It’s been a long day and you’ve got some time to kill, so you grab your Samsung Galaxy S7 and fire up your favorite game. You’re all set to crush the level that you’ve been stuck on for the last seven weeks—it’s so close you can taste it. Then your bff decides to send a text that interrupts your game, which throws you off your mark. You lose again.
Before you throw your phone across the room from just thinking about it, there is hope: Samsung’s Game Launcher is a killer way to dramatically improve your mobile gaming experience. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What Game Launcher Does
Game Launcher is basically Samsung’s push to improve mobile gaming on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. It’s a set of tools that essentially allow you to customize how your phone will react when certain variables are met—like a touch of the back button or a call coming through, for example.
You can use Game Launcher to disable all alerts during a game, so your friend won’t ruin your game again. It can also lock out the “back” and “recents” buttons, so you won’t exit the game if you accidentally hit a button. You can even use it to quickly take a screenshot or record gameplay and lay down some audio on top of it. Sounds to me like it may be time to start a YouTube channel, you gaming machine.
But it also does more. You can even use it to save battery life by reducing the resolution and frame rate. This, of course, will make the game look and play slightly worse, so it may not be something everyone wants to use. But if you’re worried about running out of juice and just have to get your Farm Heros fix in, this may be the solution.
How to Set Up Game Launcher
This is actually the easy part. On your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, jump into the app drawer and scroll down until you find “Game Launcher.” Tap that.
When it opens, all of your installed games should show up. It’s not the best at detecting exactly what a game is, so there may be some off apps here—along those same lines, it may not show every game you have installed. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a way to add non-listed games just yet. Bummer.
At the bottom of the Launcher, there are two toggle-able options: “No alerts during game” and “Game Tools.” The former will do exactly what it says: disable all alerts when a game is running in the foreground.
The latter, however, isn’t quite as straightforward. Essentially, this is a a tiny icon that display along the side of the screen that allows you to tweak most Game Launcher settings when a game is running. This is where you’ll do things like lock the back and recents keys, grab a quick screenshot, or start a recording.
Right now, the biggest downside of Game Launcher and Game Tools is that they’re only available for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. These are both useful tools that I’d personally like to see Samsung release in Google Play for all Android devices—but unfortunately I realize that’s just not going to happen. At the very least, maybe they’ll trickle them down to the S6 and Note 5. Hopefully.