Why it matters: Nobody expects the new Snapdragon X PCs to trade blows with beast gaming rigs, but users will inevitably want to kill time by playing games on them, and thousands will need to run through an x86-to-Arm translation layer. With help from the community, Microsoft and Qualcomm have started offering a clear picture of how games will perform on their new Arm laptops. Some of the most popular PC games are currently unsupported, but others run shockingly well.

While presenting the new Arm-based Copilot+ PCs, Microsoft began demonstrating games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Borderlands with performance that many would find acceptable. Furthermore, an independent database now tracks the compatibility of over 1,000 titles.

Microsoft claimed that Baldur’s Gate 3 can maintain around 30fps unlocked at 1080p on the Surface Pro 11, which features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite SoC. Qualcomm previously showed the game achieving similar performance on a prototype laptop with the same processor.

The numbers aren’t very impressive on a pure cost-per-frame basis, as far higher framerates are possible on plenty of x86 PCs that are cheaper than the Snapdragon X Elite laptops. However, 1080p30 is perfectly serviceable for an integrated graphics chip running through an Arm-to-x86 translation layer. Furthermore, the Snapdragon’s advantage in efficiency will likely lead to lower temperatures and longer battery life while gaming.

Microsoft also used Borderlands to show how its upscaling technology, Auto SR, can increase framerates not unlike Nvidia’s DLSS. In native 1440p, the game only manages around 26fps, but enabling Auto SR increases that figure to 41fps while maintaining good image quality. The company claims Auto SR can improve performance by up to 60 percent.

Furthermore, Microsoft has officially sanctioned a community-driven site, worksonwoa.com, which catalogs performance statistics for numerous PC titles on the Arm version of Windows. The database currently includes over 1,000 games.

Checking some of the most popular titles shows that smooth gaming is possible on the Copilot+ PCs. Games like Civilization V, Team Fortress 2, Elden Ring, Football Manager, Final Fantasy XIV, Counter-Strike 2, The Sims 4, and World of Warcraft run without problems. Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, DOTA 2, and Stardew Valley, achieve playable framerates. However, League of Legends, Java Minecraft, and Fortnite are currently unsupported.

Performance could improve if developers began porting games to run natively on Arm Windows, but the number of developers planning to do so remains unclear. The Arm-based Apple Silicon processors have received native ports of titles like Baldur’s Gate 3, Death Stranding, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and soon Assassin’s Creed Shadows, so big-budget game makers aren’t averse to Arm PCs.

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