Some Pixel 6 and 6 Pro users are finding a new category on the Play Store under games. Known as “Optimized for Pixel 6,” this category lists games on the Play Store that can seemingly leverage the powerful hardware of the new Pixels. The description of this list says these games “boost performance or save power.”
It includes titles like Asphalt 9, Minecraft, League of Legends: Wild Rift, 8 Ball Pool, and a few others. However, some of the titles listed under the optimized for Pixel 6 category are not particularly known to push the GPU to its limits (ex: Temple Run 2, Scrabble, etc).
As Mishaal Rahman points out (via), the only requirement to have a game under this new list is to add support for the Game Mode API. This API is currently limited to Pixel devices while it’s missing from the AOSP version of Android 12.
While Pixel 6 owners can access Game Dashboard for any title, the optimization settings would be blank for games that don’t support the Game Mode API. The default setting for all compatible games is “Standard,” while there are options to improve performance or conserve battery as well. Opening a compatible game shows a floating bubble on top of your screen.
Game Dashboard is available in a limited capacity right now
You can access the dashboard by hitting the on-screen floating action button. If you own the Pixel 6 or the Pixel 6 Pro, simply navigate to the Games tab on the Play Store to find these titles.
Game Dashboard on Android 12 also allows users to livestream their gameplay on YouTube. However, it isn’t widely available at the moment. Users can enable this dashboard by heading over to Settings – Apps – Game Settings. Additionally, the Game Dashboard also offers details on FPS, screen recording, toggling Do Not Disturb, and taking a screenshot.
In related news, older Pixel phones can now get some of the camera features from the Pixel 6. This is thanks to the new Google Camera 8.4 update. This means that features like Action Pan, Magic Eraser, Timer Light, and exposure settings are now available on older Pixels. These include devices like the Pixel 5, Pixel 4, 4a, and so on.