Microsoft is adding a “Game Mode” to Windows 10 that’ll optimize the system for playing video games. We’ve known for a week or so that this feature was coming soon, and now Microsoft is starting to explain how it’ll work.
When a system goes into Game Mode, it’ll “prioritize CPU and GPU resources to your game,” according to a video Microsoft released today. The mode’s goal is supposed to be improving each game’s frame rate.
Microsoft is actually building a bunch of gaming functions directly into Windows, some of which aren’t strictly part of Game Mode. That includes a toolbar, called the Game Bar, that you can pull up at any time by pressing “Windows + G” to get shortcuts for taking screenshots, recording video, and broadcasting to Beam (Microsoft’s Twitch competitor), among other things. Built-in streaming to Beam is itself a new feature, too. There’ll also be a panel inside Windows 10’s settings to control Game Mode, the Game Bar, and broadcasting options.
Game Mode largely has to be enabled on a game-by-game basis. To turn it on, you’ll have to open up the Game Bar, go into a pop-up settings pane, and check a box enabling the currently open game to put the system into Game Mode. Microsoft says some games might be able to enable it automatically, but most aren’t able to do that right now.
There still aren’t any nitty-gritty details on what Microsoft is doing to the system when Game Mode is enabled. But with today’s announcements, we at least have a general sense of how it’ll work and how gamers will interact with it.
Game Mode, the Game Bar, and the gaming options inside settings will all start to become available to people running early Windows builds tomorrow. A full release will come as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update, which is scheduled for a not-very-specific “early 2017” release.