How to redeem an Xbox One code

Xbox One S
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

So you’ve just received an Xbox One console and you’re ready start tapping into the treasure trove of games and content, starting with the bonus stuff that came bundled with the hardware! Microsoft continues to offers users several different ways to redeem various prepaid codes and downloadable content, whether you’re looking to do so directly on your console, through your favorite web browser, or using the official Xbox app for Android and iOS. Here’s how.

Redeeming on your console

There are two separate ways to input codes on an Xbox One console: With your controller, or using a Kinect sensor. If you own a Kinect and have a QR code with your download key, this process will take less than a minute. If you don’t have a Kinect, however, things will take slightly longer.

Step 1: Load up the code input screen

If your Kinect is plugged in, simply say “Xbox, use a code” to make your console jump to the input screen, where you’ll have the option of either entering a 25-digit code or scanning the QR code using the Kinect’s built-in sensor.

If you have a Kinect and a QR code, simply hold it up to the Kinect when prompted. The Kinect will recognize the downloadable content you wish to install. Simply confirm the information and you’re good to go.

If you don’t, hit the right bumper on your controller to bring up the Store. Then, select the use a code option under the Games section.

Step 2: Enter your code

Most code cards contain a 25-digit number, and don’t provide you with any other way to enter the information. If this is the case, select enter the 25-character code and use your controller to enter the numbers you see on your card (don’t worry about the hyphens). Once you have finished and confirmed the numbers, you should see a list of the downloadable content you’re about to install. Select Confirm and you’re done!

Redeeming in your browser

Step 1: Enter your code on the Xbox website

The process for redeeming codes is very straightforward if you opt for Microsoft’ site. First, navigate to the Xbox website and sign into your Xbox account using the menu in the upper-right corner. Once signed in, the same menu will display a Redeem code option. Select this, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can enter the 25-digit code found on your code card. Enter the number into the text field, and select Redeem to get your downloadable content.

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Step 2: Download the content on your Xbox One

You may have to manually install this content on your console when you’re ready to play. To do this, go to My games and apps and find the game for which the downloadable content is used. Press the Menu button on your Xbox One controller — it’s where Start button used to be — and select Manage game. Here, you’ll see a section labeled Ready to install, where your content should be listed. Just click it and choose the installation option.

If you’d like a more detailed description of this process, we have a step-by-step walkthrough of how to add and delete Xbox One games.

Redeeming via the Xbox app

Can’t wait until you get home to claim your downloadable content? Thanks to a recent update to the Xbox app, you now have the ability to enter codes on the go.

Step 1: Enter your code in the Xbox app

Open the official Xbox app on your mobile device and make sure you’re signed into the account you’re using on your Xbox One. From here, access the drop-down menu in the upper-left corner of your display and select Store. You’ll see Redeem code at the top of the resulting page, with a gift icon directly beside it. Click this, and then enter your 25-digit code in the entry field on the next page.

how to redeem a code on your xbox one app android

Step 2: Download the content on your Xbox One

As with aforementioned browser method, you may have to manually download and install the content on your Xbox One after you claim it through the mobile app. To do so, go to My games and apps and find the game for which the downloadable content is used. Press the Menu button on your controller and select Manage game. Here, you’ll see a section labeled Ready to install, where your content should be listed. Just click the content in question and choose the installation option. The majority of downloadable content files are very small, so you should be ready to play in just seconds.