Android 12’s wallpaper-based theming can crash your games in this funny little case

has gone big on personalization this year with 12 and has implemented the ‘monet’ theme engine. This one extracts colors from the current wallpaper and splashes it across the system UI and supported apps, giving users greater control than ever over what their phone’s software looks like. However, the new engine has some unwarranted side effects affecting gamers.

A bug was opened on the Issue Tracker a couple of months back stating that games like Wild Rift and Pokémon Go crash as soon as the wallpaper is changed in the background on 12.

12’s monet in action

But as it stands, the issue can actually be reproduced across all games. XDA Developers tested Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Minecraft on a Pixel 6 Pro and found that all of them force closed upon switching the wallpaper.

While the use case where one changes the wallpaper while is quite a rare one (who even does that?), the bug is still quite a bummer for those who rely on auto wallpaper changer apps.

Thankfully, the root cause of the problem has seemingly been spotted – Android configuration changes. A wallpaper change happens to be a configuration change on Android along with other activities like dark mode, screen rotation, and locale changes. Games typically used to ignore such changes but that isn’t the case anymore with Android 12.

has introduced a new change on the OS that forces activities to be recreated when the wallpaper is changed. This is reasonable enough for apps that need to respond to a wallpaper switch and color shift themselves accordingly, but is a problem for games as it triggers a force close.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to work around the problem. What’s even worse is that developers can’t get around it either. hasn’t provided an option to opt-out of the forced activity restart upon wallpaper switching yet, and games are suffering as a result.

The only solution at the moment is disabling any automatic wallpaper switchers while and not changing wallpapers if you got a game running in the background.




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