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Counter Strike 2 is now available on Steam for free!

After a huge period of beta testing, Counter Strike 2 has been officially released as a Free to Play on Steam by Valve on Windows and Linux PC systems.
Every PC gamer has a Steam account making it almost impossible to not know what Counter Strike is.

Replacing the former title Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), CS2 is a brand new, overhauled version of the beloved game that brings new features to the popular competitive Esports platform.
CS2 uses the Source 2 engine from valve that provides a host of quality of life improvements as well as features that will enhance tactical gameplay and overall gaming experience.

 

 

Smoke grenades are a huge factor in high level Counter Strike gameplay. Watching any Global Elite level play will showcase what knowledge of smoke grenade throws can do to turn the tide of a game.
In CS2, smoke is a dynamic, volumetric object that interacts with the environment. Throwing a smoke no longer involves hoping that the grenade lands in the perfect spot. The smoke will envelop bomb sites and choke points in the map to fill the space better. However, smokes also react to other environmental factors to give both teams advantages. Firing your weapon through a smoke will cut a small window through the smoke so you can ‘peek’ at the enemy position. Throwing a frag grenade towards a smoke blocked corridor will not only damage any players lurking in the smoke but clear the smoke from the area too.

 

Tick Rate improvements server side show a dedication to improving the player experience at high level play. Previously on CS:GO, many players used third party matchmaking services like FACEIT to access dedicated servers with high tick rates. The overall feeling of the game on a server with a good tick rate was a huge difference and provided an incredibly smooth experience. Now with CS2, Valve has implemented server side improvments that mitigate much of the issues that high level players reports. From the off, CS2 feels smooth and the gunplay is responsive out of the box.

With a host of upgrades on the horizon for CS2, your CSGO items will all carry over to the new platform.
Counter Strike is a rewarding and challenging title that encourages teamwork, tactical awareness and strategy. It’s a must play for any first person shooter fan.

Try it out today here on Steam 

CS2 is designed to be easy to run and will perform admirably on most modern PC Systems.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS – MINIMUM:
OS: Windows® 10
Processor: 4 hardware CPU threads – Intel® Core™ i5 750 or higher
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Video card must be 1 GB or more and should be a DirectX 11-compatible with support for Shader Model 5.0
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 85 GB available space

Check out the Stormforce systems for Counter Strike 2 Here

 

 

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Stormforce Gaming – The Best Free PC Games Available!

Get gaming on your new Stormforce System with this list of Free to Play essential titles!

One of the best things about gaming in 2022 is the shift in how games development is funded. Many games still adhere to the classic structure where a game is developed and the customer buys the title. In the past decade PC gaming has seen a great shift towards games that offer free to play elements or are completely free to play.

If something is a too good to be true, there is usually a catch, right? Well, probably yes. Every free to play game is usually available to you at no cost with some features implemented to help fund development of the title. Usually this includes microtransactions or in game currency purchases to enable you to unlock cosmetic skins and additional content. The good news is that most games that are classed as ‘Free to Play’ are just that. You don’t need to spend any money on content to have access to a pretty substantial list of games to keep you busy. We would suggest trying a game out properly and really getting a lot of hours on it before parting with any cash.

If you are downloading free to play games for your children then it is really important to make sure they don’t have access to payment and wallet services. It is a really good idea to consider only buying pre paid credits for games you are playing. Many supermarkets and game shops carry these gift cards. They work in game to provide ‘in game currency’ and can help you put in place a sensible spending cap.

We have put together a list of our favourite PC Games which can be picked up today completely free.
Every game title also has a handy link so you can download the game easily.
This is a great way to get gaming on your Stormforce PC and in some cases these titles offer cross platform play allowing you to join in on games with your friends who play on other platforms too!

Overwatch 2 Teamwork

Overwatch 2
The return of Overwatch sees a move to Play for Free. Including over 35 heroes, loads of maps, game modes and optional season content, Overwatch 2 has a plethora of content to get you gaming with friends using crossplay and progression across multiple platforms. There is a huge amount of depth to Overwatch and the new reduction of team size in the new game gives you a real focus on teamwork and class choice. Gamers who enjoy shooters but aren’t hyper competitive can also get a huge amount out of Overwatch 2 as there are many heroes on the roster that reward team play and support roles just as much as damage dealers.

 

Genshin Impact has a vast world to explore

Genshin Impact
Fans of open world RPG games will love what Genshin Impact has to offer. There is a gigantic amount of content on offer in this game with a vast world to explore and a host of future content planned. Genshin Impact features a really long main story with loads of puzzles, side quests and bosses to battle through. The content on offer already is really worth checking out if you have ever played a Zelda game and want more. Genshin does rely quite a lot on microtransactions but that element is quite easy to ignore and you can get a huge amount of play time and value from the game without spending a single penny.

World of Tanks
If you like tanks. Then you’re going to love World of Tanks. This title takes a bit of getting used to but there is a handy newcomers guide on the World of Tanks website that will help you get to grips with the way the game works quickly. WoT is a really popular game which relies on good movement, decisive decision making and strategy to succeed. You can upgrade and customise your vehicles over time to personalise your experience and play in a variety of maps and warzones that suit you. We have found that WoT runs really well on a huge variety of hardware and our customers who play the game always comment how nicely it runs on even an entry level Stormforce System

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0
You don’t need to buy Modern Warfare II to play the new version of Warzone. Warzone 2.0 is a free to play element within the Call of Duty offering and the new version launching 16/11/22 will bring a brand new map with a host of new features. Warzone is one of the most popular battle royale titles available and the new version looks set to up the ante with a new wave of ways to play the game. See you in the Gulag!
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for Call of Duty and Warzone – Here

Scour ancient worlds in Destiny 23

Destiny 2
From Bungie, the creators of Halo. Destiny 2 is the definitive action MMO game. Destiny puts you into a massive galaxy where you can explore a continually growing collection of vibrant and interesting worlds. Destiny 2 is a challenging game that you can play and improve solo or work with friends to build your character and develop your armour, weapons and combat style. Featuring multiplayer combat as well as co-op exploration there is something in Destiny 2 for everyone. Destiny 2 has a lot to learn as it has been around for a long time. There is a great new player guide available that will really help you get stuck into this world.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer
The Campaign for Halo Infinite is a full price game, however the multiplayer is free to play. Launching at the end of 2021, Halo Infinite multiplayer got mixed reviews but remains a really cool PC gaming experience. Halo offers awesome gunplay with the classic feeling Halo shooting and movement. There is plenty of action in Halo Infinite and whilst it is really geared towards FPS players with experience, there is a good matchmaking system that usually pairs you up with players of similar skill so you have a balanced experience and don’t get stomped by elite players immediately. There is a steep learning curve to Halo Infinite but it is super rewarding once you learn to balance your shield, ammo and movement to your benefit.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for Halo Infinite – Here

Rocket League
This might be potentially the most addictive game ever created. Rocket League is easy to play but difficult to master and rewards practice. The principle is simple. Arcade style RC Car Soccer. Ball goes in goal – Explosions happen. Rocket League has a huge player base and a great league system meaning you can work your way up and always have competitive games available to you. It doesn’t matter if you are nudging the ball around or volleying it into the back of the net with a turbo boosted backflip corkscrew turn. Rocket League is about as satisfying to get right as it is when you start out and you suck at the game. We recommend a controller for this one to get the best experience but it is entirely workable with a keyboard and mouse.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for Rocket League – Here

Multiversus
This free to play platform fighting game features a host of Warner Bros and DC Superheroes characters from your favourite TV shows and movies. You can play as Rick and Morty, the cast of Scooby Doo, Adventure Time, Superman, Tom and Jerry… You get the idea. This game shares a lot of similarities to Super Smash Bros but is available on all the major next gen platforms with robust cross play features meaning there is always a game to be played. Multiversus controls really well and is a must try if you like fighting games or want some arcade action with solid gameplay.

Dota 2
The most played game on Steam. Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients) has been around since 2013 and in that time has established itself as the premier platform for MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) gameplay. Every game of Dota 2 is different and there is a complexity to the game that keeps players coming back for more. The game is difficult to master but very rewarding. There is plenty of instructions and hints to help new players get to grips with the game too. Dota 2 has a real focus on competitive balance and the core of the game is designed with fair play and balance in mind. With over 100 heroes to choose from (all of which are free) there is something for everyone to identify with in this amazing game.

Apex Legends
This game came out of nowhere and immediately established itself as one of the ultimate Battle Royale experiences. Apex does things differently by introducing legends with unique skills to the battle royale format. You can play Apex on huge maps with the typical battle royale combat traits or duke it out in smaller close combat arenas that depend on skill more than the element of surprise. Apex has an ever changing list of modes and content changes each season to keep things fresh.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for Apex Legends – Here

Fortnite
If you’re on our website then you probably already know exactly what this is but for anybody who has lived under a rock since 2017, there is a game called Fortnite and loads of people play it. Fortnite Battle Royale and Creative mode are the free to play modes that offers a huge amount of depth and content whilst presenting you with new and exciting ways to empty your wallet on cosmetics and dance around your friends and enemies. Fortnite is a really well supported title and it isnt going away any time soon so there has never been a better time to give it a try and see if it works for you.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for Fortnite – Here

League of Legends
League is a MOBA game that pits heroes against eachother in an exciting and competitive way. League has been free forever but does offer character customisation at additional cost. The game is played with two teams of five players battling against eachother for control of the map. Each player controls a champion that brings unique special abilities that can counter other players in specific ways. There is a lot of depth to League that is hard to describe to newcomers but the game is really easy to pick up as there is a real focus on accessibility. League will run really well on even the most modest hardware so it is worth giving the game a try.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for Fortnite – Here

Team Fortress 2
TF2 has been around since 2007 and has always been popular in the PC gaming community due to its excellent gameplay and unique art style. TF2 went free to play in 2011 and since then the game has had a steady influx of new players. Whilst there isn’t a gigantic amount of fresh content coming out for TF2, there is certainly enough for a new player to enjoy. TF2 remains one of the most exciting, accessible multiplayer shooters on the PC and will entertain you no matter your skill level with shooting games. If you find a good group, server or Discord community to play with then TF2 is a vibrant and fun game to pick up and play often and remains truly excellent even after all these years.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive
If you like challenge, teamwork and chickens then this is the game for you. Dominating the competitive FPS scene for nearly a decade, CS:GO is a complex and deep shooter with potentially the best gunplay in any PC game available today. There is a nice feeling of balance and CS:GO provides a refined competitive experience that is rewarding to all ability levels. If you want a competitive shooter then this is a great starting point and will keep you busy for a long time.
Pro Tip: you run faster with a knife.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for CS:GO – Here

Valorant
The competitive FPS title from the makers of League of Legends. Valorant mixes competitive shooter elements with hero shooter abilities. There is a unique feeling to playing Valorant and the cool art style means that it runs really well on most systems. Pairing the precision gunplay style of hardcore FPS titles like CS:GO with specialist hero abilities is a breath of fresh air that leads to a tactical and strategic playstyle that feels satisfying to pull off well. RIOT games continually balance and update Valorant meaning the game feels fresh, well maintained and rewarding.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for Valorant – Here

Fall Guys
Welcome to the Blunderdome! Fall Guys is a battle royale game with a difference. You take part in a series of ‘its a knockout’ style events which narrow down the field of 60 players down to one winner. Every round of Fall Guys presents an obstacle course full of peril that each player must rush to complete at the same time as the rest of the field. Chaos ensues when every player is stumbling along trying to get to the finish line. Fall Guys is also another cross platform game which allows you to play alongside your friends on Nintendo Switch, Playstation and XBOX platforms too.

Shatterline
Released this year in early access, Shatterline is the newest title in this list and perhaps one of the most interesting. Developed by an independent studio in Kyiv, Ukraine. Shatterline is an arena FPS title with a strong collection of exciting game modes and a roguelike coop mode. Shatterline brings a different flavour of FPS to the table with a diverse list of game modes including TDM, Conquest, Plant the Bomb and Escort. In addition, the coop mode ‘Expedition’ in Shatterline is an interesting way to work together with a team through a narrative driven storyline. Whilst the game is still in development for a scheduled full release in Feburary 2023, there is a lot to do here and Shatterline remains one to watch as the team continue putting out meaningful updates in a timely manner.

PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner. PUBG – previously known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds  is one of the early hits in the battle royale genre. The game was originally available as a mod but soon developed into a standalone game. Up to 100 players parachute down into the map to scavenge for weapons, armour and loot. The aim of the game is to eliminate other players before being eliminated yourself. With the safe area always closing in, PUBG presents the classic Battle Royale formula in a way that many other titles imitate but few manage to master. This is an intense and difficult game that is a real challenge to win. Recently PUBG has had a lot of quality of life improvements since moving to Free to Play. This easier to navigate control scheme and user interface really helps the game to be more accessible to new players. You will die a lot, but thats PUBG. Ranked modes in PUBG are charged using a battlepass system but there is plenty to try out for no charge here whilst you get your skills up to scratch.
View Stormforce Gaming Systems designed for PUBG – Here

Best Gaming PC for Free to Play games

The best thing about free to play games is that many of them are designed to run on a wide spectrum of hardware specifications. Many of the games mentioned in this post are fairly low in demand and will play really well on just about any system. Below are links to our most popular website categories that will help you decide what system to go for.

Stormforce Gaming - Price Bracket Under £1000If you are looking to purchase a system from Stormforce, the gaming PCs under £1000 category shows off our whole range of entry level systems. Every system in this range is a good option for most of the titles mentioned here but for more demanding games like Warzone, Halo and Destiny, it is best to consider systems with an RTX graphics card.

Stormforce Gaming - Price Bracket £1000 - £2000

Our mid range systems will handle every game on this list with ease and they will run super smooth at higher graphics settings.  Our mid range systems are designed to handle AAA titles with ease as well so these systems would be the most balanced option for a gamer looking for a great all rounder system with no compromises on performance.

Whatever game you are most interested in playing, we are here to help. If you are unsure or need to discuss your spec with one of our expert team, you can contact us for more advice on the best gaming system for you!

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Top 5 Gaming PCs to Play Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite Battle Royale
Stormforce Gaming logo black

Top 5 Gaming PCs to Play
Fortnite Battle Royale

Power Up Your Weapons

Fortnite Battle Royale is a free-to-play battle royale video game developed and published by Epic Games.

The concept of the game is similar to previous games of the genre: 100 players skydive onto an island and scavenge for gear to defend themselves from other players. Players can fight alone (Solo), with one additional player (Duos), three players (Trios), or with a group of four (Squads).

As the match progresses, the playable area within the island gradually constricts, giving the players less and less room to work with; outside this safe zone is “the Storm”, which inflicts damage on those caught inside it, with the amount of damage growing as the Storm itself does. The last player or team alive wins the match.

"Fortnite is one of the most popular Battle Royale titles on the planet. Stormforce Gaming has spent years advising gamers on the best options for a Fortnite gaming system. Our entry level range is designed to play Fortnite performance mode or regular mode at a slightly lower FPS.
All of our systems with dedicated graphics cards can play Fortnite well and every Stormforce Crystal system (or higher) will be able to run the game at max settings. Players aiming to run Fortnite at 4K and high FPS should consider a system from our Prism range"
Stormforce logo Icon Black 2
Rich O'Neill
Stormforce Gaming
Our Top 5 recommended Gaming PCs to play Fortnite Battle Royale:

Fortnite Battle Royale – Recommended system requirements:

  • CPU: Core i5 2.8 Ghz
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows 7/8/10/11 64-bit
  • VIDEO CARD: Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 equivalent DX11 GPU
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 32 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 2048 MB

 

Fortnite Battle Royale – Minimum system requirements:

  • CPU: Core i3 2.4 Ghz
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • OS: Windows 7/8/10/11 64-bit
  • VIDEO CARD: Intel HD 4000
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 32 GB
3 Year Warranty Included
Free Technical Support
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AMD Ryzen 5000 ‘Cezanne Zen 3’ – Desktop APUs for Gaming

AMD Ryzen 5000G APUs have arrived, offering all round performance in entry level gaming and productivity…

One of the most popular products within the Stormforce Gaming range over the past few years has been the AMD APU range. APU or Accelerated Processing Unit offers a unique product to gamers on a tight budget or with less demanding gaming requirements making them perfect for gamers who want a performance system that can tackle every day computing tasks with ease as well as handling games with lower system requirements.

An APU system is a great starting point for gamers new to PC gaming. If you purchase an APU based system you can start playing straight out of the box using the integrated graphics capabilities included in the APU and then potentially upgrade your system later down the line with a graphics card when budget allows or if you encounter a more demanding game you are keen to play.

APU is not a new proposition, in fact an APU simply means a processor with graphics on the same chip. Each APU includes processor cores which will vary in speed and cores depending on the model. The new APU products from AMD include the Ryzen 5 5600G, 5650G PRO, Ryzen 7 5700G and 5750G PRO which all come with high performance, multithread CPU cores and graphics on the same chip.

With built-in AMD Radeon™ graphics, Ryzen™ 5000 G-Series desktop processors get you onto the battlefield fast. Play top games in smooth 1080p right out of the box, or upgrade with a graphics card for an even bigger performance boost.

Why is APU a good option for less demanding games?

Most newer games have system requirements which call for a fast CPU and a graphics card to play at max settings. Whilst an APU is not going to take any performance awards for high resolution gaming, the new AMD APU products are targeted at providing a capable gaming experience on 1080p or lower resolutions. This might not sound compelling for hardcore gamers looking for extreme framerates on QHD or 4K resolutions, but the majority of casual and new PC gamers have access to a 1080p HD display.

The new Ryzen APUs from AMD are the perfect option for gamers who want to get PC gaming without having to spend big on a graphics card.

Every Stormforce Gaming APU system comes set up ready to take advantage of the onboard graphics but also gives you the option to install a graphics card later down the line should you want to increase the gaming prowess of your system, play at a higher resolution or run a title that exceeds the capabilities of the APU graphics.

 

Gaming Performance on AMD Cezanne APU Systems

The new AMD Ryzen Cezanne 5000G APU systems can produce great gameplay experiences using only the power of AMD Radeon integrated graphics. PC Gaming offers scalable performance in almost every title meaning you can modify graphics settings to suit your hardware. For a lower performance system this can be incredibly useful as ‘Low’ settings can be very visually impressive still and in some titles setting your graphics settings to low will increase framerates and the feeling of smooth visuals when you are gaming.

Many free to play games are designed to be accessible to the widest range of hardware and work well on lower performance or older specifications. This means that most popular modern titles will be able to run on entry level hardware but please check the system requirements for your games as really demanding, cutting edge games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Microsoft Flight Simulator will not run smoothly on an APU system and would need a dedicated graphics card.

  • Framerate is the number of frames you see per second, often referred to as FPS. (higher is better)
  • A smooth gaming experience is anything in the 60FPS region. (although games with slower gameplay will work well at less than 60fps)
  • 1% low is the lowest framerate seen and will highlight the worst case scenario for performance

We have benchmarked some popular titles to see how they perform on the new AMD Ryzen 5600G APU and give you an indication of what to expect from our new entry level systems.
All benchmarks carried out at 1080p resolution and using the integrated graphics on the 5600G APU.

Counter Strike Global Offensive is an older esports title. The 5600G provides strong performance at medium settings allowing for smooth gameplay.

Fortnite plays at 1080p on the 5600G using low settings. This provides a smooth gameplay experience of 60+ FPS.

Fortnite Performance mode at 1080p scales visual quality down in favour of performance. This provides a 100+ FPS performance experience.

Minecraft runs well on the 5600G and showcases good performance characteristics in all but the most complex of environments.

The popular Esports title, Rainbow Six Siege scales very well and gives consistent framerates on the 5600G APU.

Warzone is the most demanding title we tested and whilst it does mostly output 60+FPS at 1080p using medium settings, there are instances where framerate drops occur.

Warzone shows one scenario where a more demanding title can struggle at times on an APU. The game is mostly playable but in complex scenes with a lot of action taking place, the framerate can suffer. Other titles like Valorant, Apex Legends and Destiny 2 can work well on an AMD Ryzen APU but it is important to remember that the gaming performance will be limited if graphics settings are set too high.

As a rule of thumb it is best to start out setting graphics settings to the lowest possible setting and increasing visual settings in increments to maintain smooth framerates.

If you have an AMD Ryzen APU system from Stormforce Gaming and need advice on a specific title then our customer service team can help advise on settings to try.

 

Upgrade Time!

Each Stormforce Gaming system featuring the AMD Ryzen 5600G and 5700G APU is configured to provide an upgrade path for gamers. The AMD Ryzen 5000G series processors have the advantage of strong CPU performance and entry level graphics performance. When it comes to upgrading, your Stormforce Gaming system has a comprehensive 3 Year Warranty which allows you to add additional components to your system. Whilst extra components are not covered under your system warranty, Stormforce Gaming will support you with upgrade advice and installation tips if you are unsure about the best options for your upgrade.

 

The Stormforce Onyx Ryzen 5 5600G includes the 6 Core AMD Ryzen 5600G APU, 16GB of 3200MHz Memory and a 500GB SSD for rapid game loading times and snappy performance in Windows.

This system features a 500W Power supply meaning that you can install a graphics card in the system to bolster performance in more demanding games.
The AMD Radeon RX 6600XT is a fantastic choice to pair with this system and will increase framerates across every title.

Other great options to pair with this system are the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 3060.

It is worth keeping in mind that this system has a WiFi card installed and will only accommodate graphics cards that are 2 slots tall.

You can install a 3 slot graphics card into this system but would have to remove the WiFi card to fit a video card with a larger cooling fan.

The Stormforce Onyx Ryzen 5 5600G can be found on our website here.

An upgraded system featuring the more powerful Ryzen 7 5700G APU is also available for gamers who need more multitasking performance and extra cores to deal with more demanding workloads. This system is available here.

 

 

 

WARFRAME

Warframe is a free to play, third person, co-op action game set in an ever evolving sci-fi world. Explore huge open worlds and assemble your arsenal with up to three friends. This exciting world is a perfect title to get started on an APU system with quick and fluid gameplay that is optimised to run smoothly and showcase impressive visuals.

For a limited time, Stormforce gaming are offering a a Warframe: G-Series Pack with all 5000G series APU systems. 

Buy any Stormforce Gaming system featuring a Ryzen 5 5600G or Ryzen 7 5700G and get a Warframe: G-Series Pack which contains an arsenal of in-game items.

  • Promotion period: August 5, 2021 – September 25, 2021
  • Redemption period: August 5, 2021 – October 30, 2021

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