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Windows 11 2022 Update boosts PC gaming with new Controller bar, HDR Calibration app, and more

Windows 11 2022 Update Controller bar
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The Windows 11 2022 Update is now rolling out to PCs.
  • The update includes several gaming improvements, including a new Controller bar, optimizations for windowed games, and a wider range of HDR calibration options.
  • Existing features, including Auto HDR, DirectX 12 Ultimate, and DirectStorage, also received updates.

The Windows 11 2022 Update just started rolling out. It brings a long list of improvements, such as new features for the Start menu, window snapping, and the Taskbar. While much of the update focuses on productivity, it also brings several gaming improvements to the operating system.

A new Controller bar (shown above) will make it easier to jump into games. Pressing the Xbox button on an Xbox Wireless Controller or other compatible controllers will launch the bar, providing quick access to recently played games and game launchers.

Graphical improvements also ship with the Windows 11 2022 Update. Windowed games running DirectX 10 and 11 will have "dramatically improved display latency," according to Microsoft. Those games will also have better Auto HDR and variable refresh rate (VRR). Before the recent Windows update, DirectX 10 and 11 games only saw those improvements when running full screen.

The latest version of Windows also includes a new HDR Calibration app that lets users improve color accuracy and consistency of content on HDR displays.

Windows 11 2022 Update HDR Calibration

Windows 11 2022 Update: SDR vs. HDR (Image credit: Microsoft)

Previously existing features, such as AutoHDR, DirectX 12 Ultimate, and DirectStorage, also get a boost with the Windows 11 2022 Update. Auto HDR is supported on more titles and DirectStorage now supports more configurations, including RAID 0.

Microsoft highlighted gaming features within Edge today, though they're available on both Windows 11 and Windows 10 and shipped earlier this year. A gaming homepage makes it easier to earn Microsoft Rewards points, which can be redeemed for Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions. It also lets people jump into the Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) library, including recently played titles. Clarity Boost enhances the gaming experience for Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Microsoft Edge gaming

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Android games running on PCs will also see a performance boost with the Windows 11 2022 Update. The Android Subsystem for Windows improved dramatically with the update. Microsoft promises performance that's 2-3 times faster when it comes to graphics. Keyboard, mouse, and touch improvements also started rolling out today for the Android Subsystem for Windows, alongside other changes.

The Windows 11 2022 Update is available starting today, but you might not see an option to download it just yet. The update is rolling out gradually as part of a phased approach by Microsoft. It's possible to jump to the latest version of Windows from either Windows 11 or Windows 10, though your PC needs to meet the operating system's minimum requirements.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).