9 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

You know that it plays Halo games. You know it will run Gears of War. And you probably knew that it looks smaller if you stand further away from it. But did you know these other things about Xbox One?

You can see how much Internet your console uses

Go to Settings -> Network -> Bandwidth Usage and you'll be able to track how much Internet bandwidth your Xbox One console has used each of the last several months and even how much it's using at the moment.

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

Watch a game in action before you decide to buy it

The Xbox Live store features Twitch livestreams of any game that's being played at the moment, so you can skip guessing, reading marketing copy or reading a Kotaku review and just watch some gamer play the game you are about to buy.

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

Play game, don't save, power off, power on, resume playing

Who needs save points? Not the Xbox One. The system's suspend-and-resume feature is one of its best tricks, but only brave gamers who shut their console down without saving their game will discover it. Only works if you are using the system's instant-on power setting, so not an option if you're looking to use a more energy-efficient mode.

UPDATE: Readers tell me this pretty much doesn't work with games that are using a persistent online connection. I hadn't experienced that, likely due to which games I play on Xbox One, but I have experienced that issue on PS4's own recently-added suspend-and-resume feature when I attempt to resume playing an online-open session of Far Cry 4.

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

Do not worry about losing save files

Your save files automatically get uploaded to the cloud as you play. If you log into another Xbox One with your Xbox Live account and then start a game that's on disc or that you own, the system will pull down your save. No manual uploading and downloading of save files necessary (please take note, Sony!). Logging into a new system will also automatically pull in your pinned shortcuts.

Virtual green screen!

Using the console's Upload Studio app and a Kinect, you can do more than just edit gameplay clips, talk over them or do picture-in-picture. You can use that Kinect to create a virtual green screen. Like this:

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

To do this, just start recording a Kinect-type video in Upload Studio and choose "change effect."

You can keep an eye on desired Achievements

Not only can you snap a stack of achievements on the right side of your TV screen, but you can then prioritise the ones you want to track. To snap Achievements, either tell the Kinect to "Xbox, snap achievements" or, if you don't have a Kinect or are shy, just double-tap the Xbox button on the controller and select the Achievement option.

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

Then highlight any Achievement, press A and pin that Achievement to the top of the stack. A progress bar showing how close you are to landing that Achievement will fill up as you play.

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

Think of the menu button as right-click

Not so much a feature as an epiphany! As Xbox One boss Phil Spencer told me about a year ago, you can get a better handle on what the menu (three-line/hamburger) button on the Xbox One controller will do on the system menu and in various apps if you think of it as using right click on a mouse. This clears up a lot!

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

Use your phone as a controller

If you've got the Xbox One SmartGlass app on your phone or tablet, you can sync it to your console and then use it as a controller as you swipe through the system menu or apps such as Netflix. No proper controller or Kinect needed.

10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About
10 Xbox One Features You Might Not Know About

Use the Xbox One controller on your PC

You'll have to plug it in with a micro-USB cord, and you'll need to download these drivers.


    Don't forget you can use the XBOX One to turn the TV/stereo off and on automatically when you turn the console off and on, change the volume, etc via the HDMI functionality. "XBOX Mute" and "XBOX Volume Down" are great Kinect commands, and it adds a volume control button to Smartglass. It doesn't sound like a huge deal but you get used to it. It's always weird now going back to the 360 or PS4 and having to dig up a remote control to turn the TV on.

      The PS4 does do it but your TV needs to have a HDMI-CEC port for it to work.

        I've only ever got it to turn the PS4 on with the TV, not the TV on with the PS4. It's not too bad though since I don't use the PS4 for media and the Wii U gamepad is always sleeping next to the PS4 controller. It's just sort of a strange moment. Like having to rewind a VHS tape.

    Did not know the controller was compatible with Windows yet!

      Yeah it's fantastic, using it for DiRT Rally and some other pc games, possibly the best controller ever made..

    Most of these features are surprisingly helpful. especially going back to the 360 recently it actually annoys me a lot that I have to load a games intro everytime I turn it on and off. And not being able to go home without completely exiting the game. Of course it doesn't work for online games otherwise it would have to remain connected constantly. But at least those online games remain "open" and you don't have to load it from the beginning again

    Last edited 09/05/15 1:08 pm

    I wish hey could add a new feature of a stable OS that doesn't crash multiple times a day.

      I would maybe call up customer support about that.

      I bought mine on launch day and it's crashed once... during Assassins Creed: Unity (before their 5 gigabit patch).

        Well... when you say Unity that leads me to believe it was Unity and not the OS lol

          Yeah... as it never happened again after I returned Unity, I'd be inclined to agree with you.

    'Home console'.

    Share your digital library and live privileges with another xbox.

    Bought my gf a white x1 sunset overdrive edition (opposed to my day 1 but without the day 1 sticker black x1). Made that my 'home console':
    Settings > My Xbox (straight down the bottom of the list on the left) > My home xbox > Make this my home Xbox.

    She hasn't bought a game or any live time but can play any and all of my digital games (read 90% of my library) at the same time I am playing them (eg in GTA Online with me and our crew) all with just my live privileges. My black x1 still logs me in automatically.

    We still pay about $20-$30 more per game than we would finding it at its cheapest (in release window) on disc but that's cheaper than buying the disc two times (just). You only need to download it once, then copy it to a hd and then onto the other xbox. Not complicated.

      Can you explain that one some more, I'm intrigued. And, where is the other console, same house? Can you play vs each other?

        Yeah she can play at the same time as me in pvp and pve or even versus me.

        The console is in the same house, but it doesn't have to be. You could set it up with a friend or relative that lives anywhere as far as I know.

      Yep we do that with our PS4's too. Sharing is the best thing ever :D

      I was just about to post the same thing. I buy all multiplayer games via Xbox store because I get 2 licenses.

      Pro tip: Check out EA Access. $7 per month and you get access to their vault of games, inc BF4, Plants v Zombies and pretty much all their EA Sports titles.

        EA access is great. But do the year, not monthly. Its basically half price.

        When I did it I went and traded bf4 (a game I bought on disc at launch) and it almost paid for the whole year of EA access.

      I didn't know you could transfer with the hard drive like that. Thanks. I've spent the weekend re-downloading all my previously deleted games to put them on a new hard drive. Good to know I won't have to do that again if I get a second XBOX or have to replace this one.

      Also while I don't currently use the Home Console feature, it's nice knowing it's there. In theory it opens a lot of games up to couch co-op without actually having to buy the game twice. I would have loved this when Saints Row 2 came out.

      Last edited 11/05/15 11:39 pm

    Nope, doesn't have to be the same location. One of my best friends and I do it. My X1 is set as his Home unit, and his is mine. We buy half the games online each, and share them.

    To do it, you download your gamertag on each other's X1, set that other unit as Home for the Gamertag, then go home and play all your games on your unit....and his games too. Works a treat.

    These features would be great if I didn't have to Troubleshoot the damn thing every time I turned it on.
    I can't even load the games I own and bought through the system because the internet cuts out just on the Xbox One. We have a Wired connection to the thing but every time it loads up it demands we restart everything. We've replaced the modem, router, the cables and even had to replace the console itself with a new one and it still refuses to keep a connection. The same cable never has a problem on the 360. Wireless is even more shaky.

    I really loved the Xbox One when it worked, recently it's just been a shambles and utterly disappointing

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