I recently came across a relatively new browser (initially created in 2019), or more like a special version of the main Opera browser, called Opera GX.
It claims that it is a “browser for gamers” and while this is clearly an exaggeration, it has a lot of features that gamers would benefit from. Not to mention that the interface itself bears a strong resemblance to anything you’d find in Cyberpunk 2077.
From controlling how much of a given resource websites can use to the built-in adblocker to its integrations with Discord, YouTube Music and more directly through the browser interface, there are almost endless ways for users to enhance their Opera GX experience. You can even customize browser backgrounds and music.
With such a wide variety of options and enhancements, everyone, but especially players that Opera is clearly targeted at, should try Opera GX. After all, if a staunch supporter of Mozilla Firefox like me, you might be impressed, so you might be as pleasantly surprised as I am.
One of the main features of Opera GX is the CPU, RAM, network limiters and hot tab killer, which allow users to control how much of these resources are affected by the browser, even allowing you to automatically turn off certain tabs that consume a lot of these values. It’s a simple set of features that give you expert control over your internet experience that you can’t even get from the best Google Chrome extensions, at least not easily.
Being able to put this kind of limit on a browser is critical as they can quickly start consuming a surprising amount of your system’s resources. Opera GX has a soft and hard toggle option for the limiter, with the soft option meaning there is some wiggle room within your set limit, while the hard edge means the tabs will be dropped once you reach that set limit.
This is something gamers who have browsers open in the background to which they can switch to walkthroughs, guides, or any number of gaming-related topics can seriously benefit by preventing the browser from affecting the performance of games. If you’re a gamer who’s found that keeping Google Chrome open in the background is reducing your frame rates, Opera GX might be the solution you never knew you needed.
Most browsers have options for clearing caches, cookies, and other ‘backlogs’ that accumulate over time, but these tend to be buried deep in the options menus and aren’t particularly user-friendly. Opera GX, however, has the front and center feature on its Sidebar, where the GX Control and social media integration also live.
You simply click on the icon and choose from three options, which control what needs to be purged or customize it yourself, including the age of these junk files. It’s a great tool that makes cleaning up your browser a lot easier, especially since it can have a dramatic impact on how fast your browser runs and how much memory it consumes.
Built-in AdBlock and VPN
Internet privacy has become more important in our lives as it becomes more difficult to enforce. And while Opera GX runs on Chromium and isn’t the top-notch primary browser for privacy (would be Mozilla Firefox), it even offers a variety of tools you can use to customize your privacy experience.
Built in the browser is a VPN and AdBlock, which you can toggle on and off via the sidebar menu, as well as customize which sites are exceptions to these tools. When you try it, they both work very well, blocking some of the biggest online trackers available and letting you choose which region your IP address is registered in.
It’s not perfect, of course, as both VPN and AdBlock can interfere with websites and other GX features, but the fact that they are fully integrated and – in the case of VPN – completely free is an absolute benefit.
You also have the option to download your own tools like uBlock Origins, as well as many other add-ons and extensions that protect your privacy. And while these options aren’t as robust as Firefox’s offerings, it’s still a healthy amount that allows you to better customize your experience.
The aforementioned sidebar features some pretty impressive integrations like instant access to various sites like Twitch, Discord, Twitter, various messaging apps, Instagram, and more.
There is also a music player that works in a similar way and allows you to play music from sites like YouTube Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud, Tidal and Spotify directly from the browser.
In any of these cases, you can use these sites by watching, listening to or viewing their content while using your main browser. And none of them use additional tabs either, which frees up resources. As I write this, I am using the YouTube Music player to listen to a video game music playlist as I type and it works perfectly.
Other interesting features
There are some other really nifty features that let you scale Opera GX to your exact visual and audio specs.
For example, you can activate RGB lighting via Razer Chroma, Logitech G Lightsync RGB and Corsair iCue, as well as choosing from multiple user-created backgrounds (including animated!) You can also set sound effects for typing, as well as choose background music to play while browsing .
You can organize your tabs into groups or workspaces, which is especially useful for tabs that you may need to keep open and keep track of long-term, such as work or school assignments. There’s also Opera Flow, which syncs content between the Opera GX desktop browser and mobile versions. It is essentially an instant messenger that allows you to share links, files or texts between your PC and your phone.
All in all, Opera GX is a browser that hasn’t received much attention, but it’s possibly the best web browser for gamers and a fantastic alternative to Google Chrome if you’re not ready to ditch a Chromium-based browser just yet.