With Android 12, the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have gotten an optimized dashboard for gaming. The feature is currently exclusive to the Pixel 6 series and it improves the gaming experience on the two recent flagship phones by Google. Now, AndroidPolice reports that developers can now take advantage of Game Mode API, and Google Play is listing games that are “optimized for Pixel 6″.
The Google Play Store now has a category of games “optimized for Pixel 6”
Some Pixel 6 users have reported having a category in the Play Store’s Games tab dubbed “Optimized for Pixel 6”. There, you can find a handful of games that can take advantage of the new hardware in the Pixel 6 series. However, the description of the list is quite vague, and the description of what it should do is, basically, a list of titles that “boost performance or save power”.
Some of the games listed in the category are quite popular, for example, Asphalt 9, Minecraft, League of Legends: Wild Right, and even Raid: Shadow Legends. For now, the majority of games however are either casual games or games in the sports categories. Examples of these include Scrabble, Temple Run 2, and Ludo. For the moment, these are obviously not very demanding games, and they won’t be pushing the Pixel 6’s gaming abilities to the max.
For developers, getting their game into the list is not very difficult. You need to add support for Google’s Game Mode API to your game, and this is currently one of the Android 12’s specific-to-Pixel features that other Android phones won’t be taking advantage of. Unfortunately, though, it seems the new feature isn’t available in the AOSP variant of Android 12, at least according to Mishaal Rahman, and that means there won’t be a system-wide Game Mode on Android phones that are not Pixels soon. Many Android phone makers already have some sort of gaming mode or optimizations for gaming baked in, so luckily, other Android phones have alternatives to Google’s Game Mode.
All games get access to the Pixel 6’s Game Dashboard if it’s enabled. To enable it, you need to allow “Game Dashboard” from system Settings > Apps > (under General) Game settings.
Then, you need to tap on the floating action button that appears on the screen. However, games that don’t have support for the Game Mode API will have the optimization settings greyed out on the Game Dashboard.
The games that have appeared in the “Optimized for Pixel 6” list in the Play Store allow you to choose to prioritize performance or battery life, while all games run on the “Standard” setting by default. You can select one of the three modes that appear for optimization:
- Performance: Maximizes frame rate
- Standard: Uses the game’s defaults
- Battery Saver: Extends battery life
Currently, the Game Dashboard is only available for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro and does not appear on other Pixel phones running Google’s newest operating system, Android 12. Back in July, when the tech giant announced the new optimization Game Mode API, it stated it would be available on “select Android 12 devices later this year”. However, it remains to be seen which ones. Apart from the Game Dashboard, Android 12 brought several other improvements and not only to Pixel 6 phones. Android 12 comes with a pleasant redesign dubbed Material You, that allows for your icons and background colors to match the colors in your wallpaper, and improvements in the security and privacy controls of your Android phone. The new privacy and security settings are available in an easy-to-understand Security Hub.