The Xbox One X is, arguably, the greatest games console around, or at least the most powerful. If you just picked one up during Black Friday, or think you might be getting one at Christmas, you might want to know how exactly it could help upgrade your gaming life.
If you’re an Xbox newbie, or even if you’ve upgraded from an Xbox One S or original Xbox One, there are plenty of things you can check out to ensure you have the best setup possible.
That’s why we’ve put together a handy list of tips and tricks to help you get used to your new Xbox One X.
How to transfer your files from Xbox One or Xbox One S to Xbox One X
If you already own an Xbox One or Xbox One S and plan to upgrade to the One X, there is a section at the bottom of the Dashboard home screen called “Get Ready for Xbox One X”.
This will send you to a settings page that offers the chance to back up your settings onto an external hard drive, you can also pre-download all the 4K “enhanced” patches for your existing games and, from the same menu, even start an Xbox to Xbox network transfer of important files and games.
The best way to do it though is to attach an aforementioned USB 3.0 external drive – such as the Seagate Xbox Game Drive, available from Amazon.co.uk and others.
You can then transfer all your games onto the drive, along with the settings as above and just plug it into your Xbox One X after. That way your games will be instantly playable.
You can see how to do that in Xbox’s own video tutorial below.
Ensure you have the latest “enhanced” games patches
As the Xbox One X can play many games with enhanced graphics, frame rates, loading times or all three, you want to make sure your games are updated.
Firstly, check out the list of games that have either already been enhanced on launch or are still to receive updates: Xbox One X enhanced games list.
You can also see which of your games have been enhanced by visiting My Games & Apps and, in the top right-hand corner, filtering your installed games by “Xbox One X Enhanced Games”. That way only the ones with One X patches will show up.
You can use the same Xbox One S cables
If you are upgrading from an Xbox One S to an Xbox One X, you can simply remove the One S and use the exact same cables for the new console.
If you are replacing an Xbox One, you will need to swap out the power cable as the older machine used an external power brick while the Xbox One X (and One S) have internal power units. You might also need to swap the HDMI cable if yours is particularly old. It is best to ensure the HDMI cable is rated for HDMI 2.0 as that is capable of transmitting 4K 60Hz and HDR signals.
Ensure you have HDR enabled on your TV
Although you can happily use the Xbox One X on a 1080p Full HD television, with the benefit of improved visuals still working – albeit not at the maximum resolution – you will definitely get the best performance from plugging it into a 4K HDR TV.
But even if you have a 4K HDR TV, you do need to ensure that HDR is enabled for the HDMI port you plan to use with the Xbox One X. Many TV manufacturers, for reasons best known to themselves, ship their HDR TVs with HDR disabled on each port.
You will find an option in your respective TV’s settings (check your manual) to enable HDR. On a modern LG TV with webOS, for example, it is in the general settings, listed as HDMI Ultra HD Deep Colour, where you can switch HDR on for each of the available HDMI ports. Only with these enabled will you see the HDR10 wider colours and contrast utilised by the Xbox One X.
Enable Dolby Atmos
If you have a Dolby Atmos surround sound system or soundbar you will have to download an app to ensure that supported movies output the correct sound channels. Download the Dolby Access app and follow the installation instructions. It’s actually pretty easy.
If you want to experience Dolby Atmos through headphones, you’ll need to pay a one-off fee of around £14. The app is free if you are just using connected Dolby Atmos speakers or amp.
Enable Dolby Vision
As well as HDR10, the Xbox One X is capable of displaying Dolby Vision – an alternative HDR format that some believe to be better. It only works on supporting TVs and with Netflix, currently. However, if your TV is compatible (you can see a list here) all you have to do is head to Settings, then Display and sound, Video output, Video modes and click on Allow Dolby Vision.
You will also need a Premium Netflix subscription to access Dolby Vision versions of shows and movies. That costs £9.99 per month.
Expand your storage
The Xbox One X comes with 1TB of storage space but, considering some enhanced games can be over 100GB apiece, even that can soon fill up. Luckily you can expand the storage simply, but connecting an external USB 3.0 hard drive to one of the three included USB ports.
You can find out exactly how to do this in our handy guide: how to upgrade your Xbox One storage by 2TB and more. Once added, the external drive can be set as the primary location to store games and even be plugged into other Xbox One consoles, such as a friends, to continue to play any installed title – as long as you are signed into your own profile.
Sign up for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass
If you want to play online games you will need to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold. However, as well as giving you the ability to play against millions of other players over the internet, it also gives you free games each month. And they will be available to you as long as you continue to subscribe.
Xbox Live Gold costs £6.99 a month, £17.99 for three months, or 49.99 for a whole year if you pay up-front.
Xbox Live Gold members also get big discounts on games, rotated on a monthly basis. And during big sales period, such as Black Friday, deals are often much cheaper for subscribers.
Xbox Game Pass is another great way to get access to a stack of games for a relatively small monthly fee. If you are new to Xbox you might consider taking an Xbox Game Pass subscription as it offers more than 100 Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games to download and play as often as you like. Think of it as the Netflix of Xbox gaming, at a similarly-priced £7.99 a month.
There’s also a higher tier to Game Pass, though. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs £32.99 every three months, and adds a bunch of extra benefits, the chief one being Xbox Live Gold bundled in. You can also try it for £1 for the first three months, a pretty superb trial deal.
Pick up an Elite Controller
If you’re gaming on an Xbox One X you’re at the pinnacle of the console experience, so you might want to make sure that your controller is up to the same standards. Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Controller recently got a second iteration, and it’s a pretty peerless device from a first-party perspective.
The controller lets you add extra flappers, reconfigure your controls, change the resistance of your analogue sticks and much more, to tune your experience exactly as you want it. If you’re getting particularly serious at a game, it could be the helping hand you need to break through and go pro. We can all dream.
Play your old Xbox 360 or original Xbox games
Like with the Xbox One and One S, the Xbox One X is compatible with an ever-growing list of backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. If you have any on the official list (which you can find here) you can pop the disc in the drive and play them as if they are on their original console format.
More than 1,000 backward compatible titles are also available to download through the Xbox Store.
Capture game footage in 4K HDR
As well as Microsoft’s own Mixer service, which enables you to stream live footage of your gameplay over the internet for others to watch, you can also capture up to five minutes of gameplay through the Game DVR function. And it captures in 4K HDR on the Xbox One X.
Footage shared on Xbox Live will be converted to 1080p automatically, but you can save the full resolution material onto an external drive for use elsewhere.
We will add more tips and tricks to this feature as and when we discover them. For now, we hope you enjoy your new console.