While watching this current LoL live world championship (Intel extreme masters), I noticed some players play in window mode. Why is that? What are the benefits of playing LoL in window mode?

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    If they were streaming the games themselves, it's likely because the streaming software they use (Xsplit) has difficulty capturing fullscreen applications. It's much easier to have it capture an area on the screen, such as a windowed mode game. In short, it doesn't offer any benefits gameplay wise, but it gets them revenue from stream ads and popularity. – RHINO_Mk.II Mar 10 '12 at 16:01
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    Another possibilty is that it is typically faster to alt-tab in and out of a game if it's running windowed instead of full-screen. – Brandon Mar 10 '12 at 17:09
  • @RHINO_Mk.II they were not streaming themselves, they were playing on computers that were provided to them on stage for the purpose of the world championship and actually 2 Riot members/commentators were the ones doing the streaming using spectator mode, and not the players themselves. – pootzko Mar 10 '12 at 18:18
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    If it was onstage, the most likely possibility is that the players were used to playing in windowed mode because they stream often, and switching to fullscreen might have thrown them off their game. – RHINO_Mk.II Mar 11 '12 at 3:29
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    @RHINO_Mk.II I was kinda thinking the same thing. Thought that they might have been used to a specific aspect ratio of the screen and it's layout, so they use windowed mode to create that. – Brandon Mar 12 '12 at 1:16

The answers already given are correct, but in most cases, players use windowed mode cause they are not at home, and they are used to one resolution. Pro players usually play on one certain resolution, and if they have to go to a LAN event, they tend to set the resolution on their PC to the resolution they are used to, cause even small changes can make a huge diffrence (you cant predict the range exactly if you are used to an other resolution).

Obviouly it also helps with Streaming and/or Alt + Tabbing, but the biggest reason for playing in windowed mode (for pros at least) is the resolution.


Windowed mode (or even borderless-windowed mode) has the advantage of not getting the exclusive use of the screen. This is actually good to not disturb Alt-Tabbing for example, or being able to use secondary screen easily.

In case of a one screen setting, it can be useful to activate this to avoid "desktop dropping" when you accidentally hit windows key (if it's not disabled). When your PC allow the overhead in resources, I don't see why you wouldn't use it.

  • Are you allowed to bring your own keyboards? SC progamers just remove the windows key – Atav32 Aug 19 '12 at 1:26

^ The reason to not use it is because fullscreen mode uses 100% of the GPU (graphics processing) on League of Legends, whereas windowed mode uses some on LoL and some on the other programs (Chrome, Word, etc.) that you're using.

With a lower-end GPU, playing on 1980 x 1050 with windowed mode can result in bad framerates, where it would play fine with full screen. Conversely, a good GPU can give good performance everywhere.

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    well I said I saw this on Intel extreme masters where they were provided with computers (most probably utilizing some of the newest components that you could find on the market at the moment (or at least something good enough so they don't have to worry about GPU performance in front of 1k audience)).. – pootzko Aug 18 '12 at 16:06
  • Yeah, I'm not sure what this has to do with people at a tournament. Do the players at IEM tab out to word and chrome a lot during the world championships? Even ignoring that these were tournament players, does Word use so much GPU (??) that you have to play LoL in windowed to use it? – PeterL Sep 28 '12 at 20:17

I think what you might have seen is the players using windowed mode during champion pick. During the game, you don't see the player's screen, since their game is 2-3 minutes ahead of live (it could give away important tactical informations). So they try not showing it. Players use the windowed mode in champion pick because you don't need fullscreen there.

  • if you are in a window mode in the pick-selection, you'll play in window mode as well. You'll need to change it inside the game, with the lost of some precious seconds. I believe that you're not completed wrong (About not showing the real-time game screen), but not right either. – Michel Nov 27 '12 at 14:20
  • nah, it's not that. it was in game, not the selection screen. – pootzko Nov 29 '12 at 7:04

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