The controller bar appears with a press of the Xbox button.
Image: Microsoft

A new feature in Windows 11 will allow you to use a controller instead of a mouse and keyboard to play games. The controller bar is accessible by pressing the central button on a controller when you are not playing a game. It is designed to show up to three games, along with a selection of game launchers.

I can see how useful the feature is for people like me, who have a gaming PC plugged into their TV. If I am playing a controller-based game, I need to use a wireless keyboard and trackpad. I might be able to skip this step in the future, and just use a controller to play games. The new controller bar will not launch the more in-depth Xbox Game Bar when you press the Xbox button, according to Microsoft.

The controller bar feature is currently being tested for Windows Insiders, and Microsoft warns that there could be bugs, like some games failing to appear or others appearing multiple times. Instructions on how to enable the new feature can be found in Microsoft's post.