The new Windows 11 update is rolling out from right now, and should you’re a PC gamer with a penchant for windowed gaming or utilizing a controller there are some upgrades on this model you will wish to try.

The headline characteristic for players on this update is one thing referred to as Controller Bar. Essentially it is a popup bar that works together with Windows 11’s built-in Xbox performance to ship a listing of your most lately performed video games and launchers—all accessible through a couple of button presses on any controller you’ll have plugged into your machine. If you have got an Xbox controller plugged in, you want solely hit the Xbox button to deliver it up.

Think of it as one strategy to make your PC just a little extra controller pleasant, even when in the end the controller expertise on PC is not all that nice. At the very least, the brand new Controller Bar ought to help you boot your PC and cargo into the controller-friendly Steam Big Picture mode with out counting on a mouse or keyboard at any level—a win for front room PC setups away from the desktop.

That’s not all Microsoft has packed into the brand new launch construct. There are additionally enhancements to the windowed gaming expertise for older video games; these working within the DX10 and DX11 APIs. These are set to “receive dramatically improved display latency, Auto HDR, and variable refresh rate (VRR)” whereas in windowed mode on the brand new OS model, which have been beforehand options solely obtainable should you went fullscreen. That ought to come in useful if you wish to dual-wield a DX11 game and, say, Discord or OBS, and change between them with ease.

These options are already supplied out freely to DX12 video games however you possibly can count on some enhancements to those newer video games. One such enchancment is that AutoHDR—Microsoft’s algorithm for turning SDR video games into HDR video games—goes to be extra broadly obtainable.

DirectStorage additionally receives expanded help throughout extra storage configurations, together with RAID 0, which supplies us some inkling of its eventual {hardware} help when it arrives. That tech was initially set to be launched someday quickly with Forspoken. However, that game was sadly delayed till subsequent 12 months and seemingly pushed DirectStorage’s launch again with it.

Windows 11 2H22 update screenshots

(Image credit score: Microsoft)

That about wraps up the gaming-specific upgrades headed to Windows 11 with the brand new 2H 2022 update, however there are different enhancements beforehand introduced now making it to the OS. These embody: extra pure sounding narrator voices, improved focus options, system-wide dwell captions, Smart App Control, and new driver and reminiscence safety enhancements.

Further to those, Microsoft can also be going to start out rolling out smaller updates as and after they’re able to go. We can count on the primary batch in October. These will embody among the extra must-have options for the OS this 12 months, corresponding to File Explorer tabs, an update to the Photos app, steered actions for Copy, taskbar overflow, and extra sharing choices for gadgets.

Window buying

Windows 11 Square logo

(Image credit score: Microsoft)

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And if none of that takes your fancy, properly, I do not blame you. It’s not the only most enjoyable improve to an OS, however that is how Microsoft is crafting Windows 11—little by little. Since its launch practically one 12 months in the past, Windows 11 has grow to be a greater OS, although nonetheless appears like not fairly the overhauled OS we would like it to be.

Still, should you’re eager to strive these new options out instantly, you possibly can. Just head to the Windows Update settings in your PC and hit “Check for updates.” If you do not have Windows 11 but, you will first have to run your machine previous the Microsoft system necessities to see in case your PC is an effective match, however in any other case ought to be capable to observe the identical course of. 

Though it might not be an altogether horrible resolution to attend only a little longer earlier than hitting update: Microsoft OS updates aren’t all the time the smoothest.