Difference between revisions of "Glossary:Borderless fullscreen windowed"

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(Benefits)
(Considerations: reworded details (vsync does nothing in this mode so isn't a disadvantage))
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=== Benefits ===
 
=== Benefits ===
* Less prone to crashing from using alt-tab.
+
* Less prone to crashing when using Alt-Tab.
* Alt-tab and multitasking is seamless and quick.
+
* Alt-Tab and multitasking is seamless and quick.
 
* Game is still immersive as window borders are obscured.
 
* Game is still immersive as window borders are obscured.
 
* Run more than one game at once.
 
* Run more than one game at once.
 
* Run a browser or an FAQ alongside a game.
 
* Run a browser or an FAQ alongside a game.
 
* Use your own monitor calibration settings (icc) on games that doesn't support it
 
* Use your own monitor calibration settings (icc) on games that doesn't support it
* Eliminates screen tearing (if desktop composition is used) regardless of framerate.
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* Eliminates screen tearing (if desktop composition is used) regardless of framerate; [[Vertical sync (Vsync)|Vsync]] is not needed.
  
 
=== Disadvantages ===
 
=== Disadvantages ===
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* Not supported or implemented by most game developers.
 
* Not supported or implemented by most game developers.
 
* ATI cards do not support Crossfire in this mode.
 
* ATI cards do not support Crossfire in this mode.
* Vsync is not available in windowed mode (regardless of borders) unless the desktop is composited (ie, Aero is enabled).
 
  
 
=== Requirements ===
 
=== Requirements ===
* All methods require the game to be run in windowed mode at the native desktop resolution, or maximum resolution of the Windows screen.
+
* All methods require the game to be run in windowed mode at the desktop resolution.
  
 
== Methods ==
 
== Methods ==

Revision as of 16:59, 16 January 2013

File:Borderless fullscreen windowed.jpg
Play StarCraft II and World of Warcraft side by side in fullscreen

Borderless fullscreen windowed is the display option of having a game run in a window but appear to be running in fullscreen. Also known as borderless windowed fullscreen, maximized windowed fullscreen, or fake fullscreen. On PCGamingWiki we will refer to this feature as borderless fullscreen windowed.

Borderless fullscreen windowed is a feature well supported by certain developers, including Valve whose modern Source engine supports the -noborder -windowed launch option. Similarly, Blizzard have included this option in their games since World of Warcraft, where the feature is known as Fullscreen (Windowed). However, most other game developers have neglected to add this feature into their games. Fortunately, borderless fullscreen windowed can be hacked into almost any game using a combination of Windows utilities.

Considerations

Borderless fullscreen windowed mode appears just like a fullscreen game, and usually has fewer issues with alt+tabbing and multitasking.

Benefits

  • Less prone to crashing when using Alt-Tab.
  • Alt-Tab and multitasking is seamless and quick.
  • Game is still immersive as window borders are obscured.
  • Run more than one game at once.
  • Run a browser or an FAQ alongside a game.
  • Use your own monitor calibration settings (icc) on games that doesn't support it
  • Eliminates screen tearing (if desktop composition is used) regardless of framerate; Vsync is not needed.

Disadvantages

  • Performance decrease, normally around 15% slower.
  • Potential stability decrease for certain games.
  • Only works by running at native desktop resolution, which may result in slow performance.
  • Not supported or implemented by most game developers.
  • ATI cards do not support Crossfire in this mode.

Requirements

  • All methods require the game to be run in windowed mode at the desktop resolution.

Methods

ShiftWindow

This utility was originally developed by grismar for the EVE Online community. ShiftWindow sets the size and position of any windowed game so that the borders are forced off the screen, giving the appearance of a fullscreen window.

  1. Set a game to display at your display's native resolution and in windowed mode.
  2. Run ShiftWindow, and trigger it to resize the game window so that the borders overflow off the screen.

A step by step guide to making any game run in borderless fullscreen windowed is available on Shiny Hacks.

Issues

  • Incompatible with a number of games that do not allow for their window title bar to be forced off the screen.
  • May result in Windows' taskbar displaying over the game window.
    • Tweak for this issue is available called DisableTaskbarOnTop, which allows the game to display over the Taskbar.

AutoHotKey

  • Important AutoHotkey note: Games utilizing PunkBuster as an anti-cheat measure may mistakenly interpret AutoHotkey as illegal and as such will automatically kick you from any respective servers. Battlefield 3 is the most notable example.

This method uses AutoHotKey and a script to set the game window size and position, and strips out the native Windows border style.

AutoHotKey script by briankb

briankb's script appears to be the earliest implementation of this method from February 2011.

AutoHotKey script by XunAmarox

Another AutoHotkey Script

This script will full screen the currently active window onto your primary monitor with the F12 key

F12::
WinGet, WindowID, ID, A
WinSet, Style, -0xC40000, ahk_id %WindowID%
WinMove, ahk_id %WindowID%, , 0, 0, A_ScreenWidth, A_ScreenHeight
return
Full Screen Toggle AutoHotkey Script

More complicated script which will toggle between full screen and windowed modes

F12::
WinGet, TempWindowID, ID, A
If (WindowID != TempWindowID)
{
  WindowID:=TempWindowID
  WindowState:=0
}
If (WindowState != 1)
{
  WinGetPos, WinPosX, WinPosY, WindowWidth, WindowHeight, ahk_id %WindowID%
  WinSet, Style, ^0xC40000, ahk_id %WindowID%
  WinMove, ahk_id %WindowID%, , 0, 0, A_ScreenWidth, A_ScreenHeight
}
Else
{
  WinSet, Style, ^0xC40000, ahk_id %WindowID%
  WinMove, ahk_id %WindowID%, , WinPosX, WinPosY, WindowWidth, WindowHeight
}
WindowState:=!WindowState
return
Multiple Monitors

The script can be altered to have the window appear anywhere instead of on your primary monitor. The key is this line:

WinMove, ahk_id %WindowID%, , 0, 0, A_ScreenWidth, A_ScreenHeight

0, 0 are the coordinates of the upper left corner of the window. You can change these to the coordinates of the upper left corner of another monitor. When multiple monitors are present Windows concatenates them all into one virtual desktop. For example, if both of your monitors are 1600x1200 and they are arranged side by side, your virtual desktop is 3200x1200. In this case to have the window appear on your right (secondary) monitor you'd have to change the code to this:

WinMove, ahk_id %WindowID%, , 1600, 0, 1600, 1200

Note that the screen size should be entered manually instead of A_ScreenWidth, A_ScreenHeight in case your monitors have different resolutions. If you're not sure what the coordinates of the upper left of your screen are, Windows 7 Screen Resolution control panel will tell you when dragging the displays around.

Script File

To make this into an AutoHotkey script file:

  • In Windows Explorer, File -> New -> AutoHotkey Script
  • Open the newly created file in a text editing program
  • Append the code to the end of the file
  • Save the file and run it

GameCompanion

BUDA20 developed this utility which, amongst other features, allows games to be run in 'FF mode' or 'Fake fullscreen' mode, which is the same as borderless fullscreen windowed. The program is downloaded as a .7z archive, which can be extracted to a folder and does not require installation. It defaults to starting with Windows.

To enable 'FF mode':

  • Run the program (which will open in the system tray).
  • Run a game in the native desktop resolution in windowed mode.
  • Press Control + Enter to run borderless fullscreen windowed mode.

Automatically Enable Fake Fullscreen

GameCompanion.ini can be edited by adding the .exe of games (case-sensitive). By default, the file looks like this:

[AutoFFMode]
Oblivion.exe
Fallout3.exe
Fallout3ng.exe
FalloutNV.exe
FalloutNV.4gb
Morrowind.exe
F.E.A.R. 3.exe
SSFIV.exe
HL2.exe
Background Process Won't Close

Appears to keep the Fallout: New Vegas game process running in the background even if the game has been closed. The game can be shut down properly by going into the task manager to kill the task FalloutNV.exe.

Borderless Windowed

Created by TeHypno in Autohotkey_L, this program offers a simple interface that can enable a borderless window state automatically, or by toggling a hotkey.

Windowed Borderless Gaming By Hellstrong

Force Windowed Mode

These utilities can be used to force windowed mode in games that do not usually support it: