Is Windows 10 Game Mode hurting your games more than it's helping?

Halo: Reach on Surface Pro 7
Halo: Reach on Surface Pro 7 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Windows 10's Game Mode appears to be causing significant issues with some games and graphics cards.
  • Users on Reddit report stuttering and a dip in frames per second with Game Mode on.
  • The solution is to turn Game Mode off if you're experiencing problems.

If you've been noticing hiccups in your games, despite having a capable system, Windows 10's Game Mode might be to blame. A number of Reddit users (via Techradar) have reported experiencing stuttering or a dip in framerates with Game Mode enabled on their systems. Once Game Mode is disabled, things start running smoothly once again.

According to reports from Reddit users in the thread, the issues appear to surface with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards. Games like Call of Duty: Warzone and League of Legends are cited as experiencing hitches with Game Mode enabled, though it's likely to impact others as well.

If you're experiencing issues with your games, you can try to turn off Game Mode to see if it has any effect. Head to your Windows 10 settings menu by clicking the option in the Start menu. From there, click the "Gaming" option. On the left-hand menu, you can select the "Game Mode" option and then turn the toggle off.

It's a curious turn of events given Game Mode's purpose. The feature was launched with Windows 10 in 2017 in order to improve performance in games. And while it certainly achieves that goal for the most part, it appears it's at least having issues with certain games and even the best graphics cards.

Related: How to enable (or disable) Game Mode in Windows 10

Have you experienced any issues with Game Mode on Windows 10? Do you usually keep it turned off or on? Let us know in the poll and chime in in the comments.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I want MS to make this work. It is a good thing on PC
  • I started having problems with certain games after April's patches. Streets of Rage 4 wouldnt run on a Dell Gaming Inspiron 7567 (7th Gen i7 4c/8t / 32GB RAM / 1TB NVMe / GeForce 1050 Ti) yet my "lab" laptop ThinkPad W520 (2nd Gen i7 4c/8t / 32GB RAM / 1TB SSD / Quadro 1000) launched in seconds. After reading this article, I turned game mode off on the Dell and it finally worked, but still slower than its 8 year old ThinkPad cousin. 🤷🏻‍♂️
  • I always had Game Mode on, since it was first available as a per-game setting in the Game Bar. Never had an issue with it, and was glad to see it made easily global in the Windows 10 settings. I'm currently not having any issues with games with Game Mode on, except for one: The dreaded random ERR_GFX_D3D_INIT error in GTA V. Just maybe turning Game Mode off will stop that?? We'll see.