Ahead of its launch a year ago, Microsoft often told anyone that would listen about the gaming prowess of Windows 11. However, the truth in our investigative comparison testing last December was that Windows 11 was neither better nor worse than Windows 10 in terms of gaming performance. Now, Microsoft has published a new blog post with tips (opens in new tab) for gamers on how to optimize gaming performance in Windows 11.
There are two main ways that Microsoft is telling users to adjust their PCs configuration to get better gaming performance: turning off Hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), also called Memory Integrity, and turning off the Virtual Machine Platform (VMP).
The new blog post helpfully discusses why these security features exist, why they are turned on by default on all new Windows 11 devices, and why it is fine for gamers to turn them off, at least temporarily. Gamers prioritizing performance might like to try these changes, but Microsoft warns that once they are toggled off, “the device may be vulnerable to threats.”
After the warnings have been made clear, Microsoft kindly provides a simple-to-follow walkthrough (with screenshots) guiding gamers through the steps to toggle the two security settings that might impact gaming performance.
Frustratingly, Microsoft provides no hint as to what kinds of performance benefits turning off HVCI and/or VMP might deliver. We have a hunch that the difference in performance with these security options toggled on or off will be approximately 5 to 10%. Our guesstimate is based on some early testing within the first week of the Windows 11 launch, toggling Microsoft's Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) and HVCI and noting performance deltas - but things could be different now.
We haven't yet tested Microsoft's latest advice with the newest editions of Windows 11 (v 22H2), but we wanted readers to get the chance to try out this officially endorsed Windows 11 tinkering advice to enjoy the benefits ASAP. We know many gamers are now starting to move to Windows 11, either via upgrades or new PCs.
Please let us know in the comments if you followed Microsoft's latest Windows 11 gaming advice and what benefits you observed. Also, if any readers choose to steer away from Microsoft's latest game-optimizing advice, please share your thoughts.