Windows Insiders Will Get Game Mode This Week

Windows Insiders Will Get Game Mode This Week

The least interesting and most overly-reported new feature in Windows 10 is going live this week for Windows Insiders.

As I wrote earlier this month, Game Mode is a new feature in Windows 10 that will debut with the Creators Update. It’s a, um, mode. For games.

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I know, complicated.

“Our goal is to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming,” Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra wrote in an earlier post to the Xbox Wire blog. “With the Creators Update, we’re introducing a new feature called Game Mode. Windows Insiders will start seeing some of the visual elements for Game Mode this week, with the feature being fully operational in builds shortly thereafter.”

Those visual elements consist of a checkbox in the Game DVR Settings interface (WINKEY + G, then select the Settings cog) in Windows 10 Insider Preview build 15014.

It reads, badly, “Game mode makes your PC’s top priority to improve your game’s quality.” There’s a checkbox that enables this mode on a per-game basis, but it doesn’t do anything in the current Insider build.

That’s going to change with the next Insider build. Meaning that the non-working checkbox you see in Game DVR settings for Game Mode will become active. You know, sometime this week.

That’s right. You’re going to be able to select a checkbox. Contain your excitement. 🙂

So what does Game Mode really do?

Nothing that isn’t obvious: It gives the game threads higher priority access to the CPU and GPU than background tasks. In other words, it’s how games should always run.

Which prompts a thought: Why even have a Game Mode? If you’re running a game on a PC, it should always be given priority access to system resources like CPU, GPU, RAM, disk, and so on. Obviously.


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Conversation 18 comments

  • 3587

    25 January, 2017 - 1:22 pm

    <p>Don’t forget that Solitaire and Mine Sweeper are also games which you wouldn’t necessarily want to give a higher priority than the render&nbsp;or compile you are waiting for running in the background. (Not that they would be consuming many resources in the first place.)</p>

  • 2371

    25 January, 2017 - 1:24 pm

    <p>There are valid reasons to not run a game on a higher priority.&nbsp; Like maybe you have video edition software creating a movie while you are playing a game.&nbsp; Or it is, ahum, a work computer that is running other processes that should still get their share of resources.&nbsp; Or better yet, I&nbsp;am sure game mode takes more battery life and therefore you may not want it to chew through your battery while on a plane.</p>

    • 5592

      25 January, 2017 - 7:08 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#38758">In reply to </a><a href="../../../users/RM">RM</a><a href="#38758">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>Exactly. Gaming isn’t always "all or nothing" and shouldn’t&nbsp;"always be given priority access to system resources like CPU, GPU, RAM, disk, and so on. Obviously."</p>

  • 7039

    25 January, 2017 - 1:26 pm

    <p>I used to like the snark, and have had some laugh out loud moments on Windows Weekly, but jeesh, it’s getting old. Lots of posts on this today, all over the web, and I would have to say this is the least informative of those that I have read.</p>
    <p>Not saying this is a huge performance increase, but certainly there is more and better information that this. For gamers, every frame matters, and I hope it has at least a marginal impact.</p>
    <p>Perhaps labeling this as more of an opinion piece than a news article would be a reasonable way to dish out the snark.</p>

    • 6067

      25 January, 2017 - 2:31 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#38759">In reply to </a><a href="../../../users/prjman">prjman</a><a href="#38759">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I tend to agree… a little too much pessimism on every post about Microsoft related stuff lately. &nbsp;I guess covering MS for as many years as Paul has will do that to a person.&nbsp;</p>

    • 9562

      25 January, 2017 - 2:45 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#38759">In reply to </a><a href="../../../users/prjman">prjman</a><a href="#38759">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>"For gamers, every frame matters.."&nbsp;</p>
      <p>Real gamers that actually care about framerates wouldn’t be running the UWP-gimped version of a game in the first place. &nbsp;Case in point, Resident Evil 7 – the UWP/Windows Store version is unplayable; the Steam version is fine.</p>
      <p>And we don’t know whether "Xbox Game Mode" or whatever they’re calling this is going to be more marketing hot air or actually do anything – benchmarks will tell the tale (and I doubt&nbsp;it’ll make any diff)</p>

      • 7039

        25 January, 2017 - 3:54 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#38776">In reply to </a><a href="../../../users/BoItmanLives">BoItmanLives</a><a href="#38776">:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>From what I have read elsewhere, the benefit of this actually is higher on Win32 games than on UWP stuff, so hopefully that pans out.</p>

  • 4887

    Premium Member
    25 January, 2017 - 1:47 pm

    <p>So does this only effect UWP games?&nbsp;</p>

    • 54

      Premium Member
      26 January, 2017 - 12:24 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#38762">In reply to </a><a href="../../../users/Jester">Jester</a><a href="#38762">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I’m guessing you didn’t read the story… or the fact that it also works for Win32 games…? (not intended to be snarky, but it probably comes across like that…)</p>

  • 5394

    25 January, 2017 - 2:14 pm

    <p>Is there a reason for "Not Responding"? Still get that on a fairly new and fast PC.</p>

  • 9562

    25 January, 2017 - 2:44 pm

    <p>UWP crap only = pass</p>

    • 248

      Premium Member
      25 January, 2017 - 2:57 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#38775">In reply to </a><a href="../../../users/BoItmanLives">BoItmanLives</a><a href="#38775">:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I don’t think it is UWP only, where do you see that? You can bring up the game bar in any game.</p>

      • 5539

        Premium Member
        25 January, 2017 - 8:16 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#38777">In reply to </a><a href="../../../users/TheJoeFin">TheJoeFin</a><a href="#38777">:</a>&nbsp;</em>Heck you can bring it up in Word if you want. It’s just a personal decision if you want to lie when it asks if it’s a game.</blockquote>

  • 2292

    25 January, 2017 - 10:52 pm

    <p>I think this is a good thing. Yes the OS should be able to do it, but it doesn’t. My son and I built a cheap computer for school and gaming with the help of a friend who knows more than I. i3, 8 of RAM. Nothing amazing, but I thought it work work. He couldn’t play games on it, and compared to his PS4 no competion. But after several months we realized by changing from the default "balanced" mode to "high performance" – it would work great die Titian fall, Battlefield One, over watch, and Rust when before they unplayable. It is a desktop! There is no reason for Microsoft to have crippled his computer out of the box – waiting for someone on YouTube to advise him to change an obscure setting. At least if there had been an obvious "game mode" we would have realized it sooner.</p>

  • 9542

    26 January, 2017 - 11:12 am

    <p>OMG, GAMES MODE!! And a Candy Crush Saga screenshot ?? does that really require EXTRA power from my PC? ?</p>

  • 7124

    27 January, 2017 - 2:33 pm

    <p>Oh good. More things to try to disable in our Enterprise Edition installation. 8-/</p>

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