Key Takeaways

  • Embrace endless possibilities with Wallpaper Engine’s stunning live wallpapers.
  • Unleash your creativity by exploring a diverse collection of genres and styles.
  • Transform your desktop with dynamic visuals and immersive scenes that suit your taste.

Building a new PC and setting everything up just how you like is satisfying. You’ve installed your favorite apps and games and are ready to let it rip. But you might still be using the same old default Windows wallpapers and calling it a day. Wallpaper Engine is one of the best wallpaper apps on Windows that can give your desktop a full makeover with its limitless collection of high-quality live wallpapers.

Even if you’ve already invested the much-deserved $4 and set up Wallpaper Engine on your PC, you can still get some new choices. I’ve listed some great options below, covering a variety of genres and styles, including some of my personal favorites.

18 Interstellar Wormhole by visualdon – Loop – 4K

Psy-Fi, Sci-Fi

Anybody can submit their creations to Wallpaper Engine. One of the most prolific and popular creators is visualdon, who has created this arresting piece of art, among many others. Interstellar Wormhole is a sci-fi wallpaper that shows an astronaut endlessly hurtling through a wormhole as brilliant lights in every color illuminate his suit.

This psychedelic 4K wallpaper doesn’t come with audio but can keep you hooked for a long time before you remember what you were doing. Over 57,000 people have subscribed to it, and existing users of Wallpaper Engine might already be familiar with it.

17 Synthwave DeLorean by visualdon – 4K 60FPS

Must-have for synth fans

If your heart yearns for the 80s, or you’re just a synthwave or retrowave fan in general, the Synthwave DeLorean wallpaper by visualdon (yes, again) should be a part of your library. The wallpaper is essentially the iconic DeLorean cruising along the highway toward the sunset as it reflects a nostalgic scene around it.

It’s a 4K video wallpaper with no audio, but the 60FPS playback and the impressive details more than make up for that, as evident from its nearly 100,000 subscribers. The artist also has many other variations of this wallpaper if you’re hungry for more.

16 Mitch Murder – Then Again

Soothing Japanese town vibes

If retro or futuristic isn’t really your scene, then you might find this relaxing, ambient wallpaper just perfect for vibing. Depicting a quiet afternoon in a quaint Japanese town, Then Again is set to Mitch Murder’s song, “Someplace Else,” and it’s quite lively. There’s a monorail that greets you, traffic is moving, and even the clouds are going about their business at a leisurely pace.

This 1440p wallpaper might not be as sharp as the best 8K wallpapers, but I found myself going back to it repeatedly, as did nearly 100,000 other subscribers. There’s just something about serene landscapes and slice-of-life depictions that is so soothing and excellent.

15 4K SCI-FI Black Hole

Dark, foreboding, beautiful

Many sci-fi or space wallpapers tend to overdo it when trying to convey mystery or fear associated with deep space. But 4K SCI-FI Black Hole by Xecutioner holds back just enough while depicting a spinning black hole surrounded by purplish-orange matter. You can even customize the rotation speed of the black hole and dial in how many times it pulsates during its endless spin.

The audio accompanying the wallpaper is both pensive and unsettling, perfectly capturing the feel of the entity at the center of it all. A whopping 660,000+ users have downloaded this one, and it also has over 26,000 favorites.


Where to get the best 4K wallpapers

Want to get the best 4K wallpapers for your device? Here are some of the best websites and apps to get them!

14 Watching the Universe (red)

Meditative sci-fi

Another classy sci-fi wallpaper, Watching the Universe (red) by HoHoHO evokes a sense of foreboding mixed with awe as it depicts a man and a cat (presumable his) observing the universe unfold outside huge floor-to-ceiling windows. You could easily assume the man (dressed like a magician) to be some kind of a creator marveling at his masterpiece.

The black-red mist of undulating matter casts a shimmering glow on the tiles behind the man and the cat, completing the arresting scene. With over 863,000 subscribers, this wallpaper is a definite hit. It also reminds me of the Loki series, so that’s a plus.

13 White Oak (Day/Night)

Cabin by the lake

Sometimes, my cozy workspace isn’t enough; I need an even cozier scene playing on my desktop to relax completely. That’s where White Oak (Day/Night) comes in to transport me to a lakeside cabin in the wilderness, fully decked up with a small fireplace, music player, laptop, electric keyboard, and a bed by the huge floor-to-ceiling windows. The music playing in the background can sometimes make you forget the time of day.

Speaking of the time, this wallpaper changes theme between day and night depending on your system time. You can even customize these times, plus choose between rainy and snowy weather. It’s not for nothing that over 400,000 users have brought this calming cabin to their systems.

12 Summer Feeling

The best of summer

If you enjoy slice-of-life anime as much as I do, Summer Feeling might appeal to your soul. This wallpaper beautifully captures the hope and happiness we often associate with summer. Most of the screen is dominated by the massive clouds lit by the setting sun, while the rest of the scene depicts a railway crossing near a huge body of water. A person is shown busy clicking photos of the beautiful landscape while a train rushes by, accompanied by the sound of bells.

Calming music plays in the background as you do your thing on your system. You can customize the sound levels of the music, train, and the bells. Over 900,000 subscribers and 51,000+ favorites are a testament to this wallpaper’s immense popularity.


How to use animated wallpapers on Windows 11

Windows 11 may not support it out of the box, but you can use animated wallpapers thanks to a third-party app.

11 Halo Infinite 4K

Cosmos by starlight

Halo Infinite 4k wallpaper

For fans of Halo, I probably don’t need to sell this much. Halo Infinite 4k by Mustauffa is a gorgeous Halo-themed wallpaper depicting a night scene with a Halo ring as the focus. Periodic beams shoot up into the starlit night sky and soft snowfall graces the forest. This is one of the better Halo wallpapers I’ve seen on Wallpaper Engine, as it keeps things simple and yet, paints a breathtaking scene.

More than 287,000 people have downloaded this wallpaper. Even if you aren’t into Halo, there’s still a lot to love here.

10 Painting the Sharks 4K

Another summer siesta

If serene summer wallpapers are what you’re craving, then Painting the Sharks 4K adds a little punch of lo-fi beats to a bright day in the lap of nature. Sharks swim in peace as a child paints them on his canvas, sitting comfortably on a pier. The sound of waves and the dazzling sun reflecting off of the water adds a hyper-realistic element to the scene.

You can customize the volume of the music and waves and adjust the glare from the water if you wish. Painting the Sharks 4K is incredibly popular, as shown by the 750,000+ subscribers and 38,000+ favorites.

9 Lucyna Kushinada / Cyberpunk: Edgerunners [4K] [AR] [Customizable]

Chooms for life

Lucy from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners wallpaper

No one expected Cyberpunk: Edgerunners to blow up the way it did. If you’re one of the many fans of the stellar anime series, this Lucy Cyberpunk: Edgerunners wallpaper might soon become one of your favorites. There are more Cyberpunk: Edgerunners wallpapers than you can count, but I like this one the most due to the choice of music and the scene it depicts.

Rather than going all out, it keeps things simple, showing Lucy and a cat interacting in her home while it rains outside. The background also shows David and various scenes from the anime in motion, pulling at your heartstrings. You can customize the white bars, bloom, blur, rain, and character movements. With only around 34,000 subscribers, this one is definitely a hidden gem.

8 Solar System

Simple yet striking

Solar system wallpaper

If you don’t want to be distracted by music and want something simple, Solar System is one of the cleanest but most impressive wallpapers you’ll find. It simply shows the sun and the planets of our solar system bobbing up and down on water under a blurred, starlit sky. Despite the minimal nature of the wallpaper, you can’t help but gawk at the detailed planets and reflections.

Customization is limited to adjusting the brightness, saturation, and related controls. Over 316,000 subscribers currently enjoy this wallpaper.


Something for everyone

BMW M4 standing in rain

If you love cars, this wallpaper is for you. If you love rain, this wallpaper is for you. If you like ambient and calming wallpapers, BMW M4 NIGHT RAIN is definitely for you. The most arresting aspect of this wallpaper is the realism — whether it’s the BMW, the concrete below it, or the buildings in the background.

This might be a 1080p wallpaper, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at it. Over 187,000 people have downloaded it to date, but that number feels shockingly lower than it should be.

6 Hollow Knight – Broken Vessel

Great artwork and music

Another great game, another great wallpaper. Hollow Knight is one of the standout titles in recent years. And just like the game, Hollow Knight – Broken Vessel by SanyGame stands well above many others, thanks to its gorgeous, comic-book-style artwork and engaging soundtrack. It features minimal animation using particles and lighting but the result is impressive.

I believe it’s criminally underrated, as it only has around 42,000 subscribers at the moment. That’s your cue to go and download it now.


Download the Windows 11 wallpapers for your PC

Don’t have Windows 11 but still want the beautiful backgrounds, you can download them for yourself right here.

5 Call of the Cthulhu ║ Artwork by Andree Wallin ║

For lovers of Lovecraftian horror

Cthulhu stands among the most unsettling of the fictional monsters. If you’re as fascinated by the character as I am, you’ll love the Call of the Cthulhu ║ Artwork by Andree Wallin ║ wallpaper by Viwwe. There are countless Cthulhu wallpapers on Wallpaper Engine but I was particularly entranced by this one as it not only features a brilliantly designed and colossal Cthulhu but also combines that with some suspenseful music.

Moreover, the falling water animation continues to the lower part of the wallpaper, enhancing the immersion. Close to 100,000 people have liked this great piece of art, and I suggest you should become one of them.

4 Godzilla – 4k

All hail the king

You should know it by now — it’s Godzilla’s world; we’re just live in it. I’m a big fan of the G-man and am always looking for some wallpapers to scratch my Monsterverse itch. Godzilla – 4k by Drioyard depicts one of the most iconic scenes of the franchise where the king of the monsters is approaching a submarine and lighting up the ocean with his dorsal plates.

The wallpaper manages to capture the heightened tension and reverence of that scene, thanks to some great artwork and an overall simple design. There’s no distracting music or sound effects here — just plain ‘ol Godzilla in all his glory. Only around 55,000 people have subscribed to this one, so it definitely needs more attention.

3 Slow-Mo-Ocean

Risk of hypnotism

Wallpaper showing the ocean and setting Sun

Slow-Mo-Ocean wallpaper might not feel much of anything at first. After all, it’s simply showing a slow-motion ocean against a setting sun. But, as time passes, and you keep staring at it, the slow-motion waves shining a brilliant amber can almost transfix you with their motion. They move as if hiding a deep, dark secret. For me, the best part of the wallpaper was the incredible visuals of the fluid.

Surely, the wallpaper has struck a chord with the community, as evident from its 344,000+ subscribers.

2 rain

Better than real rain

Wallpaper showing rain on concrete

I’m not a big fan of getting drenched in the rain. In fact, I despise getting wet outside of a shower. But, rain makes me appreciate all the other aspects of rain without getting worried about wetness. This is the best implementation of rain in wallpapers, in my experience. The soft sound the water makes on impact with the concrete is brilliantly realized, and the stunning reflections enhance the mood even more.

This one is as minimalist as minimalist gets, but the staggering 1.2 million+ subscribers and 50,000+ favorites prove that people simply adore this work of art.

1 You Will Never Have a Good Wallpaper

Don’t be disheartened, it’s just a meme

Finally, we have a funny (or existential) wallpaper with some meta-commentary on the subject. You Will Never Have a Good Wallpaper by Dank Pitt features our very own Pepe the sad frog. Lamenting the search for a good wallpaper, Pepe stares into nothingness as rain pours over the simple statement – You will never have a good wallpaper.

Barring the lack of effort into the design, this wallpaper can be a good choice (if that exists) when nothing seems to fit your mood. More than 110,000 subscribers share this feeling, so there appears to be something to it.

Give your desktop a makeover

Wallpaper Engine is easily one of the best apps you can get on Steam. Costing only $4, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. You get access to thousands of high-quality, high-definition, audio-responsive, customizable wallpapers for a cheap one-time fee. And if you’re down with Wallpaper Engine and want to enhance the looks of your PC, these tips to give your PC an instant makeover will help you go from “meh” to “whoa” in no time.