The Game Bar of Windows 10 is not just for capturing videos anymore because, on its May 2019 Update, you will experience all of its new features. It’s packed with very useful tools, which include viewing resource usage, playing music on Spotify, and adjusting the volume of applications.
What is Windows 10 Game Bar?
This is a software program that allows you to broadcast or record video games and take screenshots while playing. This is an included feature in Windows 10, perfect for PC gamers that want to make their gaming experience more reliable, faster, and smoother. You can also open the Xbox app via Game Bar and a lot of Windows PC users prefer to play games through it. That is why the Game Bar is called as an Xbox Game DVR by a lot of gamers.
Opening the Game Bar
The fastest way to open the Game Bar in your Windows computer is to press the Windows+G keys on your keyboard. An overlay of it will appear while you’re playing a game.
It can also appear on other applications or over your desktop. But, if you want to see how useful it is, open it while you’re playing a PC game. If you want to close the Game Bar, just click the Windows+G keys on your keyboard again.
At this point, calling it the Game Bar is kind of misleading because it’s not just a one bar menu anymore. Today, it is already an overlay that contains multiple panels. You haven’t updated your operating system to the latest Windows 10 yet if the overlay you’re seeing is still small.
When the Game Bar appears on your screen, click the Home icon located on the upper panel to select which of the panels are shown on the overlay. The Home icon looks like a menu button.
Make sure that your Game Bar is enabled because the Windows+G shortcut won’t work if it’s not turned on. Go to Settings and select Gaming. After that choose the Game Bar option. Make sure that the option that says “Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game Bar” is turned on. Also, check if the Windows+G shortcut wasn’t changed as a shortcut to the Game Bar. You can also create your own shortcut, so use it if you created one instead of using Windows+G.
Best Features in Windows 10 Game Bar
1. Play Music on Spotify
Unlike before, the Game Bar is now featuring Spotify integration. To pull up the app, just click the menu button and choose the Spotify option in it.
After that, log in to your account on Spotify and use its widget to control playback and play music while you’re playing. Instead of pressing Alt+Tab key on your keyboard, you can now easily access your music without any hassle.
2. Connect with others on Xbox Live
You can easily chat with your Xbox friends using your Windows computer just like how you chat with them using the Xbox console.
It is represented as an Xbox Social widget that floats on your screen while you’re playing games. If you want to look for friends to join you and play with you, the Looking for Group panel on the game bar can also come in handy.
Primarily, this feature is useful for Windows computer users that play games on either the Xbox 360 or Xbox One. However, Microsoft is planning to make an ecosystem for Xbox
3. Capture Gameplays
This was actually the real purpose of why the Game Bar was made by Microsoft – to offer users a way to capture screenshots and record gameplays. Other than that, you can also create a live stream using Microsoft’s Mixer, which is known as Beam in the past.
Just like PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you can record gameplay automatically in the background and prefer to save the gameplay’s last 30 seconds anytime.
You can also use it as a desktop screen recorder and not just for gameplay. All you have to do is launch the Game Bar and select the Record button. After that, it will automatically record any application you use on your computer.
You can also use a microphone while recording what you’re doing. All you have to do is click the toggle off or on from the Broadcasts & Capture panel. Once the recording is done, just click the Stop button. You will get a .mp4 clip, which will be saved on C:\Users\NAME\Videos\Captures folder.
4. Adjust the Volume of Apps
This feature is not just for gamers, but for every Windows PC user. Just press the Windows+G anywhere on your desktop. Then, use the Audio panel on the Game Bar to adjust the volume of any program or application that is running.
5. Keep Any Panels on Top
To keep a certain panel on top while you are playing or browsing the internet, just click the Pin icon. You can pin any type of panel using this feature.
For instance, the volume panel will appear on top of any app you’re using if you pin it. This offers quick access to the settings of Application Volume.
You can also move the pinned panels anywhere on the screen as well. You just have to drag it where you want.
6. Monitoring System Performance
You will be able to see the current RAM, CPU, and GPU usage information using the Game Bar’s Performance panel. The graph of the usage and the current resource usage over the last minute will be shown in it. All you have to do is press the Windows + G keys on your keyboard while you’re playing. You don’t have to click the Alt+Tab shortcut.
This is a quicker way to access and see RAM, CPU, and GPU usage than opening the Task Manager. However, if you want to see the overall GPU usage of each process on your computer, follow the steps below.
How to check your GPU information
You can easily check the usage details and other information about your GPU by going to the Windows Task Manager. Here’s how.
- Right-click the Taskbar.
- Choose the Task Manager option on the pop-up window. You can also open it using a shortcut. Just simply press the Windows+Esc key on your keyboard.
- Look at the top of the window and click the Performance tab. Click the More Info option if you can’t see the Performance tab.
- Choose the “GPU 0” option that will appear on the sidebar.
- At the upper-right corner of the window, you will be able to see the model name and the manufacturer of your GPU. In this window, you will also find other information, including the dedicated memory on your GPU.
You will also see GPU 1 and other GPUs on this list if your system happens to have multiple GPUs. If you’re using Windows 7 or 8, you can find all GPU information on the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. Here’s how.
- Just press the Windows+R key on your keyboard.
- A pop-up will appear. Type “dxdiag” in it.
- Press Enter afterward.
- Choose the Display tab.
- On the Device section, look at the Name field. You will be able to see other graphs and statistics, including the amount of VRAM or video memory you have.