One of the drawbacks to gaming on a PC is that while your computer is chugging away, doing all that game logic and graphics rendering, it’s also still got a large, heavy operating system running in the background, not to mention the processes for whatever apps you’ve got open. Stripping back the OS and getting much closer to the actual hardware is what helps developers get so much more out of games console hardware.
The upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10, which is set to be released this spring, will introduce a Game Mode that should help give just that little boost to performance in games. This is how it will work.
Targeting both improved peak and average frame rate, Game Mode’s initial form seems to largely focus on pushing a game’s CPU and GPU usage to the foreground, making it a higher priority for the PC to execute than whatever else is running.
Game Mode will have its own space in the system settings under a new Gaming section that also moves across the Game Bar, Game DVR and new broadcasting options from the Xbox app. It’s a seemingly small tweak, but shows how Microsoft are invested in integrating Xbox gaming into Windows 10.
With support for both UWP games bought through the Microsoft Store and Win32 games bought from pretty much anywhere else, you’ll be able to trigger Game Mode manually from the Game Bar. Microsoft are testing whether they can have games trigger this automatically, but note that games are not guaranteed to work, and that Win32 games that do strange things might not see any benefits if the system can’t figure out which processes to prioritise.
If you’re part of the Insiders programme on Windows, you may have access to this update and feature already, but this is a feature that’s set to improve well beyond the Creators Update.