Android 12 introduces a Game Dashboard that’s currently exclusive to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Besides providing useful tools, Google is encouraging developers to take advantage of Game Mode API. Google Play is now listing games that are “optimized for Pixel 6.”
Update 1/29/22: In the intervening months, Google has added three games (listed at the end in the chart below). This Play Store list still only appears on the Pixel 6, though the Game Dashboard is currently available for all Google phones running Android 12.
Original 11/14/21: At the top of the Play Store’s Games tab, users are seeing an “Optimized for Pixel 6” carousel with a “Boost performance or save power” section. This is in reference to the Game Mode API that developers can support to let users set whether they want a title to prioritize gameplay for longer battery life or peak frame rates.
As people in our comments have observed, Game Mode support is the only optimization needed to be listed in the Play Store list. In our testing, we spotted the Modes on Scrabble Go (casual game) and FIFA Soccer (more intensive title).
End-users can enable the “Game Dashboard” from system Settings > Apps > (under General) Game settings. When opening a compatible title, you’ll get a floating bubble that opens the overlay. In compatible games, the “Optimization” tile – which is underneath the row of screen capture, record, FPS counter, and DND shortcuts and next to YouTube Live streaming – presents three modes:
- Performance: Maximizes frame rate
- Standard: Uses the game’s defaults
- Battery Saver: Extends battery life
At the moment, the Game Dashboard is only live on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. It does not appear on other Pixel phones running Android 12. Back in July, Google said that the Game Mode API would be available on “select” Android 12 devices later this year and that Samsung is already a partner for the effort, “with more OEMs on the way.”
The full Google Play list of Game Mode-optimized titles for the Pixel 6 is below:
More on Pixel 6:
- [Update: Fix coming] Google Photos 5.67 update removes Magic Eraser feature from Pixel 6 devices
- Pixel Superfans get ‘Pixel 6 Pro’ socks and Google Tensor sticker
- Google Fit gets camera-powered heart rate, respiratory tracking on Pixel 6 [U]
- Android 12 will restart apps and games if you change your wallpaper due to Dynamic Color
Updated with clarified headline
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