GameMode also for apps? A possibility to consider


Gamemode It is a software that was designed to improve the user experience when playing games. It doesn't make much sense when we are playing with emulators like 8-bit consoles, but it does make sense, for example, when playing Steam titles or even PPSSPP. We can also take it into account to perform other types of tasks. As? Isn't it designed to improve gaming performance?

Well, not everything that is designed with one scenario in mind is used only in that scenario. For example, in analyzes of Big Data has thrown GPU for a long time, and are now also being used for artificial intelligence. What I want you to understand is that the GPU can be used for more than just processing graphics, and a "game mode" can also be used to improve the performance of other programs.

What types of programs can benefit from GameMode

GameMode can change the CPU governor and improve GPU performance doing what is known as oveclocking. Manufacturers of these types of components usually limit them to a point where they believe it is safe to work with, but sometimes you can safely go higher. It is something that is recommended to do on the Raspberry Pi, since the limit is very low and significantly reduces performance by default.

Programs that can benefit from GameMode are those that require power, so in general. For example, it can improve the performance of video/audio editors or any software that needs to render. I have also noticed improvements by launching Kodi with GameMode on a laptop that is old and limited in resources.

what can you do

This game mode temporarily optimize some parameters of our equipment. That it is temporary means by definition that they are not permanent and that these changes will only be maintained while the process is active. When we close the program that is using GameMode, the optimizer will also close and everything will return to the original configuration.

Among what it optimizes, we have:

  • Change the CPU governor.
  • O / I priority.
  • Kernel Scheduler (SCHED_ISO).
  • Screen saver inhibited. Many software already locks the screen saver while it is running, such as a simple browser when it is playing video. But, just in case, since there are emulators that do not do this, GameMode takes care of this as well.
  • GPU performance mode (NVIDIA and AMD), GPU overclocking (NVIDIA). This is one of the most important points, since it is the one that "asks" more from the computer's hardware so that the program performs better.
  • Custom scripts.

How to install GameMode

GameMode is available in the repositories of many distributions Linux, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Solus, Arch Linux, Gento, Fedora, Mageia and everything based on them, among which we can mention Linux Mint, elemntary OS or Manjaro. The software is basically a “daemon” type service or daemon which is responsible for making changes to the system that we could make by other means.


To install it we first have to install the dependencies, and the command will depend on the base of the distribution (the following indicates the system from which the others descend):


sudo apt install meson libsystemd-dev pkg-config ninja-build git libdbus-1-dev dbus-user-session


sudo pacman -S meson systemd git dbus

Fedora, CentOS, OpenSuse

sudo dnf install meson systemd-devel pkg-config git dbus-devel


emerge --ask games-util/gamemode


It is available in the software center


To install the program as proposed by Feral Interactive, you must open the terminal and write:

git clone cd gamemode git checkout 1.7 ./

NOTE: : in this link The information will always be updated. I mention this because, at least, the third command varies with each update.

General advice

For those who don't like the terminal, or for those who want something simpler, you can probably install everything at once from the software center searching for "gamemode" and accepting the installation of main software and dependencies, as explained in Solus' point.

How to use GameMode

There is software, such as some emulators and front end of games, which do it automatically. But if we want to do what is indicated at the beginning of this article, we have to manually launch the process. For example, to start Kdenlive with this mode, we will use the command:

gamemoderun kdenlive

The program will be running with the games mode until we close it, and the terminal must be open. If we want to avoid this, the best way is to create a .desktop file, which will also add the program to the start menu. You can get the same one from Kdenlive, generally in /usr/share/applications/, change the line Exec=kdenlive %F a Exec=gamemoderun kdenlive %F and Name[es]=Kdenlive (or any other language) to Name[es]=Kdenlive (power mode) , for example, and save that .desktop in the personal/.local/share/applications folder.

By creating that file, two Kdenlive will appear in the start menu: the normal one and the power mode that we just created and which will be executed with GameMode.

If the software has been installed through Steam, you must add the following value to "launch options" that we find by secondary clicking on the software and accepting with "Ok":

gamemoderun %command%

Known applications that integrate it

Among the applications that GameMode can integrate, we have:

  • ATLauncher- A Minecraft launcher.
  • Prism Launcher - Another Minecraft launcher.
  • GNOME Shell (via extension): indicates when GameMode is active in the top panel.
  • Lutris: Enable the mode for all games by default if possible, as long as they have the libraries installed.
  • RetroArch: Presentations are unnecessary. It is supported, and can be activated from the Latency/Game Mode menu.

Reminder: It was designed to improve gaming performance.

Although it can improve the performance of other software, it was not designed to do so.. There should be no problem using it in the mentioned examples, but you have to be informed and know the details. One of them, which is not something serious, would be to see how the battery runs out sooner. I would put my hand in the fire that would never happen, but overclocking forces the components and could burn some of them; it pays to use it responsibly, and if it is used that way, we can probably do things we couldn't before or do them better.

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