For gamers, the latest version of Windows has proven to be ambiguous. You don’t have to search the web for a long time to find complaints from gamers that the performance of Windows 10 games is not what it should be. This isn’t true for everyone, but it seems frequent enough to be worrying.
It seems that every Windows update brings a new round of complaints. It probably started with the first major Creators update, after which many players found their favorite game riddled with stuttering and unstable frame rates.
What helps also seems unpredictable. One of the first successful fixes turned out to be quite simple – to disable Game DVR in the Xbox app. This helped some, but many did not notice the difference.
Game mode to the rescue?
However, all is not lost, because Windows 10 has a special mode called Game Mode . What Game Mode does is make the video games you play the number one priority on your computer. This means that if any background processes, such as antivirus software or Windows Update, are causing your games to stutter, they will now be suppressed.
Sounds good, right? Well, moderate your expectations as Game Mode won’t improve your maximum FPS in most cases. What this can can help is consistent performance. This greatly enhances the gaming experience by allowing you to focus on the game itself rather than distractions.
Also, if you’re trying to get the most out of your current setup, along with enabling Game Mode, be sure to read my post on how to play games smoothly on an old PC
The computer we used to test Game Mode perfectly demonstrates how this feature can improve gaming performance on Windows 10. This is Haswell 4690K up to 4GHz, 16GB of RAM, and a Radeon R9 390.
It also features a Samsung 850 EVO solid state drive. It’s not the most modern gaming PC in 2018, but a good indicator of what kind of PC a typical gamer might have.
This computer, in particular, shows a dramatic difference in performance between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Windows 8.1 games are very smooth. It’s the same with a regular Windows 10 installation, but as soon as we’ve installed all the updates, the same games (with the same settings) start to stutter pretty at random intervals.
Go back to Windows 8.1 and all these problems will go away. Therefore, we are almost sure that Windows 10 is to blame, especially since in both cases we used the latest drivers.
Enabling Game Mode in games like The Witcher 3, Final Fantasy XV and even older games like Crysis Warhead immediately changed the sequence and completely eliminated the occasional stutter we were experiencing. Just keep in mind that your experience will be different, but it’s super easy to try it yourself!
How to enable game mode
Before trying out Game Mode, do the following:
- Make sure Windows is up to date.
- Update your graphics drivers
Now start the game you want to try out Game Mode. You need to enable game mode for each title separately. In this case, we are using the Steam version of Final Fantasy XV as an example.
Once the game is launched, press the Windows key and “G”, a game bar like this will appear.
This round button in the far right corner of the game bar is the game mode switch. Since you may not have mouse priority, press the Tab key until the Game Mode button is highlighted.
Now press Enter to enable Game Mode. Then press Win + G again to close the game bar.
Now just play your game! Hopefully your performance issues will go away or be greatly reduced. Enjoy!