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How to use the Android Game Dashboard

If its buttons won't go away, we've got you covered there too.
By
October 25, 2022

First introduced alongside Android 12, the Game Dashboard is built to simplify some of the functions around phone gaming, like capturing screenshots, livestreaming to YouTube, and optimizing performance. Here’s how to enable the Android Game Dashboard and make use of its core features.

Read more: The best Android games available right now

QUICK ANSWER

To enable the Android Game Dashboard, open Settings, then go to Apps > Game settings and flip its toggle. Use the top row of buttons to toggle things like Do Not Disturb mode or in-game screenshot and recording controls. You can also livestream to YouTube, or (for supported games) quickly optimize performance.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to turn the Android Game Dashboard on or off

To enable or disable the Dashboard:

  • Open Settings. You may be able to search for “Game Dashboard” directly.
  • Otherwise, select Apps, then Game settings.
  • Flip the Game Dashboard toggle on or off.

Once the Dashboard is active, you can access it any time you’re playing a game by tapping on the floating gamepad icon, so long as you’ve left that option on (see screenshots). Some people may want to disable it to avoid obscuring details or creating a distraction.

How to use the Android Game Dashboard

Taking screenshots

This feature is a little redundant since you can always use Android’s standard screenshot controls, but if you do want to use the Dashboard method:

  • Open the Dashboard.
  • Tap the screenshot icon (top row, far left) to enable or disable controls.
  • Close the Dashboard, and tap the matching in-game button whenever you want a screenshot.

Recording video

  • Open the Dashboard.
  • Tap the screen recording icon (top row, second from the left) to enable or disable controls.
  • Close the Dashboard, and tap the matching in-game button.
  • Choose which audio sources you want to record, if any, and whether or you want to display your in-game taps.
  • Hit Start to begin recording.

FPS

To see how well your phone is performing, you can turn on an FPS (frames per second) counter. Games should be running at 30fps or higher in order to look smooth. If a game is running below that, you may need to use the Dashboard’s Optimization feature (see below), manually scale back some in-game graphics options, or upgrade to a faster phone.

To enable or disable the counter, open the Dashboard and tap the FPS icon.

Do Not Disturb

While you might not care about calls or notifications when you’re playing turn-based games like Wordle or Civilization, those alerts can easily interfere with action titles. The Game Dashboard provides quick access to Android’s Do Not Disturb mode — be sure you’ve configured that first.

Within the Dashboard, toggle Do Not Disturb by tapping its icon, which looks like an encircled minus symbol.

Optimization

This feature is only supported by a select number of games, but can potentially squeeze more frames or battery life out of your phone. You can toggle it and check availability through the main Dashboard menu.

There are three Optimization settings:

  • Performance ramps up your phone’s processors at the cost of power consumption. Don’t use this in situations where it might be a few hours before you can plug in a charger.
  • Battery Saver hurts framerates, but might let you play less demanding games without worrying about your phone dying.
  • Standard is the balance your phone normally uses.

YouTube livestreaming

If you’re a professional YouTuber or just want to show others what you’re playing, the Dashboard makes it possible to leap into livestreaming. Make sure your phone can handle it, however — we’d recommend a high-spec device like the Pixel 7, and the best possible internet connection, usually meaning your home’s private Wi-Fi. Avoid streaming from public hotspots, or on a cellular connection unless you’ve got unlimited data and the situation demands being on the go. Even the best 4G/5G connections can be hurt by network congestion, signal interference, and/or carrier throttling.

To get streaming:

  • Open the Dashboard.
  • Tap YouTube Live.
  • Configure stream settings, including name, game title, privacy level (this should usually be Public), and whether or not content will be kid-friendly. Don’t lie on that last point — it could potentially get you kicked off YouTube, or even in legal trouble depending on local regulations. In the US, for example, you need to flag videos to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
  • Follow instructions to start or stop your stream.

How to manage the Android Game Dashboard floating menu

Even if you’ve technically disabled the Dashboard, its floating in-game buttons can sometimes persist. This is a bug that Google has worked to patch out of existence, so update Android if you haven’t recently. If the bug’s still in place, try the following:

  • Open Settings.
  • Go to Notifications > Do Not Disturb > Schedules > Gaming.
  • Switch off the Game Dashboard toggle.

Read more: The best phones for gaming