Should You Keep Your Laptop Plugged in While Gaming?

Yes, here’s why it’s important to play games with the charger connected.

Worse Performance

Current battery technology cannot provide enough power to sustain a gaming laptop with discrete NVIDIA or AMD graphics.

Simply put, this means you will get worse FPS while playing on battery power.

Gaming laptop FPS with charger unplugged compared to charger connected

Not to mention most gaming laptops only last between 1-2 hours on battery while playing a game in our testing anyway.

Many gaming laptops automatically lower the refresh rate of the screen down to 60Hz when you unplug to help save power, so this also means the screen won’t be as smooth. You can disable this feature, but then we run into the next problem:

Battery Degrades Faster

Laptop batteries degrade over time. An older battery with more use won’t last as long compared to when it was brand new – that’s just an unfortunate fact.

The more discharge and recharge cycles a battery goes through, the less it will last. So consider plugging in your gaming laptop unless you don’t have easy access to your charger and a power point.


If you’ve got your charger with you, plug your gaming laptop in to save the battery and get best performance.

But don’t let this stop you from actually using your laptop as a laptop! Laptops are meant to be portable devices, just stick to lighter workloads when on battery power for best longevity.


  • Marko

    Hi! The point about gaming on battery brings me to question if it would be useful to expand the GPU power scaling graph down to 5-10W, so we can see what GPU makes the most sense if you’re playing on battery?

    Would love to see a more detailed video exploring the nuances of laptop usage on battery. Key points of interest might be:

    1. Is there a point on the efficiency curve where it’s more efficient to use the integrated graphics?
    2. Being aware of power usage (RivaTuner)
    3. Being willing to sacrifice performance (Instead of 1080p Medium, turn down to 720P Low, or ultra performance DLSS Low)
    4. Methods (fps capping, power limiting, undervolting etc).
    5. Understanding that if your battery has a capacity of XWh, then you can use it for X/total-wattage hours, and then using all of this info to hit that target total wattage usage.

    It doesn’t have to be just 1-2 hours of gaming if you learn to shave off every unnecessary watt.

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