Giving digital games to friends has been a key feature on Steam and other PC gaming clients for years, but console gaming has lagged behind that trend. Thankfully, Microsoft now offers the ability to gift games over Xbox Live. To help make your next foray into gift shopping quick and painless, here’s how to gift Xbox One games without leaving the comfort of your couch.
Step 1: Choose the game
You must be logged in to an Xbox One account and connected to the internet to access the store. Scroll to the store from the dashboard (the menu to the furthest right). We recommend using the search function to quickly find your upcoming gift. Keep in mind that any game purchased as a gift can be played on all Xbox One systems — Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X.
Step 2: Buy as gift
After you’ve settled on a game, you’ll notice two options on the purchase screen. Make sure to choose “Buy as gift,” not “Buy.” If you accidentally purchase the game for yourself, you can return it and fix your mistake (provided you don’t slip up and play your friend’s gift for more than two hours), but the process is a bit time-consuming.
There are two methods for sending a game to a friend on Xbox One: Gifting to an Xbox Live friend and sending it to an email address.
Sending to an Xbox Live friend
The simplest and most accurate method, this top option opens up a sidebar with your list of Xbox Live friends. Scroll down and select the lucky friend who’s getting a game. If you aren’t friends with the intended recipient on Xbox Live, but you know their gamertag, you can choose the “enter gamertag” option above your friend list in the sidebar.
We recommend double-checking that you have the correct gamertag selected before sending, though.
You’ll be asked to enter a sender name after selecting a gamertag. The default moniker is your gamertag, but you can change it to your real name if you’d like.
The final screen asks you to confirm your purchase. Here you can update your payment information or modify the recipient if needed.
When you’re satisfied, press “Buy as gift.” A 25-digit redemption code will be sent to the email address linked to their gamertag.
Sending to an email address
If you don’t know the recipient’s gamertag, but you do know their email address, you can choose “Enter an email address” on the send gift page instead. The process is virtually the same as sending to a specific gamertag, but comes with a slight risk.
Make sure you are sending the game to the email address connected to the recipient’s Microsoft account and that the address is spelled correctly. Xbox Live does not verify that the email address you’ve typed in is associated with an account, nor does it sniff out fake addresses.
Gifting an Xbox One game on PC
If you find the Xbox Live store cumbersome to navigate, you can buy and gift Xbox One games on PC, too. Head over to Xbox. Click the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage to bring up the search bar.
- After finding the game, choose “Buy as gift” just like you would on Xbox One.
- You can only send games to an email address on PC. Carefully type in the address and then fill out the sender box.
- You can modify your payment information and gift details on the confirmation page before confirming your purchase.
If you receive a gift …
First off, lucky you! When a friend gifts a game to you, simply head over to Microsoft’s redeem webpage and enter the 25-digit code. Alternatively, you can redeem the code on Xbox One with the “Use a code” option in the store.
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