Windows 10 Tip: Improve Gaming Performance with Game Mode

Posted on April 10, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Windows 10 with 12 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Improve Gaming Performance with Game Mode

With the Creators Update, Microsoft is providing a hidden gift for gamers on Windows 10: A new feature called Game Mode that ensures the best possible performance while gaming.

Note: This tip is derived from the Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now being updated for the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Game Mode is a simple feature in that it’s either enabled or not. But it must be enabled on a system-wide basis, in Settings, and then on a per-game basis as well. That latter requirement is due to the fact that Windows 10 doesn’t have a reliable way to know that a given application is a game. So you have to enable it in each game you play.

To ensure that the feature is enabled globally—it is enabled by default—navigate to Settings (WINKEY + I) > Gaming > Game Mode.

Now, launch a game and open the Game bar (WINKEY + G).

Next, select the Settings gear and select the option “Use Game Mode for this game.”

And that, literally, is it. There’s nothing more to configure.

The big question, of course, is what sort of performance improvement you’re likely to see. Various tests—such as the one Peter Bright conducted for Ars Technica—indicate that the improvement is modest. But as any gamer will tell you, every percentage point counts. And I expect Microsoft to improve this feature, as with the rest of Windows 10, over time.


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