Windows 11

What is a Controller Bar in Windows 11?

What is a Controller Bar in Windows 11?

If you are into PC gaming, the Xbox controllers have been one of the most ideally and frequently used options for the best possible plug-and-play compatibility. The Xbox on Windows has been gaining a lot of substance for its high-end gaming performance and cross-platform compatibility.

Windows 11 has been becoming one of the prominent options in the realm of PC gaming. Most PC gaming enthusiasts have been looking ahead to the features and capabilities offered by Windows 11.

Microsoft is testing a new feature on Windows 11 Xbox, the best that has ever happened to PC gamers. The new feature is Controller Bar, and it should be one of the most exciting and unique options for accessing your games and launching them more effectively and efficiently.

What is Controller Bar on Windows 11?

The Controller bar on Windows 11 is a means of controlling games on Xbox using a Windows 11 PC. Microsoft recently offered a preview of the new Xbox controller bar through the Insider Blog.

Whenever you connect a gamepad to your system, the controller bar will appear automatically and provide you with an option to launch your recently played games and launchers. You do not need to use a gaming mouse or keypad to control your games.

While the controller bar may or may not make any considerable difference for the gamers who use gaming monitors, it can be a game-changer for those who may be watching it on the TVs.

If you want to try it, it may be a good idea to check out the latest version of the Windows 11 preview. You would also need to download the newest version of Xbox Insider Hub.

The controller bar is one of the latest options added to the Windows 11 gaming improvements. Microsoft indicates through its blog that the Controller bar is a preview of the new view of the Xbox Game Bar. It can be used for getting highly user-friendly access to your recently played games and game launchers such as Steam.

It may be noticed that the Xbox Game bar is available on both Windows 10 and 11 and is opened with the keyboard shortcut Win+G. The bar will now have more added features on Windows 11 and will be transformed into a more full-fledged Controller Bar.

It should be glimpsed that even with the launch of the Controller bar, the Xbox Game bar will continue to be accessible through Win+G, while the Controller bar can be opened with the Xbox button on your Xbox Controller device.

The new Controller Bar should be a great feature and lets you pick your Xbox controller and begin playing the game immediately. You would no longer need to reach out for the mouse or keyboard to select your game, launch it and then play it.

You will get instant access to your recently played or recently installed games immediately as soon as you connect your controller.

Who can get the Controller Bar on Windows 11?

As of now, the Controller Bar feature has been added for the users who are on Windows insider builds. It would be best to run the latest Insider Preview build in the Dev and Beta Channels.

In such a scenario, the controller bar will open automatically when you connect the controller to your computer. You can access the controller bar when you press the Xbox button on your computer when you are not playing a game.

If you are on a game, The Xbox button takes you to the Xbox game bar and opens the gaming gadgets you have used quite frequently. The current games section on the controller would provide you access to up to three games that you have recently played on your local drive.

How to get the Controller bar on Windows 11?

The steps in getting the controller bar on Windows 11 should be pretty simple and easy to follow. Here are the steps that you would find quite simple and more manageable.

  • Subscribe to the Windows Insider preview
  • Make sure you are running a Windows Insider program from the Dev and Beta Channels.
  • Download the Xbox Insider Hub through this link.
  • Launch the Insider Hub and sign in with your Microsoft account. You will need to join Xbox if you have not yet created an account.
  • Navigate to the option indicating Previews and join the Windows Gaming preview
  • Ensure that you have the latest version of the Xbox Game bar
  • Reboot your PC
  • Plugin your gaming controller, and that should do it. You can access your controller bar right away.

The features offered by Windows 11 Xbox Controller Bar

Having understood what the Controller bar on Windows 11 is and how effective it can be in letting you improve your gaming experience, how about checking a few features offered by the controller bar.

The Controller bar should be your one-stop solution for letting you enjoy compatibility with a gaming controller. The gamers would be able to get access to all your recently played games.

You can access all your recently played or recently installed titles through the Xbox Wireless controller without using a keyboard or mouse.

The Closing Thoughts

Windows 11 is still evolving, and in the process, it has been providing you access to several unique and great features that have been making it an excellent option for gamers and professionals alike.

The Controller Bar for Xbox on Windows 11 is a significant step in making the platform a good choice for die-hard gamers.

The feature is currently under testing and is available only for the insiders as a preview feature. We may expect more features to be added when the component is launched for all users.

When that happens, we will update the post to bring you face-to-face with the latest developments and features on the Controller bar on Windows 11.

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