How is the Windows 11 gaming performance? Should you upgrade if you are a gamer?
Windows 11 is the talk of the town, having been released yesterday. Have you upgraded to the new OS? Gamers will have a question about it, no they aren't going to ask, can it run Game XYZ? The real concern is, how is the gaming performance in Windows 11? Is it worth sticking to Windows 10, or do you get a boost when you upgrade to Windows 11?
Phrased differently: is it worth upgrading to Windows 11 if you use the Windows 10 PC for gaming predominantly?
Windows 11 Gaming Performance
I tested some graphics-heavy games from my library, and here is how they fared. Before we start, I should tell you how I rate the performance, I prefer a smooth frame rate and gameplay over the quality of the graphics. That is the only way to tell whether there are lag spikes, micro stutters, or other issues.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The game takes a while to start up, but this has always been the case with the Rockstar launcher, it is really an awful program and Windows 11 isn't to blame here. Anyway, the game itself runs fine. As crazy as this may sound, I actually got better FPS in RDR 2 (Update 1.26 Build 1436.28) at High/Ultra settings than with Medium/High graphics, there was about a 10FPS difference for some reason. The performance does drop in heavily populated areas like St.Denis, but that is to be expected, and I had the same issue with Windows 10.
Horizon Zero Dawn
The game's performance at launch was quite poor, but Guerrilla Games patched in several fixes and HZD runs smoothly since the last update. No complaints here on Windows 11. Here is the benchmark from the game, but I'd say don't judge it by the results.
Note: The game incorrectly detects the OS as Windows 10 2009, while it is Windows 11 21H2 build 22000.194.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Valhalla is perhaps the only game in the list that I had concerns about. I have over 125 hours into it, so I think it's fair to say I know the problems with the game. But I'm happy with its performance on Windows 11, it's good not great.
Truth to be told, it wasn't the smoothest on Windows 10 either, I could never manage to get Assassin's Creed Valhalla running at solid 60 fps regardless of the graphics settings, but I'll take the 50-55 FPS performance quite gladly. Surprisingly, Photo Mode (and Online Mode) no longer crashes the game, though I think that has to with Ubisoft's patches.
Valhalla too detects the OS build incorrectly.
Far Cry 5
The performance of Far Cry 5 really surprised me, it works quite well on Windows 11, even on Ultra graphics settings, which is saying something for a Ubisoft title. I had no issues with the game, and that 60FPS is really a treat.
Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Gamepass PC version 1.474.687.2) ran flawlessly at high settings and a solid 60FPS. The loading times weren't too bad either.
How good is Windows 11 for gaming?
Aside from Horizon Zero Dawn, the other games that I mentioned above, all have some sort of DRM that taxes the CPU a bit more. Many games have a frame rate cap, that you can enable to lock the FPS to 30 or 45 or 60, depending on your computer's hardware capabilities.
I have a mid-range gaming laptop with an NVidia GTX 1650 graphics card, an i5 9300H CPU, 8GB of RAM and an m.2 SSD. If you have an Nvidia RTX graphics card or an AMD Radeon RX GPU, and maybe an NVMe SDD, you will have a much better gaming performance with Windows 11. Before testing/playing the games, you should update your graphics driver to the latest version. I faced no issues emulating games in RetroArch, melonDS, PPSSPP and Citra either. The Xbox Wireless Controller works across all games as expected.
Recently, there have been reports that Microsoft VBS (virtualization-based security) has a negative impact on gaming performance in Windows 11. VBS is used for protecting the system against malware attacks, you can learn more about it here and here. I don't recommend disabling the setting, but if your games aren't running smoothly, you may turn it off at your own risk. If that doesn't deter you, go to Windows Security > Device Security > Core Isolation Details > and toggle the option for Memory Integrity.
Overall, I think Windows 11 offers the same gaming experience as Windows 10, unless you can take advantage of the DirectStorage feature, which boosts the loading performance of games that support it. Then again, it is not a Windows 11 exclusive feature.Advertisement