Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
So, after more than a year of waiting, you finally have a new Xbox Series X or Series S for Christmas. Congratulations! You’re in for more hours of fun than you can probably count. But where do you start?
We’ve put together this quick guide for new Xbox owners to get their new systems up and running. You’ll be biting the nail to jump into next-gen gaming, so let’s get started!
Store your games in the cloud
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Xbox Series S (above) and Xbox One S (below)
If you’re upgrading from an Xbox One console, there’s one crucial step to take before you unplug it and put it away in a closet somewhere to forget. Those without a last-generation Xbox can skip to the next section.
One of the best things about Microsoft’s approach is its focus on backward compatibility. You can play just about any game from all previous generations of Xbox, but that doesn’t mean your saved data belongs to it.
Also read: Save on a gaming headset and more of the best Xbox deals
Any games you want to keep playing must be saved to the cloud unless you want to start over. The good news is that this happens automatically while you’re connected to Xbox Live. Every time you exit a game, your save is synced. You don’t even need an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
If your console hasn’t been connected to the internet for some reason, reconnect it and fire up your games just in case. You can also check (or delete) your cloud storage from the start menu. Navigate to My games and apps, press the menu button on your controller, then select Manage game and add-ons. You can see all saved data by checking the Stored data box.
Skip the Xbox One and upgrade an Xbox 360? You may need to manually enable cloud storage. Learn more about how to do that here.
Set up and update your console
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Say you haven’t set up your console before reading this, kudos to you for your patience. But now it’s time to open the box and plug everything in. Once connected, the console needs to be updated before you can use it. And that can take a few hours.
Before plugging it in, take a moment to figure out where the console will live. Sure, you can plop it on the floor and call it good, but that’s just asking for damage from dust, spills, or overzealous pets.
The Xbox Series X and S can be placed horizontally or vertically, but they do need some room to breathe. Microsoft recommends leaving at least four to six inches of space on each side (including the top). You should also avoid placing other objects on or near the console itself. Closed closets are also a big no-no.
The easiest way to set up your new Xbox is with the Xbox app on Android and iOS.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to use the included 2-meter Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable. This cable is required for 4K 120fps output on the XSX. Using an uncertified Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable may result in poorer video performance. The Xbox Series S is less demanding and uses a standard High-Speed HDMI cable, which is easier to replace in a pinch.
Once everything is connected, the easiest way to get the console ready is with the Xbox for android or iOS. Follow the instructions on the app and your new Xbox console and you’re done in no time. Or rather, updating your console in no time. Use that time to read the rest of this guide!
Adjust your TV and display settings
The new Xbox consoles can deliver incredible visuals, but only if your TV (or monitor) can handle them. Depending on the make and model, you may need to adjust your TV settings for higher resolutions, higher frame rates, or even special features like HDR. You may even need to connect your console to a specific HDMI port to get the best performance.
Fortunately, the Xbox makes it easy to see what you’re working with. Navigate to the TV & Display options in the settings, then choose 4K TV details, and it will show you what is currently possible with your TV. From there, you’ll need to dig into both your Xbox and TV settings to get optimal visual performance.
And if you’re playing on a 1080p 60Hz TV or monitor, thinking about an upgrade is a thing of the past.
Buy some games
To get the most out of your next-gen hardware, you’ll need some next-gen games. Heavy hitters like Halo Infinite and Battlefield 2042 have recently landed, with more to come. Check out the best of them (and what’s coming soon) in the article below.
Also read: The best Xbox Series X/S games – Time for next-gen gaming
If you have no idea where to start, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate remains one of the best deals in gaming. For $15 a month (or less if you switch from an existing Xbox Live subscription), you get access to more than 100 triple-A games from Microsoft’s first-party studios, EA and others, as well as an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play your favorite online games. with friends.
The selection is truly incredible and includes the best of the Xbox One era and more. In addition, all future Microsoft titles will be added on the first day. It’s already an unbeatable deal for console gamers, and the value just keeps growing as time goes on. If you don’t need the game library, you still need Xbox Live Gold to play online, which costs $9.99 per month alone.
Install your favorite streaming apps
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Microsoft has long wanted its consoles to be a one-stop shop for all your entertainment needs. Now that streaming is the primary form of entertainment for many households, that dream may finally come true.
It’s also worth noting that while the Xbox Series S doesn’t support 4K output for games, it does for streaming content. Rest assured that you can enjoy 4K HDR content on both variants of the new Xbox consoles!
Grab a second controller and other accessories
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Couch co-op is one of the defining features of console gaming, but if you want your friends and family to get in on the action, you’ll need a second controller. You have a few options here, starting with the standard Xbox wireless controller, which runs about $60.
The new Xbox Series X comes with 1TB of onboard storage, but eventually you’ll have to invest in more. There you have two main options. The first is the official Seagate expansion card, which adds a whopping 1TB of storage space that matches the speed of the built-in SSD. If that’s too expensive, an external HDD will give you a cheaper storage boost, but without the incredible load times.