Windows 10 may be getting a new "Game Mode" option [Updated]

A recent discovery by Twitter user WalkingCat indicates that Windows 10 may be getting something called a "Game Mode" as part of the upcoming Creators Update. The leaked build 14997 of the software contains a new "gamemode.dll" file, which WalkingCat theorizes will enable Windows to adjust its resource allocations to prioritize games when the mode is enabled. 

The feature isn't working at this point, but Windows Central says it will function similarly to the Xbox OS, which allocates resources to ensure that games run as well as they possibly can. Despite being a good (and obvious) idea, that's a feature that so far hasn't been supported by Windows.

Beyond the fact that the new dll exists, Game Mode at this point is questions across the board. Will it work automatically, or be a user-selected option? Will it support older Win32 games from other platforms, like Steam, or will it be exclusive to Universal Windows Platform? Could it require particular hardware of some sort? Anything that boosts PC gaming performance is okay by me, but if the focus is too narrow—which is to say, if it's locked to UWP—then I have to wonder just how much of an impact it will have over the long run.

I've reached out to Microsoft for more information about the new mode, and will update if I receive a reply.

Update: In response to my inquiry, Microsoft sent over a brief statement saying that it has "nothing to share at this time."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.