The Creators Update for Windows 10 is out today. The update brings some new features to your PC, including some new changes for gamers. In addition to the highly anticipated Game Mode, you’ll be able to use a new streaming platform, find a new section for game-specific settings, and expanded support for the Game Bar.
At the top of the list is Game Mode, which, according to our interview with Xbox partner group program manager Kevin Gammill, is supposed to provide increased performance as well “overall gaming consistency” when you play games. When you bring up the Game Bar (Windows key and G), you can click the gear-shaped icon and check a box to activate the feature for the current game. Gammill told us that Microsoft plans to put “two years of continued investment” into Game Mode in an effort to make it an even better feature than what you’re using on launch day.
The company also introduced a new streaming service called Beam, which is supposed to be an alternative to Twitch or YouTube Gaming. Just like Game Mode, you can easily access the broadcasting settings through the Game Bar (the icon for broadcasting is shaped like a satellite dish). Before you go live, you can change multiple settings such as where to place your camera window while playing, activating the microphone, and dictating if the system will capture a specific game or the entire desktop. You can start streaming right away even if you don’t have a Beam account. When you initially use Beam, the system will create a temporary account for you, which you can finalize to make it your permanent account.
The Game Bar isn’t new to the Creators Update, but Microsoft updated the feature to support more titles. A full list wasn’t provided, but the company said that it’s now compatible with over “80 of the most popular PC games.” In addition, you can now change the settings so that the Game Bar will automatically pop-up on games that support it.
All of these new features and improvements can be manipulated in the new Gaming section within the main Settings tool. In addition to Beam and Game Mode settings, you can use the section to customize keyboard shortcuts for the Game Bar’s numerous functions. If you want to record gameplay, you can adjust your Game DVR settings which include the overall audio quality, maximum recording length, and the quality and frame rate of your video.
Some of these features, most notably Beam, made their way to Xbox One consoles nearly two weeks ago, which further solidifies Microsoft’s goal of uniting its console and PC gaming platforms. More updates to existing features, as well as new functions, are undoubtedly in the works. We’ll likely find out more about Microsoft’s gaming plans in the summer when the gaming industry heads to Los Angeles for E3.