Google working on ‘game mode’ for Chrome OS that might improve performance

The feature appears tied to 'Borealis,' a Google project aiming to bring Steam and other Linux gaming features to Chrome OS

Google has been working to improve the gaming experience on Chromebooks for a while now, but a new feature may soon bring a ‘game mode’ to Chrome OS. The game mode could offer performance improvements while playing games, and will likely come as part of Google’s larger project to bring gaming — and in particular, Steam — to Chrome OS.

Spotted by Chrome Unboxed, a new entry on the Chromium Gerrit mentions the game mode. For those unfamiliar with the platform, the Chromium Gerrit is an online collaborative tool for reviewing and implementing code into Chromium, the open-source underpinnings of Chrome OS and browsers like Google Chrome.

Specifically, the Gerrit entry mentions a game mode toggle “for Borealis when full screen.” It goes on to describe adding logic to Chrome OS that “track[s] window state and toggles game mode when a Borealis window is focused and enters and exists full screen.”

Borealis is a Google project that aims to replace Crostini, the current platform for running Linux apps on Chrome OS. Borealis will likely use Ubuntu as a base and come with Steam pre-installed. You can learn more about Borealis and how it can help improve gaming on Chrome OS here.

Back to game mode, it appears to be an automated feature that will enable different settings and performance optimizations. However, it’s not entirely clear what game mode does at the moment.

Chrome Unboxed also found details in the Gerrit that indicate game mode will show a message when users enter or exit it. Again, it isn’t clear what these messages look like, but Android Police suggests they could be similar to the pop-ups users get when making a video full screen on their computer or phone.

Game mode is still early in development, so it could be awhile before it shows up in Chrome OS — assuming the feature makes it to release. Considering it appears tied into Borealis, I expect we’ll see game mode launch alongside other new gaming features, possibly in a larger gaming-focused Chrome OS update.

Source: Chromium Gerrit, (2) Via: Chrome Unboxed, Android Police