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Pixels on Android 12 look set to pick up a game-oriented dashboard, similar to what other Android phones offer. The feature — alternately called a "Game Mode" or "game dashboard" — leaked prior to Android 12's previews and was spotted semi-working but hidden later in development. In the latest DP3, it looks like it's still "hidden," but it has picked up some new features, including a "game optimization" setting to adjust performance level. The existing toggles in the menu can be moved to a floating overlay, and the FPS counter works separately from the display's refresh rate.
Hidden "game menu" in DP3. All images via @MishaalRahman.
While the toggles for screenshot, screen recording, fps, and do not disturb were all present in the hidden menu on DP2, some of them can now be moved onto a floating/overlay menu (visible in the second image above). Presumably, that makes it faster to access them while gaming.
The Game Optimization setting/widget is also new compared to the last time we saw this mode. Tapping it would appear to bring up a menu with several "priority" options: "Performance," which "maximizes frame rate;" "Standard," which "uses the game defaults;" and "Battery Saver," which "lowers the frame rate."
Another glimpse at the gaming mode toggles in the bottom left. Image via XDA Developers.
XDA Developers also managed to enable what looks like a different stylized version of the new overlay toggles, though they aren't fully functional yet. The target-like button should trigger screen recording, but the function of the game controller button isn't clear yet.
Note the framerate counter on the overlay on the right. Both images via @kdrag0n.
The toggle for the FPS counter was present previously, but according to @kdrag0n, it actually works now, showing the phone's actual FPS count in real-time rather than just showing the display's current refresh rate. (It isn't immediately clear how the FPS counter worked before, considering the implication that the floating menu it lives in is new.)
If this all seems messy, you're right. But the feature is clearly under active development and not yet ready for public consumption; we're just getting several staccato early glimpses of it while it's still hidden.
Previously, details regarding this feature indicated it could be Pixel-only rather than intended for all Android 12 devices, so you may not get this on your OnePlus or Galaxy phone when they get Android 12 — not that it matters too much, most other Android manufacturers, including both of those companies, have their own gaming modes already.
The game mode/game dashboard is still hidden and not user-facing so far as we can tell, but it continues to pick up a trickle of features as Android 12 releases continue.
For more about Android 12, check out our ongoing series coverage here, or bookmark our regularly updated changelog and check back in later. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.