Microsoft Details Gaming And AV Caveats For Copilot+ PCs Running On Snapdragon

Microsoft recently introducted and impressive lineup of Copilot+ PCs. Featuring Snapdragon X Series CPUs, these new PCs have fantastic battery life and offer strong performance in many applications. Gamers curious about graphics performance should be aware of several potential drawbacks, however. 

While Microsoft does not position Copilot+ PCs for gamers, it is only natural that some users will want to game in their downtime. Microsoft has a support document that lists a few drawbacks of using Windows with the current Arm architecture at the foundation of Snapdragon X chips. 

First, drivers for various pieces of hardware necessary for most modern games need to be made specifically for Windows 11 Arm-based PCs. This is also true for some productivity software that may not specifically work on Arm without specific drivers for some hardware. Apple successfully used Rosetta 2 to have its Arm based Apple silicon work with Intel based Mac software during its transition, and Microsoft has Prism, but even emulation relies on proper driver support for any hardware used for acceleration or special software features.

Secondly, games that have anti-cheat features built-in that are not Windows-On-Arm native will simply not work. This removes a significant portion of popular games, making the library available to Snapdragon users much smaller in comparison to x86. 


While AI Copilot+ PCs have been touted as the wave of the future by Microsoft, these gaming limitations may sour some potential customers. For games that do work, graphics performance has been inconsistent with some titles. Much like Intel needed time to develop drivers for its Arc lineup of GPUs, Qualcomm will need some time to optimize drivers for its Adreno GPUs on the Windows 11 platform.

In the current day and age of handheld hardware such as the Steam Deck, gamers have been able to get impressive performance from small devices. These Copilot+ PCs are aimed squarely at productivity users, so sub-optimal game performance is less of a miss. Content creators who rely on graphics performance, such as 3D artists, however, may run into similar limitations, though many of the most popular applications are Arm native not and run well. 

Microsoft outlines various questions in its support documents, which may help new users navigate some of the initial growing pain. Be sure to check out the Microsoft knowledge base if you run into any issues.