How to Full Screen a Game on PC: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you want to play free games on your PC in full screen? Full screen makes the game bigger and better. It hides everything else on your screen. But how do you go to full screen? It depends on the game and the platform you use.

In this guide, we will show you different ways to make games full screen. We will explain what full screen is, how to control it, why it is good and what problems it may have. After reading this, you will know how to enjoy any free PC game in full screen!

Table of Contents

What is Full Screen Mode?

Before diving into the how-to, it's essential to understand the 'what' behind full-screen gaming. Full screen mode enlarges the game window to fill your entire display without any distractions like the taskbar, dock, or other windows in the way. This removes any visual clutter and border around the edges so you see nothing but the game!

Some key advantages of playing Windows 11 games in full screen mode include:

  • Maximizes immersion without interface elements blocking your view
  • Takes advantage of your display's full resolution for better visual fidelity
  • Improves performance since the game isn't rendering other interface elements
  • Removes mouse travel distance to edges which can benefit games like shooters
  • Full screen exclusive mode prevents inadvertent alt-tabs that cause performance hits

In hidden object games, playing in full-screen mode can significantly improve your gameplay experience, ensuring you don't miss out on any hidden items. Match 3 games also offer a world of difference in full-screen mode, with enlarged visuals that make it easier to spot potential matches or combos, and vibrant colors and animations that truly come to life, adding depth and a more tactile feel to every move.

For the most part, getting your game to run in full-screen mode is easy! Here are the best methods:

Alt+Enter Keyboard Shortcut

Use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Enter to easily change between full screen and windowed modes in most PC games. When you're playing a game, hold down Alt and press Enter at the same time to make the game full screen. Press it again to go back to a smaller window.

This shortcut even works for games that don't have menu options for changing screen size. Just use this keyboard command, and you can quickly change your game's screen size while you're playing.

Graphics Driver Settings

For those using NVIDIA or AMD graphic cards:

  • NVIDIA Control Panel:

    1. Right-click on your desktop.
    2. Select 'NVIDIA Control Panel'.
    3. Navigate to 'Display' > 'Adjust desktop size and position'.
    4. Under 'Scaling', select 'Full-screen' and ensure your game uses the NVIDIA GPU.
  • AMD Radeon Settings:

    1. Right-click on the desktop.
    2. Choose 'AMD Radeon Settings'.
    3. Go to 'Display' and ensure the 'GPU Scaling' is turned on.

In-Game Graphics Settings

Most games these days include a graphics or display settings menu within the game itself. Look for options related to resolution, screen mode, or display and you should see choices for full screen, windowed, or borderless windowed modes.

Simply select full screen from the in-game menu and the game will launch maximized on next start up. This is the cleanest way to toggle full screen as the game handles it itself.

Game Launchers Settings

Popular game launchers, like Steam, Epic Games, and Origin, have their own settings which can sometimes override in-game preferences:

  • Steam: Go to your game library, right-click on the game, select 'Properties', and under 'General', choose 'Set Launch Options'. Here, you can choose fullscreen to force the game to start in full-screen mode. You can also learn how to make Steam downloads faster.
  • Epic Games: Navigate to your library, click on the game, and under 'Settings', find the option to run the game in full screen.
  • Origin: In your game library, right-click on the game and select 'Game Properties'. Under 'Advanced Launch Options', you can specify full screen.

Solutions to Common Full-Screen Issues

Sometimes, getting a game to run in full screen isn't as smooth as we'd like. Here's how to tackle some common issues:

Black Bars on the Side

If your game displays with black bars on the sides, it's likely due to a mismatch between the game's resolution and your monitor's resolution. Adjust the game’s resolution in its settings to match your screen’s native resolution.

Game Crashes or Freezes

Outdated graphic drivers can cause games to crash or freeze. Keep your graphics drivers updated. Both NVIDIA and AMD release regular updates to ensure compatibility with the latest games.

Game Doesn’t Offer Full Screen

Some older games might not offer a full-screen option in their settings. In such cases, look for third-party software or patches that can force the game into full screen.

In conclusion, experiencing a game in full-screen mode is a game-changer. It offers immersion, better graphics, and often smoother gameplay. While the methods listed above are generally effective, always remember that each game and system can have its own quirks. Don't get discouraged if one approach doesn't work immediately. Gaming communities, forums, and developers are invaluable resources when troubleshooting any issues. In today's era of high-definition graphics and ultra-realistic game environments, it's no wonder players crave the full-screen experience. The feeling of being 'inside' the game, where every corner of your vision is dominated by the gameplay, is something that's hard to match.
Published 05 October 2023

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