Get the most out of your Xbox One with these tips

You’re starting on page 2 of this, click here to start at the beginning.

Getting to know your Xbox One

Before you jump in…

microsoft xbox one review interface home

Prepare to sit patiently for a little bit the first time you turn on your Xbox One. After you do the initial setup — connecting the console to the internet, etc. — you will need to update the console to the newest version of the operating system. It may take awhile, but just go with it.

If you plan on running your cable box through the Xbox One to take advantage of the console’s TV overlay, you should do that right away as well. It’s extremely easy: You’ll need your ZIP code, your cable provider’s company name, and the manufacturer/model of cable box you’re using. Just follow the steps on the screen; it’s all laid out very clearly. Getting your remote code set can be a little tricky with certain older model cable boxes, but just keep tinkering with the automatic and manual setup commands. For the cable box, you should find the model name/number on a sticker on the back. Everyone has a different arrangement at home, but the Xbox One setup is built to be user-friendly and universal.

Once you get to the dashboard for the first time, don’t immediately dive in and start gaming! Sure, you can if your heart is really set on it, but know that your setup isn’t quite finished. There are certain apps that you might not need to use the console, but you’ll probably want to install before it’s time to use them. Download the apps for all of your streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, as well as “optional” apps like the Blu-ray Player and Upload Studio apps, which both relate to core console functions. 

Get through menus in a hurry

Clicking the directional pad or flicking the analog stick over and over again can be a pain when you’re trying to sift through pages of menus to get to your favorite game or just get from the top of the Xbox One dashboard to the bottom, but there is a much faster way to quickly navigate nearly every menu on the system. Just pull the left trigger and you’ll automatically be sent to the top of your current page, while the right trigger will send you to the bottom. If things seem to be slow on the Xbox dashboard, you can even refresh it by holding down both triggers as you press the Y button.

Keep your space tidy

Every game, even if you bought it on a disc, needs to be installed on the Xbox One before you can play it. You may be able to start playing after only a few minutes when the progress is as low as five percent, while the game continues installing in the background. This also goes for downloadable games; you should be able to start playing most of them by the time they reach roughly 50-percent download completion (sometimes less). Don’t get too excited, though, while every Xbox One game can open before its installed, in many cases launching them early simply opens a new in-game loading screen.

Xbox one systems come in two different storage sizes: 500GB and 1TB. This isn’t a ton of space given that some game files are pushing 100GB on the system already, but Xbox One makes it quite simple to not only uninstall any games you’re not currently using, but also to reinstall those you want to play again.

You can uninstall games and apps at any time by pressing by selecting them, pressing the “menu” button, and choosing “manage game.” You’re then free to uninstall the game file itself, as well as any DLC that could be eating up space. Clicking “uninstall all” will get rid of all of this, but don’t worry about losing your save data — it’s automatically stored in the cloud, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally erasing it unless you choose the “delete from cloud” option.

All digital games you have purchased will be available in the “games” section of “My Games & Apps,” with those not currently on your system listed in “ready to install.” Simply click the menu button on any of these games and choose “install.” If you have any extra DLC packs that you also want to install, you can do so by selecting “manage game” and checking the game’s “ready to install” section.

Between freebies, demos, beta tests, and purchased digital games, your collection visible in the “ready to install” section will get pretty large over time, easily pushing 100 or more titles. To make the clutter easier on the eyes, you can hide games from the list that you won’t be playing anymore. Just press “menu” on a game you want to hide, and select the option to hide it. To bring the hidden games back, press the left and right bumpers while also pressing X.

Play your free Games With Gold games

If you’re an Xbox Live Gold subscriber — a requirement for playing multiplayer titles — you automatically get access to four free games a month. Two of these are Xbox One titles, while the other two are for Xbox 360, and all of them are playable on your Xbox One for as long as you keep your subscription.

Claiming your free games is a relatively painless process. Sign into your Xbox One and, on the dashboard, you should spot a tile labeled “gold.” Just click on that and you’ll see your free games, of which there are three available at any one time. You can also use the official Xbox One smartphone app to claim your Xbox One games, but not the Xbox 360 titles.

If you want to have your games ready to download when you get to your Xbox, you can claim them using a web browser. Sign in on the Games With Gold page and you’ll spot all three games down below under “now available.” They’ll automatically be added to your “ready to install” section of “My Games & Apps” on your Xbox One.

Deals

Miss Black Friday but still need an Xbox? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

How to delete and reinstall games on your Xbox One

Removing and reinstalling games on the Xbox One's hard drive isn't difficult, but it's a process that not everyone is familiar with. Thankfully, our guide will run you through each step so you'll know precisely what to do.
Gaming

The most common Xbox One X problems, and how to fix them

The Xbox One X is a brilliant console, but it's not without its issues, ranging from simple annoyances to severe hardware problems. Here are common Xbox One X problems and how to fix them.
Gaming

Take-Two Interactive takes down another ‘GTA Online’ modder, seeks $150K

Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have filed a lawsuit against the GTA Online modder behind the software named Elusive. The publisher is continuing its crackdown against GTA Online mods.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Gaming

The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.
Gaming

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Gaming

Bundle up for the huge ‘Monster Hunter: World’ expansion coming in 2019

Monster Hunter: World is getting a major expansion in fall 2019 called Iceborne. The expansion will be similar in scope as the Ultimate versions of previous Monster Hunter games, featuring new quests, monsters, weapons, and armor.
Gaming

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.
Deals

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
2 of 5