It’s been a great month for PC gaming with this week’s release of Gears of War 4 on Windows 10 and the recent launch of Forza Horizon 3! And with Windows 10 more popular among gamers than ever, there’s a lot of conversation about ways to optimize your system for the best gaming results.
I’ve spent time with the engineering teams who shared some great tips and updates below.
One of the coolest features of Windows 10 is the built in Game DVR feature that lets you record and share your gameplay from any PC game. You may have seen some advice on forums to turn off the Game DVR feature, and the team wanted to set the record straight.
There are two Game DVR features that are performance sensitive, and we’ve given gamers explicit control over both: background recording and support for full screen games. Both features are controlled in the Game bar settings panel (when you’re in a game, hit Win+G, then click the settings icon to show settings).
We always use hardware encoding for best performance, but even so, background recording will likely affect your game performance except on the highest-end GPUs. That’s why we leave it off by default, and allow each gamer to opt in. If you’re seeing unexpected performance issues, we recommend you check and make sure background recording is off.
Full Screen Support
One of the most common questions from PC gamers using Game DVR is why the Game bar UI is not visible when playing full screen. In the Anniversary Update, we’ve added full screen support for six of the most popular PC games. We’ve tested this feature extensively on a wide range of systems, and when you’re using the latest graphics drivers designed for the Anniversary Update, our testing shows that you get equal performance. However, because of the wide diversity of gaming PC hardware available, some users may see some performance impact. In the game bar settings, uncheck the “Show Game bar when I play full-screen games Microsoft has verified” option if you want to turn this feature off.
With the settings described above, Game DVR only runs when you activate it, and has no performance impact on your games. As always, we strongly discourage manually editing your registry because of the potential negative consequences. Finally, make sure you have the latest drivers available for your graphics card to ensure the best possible performance – in nearly all of the scenarios we tested, we found that updating drivers resolved any performance-related issues without turning off Game DVR or removing the Xbox app.
We’re always watching reports of any issues with games and these or other features – we want to ensure everyone is having an awesome experience with gaming on Windows 10. The best way to share your feedback or report issues to us directly is through the Feedback Hub app, selecting the Apps and Games / Game DVR category.
Huge thanks to everyone for sharing feedback to date!