What is Android 12’s Gaming Dashboard and How to Use It – Make Tech Easier
Own a Pixel? Learn how to activate and use Game Dashboard on your device.
Android 12 brings with it lots of useful additions including the ability to natively take scrolling screenshots, wallpaper-based dynamic theming, a privacy dashboard and more. Google has also slipped in a little something for mobile gamers in the latest updated. Called Game Dashboard, it’s a feature aimed to enhance your mobile gaming experience. However, the option is a little hidden so many users might not even realized it’s there. This article shows you how to activate and take advantage of it.
Also read:Should You Use an Older Android Phone?
Android 12’s Game Dashboard basically brings a series of in-game options to your mobile device. These are accessible via a small controller-shaped icon which appears on the side of the screen (whether you’re in a game or not), once the option has been enabled. Users can move it around and place it anywhere on the screen to best suit their needs.
When tapped, the icon reveals a list of options to choose from including Optimization, FPS and others (will be discussed in full below) that can be activated while in-game. To be able to take advantage of these functionalities, you’ll need to turn on the “Game Dashboard” feature first, which is not very intuitive.
So far, the option appears to be limited to only Google’s Pixel lineup. “Game Dashboard” first appeared on the Pixel 6/Pixel 6 Pro, but since then it has made its way to older Pixels, as well. These include:
While Google itself hasn’t officially confirmed the information, “Game Dashboard” is probably bound to arrive on more Android 12 phones as the mobile OS makes its way onto more and more devices.
Also read:How to Check Your Pulse and Respiratory Rate Using a Pixel Smartphone
If you have a compatible Pixel device these are the steps to activate the option on your device for a superior gaming experience.
Once the feature is on, you can go ahead and run a game you have installed on your smartphone. The floating bubble will be there. While playing simply tap on it to enter the Dashboard where several options to choose from.
The first batch are shortcuts which can be added to the Dashboard sidebar for easier access during gameplay. You’ll get the following options:
Additionally, there are three more options the Game Dashboard puts at your disposal:
Also read:How to Use the Pixel’s Adaptive Charging Feature
Are there alternatives to Game Dashboard? The answer is yes. Other manufacturers such as OnePlus have been offering their own “Game mode”, which offers features that are similar.
Once activated, “Game mode” can be accessed in-game by swiping downwards from the top of the screen on the right side of the display, like you would for bringing up the notification shade. Instead, players will be presented with a set of options including:
But if Game Dashboard extends its availability to all Android 12 devices, you won’t be required to have a Pixel or an OnePlus phone to take advantage of game boosting features such as the ones detailed above. You’ll just need to upgrade your phone (if it’s supported) to the latest Android build.
Also read:7 Hidden Google Pixel Features You Need to Know and Try
First of all, make sure you’ve enabled the feature by following the instructions above step-by-step. If it’s still not showing up, make sure you’ve opened a few other apps and games on your phone and simply bring up the Recent apps, for example, by swiping your finger from the bottom of the display and tapping the square icon. Switch to another game, and the icon should appear now.
Try disabling and enabling the feature again. Then go ahead and try to screenshot in the game again. If it’s still doesn’t work keep in mind that some games might not support screenshots from the Game dashboard yet. While the Game dashboard floating icon can be present in any game, after being enabled, not all games are fully compatible with the feature just yet. It’s the case of Time Guardians, for example.
There is no official list, but we can assume that games have achievements in Play Games will also show these achievements in the Game Dashboard. Chances are screenshots will also work with these games, but “Game Optimization”, for instance isn’t available for many titles. Even in the games where you can screenshot in “Game Dashboard” such as Alto’s Adventure, Alto’s Odyssey, Temple Run 2, Fallout Shelter or Sniper 3D. For the time being, knowing exactly which game is fully supported by Game Dashboard is a trial-and-error affair.
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Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.
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May 15, 2022 at 11:48AM