As someone who regularly makes time to browse the collection of insanely clean setups on r/Battlestations, I'm always looking for ways to improve my own. You can spend hours cleaning and tirelessly cable managing your desk, but even the swankiest peripherals can be let down by a mediocre wallpaper.
Ultrawide monitor owners will know this struggle all too well. It's a true challenge to find a 3440x1440 wallpaper that isn't just a pretty landscape shot. For months I've stuck with the same wallpaper, simply because it took so long to find one that I actually liked. After much deliberation, I then spent another half an hour tweaking my Corsair iCUE settings to complement the blue and white tones of my wallpaper. It's a lot of effort for something that really shouldn't take long at all. While this kind of customisation hell is self-inflicted, it's relieving to learn that Wallpaper Engine Team has encountered the same problems, and has created software to make this ordeal much less of a headache.
Wallpaper Engine eliminates the monotony of static backdrops by letting you use live wallpapers on your Windows desktop. Linked to the Steam Workshop, it enables you to download animated wallpapers created and shared by the Steam community. The library features creations that span games, sports, animals, and even memes. If you feel inspired by some of the concepts you can even create your own wallpapers using the Wallpaper Engine editor.
Wallpaper Engine supports a wide range of resolutions, and lets you filter by them. Some wallpapers include support for Razer Chroma and Corsair iCUE, to illuminate your moody gaming setup with stylish colour-coordinated accents. While this isn't available for every wallpaper, it's clearly marked to make your selection easier. I've recently transformed my monitor into a colourful tank for the 'Sea Monster' which bobs around blowing bubbles in harmony with my pink and blue fans.
You need to enable the software on startup so that it kicks into action soon after your PC boots. Constantly running a live wallpaper in the background is not taxing on your system, and Wallpaper Engine tries to use as few system resources as possible. The animated wallpapers will also pause when you're playing games to avoid knocks to performance. Having used it for a few weeks now, I haven't experienced anything to suggest that it's negatively impacting my system when playing games.
Wallpaper Engine costs $3.99/£2.99/€3.99, but for that you get over 700,000 wallpapers, and the peace of mind that your desktop needn't look lacklustre ever again.