic pixel art and it will run beautifully on almost any PC. If you don’t care for pixel art, but love Metroidvania games, Guacamelee 1 & 2 will deliver that and more in a spicy burst of color and Lucho Libre action without a single stutter on your 5-year-old laptop! There are countless, brilliant indie games across all possible genres that run fine on any decent laptop or desktop PC.

However, if you have plans to run Cyberpunk 2077 or Crysis Remastered in Ultra Settings at 1080p, you will need to buy a dedicated gaming/workstation-class laptop for that. Go back by a few years and see the options you have in games. Classics like Rayman: Legends and Megaman X never get or feel old.

In case you have a commercial workstation built for running 3D simulations, rest assured that you don’t need a gaming laptop. The Quadro series of graphics processors are extremely capable gaming GPUs as well.

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