PC Gaming FAQ 2015 - Please Read Here First Before Posting

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Shamelessly nicked from Chaos's previous post here and updated slightly.

This is the all new official AV Forums PC Gaming FAQ thread. If you have contributions to be made, please PM me and I will collate the information into the main FAQ. In addition if you find any old threads which you think are essential reading, please let me know so we can include them in the list. :smashin:

Essential Hardware & Software Threads

These threads are a must read for any of you thinking of taking the plunge into PC gaming. Young or old, and whether you come from a Console background or have no gaming experience at all, take a look at these threads for some guidance....

Latest Drivers

Drivers for your spanky new Graphics Card are important, as in most cases updates offer framerate increases or can remove glitches or texture problems, so well worth keeping up to date! This link offers both ATI and Nvidea drivers.

Note that if you have Steam installed, they also provide an update for ATI cards as well.

SSD Drives

More and more popular as the prices falls below a £1/Gb, these drives just make your PC feel a little quicker in response in everyday apps like browsers and they also help games load quicker (if your drive is big enough to install them on). A Guide to install them is here and more discussions on what people think are the best as well as pricing and bargins is found in this thread.

Using a pad on the PC

A few games support the pads natively, but when they do not, this thread gives some sound advice for those of you that prefer the pad over a keyboard and mouse combo.

Steam community usernames

Trawl through this thread and pick up some names. People also have them in their signatures, and the AVForums Steam group also may have some users not listed in the thread. Also, you can add your Steam Card as your Avatar within these very boards by following the instructions here:

How to display your Steam Gamercard next to your posts | AVForums

If you don't know what Steam actually is, read below.

3D Gaming

For those of you with 3D enabled GPU/TFTs and really want that extra level of emersion into your games, then this thread should be a good port of call.

Member Rigs

Just when you think you have your setup just how you want it, you read this thread and bang! you suddenly need a new case, GPU or fan to match the colour of your dog. If you have upgradeitus, stay away from this thread. In fact, you will need to stay away from this thread as well!

Monitor Info

Our very own Monitor Whore Sega Mega Dave has written up some fantastic info on TFTs, with advice on the different types of monitors and what all the little numbers and acronyms mean.


This thread is for those of you that must bring up consoles at every opportunity. We don't want to know about them here, as they are like a foreign country that exists somewhere far away but we don't need too visit as they have funny tasting food thank you very much. Be warned, those of you that do break this cardinal sin will have to read the entire linked thread, and then answer a quiz to be able to post back in these forums.

However, if you are a console gamer, and want to know what all the fuss is about, then this sums up quite nicely 'Should I move to a PC from a console'

Simple and short answer = Yes

More details answer responding to your questions would be.

1) Yes there is a difference, every game i have played looks so much better on a PC than it does on a console even if they are console ports. Higher resolutions, higher frames per second, the limit is pretty much your hardware. It's a much better experience and as you say much cheaper. Unfortunately you can't sell games on though but for the price you pay it's not a big deal. On release i bought Fifa for £23, F1 2012 for £18 and X-COM for £22 with a free game. I don't care about selling them on for that price on release.

2) Yes there is more tinkering with graphics card settings if you want to. Most people though will set up their GPU software once and then just adjust each game once and play. That said the more you get into it you will try and inch every bit out of a game by trying different levels of AA etc... Not needed but fun. I can't remember the last time i had a crash as PC gaming has come a long way since those days and support for hardware is much better.

3) Yes BF3 has 64 players online compared to consoles and it's night and day better, racing games are better and smoother plus you can multi screen. Also no online costs as it's all free to play online, voice comms is better too as you use dedicated software and we have a good community of regulars who have a laugh, take the **** and team up well. Everyone is welcome.

4) 360 pad is supported and is well worth having for football and racing if you don't use a wheel. You can buy game pads like Logitch G13 and Razor Nostromo, these are customisable and remove the need for the keyboard, i use the Logitech G13 and it's fantastic plus it has a screen to monitor in game temps, frame rates etc...

5) The mod scene, games like Skyrim are modded so it's like a completely different game, a lot of games support community modding which means bug fixes, much better textures, gameplay and generally full of awesomeness.

6) Oh and i bet consoles can't do PlanetSide 2 which is a futuristic free to play FPS game that has 2,000 players on each server and the maps are about 100 times than all BF3 maps put together, 64km SQ i think. There are regular battles over stations of a few hundred soldiers, tanks and planes.

7) It's also a PC so it does so much more, you don't need a seperate laptop, tablet blah blah!

9) Look at the video and screen shot thread on here for examples of what you can get.

8) What i'm saying is DO IT!!!!!!


Game Video Reviews

Carnagerover has been doing quite a few 'quick look' reviews of games, everything from Dishonoured to retro games such as Carmageddon. A few naughty words within, so not good for work, not that you should be watching videos of games at work anyway......

Also, a non forum member who's video's I watch a lot of, is Total Biscuits What The Flip [insert game here].


Both Steam and Origin are two (free) client installations that are online stores as well as game matchups and messenging services (see above for usernames) and logging achievements for games played.

Quite frankly they are at the core of PC gaming now, and you simply cannot do without at least one of them. Steam is the daddy at the moment, with 6+ years under its belt, and a massive wealth of 1000's of games from A* titles down to Indie clasics.

Origin you will have because you will be playing Battlefield 3, Fifa or The Sims, and its much the same, just on a smaller scale (and always will be unless it entices more publishers away from Steam.)

Pricing for both stores for titles are as normally higher than the bricks and mortar stores (and even online), but when the sales hit town.......you will try holding on to the purse strings, but find them oh so willing to part with your cash.

Popular Games

This section is for the threads that have been talked about so much that they have gone into multiple 1000' post threads:

Battlefield 3


Make sure you read MrIdontKnow's awesome guide to making it all look, well, awesome.



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Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Updated links and added Star Wars.

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Updated links, added Diablo III.

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Updated Links, added in a little video review section (Total Biscuits 'What the flip' reviews as well as our own Carnagerover Quick Looks), added in Sega Mega Dave's TFT overview as well as his response to a console owner thinking of joining our side of the fence (the best side obviously, where our chickens roam free*)

* Please excuse my likening PC gaming to that of a Free Range chicken, I did have a really good analogy to why this is true, but its like one of those dreams where you wake up and go, yes, we should all do this! ...but cant actually remember what 'this' is. :blush:

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Added the link to the Steam User names Avatar - I will update this shortly to reflect that its now 2013 as well....

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
A Guide to Steam Trades

Steamtrades is a way to get a game cheaper than you can normally buy it for. These are normally SteamGifts, but sometimes may be keys issued as part of bundles not issued in the UK, or simply that the conversion rates on other countries are far cheaper.

Visit http://www.steamtrades.com/forum and login with your Steam account name (remember, this may not be the same as your Steam name - my account is not Theydon Bois for instance) - this website is regulated through Steam, and so you will get a email confirming that you are signing onto this website to show you that its secure.

Then search for a game you want in the search bar at the top. In this case, I am looking for the game Spelunky, a game that reminds me of Rick Dangerous on the Atari ST.


[H] Have - they have the items listed.

[W] Want = They want this in trade for the items they [H] Have.

+25/-0 = A users steamrating. You must sign into Steamtrades with a steam account, so you are linked to that account. The first number is the number of trades they have done on this site, and the second number is the negative trades done.

Steam Gift - a tangible item that will show in the steam trade window.

Steam Key - a key that they will post in the chat window that you redeem as you would for any other game in Steam bought from elsewhere (Like GreenManGaming for instance). The Steam key is a less secure transaction (as you are basically handing over items in a trade window for nothing UNTIL they post the key in a chat window), so don't trade for Steam Keys on high ticket items if the seller has zero or very low feedback, just for security.

You will be expected to go first if you have little or no feedback, but double check you are talking to the person you say you are by checking the traders steam profile - if they have low trades, no games, hidden inventory or profile, then they are likely to be scamming you - so just take a moment to check before you hand over your keys.

ROW - Rest of World. Normally added to the end of a game this indicates that it was bought in somewhere like Brazil, but does activate in the UK. There are (rare) exceptions to this rule though, so its best to confirm in thread.

+Ref or +Sweets or +TOD - This refers to Refined Metal (TF2) random rares (DOTA2) or Tour of Duty Ticket (TF2) and is always an additional cost on top of the amount of keys required (eg xxxxxxx game = 4 keys + sweets)

If you don't have any of these, then it will likely cost you another key unless you are buying more than one game and can be negotiated.

Refined Metal is not available on the Steam marketplace, and so needs to be traded seperately for, Random Rares can be bought from the marketplace, but so many people have restrictions - such as saying they dont want a certain characters items so you may need to find out what they actually want. Tour Of Duty tickets can be bought on the market, and cost ~60p.

Pick someone from your search that has the game you want listed (as a [H]) and see what they want for it.


This trader wants 5 Keys (approx. £7.50 versus the current £12 Steam price), which is not bad at all - most other people have it for 6 keys (approx. £9). Now, based on what it says in the thread, you need to follow the instructions. Normally, its one of two variations:

Don't Ninja Add me/discuss in thread: They are pro traders and have hundreds of people adding them that they don't care about, so have got to the point where they invite people and ignore everyone else, which is fair enough. Just add a comment to say something like 'Agreed, x Keys for x game' and they will send you an invite in time.

Add for quick trade: Simply click on their name to get their profile and add them through steam normally, and wait for them to respond.

So, what are keys, and where do you get them from? In most cases, keys refer to TF2 (Team Fortress) or DOTA2 Keys, which are originally used to open crates and chests (think of them as booster packs, to earn a random item for a random character) in their respective games. You can purchase them through the game itself (DOTA has a store inside the game, and I imagine, TF2 does as well) from the TF2 and DOTA websites or you can buy them from the Steam market, which is effectively purchasing from other players.

Within Steam, Click Community, then Market.


You then are presented with this screen, which shows all the items currently for trade and purchase throughout the steam community. All of the transactions here are all regulated by Steam, and so its highly unlikely to be scammed and is very secure. Whether you buy from the store or from the Market, you will need to have funds in your Steam account. You can add to your Steam credit via credit card/Paypal, and an item for sale is removed from your inventory so you cannot sell it twice. When you purchase from the store, the item is delivered instantly - it makes no difference if the person you are buying from is in a different country or haven't been logged in for months as Steam handle both sides of the transaction.


Each Key cost £1.49 from their respective stores, but on the market can fluctuate - you may see some at closer to £1.40 or they may go to £1.60 - The graph below charts the fluctuation in price over the last few weeks. Pick a seller, and click the buy button - the process is repeated for the amount of keys you want, you cannot buy multiple items at the same time even if they are from the same person.

Remember, only buy from the Market if the keys are less than £1.49 - you can buy them direct from the game's store for £1.49 each - the screenshot below shows them above the stores own price!


So you now have your keys, and that's basically it for the moment. The person will add you, and after the customary 'hello' you trade as you would trade anything in Steam. Activate or redeem the game, and after some parting pleasantries, you part ways. Always leave feedback (in Steamtrades and on their Steam Profile page) - click on their name (back in the Steamtrades thread) and you can add a little comment such as "Good trader, quick and easy +rep" or variation thereof which will increase their feedback score, and they will do the same for you.

Job done!
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Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Just as an addition to the above - until they stabilize, Dota2 keys have dropped massively in price, so buy TF2 keys instead. you will see a lot of traders that have different prices for the same item such as xyz game for 3 x TF2 keys or 5 x DOTA2 Keys.

Also added information on TOD (Tour of Duty tickets) which is an addon to prices like Ref or Sweets.
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Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Guide to the Dispenser Bot

Head over to Trades - Dispenser.tf and as usual with any Steamtrading site, click the green button to sign into Steam.

Then (confusingly) in the Sell box, type in what game you are looking for, in this case I want Thief.


A few traders have it, but this one has it for 4 rather than 4 + Ref, or 5 that others are selling it for. If you hover over the game, a little pop up box appears to give you more detail - this is especially important if you are after a complete/deluxe version (or to prevent you from accidently buying a DLC of the game rather than the game itself) of the game as sometimes Steams icons are not clear.

Note: The icons are taken from Steam themselves, so it is not possible to disguise the old Thief games with the new ones - if you are unsure, check Steam itself to see what the game icon is like in your wishlist.


Clicking on the game will take you to the following screen. Simply select the item you want, and then how you will pay for it. You need to already have the items in hand before you complete this step. In this case, I need 4 TF2 keys in my inventory before I can complete the trade.

Once you have done that, you follow the numbered instructions in the bottom section of the page - open yoursteam trade page (1) to get your unique trade URL (2) and then paste it into the box marked (3)


Once you have entered your trade URL and clicked enter, a message pops up to let you know the trade has started.


And then queued...


And then in the bottom corner a little popup to say that a bot will deal with you - click the message to continue.


The standard Steam Trade window then appears, populating both parties with the respective items. You can hover over the item to confirm its correct - the ROW meaning Rest of the World and one that is usuable in the UK.


And after clicking Accept Trade, we are all done.

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Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Steam Trades Update

Buying to order* now means you have to trade keys first, then they gift you the game.

Steam added a 30 day period to the trading, to ensure the game is not rescinded due to non payment. As always, avoid people with minimal or negative feedback, and dont buy high value items unless you are completely sure!

* By this I mean, the adverts that have Steam Daily Deals from Russian or other foreign markets - games they dont have in stock, and are buying on your behalf.

Of course, this means that before you traded at the same time then got the game taken from you, while the scammer took your keys, and this time you are giving your keys first, so the scammer doesnt need to give you anything or still gifts you a game that can be later rescinded.......just stick to the rule of 'if in doubt, dont trade'.

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Unpinned this....it will sink to the bottom like a frozen Jack


Distinguished Member
I will go down with this ship...


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Are we now abandoning all authority and heading for anarchy? AVF Brexit effect? The last bastions of hope have been dropped. @Theydon Bois save us!

Greg Hook

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Throwback to the days when SSDs were £1/GB!

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Are we now abandoning all authority and heading for anarchy? AVF Brexit effect? The last bastions of hope have been dropped. @Theydon Bois save us!

You volunteering to update it all and make it relevant? :D

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