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Microsoft enables unlocked frame rates in Windows 10 games (update)

Now developers just have to add support

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Microsoft updated Windows 10's Universal Windows Platform today to enable a few graphics features that PC gamers have been clamoring for, with support for unlocked frame rates leading the list.

The patch gives developers the option to allow players to disable v-sync in UWP-based games and apps. Turning off v-sync causes screen tearing, an issue that both Nvidia and AMD have addressed with their own proprietary graphics technologies — Nvidia in the form of G-Sync, and AMD with FreeSync — that only work with special monitors. Today's update also enables support for G-Sync and FreeSync in UWP software.

The update doesn't mean that UWP-based Windows 10 games automatically have these features now. The developers of individual games and apps must now update their software to take advantage of the new options. Microsoft also noted that unlocked frame rates aren't currently working in laptops that have both integrated video and a discrete graphics chip.

Microsoft has slowly been growing the catalog of Windows 10 games in the Windows Store, but gamers have complained about limitations like the inability to disable v-sync in those titles. Bryan Langley, principal program manager for graphics at Microsoft, said on the DirectX Developer Blog today that the company made this update "as a direct response to your feedback," and added that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and the Forza Motorsport 6: Apex beta should add support for the features "in the very near future."

However, it seems that Microsoft does not intend to add support for fullscreen-exclusive mode to DirectX 12. Langley said that Microsoft designed DirectX 12 to offer the performance of fullscreen mode with the benefits of windowed mode — in other words, DirectX 12 obviates the need for fullsceen-exclusive mode, according to Microsoft.

Other updates on the way for DirectX 12 gaming in Windows 10 include "some exciting developments on multiple GPUs" that are coming "in the near future," said Langley.

Update: Gears of War: Ultimate Edition developer The Coalition issued a patch for the Windows 10 version of the game on May 11, adding a v-sync toggle and other graphics options.