The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are out in the wild, and both systems will launch with the ability to use dynamic, animated themes, alongside all the previous theme customization of the Xbox One era. You can still add achievement art, use colors, or upload your own background themes from network storage or USB-connected Xbox external drives as well.
We're not certain whether or not the entire list of dynamic background themes will be available for launch day on November 10, but if not, they should arrive very shortly.
These are currently available to testers in the Xbox Insider Alpha Ring. We'll update this article when we've found they're fully live or when more are added.
Here's how to access the Xbox Series X and S dynamic themes and a list of what styles are currently on the way.
The full next-generation experience.
Xbox Series X is Microsoft's new flagship, as its most powerful console with over 12TF GPU performance and a custom SSD. It boasts up to 4K resolution and 120 FPS, full backward compatibility across four generations, and ray-tracing support.
Next-gen in HD
Experience next-gen gaming for less.
Microsoft serves the next-generation for less with its budget-friendly Xbox Series S. The console packs the same high-performance CPU and SSD technology as Xbox Series X, while scaling back the GPU and removing the disc drive.
How to access Xbox Series X, Series S Dynamic background themes
Xbox Series X and Series S themes are available in the personalization section of the Xbox Series X and S settings menu. Here's how to find it.
- Press the Xbox "Nexus" button on your controller to open the Guide menu.
- From the Guide menu, navigate right and find Settings.
- Inside Settings, go to General and then Personalization. You may have to enter your passcode or password.
- Navigate to My color & background.
- Now navigate to Dynamic backgrounds.
If the Dynamic backgrounds button doesn't open a new menu, or the menu option straight up isn't available, that might be because they haven't been activated yet. So hang tight for a future update, or join the Xbox Insider Program to gain early access.
List of Xbox Series X, Series S dynamic background themes
As of writing, Xbox Series X and Series S dynamic themes are only available to testers, but they should roll out more broadly in the coming weeks.
If you can't wait to find out what Microsoft is currently planning to add, here's a list of all the ones we've found so far. Some of them can be customized using your Xbox Series X and S accent color theme, while others are more fixed. We expect Microsoft to expand the themes consistently over the generation, with styles that revolve around specific games, perhaps with third-party support to allow community members to create their own. We'll have to wait and see.
Note: The themes here are a work in progress and may not actually make it into the final public version of the OS.
The default theme of next-gen consoles, Waves, is a soothing light show that sweeps diagonally across your background, utilizing your chosen Xbox accent color.
Waves - Faded
As the name suggests, this theme is identical to Waves, albeit with faded color saturation.
Spotlight - Ultraviolet
This theme shows a spotlight effect moving very slowly around a purple/violet background.
Spotlight - Midnight
This is another spotlight effect theme, which is full of night-themed green and deep blue hues.
Spotlight - Deja Goo
The final spotlight theme is named "Deja Goo" and tries to combine orange and blue notes.
My current favorite theme, Ribbons, showcases an expanding, contracting, and flowing stream of diagonal ribbons, with one taking on your accent color choice.
In what is unmistakably supposed to be a throwback to the Xbox 360 concentric rings dashboard, Ripple is a stylish effect that takes on your accent color.
Xbox Series X and S dynamic theme-in' fun
The Xbox Series X and S dynamic background themes may be few right now. Still, the system seems robustly designed for rapid expansion, particularly when you consider its integration with the Xbox accent color system and so on. Even if these extra themes aren't available at launch, we expect they will be pretty soon, given their availability on the Xbox Insider Program.
What dynamic background Xbox Series X and S themes would you like to see? Let us know in the comments.
Xbox Series X/S
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!