Links For Essential Gaming Resources

I feel it may be handy to have a thread where we can share links and information about essential gaming resources. By this I mean driver, game, software and runtime updates that each of us commonly find ourselves using.

I'll kick it off with the Latest Visual C++ Redistributable Runtimes All-in-One Download | TechPowerUp which has just been updated.

It's updated as and when Microsoft release new C++ runtime and contains the entire back catalog along with an installer.bat to run in terminal that will install the lot for your. It will make near enough any game playable on Windows 10/11 that would otherwise throw up runtime mismatch errors and is way more convenient than wading through the Microsoft Download site looking for them individually

Please add your own below!

  • Nexus Mods is handy if you are into game modding but if you are you probably would already know about it. Curseforge can be quite good too but it doesn't cover very many games. Free tools like CPUID HWMonitor and GPU-Z/CPU-Z are invaluable for trouble shooting and monitoring especially on unknown systems. And MSI Afterburner with RivaTuner for monitoring and overclocking GPUs. I often use Gamespot GameFAQs for user generated game guides, cheats and walkthroughs (it's surprising how quickly a guide can appear after a new game release and some of them are mindbogglingly detailed).

    But re: C++ redistros, every now and then I just open an elevated command prompt and run "winget upgrade --all". It searches your computer for anything installed that has a newer version out and automatically updates it for you using the correct version for your device without the need for you to faff around with separate installers. It catches most* things including C++ Redistributables and lets you know if there was anything it couldn't update. *It often doesn't see games that need updated through portals like Steam/Epic/GOG etc unfortunately (that would be brilliant) but it does update the Steam/Epic/GOG launchers themselves. Handy for updating all the apps you might have installed and forgotten about.

  • winget is a great tool but I wouldn't use the --all switch for upgrade personally, I prefer a slightly more granular approach to maintain some control over certain programs that I want to keep specific versions of (it is possible to pin them of course)

  • Very true. I'm not so fussy Sweat smile I just go for the latest version of everything regardless of whether it really needs to be updated or not.

  • Another old but gold essential bit of kit to have in the armoury is DirectX June 2010 because it contains some extras that really old games require to run. It does also ask for .net runtime to be installed which windows will add as a component during the install process. When you run the downloaded EXE it actually just extracts to a folder of your choosing. Inside that folder look for dxsetup.exe and run that.

    Download DirectX Redist (June 2010) from Official Microsoft Download Center

  • Personally, I highly value HWinfo, even if your machine is brand new, it always pays to be able to check what is going on with it.

    For Legion laptops, I also use LegionToolKit. It is a lightweight all in one option for Vantage that retains all software update and system control functionality without all the bloat and tracking.

  • Do you use that as an alternative to Vantage, or alongside it?

  • I want to pop this thread back up to the top because I think it could be really useful. I'm not sure I have any "essential" resources to add on top of what's already been suggested, but two really interesting programs that I discovered a while ago are:

    1) NucleusCoop (https://nucleus-coop.github.io/): This program is awesome because it allows you to play games that aren't natively split-screen compatible in split screen! Be warned, it does require a powerful computer (because you are essentially running the same game twice at the same time) and a big screen, but it's such a great concept, and really opens up worlds of possibility with games that you've always thought SHOULD be couch co-op.

    2) Sandboxie Plus (https://sandboxie-plus.com/): I'll just quote from the website with this one: "It creates a sandbox-like isolated operating environment in which applications can be run or installed without permanently modifying the local or mapped drive. An isolated virtual environment allows controlled testing of untrusted programs and web surfing." Very interesting applications with this one because the isolated environment has myriad uses (I experimented with it and was able to play multiplayer against myself using two separate monitors). Would probably be most useful for coders who wanted to test their applications in a 'vacuum', but I would be interested in hearing about other use cases too!

  • Didn't see this till just now.

      They conflict if you try to run both, toolkit does have a feature you can use that disables Vantage without uninstalling it if you want to do it that way.

    For me  when I know everything is golden I uninstall Vantage and just use tool kit.

  • DDU driver uninstaller is sometimes needed to fix issues with graphics drivers, as they don't uninstall completely when doing the normal uninstall.

  • The second one seems quite interesting.
    It seems similar to a Virtual machine. It's widely used to configure test environments but I've never considered using it for gaming. Interesting!