If you are the proud owner of a new Xbox Series X or the S Series console, then it’s time to dig into those settings to get the most out of them. We’ve got some handy tips to get you started and some lesser-known features worth checking out.
Are you looking for ways to complement your new system? Read our Best gaming headsets, Best wireless gaming headsets, and Best gifts for Xbox owners guides for our top picks. If you have an S series and are confused about the differences, here is a breakdown.
Special offer for Gear readers: get a One year subscription to WIRED for $ 5 ($ 25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you wish). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
1. Download the Xbox Mobile app
Xbox app redesigned for Android or ios is essential. If you haven’t set up your new Xbox yet, the app is the easiest way to do it. It also gives you access to your friends and chat, lets you choose games and trigger downloads remotely, and gives you access to screenshots and captured game videos from your Xbox for easy sharing. Best of all, you can use Xbox Remote Play to stream games from your console to your phone or tablet (more on that later).
2. Personalize your home screen and guide
You don’t have to live with the default home screen when you can customize it. On the Home screen, press the View button (the one on the left that looks like two windows) and you will display the Personalize the house settings. You can configure your preferred order, choose colors, backgrounds, and even themes. In Theme and movement, you can select light or dark themes, or have things change automatically according to the time of day.
An option not to be missed is Customize the guide, which lets you choose the order of everything in the guide that appears every time you press the Xbox button.
3. Transfer games from your Xbox One
You can find all the old games you own from your old Xbox console by pressing the Xbox button and selecting My games and apps> Complete library> All owned games. Although you can download any of these games, it will be much faster to transfer them from your old console. To do this, make sure your Xbox One and your new X or S series are turned on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network. On your new Xbox, go to Settings> System> Backup & transfer> Network transfer, then check the option, select your old console, choose what you want to copy, and click Copy selection to start the process.
4. Choose the right display settings
To get the most out of the capabilities of your new console, you need to make sure that your display is configured optimally. You can do this by Settings> General> TV and display options, where you’ll find everything from resolution settings and refresh rate to HDR calibration. Check the 4K TV details to find out what your TV can do, and be sure to go through the calibration process. If you think you are not getting full capacity, check your cable and the port you plug into your TV to make sure both support HDMI 2.1 (only select the most recent TV models support HDMI 2.1).
5. Customize your controller
You can configure your controller preferences to dictate what each button should do, reverse the controls, or change the intensity of the vibrations. To choose all this and more, go to Settings> Devices and connections and choose Accessories and configuration. You have the option to save multiple profiles with different control patterns, so that you can set a special layout for shooters and another for flight simulators, for example.
6. Link your controller to your profile
Maybe you have a special controller. Maybe you’re phobic about the greasy hands of the person you’re sharing the console with, or maybe you just want to save a few seconds with an automatic connection. Whatever your reason, you can link your controller to your profile, which means you can just turn on your controller, and the Xbox will sign you in automatically. To do this, use the controller you want to bind and navigate to Settings> Account> Login, security and passkey and find it This controller connects option.
7. Use your old controllers
While we’re on the subject of controllers, don’t forget that you can use any old Xbox One controller with your new console. They are easy to bind. Hold the small circular button next to the USB port on your new console until the power button starts flashing, then hold the small circular button on top of the Xbox One controller until the Xbox button starts blinking. When the flashing stops, they are in sync and ready to go.
8. Play Blu-rays on your Xbox Series X
Your Xbox Series X can double as a 4K Blu-ray player, but the necessary app isn’t installed by default. You can choose to download it from the Microsoft Store, but you’ll also be prompted to do so the first time you insert a Blu-ray disc. If you’ve got a decent home theater setup, then head to Settings> Devices & Connections> Blu-rayand light up Let my receiver decode the audio.
9. Save energy
If you are heading to Settings> General> Power mode and startup, this is where you can decide how long you need to be idle for the console to turn off (the default is one hour). You can also choose between Instant-On and Energy-Saving in Power mode. If you want to control your console remotely, activate it with voice commands, and get into the action as quickly as possible, go with Instant-On. If you want to save energy, go for the latter.