Do You Need an Optical Drive For Gaming? [Essential or Not]

Written By Farhan Max

Modern-day gaming has come a long way from CD and DVD to Digital Downloads. You may notice most mid-tier to high-end PC cases, and modern laptops don’t even offer an external optical drive

Nevertheless, is the optical driver vital for gaming, or it’s just a waste of bucks? To clear the air, I will discuss the most optimistic relationship with an optical drive for gaming. So, bear with me to make your verdict.

Go through our epic guide on are Motherboard Drivers necessary?

Do You Need an Optical Drive for Gaming?

Unless you’re playing older PC games, optical drivers are no longer required for gaming. And an optical drive is really not required when building a gaming PC. Because digital downloads are on the rise, there isn’t any reason to purchase an optical driver.

In general, you can download most games from the web these days. That means you don’t need a DVD drive to play any title. But that’s a comprehensive answer to the topic, and using a built-in optical drive can provide some advantages for you.


So, this query may pop up, what is an optical or DVD drive, and is a Blu-ray optical drive necessary for a gaming pc?

Optical Drive uses laser technology to read from the disk drives. Also, it can write new data on disks. Like most other hardware on the market, the quality depends on the optical drive itself. Present-day Optical Drives use SATA connection technology for modern motherboards.

Maybe you think optical drives are not adding value to your quest. That may be true, but it may come in handy many times with a more extended usage period.

Also, if you devote time to the web, you can perform all disk drive functions without using an optical drive. And adding an optical drive requires more power for it. That’s why in the modern day, no one ever feels the need to use an optical drive.

Below, I’ll explain why it’s unnecessary for you and when it can improve your gaming experience.

Check out our separate post on do I need to uninstall Nvidia Drivers?

Why Optical Drivers are Not Necessary for Gaming?

You won’t need an optical drive if you are proficient at using the internet. And as time goes on, more and more games are being played online, and disk drives are soon to become completely obsolete. That being said, here are the reasons why you don’t need to obtain an optical drive.

1. Vastly Available Digital Downloads

Any software or game is available for download. Although you might need to meet the conditions in order to install them, you can still get the download regardless of whether you do.


In recent years, you can buy practically any game from a digital marketplace, whether big or tiny. Buying games online is also quite simple, and the after-service for license issuance for digital download is getting better every day.

Linux and Windows operating systems can both be downloaded from service providers. Also, you can download games from Origin, and if you run into any problems, they can even assist you with further support.

Undoubtedly, it is one of the main reasons why people switch from DVDs to digital games. People have a natural tendency to take the most straightforward and convenient path. That’s how it gains popularity

Also, the download option is enormous. Any game released after 2005 is available as a digital download. You can obtain all versions of the game. Even the game’s perks and bonuses are available as digital downloads.

Each app, extension, and plug-in is available as a digital download. Furthermore, all possible options can be found on the internet. And grabbing this option is also straightforward most of the time.

In general, all games and apps published by any gaming or app organization today are available as digital downloads. That is why having an Optical Drive sometimes makes no sense because it just sits there and does nothing.

2. Old Game No Longer Supported by The Operating System

Suppose you want to play an old game despite having an optical drive and installing the game on your operating system. Most older games will not run on modern operating systems.

This also applies to apps. Overall, if you use Windows 10 or 11, then most ancient apps and games do not even run on it. That’s why it’s just a waste to get an optical drive for a gaming PC.

3. Convenient Streaming Platforms

Many popular games are now available on the internet. Also, with the decline in the popularity of physical games, game streaming services are rapidly increasing. Some game publishers developed their own online archives, such as game data, and everything is still accessible online.

Also, you can access those games using a web browser. Nowadays, you don’t even need to populate your physical storage to play game.

For serious gamers, optical drives remain unused PC components. You can even get better gaming equipment for the price of an optical drive, which can improve your gaming experience.

And this online platform is growing in size and popularity every day. This also leads people to believe that this is the future of gaming.

All you require is a steady internet connection. Besides, you can access this game from another computer or from anywhere; all you need is a good internet connection to play.

4. Unnecessary Expense

True, disk drive games are less expensive than digital copies. Despite that, digital copies are now the bigger picture because they now include so much more support and bonuses.

Most old games retain emotional attachments. However, the developers republish the game with some changes for the digital platform.

Modern games are getting mighty, that for when playing any high-end games, your PC may perform slow. So instead of getting an optical drive, it’s better to invest in a better CPU. Because the CPU has to play a big role in gaming and CPU may suffer in online games.

The game will eventually become available as a digital download. In addition, some older games do not run on modern computers. So it ends up being a tragedy in both situations.

There are some additional reasons that will help you understand why you do not require an optical drive for gaming:

Environmental Implications: A good Disk Drive requires a lot of resources to build. It also takes up space in your home and has a positive impact when you trash it.environmental-implications

Aesthetics of Personal Computers: Today’s PC aesthetics are important for almost every user. Everyone does their best to make it look the best they can.

As well, most modern cases have a clean appearance for improved airflow. If you want to get an Optical Drive, you need to get a PC case with an older look.

External Disk Drives: You can get a USBpowered external optical drive. That is why, in the first place, an optical drive is not required.external-disk-drives

If you need an optical drive in the future for any purpose, you can always get an external disk drive for the job. That being said, It’s also true that Optical drive can provide some great experience for your gaming. Let’s now talk about that in the following section.

When Getting the Optical Drive is Cool for Gamers?

In the mid-generation, physical DVDs made some of the most revolutionary advances in data mobility and storage. Maybe we don’t use DVDs much nowadays, but it’s still not faded away from our memory. Most video games start their arrival with a CD or DVD.

The first PC game that I obtained was Prince of Persia, and I still have those disks. I still have many more disks in my disposal, and most of them are old game. So, read along to find out how optical drive may come in handy in situations.

Playing Old Games

Sometimes, you may love to play some old games to bring back memories. Or maybe you meet with your old game buddy and like to play some dated game.

In these moments, an optical drive comes really handy. Also, you don’t find ancient games on downloadable digital sites.


So for this type of situation, having an Optical Drive saves you from much unnecessary trouble and makes it more convenient.

If your PC doesn’t have an optical drive in the first place, you can still use an external solution for that matter. Without question, most gamers favor having a digital soft copy of their game cause it takes less space and is convenient.

There are other reasons to have an optical drive to run a CD or DVD. Please read the following.

Everlasting Property

When you get a CD or DVD of any game, you have permanent ownership of that title. And as long as you have the copy, you will always be its owner.

This was the most desirable way to grab the title, and the best thing is, disk drives don’t ruin that easily. Just by storing the disk drives, you can keep the title and play whenever you wish.

Despite the fact that buying a digital copy of the game is much more accessible than a disk drive and it’s hard to find disk drive games nowadays.

Yes, can get it, but things might get a bit complicated as there are so many steps to take, like contacting support, showing the authorization, and more.

That’s why, when talking about ownership, having a CD or DVD gives you some edge and relief over a greater period of time on that game title.

Also, check out our separate post on how to format a Drive in Windows 11?

Blu-ray Potential

In the competition, modern Blu-ray has come a long way. Yes, optical drives and DVDs are rare nowadays, but in the past, if you wanted Blu-ray content, you needed a disk drive.


For most of the big titles, Disk Drive games also offer some best quality games on Blu-ray. And if you have connectivity issues like slow internet, it’s better to have Optical Drives, because it’s hard for the pc to load Blu-ray content under a slow connection.

That’s why under some circumstances, Optical Drive still holds some good value to provide to the user.

Cheaper Than Digital Copy

Most of the time, buying a game with a disk drive will cost less than buying digital games. Both digital and physical costs are the same at the time of release, but after a few months, the physical games can be found at a significantly lower price.

And occasionally, numerous people sold out of original game copies. If you discover that, it becomes even more cost-effective for you because you are paying nearly half the price.

This allows you to obtain many games at a much lower cost than digital copies. Many people still use Optical Drives as their primary game-collecting solution for this reason.

Additional Perks

When you buy a digital game, you almost always get some sort of bonus with it. The same can be said for Disk Drive games. When you obtain a DVD for gaming, you will always receive a special bonus included.

So, when combined with other benefits such as low cost and perpetual ownership, this adds up to a better value for optical drive games.

Some other benefits that come with Optical Drive:

Making Money: If you have gaming DVDs, you can even sell them after some time. Also, after a while, some game even values more than usual. So you can get some money from selling the retro disk drivers.

Capability to Write Devices: Optical Drive has the ability to write on DVDs. It always comes in handy if you want to write some game on your disk for future use.


Effortless Driver Installing: If you have an Optical Drive included in your rig, you can easily install the drivers from the provided DVD.

Installing Windows: You can install windows from the official window disk, which you can buy easily from the vendor.


Uncomplicated Solution: If you use a computer infrequently but are unfamiliar with the internet or digital marketplace. For gaming, they must require an optical drive. The optical drive is like plug-and-play. It makes their daily lives easier.


What does the optical drive do in a gaming PC?

A hard disc is a disc-reading and writing device. An ODD reads and writes information onto a disc by using a light beam to intercept and transmit magnetic fields. Obtaining these waves enables your pc to retrieve the data on the disc.

Why do gaming laptops not have optical drives?

One of the most immediate reasons they’ve primarily vanished is their diameter. A Disc drive tends to take up a substantial amount of physical space. The disc alone takes a minimum of 12cm x 12cm (4.7′′ x 4.7′′) of physical space. That’s why gaming laptops don’t use them.

Is optical storage faster than HDD?

The quickest CD/DVD/BD drives spin at an absolute max of 10k RPM. End-user HDDs typically spin at 7200 or 5400 RPM, whereas strong magnetic drives spin at 15k RPM. This is actually false; modern optical disks keep turning more quickly than conventional modern storage devices.

Final Verdict

You don’t need an optical drive for gaming. Without a Disk Drive, you can still perform all the functions of gaming. You can also put that money towards other computer components.

So, is an optical drive just for show? No, it has some benefits, such as playing old games, having everlasting property, being easy for non-techie people to install, and so on. Also, having a choice is always advantageous.

The final verdict is that optical drives have some advantages for gaming, but in this day and age, those advantages can be obtained by utilizing digital locations.

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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