What Is Exclusive Fullscreen ? [5 Key Advantages]

If you’ve ever found yourself immersed in a gripping video game, you understand the significance of game display modes, especially the concept of exclusive fullscreen. As gamers, we often encounter terms like Fullscreen Exclusive, Borderless window, and DPI Awareness, but what do they all mean? What do they bring to your gaming experience? What is exclusive fullscreen ? Let’s dive into this interactive realm and unravel the intricacies of these enigmatic terms.

Fullscreen Exclusive: The Star of the Gaming Show

what is exclusive fullscreen

Exclusive Fullscreen is a term that sounds both familiar and foreign. It’s a display mode in video gaming where the game takes full control of the screen, leading to better performance. The fullscreen vs exclusive fullscreen debate often revolves around performance benefits. When you’re in the exclusive fullscreen mode, you’re permitting the game to interface directly with the hardware. This approach eliminates any potential performance loss caused by the desktop’s graphical user interface (GUI).

DirectX, OpenGL, and other graphic technologies like Unity and Unreal often leverage exclusive fullscreen mode to extract the highest possible performance. While exclusive fullscreen gives you optimal refresh rates and minimal input latency, it also comes with a drawback. When you alt-tab out of an exclusive fullscreen game, you’ll often experience a brief delay. This hiccup happens because the system has to switch control from the game back to the desktop’s GUI.

But don’t worry! The gaming world has alternatives, such as the borderless window mode.

Borderless Window: A Seamless Blend

what is the difference between fullscreen and exclusive fullscreen

The Fullscreen Borderless vs Fullscreen Exclusive discussion would be incomplete without understanding what borderless window entails. This mode gives your game a windowed appearance without borders, making it appear fullscreen. Unlike exclusive fullscreen, where the game seizes total control, borderless window mode enables games to share control with other desktop applications.

This mode provides an excellent advantage of smooth alt-tabbing between your game and other applications. However, it may have a slight impact on the game’s performance as the GUI is still active in the background. It’s a trade-off, and the choice between fullscreen exclusive vs fullscreen borderless largely depends on user preference and the specific requirements of the game.

The World Behind the Window: A Technical Perspective

what is exclusive fullscreen mode

Let’s dive into a bit more tech-oriented aspect of exclusive fullscreen. In Microsoft Windows, there are a variety of styles and settings for creating windows. For example, WS_POPUP is a style that creates a pop-up window, whereas WS_CLIPCHILDREN and WS_CLIPSIBLINGS help manage the rendering of overlapping windows.

To achieve exclusive fullscreen mode, a game typically employs the ChangeDisplaySettings function with CDS_FULLSCREEN. This function directs Windows to switch the display to fullscreen, giving the game full control.

When you press the print screen key during a game in exclusive fullscreen mode, you might notice that the screenshot turns out black. Why? It’s because the game bypasses the GUI, and the screenshot function, a part of the GUI, captures nothing.

Game TypeCommon Display Mode
AAA TPS (Triple A Third Person Shooters)Exclusive Fullscreen for best performance
AA FPS (Double A First Person Shooters)Fullscreen Borderless for easy task switching
Indie FP (Indie First Person)Both, based on game requirements
AA TP (Double A Third Person)Fullscreen Borderless for a blend of performance and multitasking
Indie FPS (Indie First Person Shooters)Both, depending on the developer’s choice
what is exclusive fullscreen

DPI Awareness: All About Detail

what is exclusive fullscreen

DPI Awareness refers to how an application handles high DPI settings. DPI, or Dots Per Inch, is a measurement of display density. In exclusive fullscreen mode, the game generally ignores the system’s DPI settings, as it directly interfaces with the hardware. In contrast, games running in borderless window mode must be DPI Aware, as they interact with the system’s GUI and thus have to manage display scaling appropriately.

Delving Deeper into the Gaming Universe: Vsync and Its Significance

One can’t delve into the realms of exclusive fullscreen and borderless window without taking a moment to appreciate the magic behind Vsync, or Vertical Sync. This term is a hot topic in the gaming world, and for a good reason. Vsync synchronizes the frame rate of a game with the refresh rate of the monitor to prevent ‘screen tearing’, a visual artifact that breaks the immersion.

In exclusive fullscreen, Vsync can often provide a smoother gaming experience by eliminating screen tearing. But remember, while Vsync can enhance your visual experience, it may also introduce some input lag or reduce the game’s frame rate, especially if your hardware isn’t up to par. This effect is due to the way Vsync has to delay frame rendering to match the monitor’s refresh rate.

However, in a borderless window mode, the operating system typically handles Vsync, leading to less control for the game over frame rendering. This setup might result in minor performance dips, but it makes switching between applications seamless and lag-free.

User Preference: The Key Determinant

While all the technicalities matter, what ultimately dictates the choice between fullscreen borderless vs fullscreen exclusive is the user’s preference. Are you a competitive player where every millisecond of response time counts? Fullscreen exclusive could be your best bet. Or perhaps you’re a casual gamer who likes to multitask between games and other applications? Then borderless window might be the right fit.

The In-House vs. Indie Dichotomy

The choice of display mode can also depend on who develops the game. AAA or In House games with substantial budgets and resources often lean towards exclusive fullscreen due to the control and performance it offers. For instance, many Triple-A First Person Shooters (AAA FPS) and Third Person Shooters (AAA TPS) use exclusive fullscreen to ensure smooth and lag-free gameplay.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Indie FPS and Indie FP games. These titles, developed by smaller teams with limited resources, may opt for borderless window mode to ensure their games run smoothly across a wider range of systems. It makes them more accessible and user-friendly, as they are easier to alt-tab out of and can co-exist peacefully with other running applications.

Remember, indie doesn’t mean less quality. As the famous indie game developer, Rami Ismail once said, “Indie does not mean a type of game. It just means independence.”

Developer TypePreferred Display Mode
In-HouseExclusive Fullscreen
IndieBorderless Window
what is exclusive fullscreen table

A Word from the Wise

To quote the great Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario, “The obvious objective of video games is to entertain people by surprising them with new experiences.” And it’s within these very experiences that terms like fullscreen borderless vs fullscreen exclusive become relevant. They are pivotal in tailoring those unique gaming experiences, and understanding them can elevate your appreciation for the art and technology of video games.

Finale And FAQ About What Is Exclusive Fullscreen

No one can dictate the best way to experience your game, because it’s your adventure, your escapade. The power to choose between fullscreen exclusive vs fullscreen borderless lies in your hands. Experiment and choose what brings out the best in your gaming moments.

As the great game designer Hideo Kojima said, “Games are a form of culture born from technology.” And being at the heart of that culture, you, the gamer, have the freedom and the right to decide what technology works best for you. Happy gaming! Read more on fulltechguides;

What is the difference between Fullscreen and Exclusive Fullscreen?

The primary difference between fullscreen and exclusive fullscreen lies in the control over the screen output. In standard fullscreen, the game occupies the entire screen but doesn’t necessarily have direct control over the hardware. Exclusive fullscreen gives the game full control over the screen, resulting in potentially better performance.

What is Borderless Window, and how does it compare to Fullscreen Exclusive?

Borderless window is a display mode where the game appears to be fullscreen but is actually running in a borderless window. It provides smoother alt-tabbing between your game and other applications but may slightly impact the game’s performance as the GUI is still active in the background. On the other hand, fullscreen exclusive mode provides optimal performance but may have slower alt-tabbing due to the game’s full control over the screen output.

Is exclusive fullscreen better?

Exclusive fullscreen can offer better performance compared to other display modes as it allows the game to interface directly with the graphics hardware. It can provide higher frame rates, reduced input latency, and optimal refresh rates. However, it might make switching between applications slower. Whether it’s better or not largely depends on your specific requirements and preferences.

Does fullscreen exclusive increase fps?

Yes, fullscreen exclusive can increase the frames per second (FPS) because it provides the game direct control over the graphics hardware, bypassing the operating system’s GUI. This access can result in smoother gameplay and higher frame rates. However, the actual impact may vary based on your system’s specifications and the game’s requirements.

Do you lose FPS in borderless?

Potentially, yes. In borderless window mode, the game has to share control with the operating system’s GUI and other running applications. This sharing might slightly reduce the game’s performance, including its FPS. However, the actual decrease in FPS can depend on various factors such as your system’s specifications, the game’s optimization, and what other applications are running concurrently.

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