All Windows 10 PCs have “Game Mode” enabled by default. Microsoft once touted this feature, but it’s now faded into the background. Bizarrely, some people report that disabling Game Mode boosts the performance of certain PC games! What Does “Game Mode” Do on Windows 10? First introduced in Windows 10’s Creators Update , which was released back in April 2017, “ Game Mode ” promises to boost the performance of many PC games. Here’s the official description: Microsoft says that Game Mode “helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.” Technically, it works by detecting games and giving them priority access to your computer’s resources. The game you’re focused on playing gets more CPU and GPU resources, while other applications and background processes get fewer resources. This only works if Windows 10 detects that you’re playing a game. Microsoft’s limited explanation of Game Mode also says that, in Game Mode, Windows Update won’t … [Read more...] about Did You Know? Windows 10 PCs Have “Game Mode” on by Default
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Windows has had a calculator app since the beginning , and it’s always been handy. In Windows 10, you can pin the calculator on top of whatever you’re doing. That could be a detailed strategy game or an intense Exel session. Try Windows 10’s Built-in Calculator Windows 10’s built-in calculator has an always-on-top mode , too. It can stay always on top of whatever desktop apps you’re using. We’re covering another cool trick in this article: Using the Xbox Game Bar’s little-known widgets to get a calculator that can stay always on top anywhere in Windows, including inside PC games. RELATED: How to Keep the Calculator Always-on-Top on Windows 10 How to Get an Xbox Game Bar Calculator Widget Widgets are one of the Xbox Game Bar ‘s many handy features. They give you quick access to “widgets” on top of your current activity. With a simple keyboard shortcut, you can bring up a calculator and even pin it to stay on top. Microsoft added widgets to the Game Bar in … [Read more...] about How to Get an Always-on-Top Calculator in PC Games on Windows 10
First released in 1991, the Game Genie let players enter special codes that made video games easier or unlocked other functions. Nintendo didn’t like it, but many gamers loved it. Here’s what made it special. Genie in a Bottle Game Genie is the brand name for a series of video game enhancement devices developed by Codemasters and sold by Galoob in the U.S. The first Game Genie model worked with the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and launched in the summer of 1991 for about $50. Game Genie devices for the Super NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, and Game Gear followed. Like a genie of legend, the Game Genie made your wishes come true. To use one, you first plugged a game cartridge into the Game Genie unit and then plugged both devices into your console. Upon powering up, you saw a screen where you could enter a series of alphanumeric codes. These codes injected data between the game cartridge and the system , changing how the game worked and effectively reprogramming it on … [Read more...] about What Was the “Game Genie” Cheat Device, and How Did It Work?
Usually, Windows+G opens up the Xbox Game Bar in Windows 10 . But if you’d like to launch the Game Bar with a custom keyboard shortcut, Windows Settings has you covered. Here’s how to set it up. First, we’ll need to visit Windows Settings. Open the Start menu and select the “gear” icon on the left side of the menu, or you can press Windows+i on your keyboard. In Settings, select “Gaming.” In “Xbox Game Bar” settings, scroll down until you see the “Keyboard shortcuts” section. The first entry in the list is “Open Xbox Game Bar.” To set your own custom shortcut, click the box beside “Your shortcut,” then press the keyboard combination you’d like to use. For example, we entered Control+Shift+G. If you try a combination that’s already taken by something else, you’ll see an error message. If that’s the case, try a different shortcut. After that, scroll down to the bottom of the “Keyboard shortcuts” list and click the “Save” button. You must click Save for the new … [Read more...] about How to Change the Shortcut That Opens Windows 10’s Game Bar
Thirty years ago—on January 15, 1991 —an American college student named Tim Sweeney released ZZT , a low-key adventure game with a revolutionary element: It shipped with a free, built-in game editor. ZZT’s success spawned Epic Games, Unreal Engine, and most recently, Fortnite . Here’s why ZZT was special. What’s a “ZZT,” Anyway? Tim Sweeney’s passion for programming began on his Apple II when he was a kid. After getting his first IBM PC in 1989 during his freshman year of college, he dove head-first into programming the new machine. While creating an MS-DOS text editor using Turbo Pascal in 1990, he decided to make the project more fun by adding game-like elements. That evolved into ZZT , which was released as shareware in 1991. The genius of ZZT in the early 1990s was that it wasn’t just a cute ASCII-based adventure. With every copy of ZZT downloaded, players also got an in-game world editor for free. That’s because ZZT’s text editor roots meant … [Read more...] about Before Fortnite, There Was ZZT: Meet Epic’s First Game