Looking for the best wallpapers on Wallpaper Engine? As someone who spends hours fiddling with the flashing RGB components in my computer, I'm constantly hunting for ways to make my setup look prettier. Every few months I'll set a new colour theme for my LEDs and peripherals, before topping it off with a fresh new animated wallpaper to match.
Last year, I discovered Wallpaper Engine on Steam and I think it could give you the desktop backgrounds your PC deserves. While that's still true, there are so many wallpapers to choose from that you can spend hours scrolling through people's creations. If you want a neat desktop without Wallpaper Engine, Andy's list of beautiful 4K gaming wallpapers is strong, but if you have the software, here are some of my favourite Wallpaper Engine wallpapers.
How to use Wallpaper Engine
You can buy Wallpaper Engine on Steam for $3.99/£2.99, and once you have the software, you can download as many wallpapers as you please. It supports a wide range of resolutions, and multiple monitor setups. Some wallpapers even offer Corsair iCUE and Razer Chroma support, along with audio tracks that play in the background.
After you've downloaded Wallpaper Engine, click on the Workshop tab and click Filter results to select your monitor's resolution. There's a list of categories to browse, spanning games, sports, television, and more. Once you've found one that you'd like to try, select the wallpaper then click Subscribe on the right side of the screen. It'll take a few seconds to download the scene before it appears on your desktop. You can also adjust the colour scheme, playback rate, mute any attached audio, and flip the wallpaper in the right-hand panel.
Remember that Wallpaper Engine will need to run on start-up to keep your desktop looking sharp, so open Task Manager and click on the Start-up tab to confirm that it's enabled. Don't worry, this isn't taxing on your system, and it won't affect your performance when you're playing games either.
The best Wallpaper Engine wallpapers
One of the reasons Wallpaper Engine wallpapers is fun to browse is that most of them are animated. There's a huge library of wallpapers and it continues to grow thanks to Steam Workshop support. Naturally, I've chosen lots of fun gaming-related wallpapers, but I've also included a couple of others in this list. Here are the best Wallpaper Engine wallpapers that I've come across recently:
Dark Souls (Tomb of the Giants)
If you're converting your office into a relaxed and moody gaming zone, settling down next to a roaring bonfire in Lordran's Tomb of the Giants feels especially comforting. This is quite ironic considering how stressful this area is to navigate in the game. The flickering flames won't be too distracting, but they'll serve as a cosy, inviting focal point that's always nice to return to after dashing to the kitchen for a coffee.
This is one of the two alternate covers released for Doom (2016), and it's beautiful to see it in motion. The enemies in this wallpaper bob up and down ever so slightly, but it's just enough to draw our attention to some of the finer details in the piece. From the grinning Imps and hovering Revenants, to the goofy Cacodemon, this scene perfectly encapsulates Doom's vibe, and so it should, it is official artwork after all.
World of Warcraft N'Zoth Parallax
Who doesn't want a gigantic Old God towering over their taskbar? N'Zoth may not be the strongest of its kind, but it looks cool. Here's hoping that it's unsettling orange eyes will bore into us when we're procrastinating, and encourage us to get back to work. If you're loving Shadowlands so far, this wallpaper is a great pick.
Firewatch's gorgeous art made everyone fall in love with it when it released back in 2016. Olly Moss' style is clean, and considering how sought-after his artwork is, it's not difficult to understand why it works so well as an animated wallpaper. Even the tiniest animations bring this scene to life, from the wind and rustling leaves to the flock of birds flying above the forest.
Half-Life: Alyx - Citadel
If you're looking for the quintessential PC gaming wallpaper, it has to be Half-Life. There are a few Half-Life 2 wallpapers, including one in the City 17 central plaza, complete with the Combine strolling around. Unfortunately these look a bit dated now, but inspired by Half-Life: Alyx, we can gaze at the Citadel and look out over the rooftops as if we were staring through a real window. Keep an eye on the horizon, occasionally you'll see familiar enemies wandering and flying around.
There are several versions of the Hyper Beast wallpaper, inspired by the popular CS:GO skin, as seen on the M4A1-S and AWP. I like RogueDW's take on the colourful monster as it limits the animations to its eyes, giving them this sparkly effect. The bright colours and detailing in this image look great on any monitor, and let's be honest, if you've got any taste, its colours will match just about anything in your room.
After the Rain (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
We can't play Breath of the Wild on PC, but we can stare at this incredible painting of the lush hills of Hyrule instead. The Sheikah towers from Breath of the Wild are visibly dotted across the landscape, whereas the swaying firs and the billowing clouds of smoke make this scene beautifully mysterious.
In the past, I've struggled to find nice ultrawide wallpapers. Unfortunately, Google's selection of 3440x1440 images is quite limited, so I was chuffed to find this Sea Monster scene. The vibrant pinks and deep blues make this wallpaper really pop. The animation is also quite subtle, so there's no chance you'll close all your Chrome tabs and end up frightening yourself when faced with this beast.
Water effect 13 (Light sky)
If you're looking for something colourful and minimalist, this water effect wallpaper is perfect. The rippling water effect is relaxing to look at, and this makes for a nice change from some of the gaming-related wallpapers I've highlighted above. As you can see, even simple backgrounds can be tasteful.
Creator: Wallpaper Engine
This wallpaper fully embraces the retro wave aesthetic. With its neon colours you can almost hear the backing track for this scene just by looking at it. It's animation is a little heavier than the other wallpapers in this list, and its infinitely scrolling terrain is just mesmerising to watch. If you pay close attention you can even spot the VHS glitch filter layered over the top.