GameMode is a daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS and/or a game process.
GameMode was designed primarily as a stop-gap solution to problems with the Intel and AMD CPU powersave or ondemand governors, but is now host to a range of optimisation features and configurations.
Currently GameMode includes support for optimisations including:
- CPU governor
- I/O priority
- Process niceness
- Kernel scheduler (
- Screensaver inhibiting
- GPU performance mode (NVIDIA and AMD), GPU overclocking (NVIDIA)
- Custom scripts
GameMode packages are available for Ubuntu, Debian, Solus, Arch, Gentoo, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Mageia and possibly more.
Issues with GameMode should be reported here in the issues section, and not reported to Feral directly.
For games/launchers which integrate GameMode support (see list later on), simply running the game will automatically activate GameMode.
For others, you must manually request GameMode when running the game. This can be done by launching the game through
Or edit the Steam launch options:
Note: for older versions of GameMode (before 1.3) use this string in place of
Please note the backslash here in
\$LIB is required.
The daemon is configured with a
gamemode.ini file. example/gamemode.ini is an example of what this file would look like, with explanations for all the variables.
Configuration files are loaded and merged from the following directories, from highest to lowest priority:
[gpu]settings take no effect in this file)
[gpu]settings take no effect in this file)
Note for Hybrid GPU users
It's not possible to integrate commands like optirun automatically inside GameMode, since the GameMode request is made once the game has already started. However it is possible to use a hybrid GPU wrapper like optirun by starting the game with
You can do this by setting the environment variable
GAMEMODERUNEXEC to your wrapper's launch command, so for example
GAMEMODERUNEXEC="env DRI_PRIME=1", or
GAMEMODERUNEXEC="env __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD=1 __GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME=nvidia __VK_LAYER_NV_optimus=NVIDIA_only". This environment variable can be set globally (e.g. in /etc/environment), so that the same prefix command does not have to be duplicated everywhere you want to use
GameMode will not be injected to the wrapper.
Apps with GameMode integration
The following games are known to integrate GameMode support (meaning they don't require any additional configuration to activate GameMode while running):
- DiRT 4
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
- Total War: ROME REMASTERED
- Total War: Three Kingdoms
- Total War: WARHAMMER II
- Total War: WARHAMMER III
Other apps which can integrate with GameMode include:
- ATLauncher Minecraft launcher
- Prism Launcher Minecraft launcher
- GNOME Shell (via extension) - indicates when GameMode is active in the top panel.
- Lutris - Enables GameMode for all games by default if available (must have both 32- and 64-bit GameMode libraries installed), configurable in preferences.
- RetroArch - is a frontend for emulators, game engines and media players.
The design of GameMode has a clear-cut abstraction between the host daemon and library (
libgamemode), and the client loaders (
gamemode_client.h) that allows for safe use without worrying about whether the daemon is installed or running. This design also means that while the host library currently relies on
systemd for exchanging messages with the daemon, it's entirely possible to implement other internals that still work with the same clients.
See repository subdirectories for information on each component.
GameMode depends on
meson for building and
systemd for internal communication. This repo contains a
bootstrap.sh script to allow for quick install to the user bus, but check
meson_options.txt for custom settings.
Ubuntu/Debian (you may also need
apt install meson libsystemd-dev pkg-config ninja-build git libdbus-1-dev libinih-dev build-essential
On Ubuntu 18.04, you'll need to install
python3 package and install the latest meson version from
python3 -m venv .venv source .venv/bin/activate pip install meson
Later you can deactivate the virtual environment and remove it.
deactivate rm -rf .venv
pacman -S meson systemd git dbus libinih
dnf install meson systemd-devel pkg-config git dbus-devel
Gentoo has an ebuild which builds a stable release from sources. It will also pull in all the dependencies so you can work on the source code.
emerge --ask games-util/gamemode
You can also install using the latest sources from git:
ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="**" emerge --ask ~games-util/gamemode-9999
Build and Install GameMode
Then clone, build and install a release version of GameMode at 1.7:
git clone https://github.com/FeralInteractive/gamemode.git cd gamemode git checkout 1.7 # omit to build the master branch ./bootstrap.sh
To test GameMode installed and will run correctly:
systemctl --user stop gamemoded.service ninja uninstall -C builddir
Pull requests must match with the coding style found in the
.clang-format file, please run this before committing:
clang-format -i $(find . -name '*.[ch]' -not -path "*subprojects/*")
See the contributors section for an extended list of contributors.
Copyright © 2017-2023 Feral Interactive
GameMode is available under the terms of the BSD 3-Clause License (Revised)
The "inih" library is distributed under the New BSD license