Windows 10 Game Mode Review

Windows operating system, and PC video gaming industry have been getting along very well ever since Microsoft rolled out Minesweeper with Windows 3.1.

This relationship has been evolving with leaps and bounds. Windows introduced a number of features to enhance the user experiences of video gamers with Windows Vista. And the release of Windows 10 Build 15019 took this relationship to simply another level, as it provides native inbuilt performance enhancement functionalities which can be utilized with a few tweaks right within the game.

 

What Is Game Mode

Game Mode is an inbuilt, native feature which is shipped along with Build 15019 of Windows 10. Since it still is being rolled out, not all users are eligible for using the Game Mode. It basically enhances the frame rate in video game applications, eliminates the random stuttering by prioritizing its data, passing through system hardware, over the background applications and system services. Back in old days, particularly Windows versions that preceded Windows Vista, suffered from major performance loss due to the manner how system services devour system resources during gameplay. Once Windows Vista was released, even though Microsoft introduced a number of enhancements to keep the performance loss at a minimum, it still wasn’t enough for creating a significant improvement in frame rate without making use of an external application. With the Game Mode, the necessity of wanting a third-party application is eliminated completely, as now it can automatically tune the system for gaining more performance out of it. The fascinating thing is, the tuning process only happens when a game enters gameplay mode, and as soon as the user exits it, Windows itself switches to the normal mode instantly.

 

Game Mode Requirements

Since Game Mode is shipped with the Build 15019 of Windows 10, first and foremost Build 15019 is by far the biggest pre-requisite for the Game Mode function to appear in the Game Bar, which can be fetched by pressing Windows Key + G at the same time in an application which utilizes the Direct3D API. It’s also highly recommended to keep the Windows up-to-date, as well as allied runtime environments such as DirectX, Visual C++ runtime libraries for having a consistent, bug free user experience across all the video game applications. The runtime applications can be downloaded by visiting the following web URLs.

DirectX Runtime Environment

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35

Graphics Drivers

http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

http://support.amd.com/en-us/download

Visual C++ Runtime

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48145

 

How to Turn On Game Mode

The Game Mode can be turned on in two different ways. If you wish to turn it on via Windows Settings, it will be enabled universally within all the games that have been installed. However, if you choose to enable it in a particular game, Game Mode would be turned on for that particular game ONLY!

Turn on Game Mode Through Windows Settings

  1. Click the Start button to open up the Start menu, and then search for Settings. Once you see it in the Search Results, click it.

    Search for Settings
    Search for Settings
  2. In the Settings, locate the Gaming button and click it.
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  3. It will bring up the Game Mode function. Simply click on the switch button located underneath the Use Game Mode label to turn it on.

    Move the slider to the left to turn on Game Mode
    Move the slider to the right to turn on Game Mode

 

Turn On Game Mode During Gameplay

  1. Launch the game for which you wish to enable Game Mode.
  2. Now press Windows Key + G simultaneously.
    image04
  3. This will bring up the Game Bar. If the user is already logged into the Xbox app, simply click the cog icon which represents the Settings window.

    Click the cog
    Click the cog
  4. Now select the checkbox for the Use Game Mode for this game feature to turn it on for this particular game.
    image06

 

Verdict

As explained earlier, Game Mode is an excellent feature that every gamer should have in their computer system regardless of the greatness of the hardware attached with the system. The following screenshots taken from Witcher 3 demonstrate how beneficial it is to improve the overall frame rate in a game when the Game Mode is turned on.

Game Mode turned Off
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Game Mode turned On
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Raza Ali Kazmi

Raza Ali is content editor and publisher at Sorcim Technologies.