The Windows 10 Creator’s Update was announced in October, at the same event where the Surface Studio was launched. It promises many new features for makers, but when makers want to unwind, they want to play a PC game. Today Microsoft is giving a glimpse at one of the new features also coming with the Creator’s Update, and it is Game Mode.

Microsoft wants to improve the overall gaming experience, and they have focused on several areas where gaming on the PC is let down, especially compared to the console where the experience is known to all parties, be them developers, or end users, well ahead of time. With Game Mode, Microsoft is continuing its steps toward bridging the divide between the gaming PC, and the Xbox.

Some parts of Game Mode have already appears in the last several builds of the Windows 10 Insider Preview, but today the full Game Mode experience will be launching as part of the latest Fast Ring preview.

Game Mode is an optional setting, which can be leveraged for either Win32 games, or UWP games. The experience will be better on UWP games, only because a UWP game has known limits on what is running, whereas a Win32 game is boundless. When enabled, Game Mode dedicates more of the CPU and GPU time to the game when it is in the foreground, which should, in theory, help with overall game performance. In an interview yesterday, Kevin Gammill, Partner Group Program Manager, Xbox Platform, discussed how this helps performance. Kevin was less concerned about peak framerate, but discussed how Game Mode can assist with a more consistent framerate, meaning less stops and stutters when the action gets intense.

Game Mode settings in the Game Bar, not enabled yet

Game Mode will set the CPU core affinity, and thread priority, the maximize the CPU resources dedicated to the game. Microsoft has found that there is a lot of thread contention when gaming, often from programs and resources that are not part of the gaming experience. The idea of a higher priority thread is not new, but enabling it on-the-fly automatically is a nice way to take advantage of this feature. System resources for other applications will be diminished, of course, since there is only so much CPU time available, so background activities that require a lot of CPU time are going to suffer. Game Mode can be disabled or enabled as needed though, allowing some flexibility here. The same idea is done on the GPU, where more GPU time slices are allocated to the game. The fundamentals are similar to how the Xbox One operates when gaming.

Game Mode will work in conjunction with other technologies which make gaming on the PC an easier experience, such as NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience, which will optimize games for NVIDIA based cards.

Microsoft has been heavily updating the gaming capabilities of Windows, ever since the launch of Windows 10, and Game Mode appears to be another nice addition. It should be available tomorrow in the next Fast Ring build of the Windows Insider Preview.

Update 01/27: Now that the first Windows Insider build of Windows 10 with the new Game Mode is out (15019), Microsoft has sent over an additional note on game compatibility.

We’re aware that the Windows Insider build going out this week has a few platform related bugs, unrelated to the new features included within the build, that are impacting the ability to play some popular games. We’re working to address these platform bugs so that Insiders will be able to take full advantage of the new gaming features coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update. For more information, please visit the Windows Experience blog.


Source: Microsoft


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  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    Sure, but I have a way better computer than the XB1 (nothing to brag about, just more powerful than an Xbone).
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    Maybe one day they may go the route of a Steam Box and do something like this, adding a Console Mode which would be the default for such a TV-friendly device. Not anytime soon, mind you. But either way it won't actually affect desktop users. They're not forcing such a console mode onto desktop users.
  • Murloc - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    the xbox experience gives them margins and it has to be uniform anyway, that's why it won't get mixed with the PC experience, which can also be frustrating for non-tech savvy people with weak computers.
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    I might actually get to play a Halo game finally.
  • Michael Bay - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    I wonder how this will impact torrenting in the background.
  • Manch - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    It would probably take a hit allowing it to only run on remaining resources I would imagine. I download torrents on my file server. My desktop rig which I use for gaming/modeling, video editing, I don't open multiple programs, minimize the amount of background crap running.
  • Murloc - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    it should almost kill it. This would help so many noobs.
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - link

    Best Windows 10 Gaming System would be Portable and run on any Computer

    A copy of Windows 10 Long Term Service Branch would be nice so you could remove Cortana and all the other Crap Microsoft forbids you to touch....

    You could Install it to a fast thumbdrive like the Corsair Voyager GTX as Windows to Go using Aomei Partition Manager

    Aomei Partition Manager would also let you install Windows to Go to an MBR partition as well so you could use Truecrypt Full Disk Encryption instead of Bitlocker Backdoored Encryption

    At a bar minimum, you should Stop and Disable Superfetch and Windows Search services
    If you do not disable them, they will return

    Gaming and VM tutorials list many other services to disable but I have found them to be of minimum value
    You could also run "Destroy Windows 10 Spying" or wait for Microsoft to get it's head out of its A$$ but it will be a long wait
    Microsoft could EASILY prevent pirate copies of Windows 10 by disabling ALL copies with the same unique code
    A single valid copy should be allowed to run on ANY X86 computer because even pirates can only play games on one computer at a time
    PORTABLE Windows is the future, unfortunately, Microsofts idea of portable may be "Windows as a service" and streaming games to a Qualcom device
  • lmcd - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    You clearly don't understand that the most stable/space-efficient/performant Windows builds will always be the ones with baked-in drivers. It's an architecture thing. Portable Windows is a set of well-tested hacks if we're being honest here.
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link


    What are you talking about?
    Baked in Drivers?
    Portable Windows is a set of well tested HACKS?
    Windows2Go is a portable version of Windows created by MICROSOFT!
    It is NOT a set of Hacks, although non-Microsoft utilities have made it much easier to deploy!

    I can use the baked in drivers
    Update online from Microsoft
    Use proprietary Manufacturers drivers
    Update offline with WUSUS

    You clearly don't understand this architecture thing!

    What exactly is your point?
    Mumble clearly please

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