Samsung Game Tools and Game Launcher make playing games on your Samsung Galaxy phone more fun. Use them to record the action

Samsung has built special tools into Android 7 for the company’s top end phones like the Galaxy S8, S7 and S6. If you have the latest OS, here’s what you need to know about these gaming tools.

There is a section in the Settings app for gamers and it contains two switches that enable Game Tools and Game Launcher. What are they?

Game Launcher is basically a folder on the phone’s home screen that is used to hold all your game apps. You could easily create a folder yourself and drag the games app icons into it, but there is one extra feature that makes it a bit more useful. It hides the games icons elsewhere, so there are no icons on the home screens or in the app drawer. It separates game icons from the rest of the apps on your phone.

This is useful for keeping the home screen and app drawer screens clear of clutter, but do you really have so many games installed that they are a problem? Use it if you want to, but it is not essential unless you have dozens of games on your phone.

Game Tools enables you to take screenshots and create video recordings of games. If you like to share your gaming successes, create game guides, and show off your skills, this saves you having to install a third party video capture app to record the action.

Enable Game Tools and Game Launcher

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Press Advanced Features
  3. Press Games
  4. Turn on Game Launcher and Game Tools

Samsung game settings in Android 7
Press either of these for an explanation

 Samsung Game Launcher in Android 7 Samsung Game Tools in Android 7

If you run a game, the Game Tools can be triggered without going into Settings. You might see a screen like this pop up when a game is started.

Samsung Game Tools in Android 7

How to use Game Tools

There isn’t much to say about Game Launcher, but Game Tools has several useful features. It adds a tiny icon to the screen when a game is being played. It can be dragged to any position, so you can place it where it is not in the way of the game controls or screen information.

Press the icon and it opens a panel with various controls. There are three switches and it is possible to block notifications that they do not interrupt the gaming action. You don’t want email alerts and other notifications on the screen, so this temporarily disables them.

The Recents key for switching between apps and the Back key can be locked. These are the hardware at the bottom of the phone and when playing games it is possible to accidentally press them, which stops the game. This won’t happen when they are locked.

Samsung Game Tools in Android 7

If you are wondering what the game is, it is GameFriends.

There is a screenshot button, but I find it easier to hold down volume down and the home button to save a screenshot. It can be a bit tricky in the middle of a fast action game, but I don’t think Game Tools is an improvement.

The Record button is the most useful and it enables you to record the screen and save it to the phone's storage as a video clip. Just start recording at whatever point in the game you want to capture. Pull down from the top to stop recording and the video is saved to the Videos folder on the phone

The Videos app can be used to view the game recordings that have been saved. They can be uploaded to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and synced to the computer like any other media file. From there you can edit them and share them online.

Recording options

Tap the gear icon and the recording options can be configured. There is an option to show a profile image or to use the front camera to to record yourself while a game recording is taking place.

Add to this, the option to use the phone’s microphone to record yourself and you have the ability to narrate the action and explain what you are doing to your audience.

Samsung Game Tools recording settings

The recording feature is useful if you share your video clips online. There are other game recorders available, such as DU Recorder, which I looked at in Record games on your Android phone and share the video online.