Game Mode interventions are game-specific optimizations set by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to improve the performance of games that are no longer being updated by developers. For example:
- Using WindowManager backbuffer resize.
- Using ANGLE instead of native GLES drivers.
You can have your game support and manage the Game Mode API, to have it override Game Mode interventions provided by the OEM.
The Game Mode API and interventions are available on:
- Select Android 12 devices
- Devices running Android 13 or higher
Each game can:
- Implement the Game Mode API behavior,
- Propose Game Mode interventions settings to OEMs, or
- Explicitly opt out of Game Mode interventions.
This section describes what the Game Mode interventions do and how to optimize your game for each mode.
WindowManager backbuffer resizing
The WindowManager backbuffer resize intervention can reduce a device's GPU load. It can also reduce battery consumption when a game is paced at a target frame rate.
Enabling resize can result in a reduction of up to 30% of GPU and 10% of overall system power usage. The results can vary based on the device used, environmental conditions, and other factors, such as simultaneous processing.
An unpaced game that is GPU bound is likely to experience higher frame rates during reduced GPU loads.
We strongly recommend that all games are well paced, because uneven frame rates significantly impact how users perceive performance.
Android FPS throttling is a Game Mode intervention that helps games run at a more stable frame rate to reduce battery consumption. The intervention is available in Android 13 or later. For more information, see the FPS throttling overview.
Evaluate Game Mode interventions
This sections uses the adb command.
Set up the modes
You must opt out of Game Modes in the app's Game Mode config file before testing the Game Mode interventions. Otherwise the platform will bypass them and respect only in-game optimizations.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <game-mode-config xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" android:supportsBatteryGameMode="false" android:supportsPerformanceGameMode="false" />
(Optional) Back up existing device config
For Pixel or other devices, there might be a pre-existing game intervention config in your device config. You can query the config using the command:
adb shell device_config get game_overlay <PACKAGE_NAME>
If the query returns
null, ignore the pre-existing config. Otherwise, save it
and reset to it after the evaluation.
To evaluate the WindowManager backbuffer resize intervention on its own, use the following command to set different WindowManager buffer resize values across game modes.
adb shell device_config put game_overlay <PACKAGE_NAME> mode=2,downscaleFactor=0.9:mode=3,downscaleFactor=0.5
In the example above,
mode=2 is “Performance” and
is “Battery Saver”. The
downscaleFactor value is specified as a percent that
applies to the resize setting (for example, 0.7 is 70% and 0.8 is 80%). A 90%
(0.9) resize is almost negligible, whereas 50% (0.5) is significant.
Warning: Child processes may not be resized correctly in Android 12. In particular, make sure toasts and pop-ups render correctly. We recommend that you limit the resize setting to at least 70%.
After the new resize valies are set up, switch between game modes to see how your game is affected by the WindowManager backbuffer resize intervention:
adb shell cmd game mode [standard|performance|battery] <PACKAGE_NAME>
Make sure you restart the game after each game mode selection. The downscaling intervention requires app restart.
Opt-out from interventions
You can control whether an intervention is applied to your game by opting out. Each intervention has its own opt-out setting.
- The same config XML file that’s used to control opt-in and opt-out of Game Modes is also used for intervention settings:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <game-mode-config xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" android:allowGameDownscaling="false" android:allowGameFpsOverride="false" />
- Rebuild and resubmit your game to opt-out.
By default, interventions set by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will be used unless you explicitly opt your game out of using them.
For more information about measuring and optimizing game performance:
System Profilers - analyze CPU usage and graphics calls.
Android GPU Inspector - profile graphics on Android.
Android Frame Pacing Library - help OpenGL and Vulkan games achieve smooth rendering and correct frame pacing.
Android Performance Tuner - measure and optimize frame rate and graphics across Android devices at scale.
Energy Profiler - find where your app uses more energy than necessary.