It's real: Windows 11 will soon let you control RGB gear without those annoying apps

Case mod with RGB
(Image credit: Corsair)

If you're a human being with an RGB-adorned PC peripheral, then you probably have a great dislike for its companion app. Roccat Swarm, Corsair iCue, Razer Synapse… they're all functional, but the problem is they're all annoying, each with their own updates, their own UIs, their own quirks. It's worse if you're using, say, a Corsair mouse with a Roccat keyboard, and want to sync them up. Good news: it looks like Microsoft may soon render these concerns redundant, thanks to a new Windows 11 feature.

During the same Build conference that brought us news of Cortana's imminent death and the RAR file's official support, Microsoft announced a new Dynamic Lighting menu, which will be couched within the Personalization menu. The Dynamic Lighting functionality will let users "effortlessly set up and customize their devices with RGB lights directly from Windows Settings," according to Microsoft

This feature has been rumored for years and screenshots leaked back in February. Based on those screenshots, the Dynamic Lighting menu will, at the very least, let you adjust "lighting effects", the speed of those effects, as well as brightness and colors. You'll also be able to match your RGB to your Windows accent color automatically. In a screenshot obtained by Windows Central, there's a menu for themes, as well as a list of RGB-equipped peripherals that can be toggled on and off.

It's unclear how granular these options will be. I can imagine that some of the more tricky lighting effects and themes may still be the province of third-party apps. Still: if you're the kind of user who just wants things to match up and doesn't want bloatware always running, it may be a godsend.

Microsoft writes that the functionality will roll out to Windows Insiders this month, noting that the Insiders period is designed to help "developers and hardware partners alike" experiment with the tool. In the meantime, there are apps that serve as all-in-one RGB controllers, such as Artemis, which you can try now if you don't want to wait. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.