Opera GX review: In-depth look at Opera’s browser for gamers

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Opera is a well-known browser developer and in this guide, we’re going to review Opera GX and see what can it do.
  • Do note that it comes with an array of unique features that gamers might find useful.
  • The software includes GX Control, GX Cleaner, and a fair share of other interesting elements.
  • This browser is also secure, with a strong focus on user privacy thanks to the built-in Opera GX VPN feature.
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Opera GX is a new browser from Opera, and it’s touted as the world’s first gaming web browser. The browser is optimized for online gaming, and it comes with a wide array of features for gamers.

In today’s guide, we’re going to take a closer look into Opera GX and see what it can offer to its users and whether it’s worth checking out.

What is Opera GX and what can it do?

A brief history lesson

Opera has been present for more than two decades. The browser went through various changes, and it’s still available on almost all desktop and mobile platforms.

Opera GX is the latest product from Opera, and it was initially released in 2019. As mentioned earlier, this is a web browser optimized for gamers, with some unique features.

In this guide, we’re going to take an in-depth look and see what Opera GX can do.

Installation

The installation process is simple as it can be. The process requires latterly a single click of a button, so there’s no need for additional configuration, you just hit the Install button and that’s it.

The setup process took more than a minute on our test PC, and once it was finished, the browser started automatically.

Interface

The browser comes with its own dark theme out of the box with red highlights, bringing a cyberpunk look that gamers would like. The whole theme looks minimalistic and easy on the eyes, which is a major plus.

The interface is divided into two parts, the main area that you’ll use to navigate websites and perform other online activities, and the sidebar, which is used for quick access.

Sidebar

The sidebar works like a powered-up shortcut center, and you can use it to access crucial features of the web browser.

You can also quickly access your history, installed extensions, or settings right from the sidebar, which will surely come in handy.

Of course, you can customize the sidebar and choose what features and shortcuts you want to be available in the sidebar.

You can also place extensions from the Opera Store right in your sidebar for quick and easy access.

While the sidebar works great if you need to access certain features quickly, some users prefer to have an extra workspace in their browser.

If that’s the case, you can just hide the sidebar from the settings, and never use it, it’s that simple.

Customization

Customization is a big part of the Opera GX experience, and the browser comes with 23 different color themes, so you can easily find the best one that works for you.

Of course, there are custom theme options, so you can choose between several predefined primary and secondary colors.

For even more customization, there are advanced settings that allow you to adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of primary and secondary colors.

If you prefer, you can even set a HEX value for your primary and secondary colors to get the perfect results.

In addition to visuals, there’s an option for customizing sounds, and you can set the volume of browser sounds or turn them off completely. Sadly, there’s no option for using custom sounds.

Background music is available as well, and you can choose between 5 different ambient tracks while using the browser. Of course, you can turn this feature off whenever you want.

Opera also has the feature that lets you force dark pages, so they could blend better with the dark theme of Opera GX.

Lastly, you can customize the Speed Dial page with several available wallpapers, or you can download additional wallpapers from the Opera’s Addon page.

If you don’t like any of these wallpapers, you can always any picture from your PC as a wallpaper for Opera GX.

Unique features

GX Corner

GX Corner works as a news hub for gamers. You can easily view the release date of new gaming titles, so you won’t miss out on the latest games.

In this section, you can also see free games and deals, which is perfect since you won’t have to constantly monitor services such as Steam for discounts.

Lastly, there are trailers and news sections, so you can always stay up to date with the latest gaming news.

GX Control

This feature allows you to manage your resource usage in Opera GX. Thanks to the Hot Tabs Killer feature, you can monitor CPU and RAM usage at a glance.

In case a certain tab is slowing down your PC or using too many resources, you just need to click it and it will be automatically closed.

We found this feature incredibly useful especially on low-end PCs that aren’t suitable for heavy multitasking, and we wish that other browsers would incorporate this feature.

Network Limiter is another welcome feature that will limit the bandwidth usage in the browser. With this feature, you can see both download and upload speeds in your browser at a glance.

If needed, you can choose between one of the 15 available presets according to your needs. Sadly, this feature doesn’t support custom values, and there’s no option to set the upload limit.

Overall, Network Limiter will surely be useful and ensure that you have enough bandwidth for game download or other network-intensive tasks on your PC.

Lastly, there are RAM and CPU Limiter features. Certain websites can use more resources than you’d like which can negatively affect your gaming sessions or other tasks.

To prevent that, you can set a limit on CPU and RAM usage in Opera GX. Keep in mind that limiting CPU and RAM usage can negatively impact your browser performance, so use this feature carefully.

Overall, the GX Control feature is incredibly useful, especially on lower-end PCs since it will limit resource usage and provide more hardware power to other PC applications.

DigitalTrends has a detailed explanation why RAM and CPU limiting feature is important:

You can also limit memory usage, which is arguably the more important throttle. Modern web pages can chew through enormous sums of memory if given free reign, so Opera GX has a built in limiter with a soft and a hard edge to it. The soft one does its best to stay roughly within your set limit, however many gigabytes you decide is OK. The toggleable hard limit means any new tabs you open once you’ve hit that limit will start killing old ones.

GX Cleaner

GX Cleaner is a feature that lets you easily clean your cache, cookies, browsing history with just a couple of clicks.

With this feature, you can see how much space does the browsing data occupy on your PC, and you can choose one of three available presets to quickly clean your files.

If needed, you can select which type of data you want to remove and set the desired time range.

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Integrations

Opera GX offers integration with various services, allowing you to easily access them from the sidebar. First off, there’s Twitch integration that lets you easily see your favorite channels and notifications.

You can even keep watching Twitch in the sidebar while working on different tasks.

Music player integration is also available, allowing you to access services such as YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Spotify right from the browser sidebar.

You can keep the player open, but you can minimize it and control the playback simply by hovering over the music player icon in the sidebar.

Sadly, you can’t use the seek bar while the player is minimized, so if you want to skip a certain part of a song, you’ll need to open the player in the sidebar.

Opera GX supports a wide array of messaging services, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and VK. Of course, support for Discord is also available.

If you’re a fan of social networks, we’re pleased to inform you that Opera GX has full integration with Instagram and Twitter, so you can keep up with your feeds at all times.

Most of these integrations aren’t available out of the box, and you’ll have to enable them from the Sidebar settings, but that takes only a couple of moments.

Other features

Opera GX inherits many features from the regular version, so you get all the great elements that Opera offers, plus all the unique ones that we mentioned above.

As for regular Opera features, let’s take a closer look at see what Opera GX has to offer.

Workspaces

One of the most useful features that Opera GX has to offer is the Workspaces feature. That’s your chance to organize all your open tabs into workspaces.

Each workspace is represented by an icon on your sidebar and you can switch between them with a single click. This is perfect if you need to separate tabs into groups.

Of course, you can move the tabs between workspaces by right-clicking the desired tab and choosing the appropriate option from the menu.

This feature isn’t enabled out of the box, but you can enable it from sidebar settings with a single click.

Privacy protection

Another great feature of Opera GX is privacy protection, and just like with Workspaces, this feature is disabled out of the box, but you can enable it from the address bar.

The browser has a built-in ad-blocking feature that should block all ads with a single click. In our testing, it managed to block ads on all websites that we visited.

As for YouTube, this feature didn’t show any ads before videos, but it showed us a blank screen instead of an ad.

Regarding the tracking protection, this feature will block websites such as Facebook and others from tracking your online activity.

These two features are customizable, and you can easily manage exceptions or add blocklists in order to filter ads better, which is a welcome addition.

VPN

Opera GX also has a built-in VPN, which can be used to protect your online privacy. The VPN offers three locations to choose from, which should be enough for basic needs.

There’s also a useful graph that can show you your network usage for a week. As for bandwidth, we have to mention that Opera GX offers unlimited VPN for free, which is a major plus.

As for the VPN speed, that is a bit of a mixed bag. While using servers closer to our location, we didn’t notice any changes in the download speed.

However, when using servers on a different continent the speed dropped drastically, so be sure to choose the location that is closest to you to avoid this issue.

Overall, the VPN works great, as long as you pick the right location. Our only complaint is that the VPN feature is disabled and somewhat hidden, and you have to manually enable it from the settings page.

Flow

Opera Flow is another great feature that lets you share content between your PC and phone. After you download the Opera app for your phone, you need to set up Flow and connect your phone with your PC.

Once that is done, you can share links simply by clicking the Flow icon in the address bar of your browser.

The process is simple and seamless, and you’ll instantly get a notification on your phone. The feature works like an instant messenger of sorts, and you can share links, files, or texts from your devices.

Flow is a unique and simple way to share data between devices, but it’s not available on the sidebar by default, so you’ll need to adjust your settings to enable quick access to it.

Opera GX offers an extensive number of features, and PCMag had this to say about the features:

These features work as advertised, and individually are very straightforward. But it’s the sheer number of them that really impresses. If anything, it’s overwhelming. I didn’t always immediately know where I needed to go to access certain features, because there are so many things to potentially click.

Is Opera GX safe?

Opera is based on Chromium, so it’s safe as any other Chromium browser. In addition, it has a share of unique features, such as DLL hijacking prevention, and homepage hijacking protection that should keep you safe.

With its tracking protection and built-in VPN, Opera GX is slightly safer than most other browsers on the market.

Few users have their concerns, and they are worried about data collection and the fact that the software isn’t open-source. These are just minor concerns, and most users shouldn’t be worried about this.

Speaking of privacy concerns, the review from from LifeHacker states the following:

The other drawback is how the browser tracks user data. Opera GX tracks certain data (just like the normal Opera browser), including your IP address and browsing activity, plus some activity from connected third-party accounts like Twitch. Opera shares this data with advertisers and other third-party partners, but Opera’s tracking doesn’t feel any worse than Google Chrome’s—and users can disable (some) data-sharing from the settings menu.

Final thoughts on Opera GX

Pros
Sleek user interface
Highly customizable
CPU/RAM/Network Manager
Workspaces
Built-in adblocker
Free and unlimited VPN
Cons
Certain advanced features need to be enabled manually
No light theme

Opera GX offers a sleek and customizable interface, so it’s perfect if you’re a gamer or if you prefer a dark and minimalistic interface.

Features such as GX Control are more than welcome because they will limit the amount of resources that your browser uses, and ensure that other applications work smoothly.

We were pretty pleased with available integrations, and if you rely heavily on music services, Twitch, social networks, or instant messengers, Opera GX will provide you a way to keep a close eye on them.

Features such as Hot Tabs Killer, Workspaces, and Flow impressed us with their usability, and we hope that other browsers will start adding them to their list of features.

We had few minor complaints, and the most notable is that the features that we found the most interesting and useful are hidden in the settings and had to be manually enabled.

This takes a couple of seconds, but if you’re a first-time user, and you want to try these features, you’ll need to make adjustments to your settings before you can use them.

Opera GX

Opera GX

The world’s first gaming web browser is definitely worthy of your attention. Ready to give it a try?

Other than that, we we’re pleased with Opera GX and its performance. The software offers some unique features, and if you’re a gamer or you just want a browser that is packed with features, be sure to give Opera GX a try.

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