If there’s one piece of software that’s integral to the gaming experience on PC, it’s your web browser. You might not think that this is an especially important thing to get right if you’re thinking of getting into PC gaming. After all, surely hardware is king, right? Well, the truth is that with the increasing proliferation of cloud gaming, as well as more and more demanding games that are asking for more RAM to run at recommended settings, which browser you use is actually extremely important. Here are some of the best web browsers you should consider if you’re a PC gamer.
Opera has created its GX browser specifically for gamers, and it shows. It’s got all kinds of flashy bells and whistles PC gamers should love; from Razer Synapse integration all the way through to its sleek, stylish aesthetic, Opera GX is the perfect browser of choice if you want all of your software to reflect your status as a gamer.
That’s not all, though; Opera GX is also lightning-fast, being built on the same architecture as the base Opera browser. This means that whether you’re playing a round of online slots or looking up a guide for your new favourite game, you can rely on Opera GX to deliver the goods.
It’s perhaps a little too flashy for some; its neon-soaked “gamer” aesthetic might not be to everyone’s taste. However, its Twitch integration and RAM limiter make it ideal for gamers who want to preserve some of their hardware for running demanding software or stream to their legions of hardcore followers.
- CPU and RAM limiters are great for focusing on gaming
- Sleek “gamer” aesthetic could appeal to you
- Fast browser with the same functionality as the base Opera version
- RGB and Twitch integration make it ideal if you use these features
- Very limited appeal outside of gaming
- Aesthetic will prove divisive
- Not as zippy as some of its rivals
Despite moves being made by several market rivals, Google Chrome is still the world’s most widely-used browser. It’s currently used by about 64% of all users worldwide, with the macOS default browser Safari coming in a very distant second at around 19%. There’s a good reason for Chrome’s ongoing dominance; it is, feature for feature, the most accessible and rich browser available right now.
That’s all well and good, but how is Chrome for gamers? Well, the good news is that if you have a beefy enough setup, then the drawbacks Chrome comes with shouldn’t affect you too much. It can be a RAM hog, especially if you have enough tabs open at once, but any decent gaming setup will likely have a surplus of RAM anyway, so Chrome shouldn’t be too intrusive on this front.
Outside of its memory usage, Chrome works perfectly fine as a browser for PC gaming. It doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles of a more “bespoke” option like Opera GX, but depending on your personal preferences, that may be more appealing for you anyway. If you want a clean, no-fuss browser with strong Google account integration and smooth browsing, Chrome is the browser for you.
- Clean design without any unnecessary bells and whistles
- Lightning-fast if you’ve got the system to keep up with it
- Strong Google integration across all services
- Lots of extensions available
- Can be resource-hungry, especially on older or less powerful machines
- Not the best browser in the world for security or privacy
- Not especially interesting to look at
Firefox has done a lot to improve its reputation in recent years. Though it’s not built on the same Chromium base as many other popular browsers, it makes up for this by being absolutely incredible in terms of speed and user experience. There are some features Firefox doesn’t have that its bigger rivals do, but if you want a browser that gets things done without heavy resource usage, then Firefox should be your go-to.
Another advantage of Firefox over Chrome and other browsers is its emphasis on privacy and security. Firefox knows that Google has had its problems with user data in the past, so it offers a suite of privacy tools to help you protect your identity and your data while you’re browsing. Rest assured that using Firefox means you won’t be sacrificing any of your personal information to shadowy organisations or companies.
There are, of course, drawbacks to Firefox. It doesn’t have the robust extension support or ease of use that Chrome or Opera do. When you’re setting up search engines, for example, you’ll have to do so manually, while Chrome learns which search engines you use and integrates them directly into the address bar. It’s not a dealbreaker, but using Firefox does require some adjustment.
The last browser we’ll be considering today is Microsoft Edge, which comes pre-installed with any machine running Windows. As such, Microsoft really wants Edge to be your browser, which means it’s enabled by default in the Windows settings menu. Disabling it and changing your default browser is difficult in Windows 11, but Microsoft is rolling back this change after it proved controversial.
Edge is a perfectly fine browser. It runs on the Chromium framework, so it supports Chrome extensions. Anything Chrome can do, Edge can also do, with the added bonus of privacy features intended to help you drop trackers and cookies from websites you don’t want to keep your data. With that in mind, it might not be worth installing any other browser if you’re happy with Edge.
As with the others, there are downsides to Edge. Microsoft’s aggressive approach may turn off those who like choice, and it isn’t as good at integrating your Google account as Chrome. It’s frequently faster, though, and it’s certainly a huge improvement over both previous incarnations of Edge and previous Microsoft browsers, so let that inform your decision.
- A solid Chromium browser with all of Chrome’s functionality
- Great privacy trackers
- Sleek, no-nonsense look
- Perhaps a little too similar to Chrome
- Microsoft seems desperate for you to use it