Apple Explains How Game Mode Works in macOS Sonoma

In macOS Sonoma, Game Mode prioritizes CPU and GPU performance for gaming purposes on Macs. For those unfamiliar with Game Mode, Apple on Tuesday published a support document providing more information on how to use the new feature.

Mac Gaming

Game Mode optimizes your gaming experience by giving your game the highest priority access to your CPU and GPU, lowering usage for background tasks. And it doubles the Bluetooth sampling rate, which reduces input latency and audio latency for wireless accessories like game controllers and AirPods.

Game Mode requires a Mac with Apple Silicon. Here's how to turn it on in ‌macOS Sonoma‌.

How to Turn on Game Mode

Game Mode turns on automatically when you use these steps to view your game in full screen:

  1. Move your pointer over the green button in the upper-left corner of the game window.
  2. Choose Enter Full Screen from the menu that appears.

When you enter full screen in this way, a Game mode menu appears in the menu bar. You can use this menu to confirm that Game mode is turned on for your game.

macos sonoma 2021 imac game mode menu bar turn game mode off

How to Turn Off Game Mode

Game Mode turns off automatically when you stop viewing your game in full screen, but you can also turn it off while your game is still in full screen mode: From the Game Mode menu in the menu bar, choose Turn Game Mode off. Note that Game Mode will remain off for the game you were playing until you turn it on again, even if you quit and reopen the game.

Have you seen better gaming performance on your Mac using Game Mode? If so, what games have you been playing? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: macOS Sonoma
Related Forum: macOS Sonoma

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Top Rated Comments

andrewxgx Avatar
9 months ago

I thought it would switch automatically.
Does that mean it's technically not possible?
Pathetic.
did you read the damn article?
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Armada2 Avatar
9 months ago

Does it work on Intel or M1/M2 only?
Here.. I read the small article for you..

Game Mode requires a Mac with Apple Silicon. Here's how to turn it on in macOS Sonoma.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MayaUser Avatar
9 months ago

Any benchmarks yet? If it helps less than 5%, meh.
I‘d rather see Apple throwing money at studios to optimize for AS, too.
Looking at you, Colossal Order and Cities Skylines 2…
The selection of games running on AS Mac at all is small compared to what could be possible.
in BG3 with mode ON i get 59fps and at the same settings with mode Off i get 46 fps
Hope this helps a bit
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve09090 Avatar
9 months ago

I thought it would switch automatically.
Does that mean it's technically not possible?
Pathetic.

How to Turn on Game Mode
Game Mode turns on automatically when you use these steps to view your game in full screen:
How to Turn Off Game Mode
Game Mode turns off automatically when you stop viewing your game in full screen, but you can also turn it off while your game is still in full screen mode:
I'm wondering why they even bother putting details in their stories…
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hyena.ftw Avatar
9 months ago
Wishing Apple good luck with this. Should they keep up doing a good job, in a few years time we may see the new generation of gamers who would be preferring to play on Macs and iPads as opposed to gaming PCs and Consoles.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Feek Avatar
9 months ago
Just tested this with Eve Online on my MBA
Mid 90s frame rate with it running in a window.
110 full screen.

That's quite an increase.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)