Recently I came across a relatively new browser (originally created in 2019), or more like a special version of Opera’s main browser called Opera GX.
It calls it a “browser for gamers” and while that’s obviously a bit of an exaggeration, it has plenty of features that gamers would benefit from. Not to mention that the interface alone bears a strong resemblance to anything you’d find in Cyberpunk 2077.
From controlling how much of a particular resource websites can use, to built-in ad blocker, to the tight integrations with Discord, YouTube Music, and more directly through the browser interface, there are nearly endless ways for users to enhance their experience with Opera GX. You can even customize browser backgrounds and music.
With such a wide range of options and improvements, everyone, but especially the gamers who clearly target Opera should give Opera GX a try. After all, as a staunch proponent of Mozilla Firefox as I may be impressed then you could be as pleasantly surprised as I am.
One of the key features of Opera GX is its CPU, RAM, network limiters, and hot tab killer that allow users to control how much of those resources are affected by the browser, and even let you automatically close certain tabs that contain too many of those values. It’s a simple set of features that provides specialized control over your web 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 consume a surprising amount of system resources. Opera GX’s has a soft and hard switchable option for the limiter, where the soft option means there’s some wiggle room within your set limit, while the hard edge means tabs are removed once you reach that set limit.
This is something that gamers who have browsers open in the background that they can switch to for walkthroughs, tutorials, or any number of gaming related topics can seriously take advantage by preventing the browser from affecting game performance. If you’re a gamer who’s found that keeping Google Chrome open in the background lowers your frame rates, Opera GX may be the solution you didn’t know you needed.
Most browsers have options to clear caches, cookies, and other “accumulation” that accumulate over time, but those are usually buried deep in option menus and aren’t particularly user-friendly. However, Opera GX has the feature front and center in the sidebar, which is also where the GX control and social media integration live.
You simply click on the icon and then choose between three options, which determine what needs to be cleaned, or you customize it yourself, including the age of those junk files. It’s a great tool that makes cleaning up the browser so much easier, mainly because it can have a dramatic impact on how fast your browser runs and how much memory it eats up.
Built-in AdBlock and VPN
Internet privacy has become more important in our lives as it becomes something more difficult to enforce. And while Opera GX runs on Chromium and isn’t the main mainstream browser for privacy (that would be Mozilla Firefox), it still offers quite a few tools you can use to customize your privacy experience.
The browser has both a VPN and AdBlock built in, which you can toggle on and off from the sidebar menu and customize which sites are exceptions to these tools. If you try it out, they both work pretty well, blocking some of the biggest online trackers out there, while letting you choose which region your IP address is registered in.
It’s not perfect, of course, as both the VPN and AdBlock can interfere with websites and other GX features, but the fact that they’re fully integrated and – in the case of the VPN – completely free is an absolute boon.
You also have the option to download your own tools like uBlock Origins, as well as plenty of other add-ons and extensions that protect your privacy. And while these options aren’t as robust as Firefox’s offerings, they’re still a healthy amount that you can use to fine-tune your experience.
The aforementioned Sidebar has some pretty impressive integrations built into it, such as direct access to numerous sites like Twitch, Discord, Twitter, various messenger apps, Instagram, and more.
There’s also a music player that works the same way and lets you play music from sites like YouTube Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud, Tidal, and Spotify right from the browser.
In all these cases, you can use these sites by viewing, listening to or viewing content from them while using the main browser. And none of these also use extra tabs, which frees up resources. As I write this, I’m using the YouTube Music player to listen to a video game music playlist as I type and it works perfectly.
Other cool features
There are some other really useful features that allow you to extend Opera GX to your exact visual and audio specifications.
For example, you can enable RGB lighting via Razer Chroma, Logitech G Lightsync RGB and Corsair iCue, and choose from countless user-created backgrounds (including animated ones!) to make your browser your own. You can also set sound effects for typing and 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 for the long term, such as for 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 phone.
All in all, Opera GX is a browser that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it’s arguably the best web browser for gamers out there and a fantastic alternative to Google Chrome if you’re not quite ready to use a Chromium-based browser yet. not yet.