Xbox One: Hidden Features You Didn’t Know About

May 8, 2020

Although the Xbox One didn’t have the greatest time when it first launched, it has come a long way. Despite the rocky start, it is now a sophisticated and feature-rich console that has plenty to offer users. However, unless you have dug deep into the options there’s probably a lot you don’t know about the Xbox One. Especially if you haven’t read every single announcement that Microsoft has released.

Fortunately, we’ve collected all of the best hidden features from the console along with some handy hints and tricks. Even avid fans will likely find something useful that they were previously unaware of. Hopefully, you’ll be using your Xbox One in completely new ways after getting through this article.

Beta test with the Xbox Insider Program

The Xbox Insider Program is essentially a way for people to get access to new updates and features early. It is Microsoft’s beta testing system for the Xbox One console. Anyone signed up gets access to fresh builds before they are released to the general public. This means that players can test out title updates and use features earlier. Additionally, insiders also get the chance to try beta versions of games and can give feedback to help improve them. 

Use voice assistants with Xbox One

Many people have become accustomed to using voice assistants on their devices. Whether it is a smart speaker like Alexa or smartphones, using your voice to control hardware has never been easier. The Xbox brand jumped on this trend rather early with the Kinect. Yet, they also support a variety of other voice assistants. Users can connect Cortana, Alexa, and Google Home accounts to their console. They can then tell the console to launch games, watch shows, or download movies with a few voice commands. 

Use FastStart to play downloaded games quicker

Almost all users will be aware that you can normally jump into a game long before the download finishes. However, this will usually be a reduced version of the game. It often doesn’t include all the content or features of the full game.

FastStart is like an upgraded version of this feature. By prioritizing files that you need to start the title, the feature can half the time it normally takes. Users just have to enable the function from the settings. Unfortunately, it is only available on a limited number of games and requires a fast internet speed to work.


Re-map the controller for ultimate customization

Over the last few years, Microsoft has worked hard to give players control over how they play. They have released the Xbox Elite controller and added support for many accessories and peripherals. Yet, the biggest change is one that very few people know about. By going into the settings it is possible to re-map every single button and trigger on the Xbox One controller. Users can even save profiles onto individual controllers so they are set up perfectly for them. 

Organize games into groups

Groups are a little known feature on the Xbox One that can make your life much easier. Xbox Live Gold members and Game Pass users can have a huge amount of games downloaded on their consoles. In fact, it is not uncommon for someone to have more than 100 titles ready to play.

However, sorting through them all can be a pain as the console comes with limited options for filtering games. But groups can make things much easier. Users can create different groups and then sort their games through any criteria they want. Adding the games is as simple as a single button press.

Earn points with Microsoft Rewards 

The Microsoft Rewards program is a great way to earn some goodies just by playing games. Once signed up, you can access the rewards directly on the Xbox One through the specialist app. There are plenty of ways to get points. In fact, you’ll get points every time you buy something from the store. Yet, you can also complete quests and check out content such as games and movies to get extra coins. Once you reach certain milestones, players can purchase subscriptions, gift cards, and enter competitions.

Stream from console to PC

Although many people might know about Project xCloud, Microsoft has other streaming options. One of the ones few people are aware of is console streaming to PC. Users simply have to download the Xbox app on their computer of choice to be able to stream games. Once the app is set up and connected to the network, players can enable game streaming in the console’s preferences. Of course, this means other people can use the TV set while you play on a completely different screen. It’s ideal if a few people in your household want to do different things at the same time.

Xbox app allows you to use your smartphone as a TV remote

Previously, anyone wishing to use their smartphone with their Xbox One had to download a specific app. Now, though, Microsoft includes the feature in the standard Xbox app for Android and iOS. Once you download and sign in to the app, it will connect to any consoles on the same Wi-Fi network. Once this is done, you can then control the Xbox using just the smartphone. This essentially turns it into a TV remote and is especially useful when watching television or movies. It also gets rid of the need to constantly turn the Xbox controller on and off when browsing. 

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