iOS 18's New Game Mode Makes iPhones Faster and More Responsive

With iOS 18, Apple is adding Game Mode to iPhone. A similar Game Mode was added to macOS Sonoma last year, and the same performance-enhancing features apply, according to Apple.

ios 18 game mode
When enabled, Game Mode optimizes the gaming experience by giving the game the highest priority access to your ‌iPhone‌'s processor, while lowering usage for background tasks.

Apple says Game Mode also improves the responsiveness of connected AirPods and game controllers by reducing input latency and audio latency.

There's nothing to set up with Game Mode – it turns on automatically when you launch a game or an app associated with a game, as indicated by a brief notification.

game mode iphone notification
The feature is designed for AAA titles like Assassin's Creed Mirage and Resident Evil Village. Capcom announced on Monday that Resident Evil 7 is coming to ‌iPhone‌, iPad, and Macs on July 2, providing another opportunity to see how the new Game Mode performs in ‌iOS 18‌ and iPadOS 18.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPadOS 18
Related Forums: iOS 18, iPadOS 18

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Top Rated Comments

Michael Scrip Avatar
5 weeks ago

I would love to be able to trigger it manually to make other apps faster

Why not make everything faster?

It reminds me of an old Seinfeld joke about airplane speed:

"So I'm on the plane, we left late. Pilot says we're going to be making up some time in the air. I thought, well isn't that interesting? We'll just make up time. Of course, when they say they're making up time, obviously they're increasing the speed of the aircraft. Now, my question is if you can go faster, why don't you just go as fast as you can all the time? C'mon, there's no cops up here. Nail it. Give it some gas! We're flying."

Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
F23 Avatar
5 weeks ago
Apple should make a MagSafe Cooling Fan
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fuzzball84 Avatar
5 weeks ago
Gaming on Apple is just weird. There is clearly a focus on performance, but the games aren’t there, it’s done half heartedly and the devices are just not designed for AAA gaming. They are designed for bursty processors usage. That’s where mobile Apple silicon excels most. It’s super efficient for normal consumer use.

Gaming is a whole other beast. It requires bigger batteries, better cooling and a 100 percent solid backing from the platform.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
[AUT] Thomas Avatar
5 weeks ago
As if performance was the problem in first place...

No, Apple... it was your stupid requirements for games to pass App-Store approval. There is a reason why there are 99% casual games on the app-store...

With SteamDeck and similar gaming handhelds now on the market I'm afraid the ship sailed for anything beyond casual...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CrysisDeu Avatar
5 weeks ago
I just tried it for two days. At least on betas, it's not improving gaming performance and the games lags more. I expect it to improve on actual public release.

There would be YouTubers making in depth analysis as well
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CrysisDeu Avatar
5 weeks ago

That's a shame. I feel like AAA gaming on the iPhone 15 Pro has largely been a PR excercise. From all the YouTube analyses I've seen (Digital Foundry, Andrew Tsai, MrMacRight) games like Resident Evil, Assassin's Creed and Death Stranding really struggle to reach 30 fps on the iPhone Pro and even on the iPad it seems like M2 is needed to get consistent 30 fps out of these games (the minimum that is really needed).

Perhaps the A18 chip will be the M2 iPad equivalent so a consistent 30 fps becomes possible on iPhone.
A bigger problem with AAA on iPhone/iPad, imo, is the control. The devs don't put a lot of thoughts on adapting the UI and controls to a mobile game, it's just not worth it for them.

If I am buying a PS5 controller, why not just buy a PS5 as well? It's 1/3 of the cost of an iPhone Pro, that's now required to run the new AAA games.

On some sense, a lot of Gacha mobile games are better designed for mobile (not the business model, but the actual controls)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)