9 Things To Do With A New Xbox Series X

Whether you’ve just unwrapped your Xbox Series X as a Christmas present or you’ve bought it for yourself after a hard year, congratulations. The Xbox Series X is a truly great console; Xbox Game Pass makes the Xbox ecosystem a no-brainer, but there’s also a trove of excellent games to play outside of Microsoft’s subscription service. When you’re staring at the big black monolith for the first time, however, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are 9 things you should do with your new Xbox Series X.

1. Subscribe to Xbox Game Pass

We really can’t make this point emphatically enough. If you have an Xbox console of any kind, and you regularly play games on it, then an Xbox Game Pass subscription is essential. The service is such ridiculously good value that you’re missing out on a treasure trove of excellent games if you don’t subscribe, and the price is so low that it’s almost never not worth the money. If you don’t have a PC and you don’t play online, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can be missed out in favour of Game Pass for console.

2. Check out the web browser

Unlike the PS5, the Xbox Series X has a fully-functioning web browser built into it. You can do anything you could do with a normal browser on your desktop, so it’s worth taking a look at this feature if, for example, you want to watch streamed content for which there’s no native app. You can even hit up some free slot machines and try to win it big if you’re so inclined. Even though the Xbox obviously isn’t as good a way to browse the web as a PC, it’s still nice that the option is there.

3. Download some old games

Did you have an Xbox 360 or an Xbox One? If so, you’re in luck, as there’s a very good chance the games you had for those consoles will be compatible with your Xbox Series X. Browse the store and find some titles from your library that you’d like to revisit, then download them. Many games on the Series X benefit from FPS Boost, too, meaning you’ll actually have a better time playing them on your new console! Even games from the very start of the Xbox 360’s lifespan are compatible with the Series X.

4. Slide in your OG Xbox discs

That’s right; the Series X is even compatible with discs from the original Xbox console. If you’ve got an old copy of Halo or Fuzion Frenzy, for example, why not try playing it on the Xbox Series X? FPS Boost won’t work with OG Xbox games, but they will benefit from enhanced resolution, so they’ll look better than you remember them looking. Not all Xbox games are compatible with Series X, unfortunately, but Microsoft does have a list of all the games that are currently supported, so it’s worth checking that.

5. Check out some streaming services

Like many other major platforms these days, the Xbox Series X has its very own apps for services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube. It’s worth taking a look at these apps, as they feel intuitive and satisfying to navigate on your Series X console. The UI makes them easy to access, and there’s a wealth of content that supports 4K, allowing you to make the most of your console’s output. You can do this on any console, but the Xbox Series X has a great suite of streaming apps to try out.

6. Watch some Blu-rays

While it’s true that the Xbox One S and One X technically supported 4K Blu-ray playback, there were some sporadic issues with certain users’ consoles not recognising discs. That won’t be the case with the Xbox Series X, which has a built-in 4K Blu-ray player so you can watch all your favourite movies and TV shows in crisp detail. Be sure to fire up some Blu-ray discs when you get your Xbox Series X so that you can test your display out with some content.

7. Grab an Xbox Live Gold subscription

If you regularly play online with your buddies on your Xbox, then you’re going to need an Xbox Live Gold subscription. In essence, this is the same as signing up for PlayStation Plus or Nintendo Switch Online; it allows you to play games online, and is required if you want to access the online multiplayer component of most games (with some notable exceptions, like free-to-play games). Xbox Live Gold is included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, so if you’re playing online a lot, opt for that.

8. Set up your external storage drive

Although the Xbox Series X’s 1TB of storage might sound like a lot, in reality, you’re going to fill that up pretty quickly, especially if you keep a lot of games installed at once. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy yourself an external storage drive. Microsoft sells an officially approved drive that apparently matches the speed of its own SSD, but you can just grab any USB HDD and copy games and other media onto it. You may not be able to play the games from it, but you can just copy them back over when you need them.

9. Set yourself a break reminder

We know that nobody likes to be told when it’s time to take a break from gaming, but sometimes this is an essential component of your session. When that’s the case, you should head into your Xbox Series X’s Settings menu, then go to Preferences, and finally, find the option marked “Break Reminder”. You can set reminders in 30-minute increments, and you’ll get a notification recommending that you take a break as often as you’ve asked your console to tell you.


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