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Discord and Skype could make games run worse on PC, suggests an eyebrow-raising claim from Ubisoft

Discord
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft says that a number of popular PC applications, including Discord and Skype, may "interfere" with the smooth running of its games.

The developer recently shared its guidelines on 'disabling background applications' on Twitter, telling players that "if you are experiencing performance issues or crashing while playing on PC, third-party software may be the underlying cause." To get around those issues, the company explains that either clean rebooting your system or disabling apps temporarily might help identify which programs are causing problems.

To help players identify potential causes, Ubisoft published a list of third-party software that it says is "likely" to interfere with its games. Unfortunately, it's a pretty expansive list, ranging from some slightly specialist programs to some that are extremely popular.

Voice applications and video chat services like Skype, Discord, and TeamSpeak are likely to be particularly popular among fans of Ubisoft's multiplayer games like The Division 2 or Rainbow Six Siege. Blue-light reducing program f.lux is on the list, as well as popular streaming application OBS. Considering how popular these programs are, it's quite the claim from Ubisoft that they could hamper performance. 

Arguably the most unfortunate offender are programs like Razer Synapse and SteelSeries Engine, software that is used to help manage peripherals from some of the most popular PC hardware manufacturers. It's worth pointing out that Ubisoft says its list is "not exhaustive," so other programs may also cause issues.

Ubisoft's advice isn't necessarily to cease use of these programs entirely, but it does suggest that you'll want to check whether they're harming performance. If that's the case, in some cases you'll simply be able to turn the programs off while you're playing, but in others - particularly streaming or voice software like OBS or Discord - that could be significantly more disruptive. 

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Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.