Windows-powered Arm devices are compatible with 'more than 1,200 games at 30 fps or higher' and now support BattlEye and Denuvo

Qualcomm Snapdragon X series CPU and laptops
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

We're very curious about the gaming performance of Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X-series processors. While early signs looked promising, it seems that emulation issues might be holding things back. Quelle surprise. Anyway, despite some potential teething issues, Microsoft and Qualcomm say they've validated over 1,400 compatible games for Windows on Arm, with more than 1,200 "offering a good experience at 30 fps or higher."

In a DirectX blog post, Microsoft reveals that it's handed over compatibility data, alongside Qualcomm, to Linaro, a company specialising in the Arm ecosystem. The full list of compatible games can be viewed at Works on Windows on Arm

Listed games are given a value ranging from "perfect"—running at 60 fps or more at 1080p resolution with no glitches or issues—to "unplayable". 

  • Perfect: Runs at 60+ fps at 1080p resolution with no glitches/issues that affect gaming experience
  • Playable: Runs at 30+ fps at 1080p resolution with minimal glitches/issues that affect gaming experience
  • Runs: Runs at less than 30 fps and/or with bugs that may affect gaming experience
  • Unplayable: Does not run due to anti-cheat or other failures

Our merciful hardware overlord Dave James is pleased by Football Manager 2024's "perfect" rating, although it's no surprise that more demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 often receive a mere "runs". And for those of you that fancy playing Elden Ring (with or without the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC) on an Arm-powered Windows device, I have bad news. No listing at all at the time of writing, I'm afraid.

The other major Arm-based announcement is Microsoft's partnership with several anti-cheat software providers, meaning that BattlEye, Denuvo Anti-Cheat and Wellbia XIGNCODE3 / UNCHEATER are all now supported by Windows on Arm. Noticeable by its absence is EAC, which the current scuttlebutt says might be the reason why Fortnite and others don't appear to be supported by Windows-based Arm devices just yet.

Still, games with supported anti-cheat software like Rainbow Six Siege now appear playable on Snapdragon X-series CPUs. That means those of you planning on picking up one of the many new laptops featuring the chips can get your wall-bashing on. Perhaps not at great frame rates however, as it currently only holds a rating of "runs".

It still looks like it might be a long road for Windows Arm-based gaming, as early Snapdragon X benchmarks seem disappointing. Still, with Microsoft and Qualcomm working together on Prism, the emulation engine underneath translating x86 and x64 instruction code to the Arm 64 instruction set, perhaps performance improvements will come over time. In the meantime, that's plenty of "playable" gaming, at the very least. 

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Andy Edser
Hardware Writer

Andy built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 12, when IDE cables were a thing and high resolution wasn't. After spending over 15 years in the production industry overseeing a variety of live and recorded projects, he started writing his own PC hardware blog in the hope that people might send him things. And they did!

Now working as a hardware writer for PC Gamer, Andy's been jumping around the world attending product launches and trade shows, all the while reviewing every bit of PC hardware he can get his hands on. You name it, if it's interesting hardware he'll write words about it, with opinions and everything.