Material You theming bug in Android 12 is forcing some games to stop

Android 12 hero
Android 12 hero (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A bug in Android 12's Material You theming is crashing a number of games while you're playing.
  • The issue appears to be caused by a wallpaper change and a configuration change in Android.
  • Google has acknowledged the issue, but no fix has been released yet.

The wallpaper-based theming in Android 12, also known as Material You, is obviously one of the operating system's best standout features. However, a bug is currently forcing some games to stop when you change your wallpaper.

A new bug report in the Google Issue Tracker explained how the problem causes some games to crash, as spotted by XDA Developers. According to the report, changing the wallpaper on Android 12 devices causes app activities to restart due to a configuration change. This setting is intended to ensure that apps properly adapt to the Material You theme of the wallpaper.

It's not as though you usually change your wallpapers while playing a game, but when you do, the game you're currently playing appears to crash or restart as a result of this configuration change. This is because the configuration is applied by default to all apps and games, regardless of whether they use the Material You theming or not.

If you use an automatic wallpaper changer, this can be a major annoyance. According to XDA, the bug appears to be affecting some of the best Android games, including Wild Rift, Pokémon Go, Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Minecraft.

Certain configuration changes, such as dark mode or screen rotation, can usually be avoided by game developers. However, it appears that there is no way to opt out of the wallpaper configuration change for game titles at the moment.

It is strongly advised to change your wallpaper only after you have finished playing, or to use a static wallpaper rather than an app that changes your wallpaper in the background. It doesn't hurt to turn off your wallpaper changer while a fix is still out of sight.

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Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.