Is Windows Game Mode Good: Should I Use Windows Game Mode for Gaming Or Turn It Off?

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If you've just found out about Windows Game Mode, you might be wondering if it is actually any good, or if you should turn it off instead. It's a good question, cogently expressed. We'll run you through what Windows Game Mode has to offer, and whether it's going to give you the best experience for gaming on your PC. So if you're ready to learn more about Windows Game Mode, this is the article for you.

Is Windows Game Mode Good?

Windows Game Mode was first introduced back in 2017, with the promise of boosting game performance. The idea was that your computer would be able to detect games, and give them priority over resources. So more of the GPU and CPU was allocated to your game, while other apps were shunted into the background. In theory, this leads to a more stable frame rate. Which sounds lovely.

But does it work in reality? The answer really is that it depends. If you are using low-end hardware, then Game Mode may well improve performance. But on higher-spec devices, with more CPU and GPU bandwidth, it will be able to run multiple processes without negative consequences. So on these machines, you are less likely to notice a difference.

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PSX Windows Game Mode
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Interestingly, a report from Guru3d.com has found that Game Mode can actually inhibit performance more than it helps. In certain games, such as Call of Duty: Warzone and League of Legends, Game Mode has actually led to players experiencing stuttering, frame rate drops and frozen screens.

Given that these are two enormously popular games, this could be quite problematic. While these were the two titles specifically mentioned, it's highly likely to affect other games as well. It doesn't seem to matter what graphics card you are using, both AMD and NVIDIA are affected.

Read More: Windows 11 Gaming Performance and Features: Is Windows 11 good for gaming?

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So should I use Windows Game Mode or not?

Windows Game Mode is active by default. But whether or not you should leave it that way, is another matter. If you are experiencing any issues when trying to play a game - issues such as freezing, stuttering, crashes etc - then it might be worth turning it off. It may well be the fix you were looking for.

On the other hand, if you are on a low-end PC with fairly limited processing power, then having Game Mode on may benefit you. It's probably worth trying both settings, and seeing which one performs better for you. If you need to activate or deactivate Game Mode, it's relatively easy to do:

  • Open the Start Menu and head to Settings
  • Go to Gaming > Game Mode
  • This will take you to a page with a toggle to turn Game Mode on or off. Adjust this to suit your preferences.
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Read More: Microsoft will only give you 10 days to roll back Windows 11 update

Summary

So now you know about Game Mode, have a play with the settings, and see whether turning it on or off works best for you. Game Mode is usually turned on by default.

But knowing whether it will be better or not is hard to say for certain, without giving it a try. There are a variety of actors that may influence the way it affects your experience. Is it stifling important background processes that actually cause it to inhibit performance? Or is it going to boost a low-spec machine to wring out every last drop of potential?

Ultimately, there's only one way to know for sure: try it and see.