How To Set Up An Xbox Series X Or Series S For Christmas

How To Set Up An Xbox Series X Or Series S For Christmas
Image: Microsoft Xbox Series S/X
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As shocking as it may be, Christmas is approaching very fast. If your gifting plans involve something big and console-shaped, there’s a few things you should know about the Xbox Series X and Series S first. As with any new console, there’s a complicated process to go through before you can really set up and play the Xbox Series S/X, so you’ll want to do a few things before you wrap up your gift.

First: you’ll need to open up the box. While it might seem counter-intuitive to get stuck into a present you intend to give someone else, it’s an important step in the setup process. You want your giftee to be able to open the box and get playing immediately, particularly if you’re purchasing it for a young or impatient child.

Next you’ll want to plug in the power cord and hook up the HDMI cable to your nearest TV. When you first boot up the console, you’ll be prompted to connect to the internet and kickstart the console’s first updates. There are two ways you can do this: either through the Xbox app, which you can download on iOS or Android, or the oldschool way.

If you’re using the app, you’ll be prompted to input a code on your phone. If you choose not to use the app, you’ll simply have to connect your console to a network (either through Wi-Fi or a wired connection) and then an update will begin downloading.

If you have a particularly poor internet connection, you may have trouble getting it connected. The console will prompt you to try new things like resetting your modem, reconnecting your console or checking your internet connection. Follow the prompts until the console connects — if it doesn’t work the first time, it’ll get there eventually.

From there, the console will initiate system and controller updates. Once done, it will enable instant gameplay when your giftee eventually gets their hands on the console. These updates will take anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour, depending on your internet speed.

The second step is a bit more prickly. If you’re gifting the console to a child, you may have access to their Microsoft account. If that’s the case, you’ll be able to head in and pre-download any titles they owned on the Xbox One or Xbox 360 via the “My games & apps” tab on the front page. (You can also use the Xbox app to queue up downloads for your console, provided you’ve selected “Instant-On” in the console’s power options.)

Simply head in, click into their owned games library and download anything you know they like. For younger kids, this may take the shape of Fortnite or Minecraft (but there could be a range of games they really love).

Image: Kotaku Australia

If you don’t know the details of their Microsoft account you may have to ask them, but if it’s meant to be a surprise don’t worry too much about this step.

Either way, that’s all you’ll really need to get the console game-ready. Once the updates and login process is complete, seal up the box as you found it (it’s fairly simple to put away) and wrap it up for Christmas.

Whoever’s on the receiving end will likely be grateful for the chance to jump right in and play on Christmas Day.


    • I got a few games from family members a couple of years ago, think they were still downloading on boxing day! Overwatch annoyed me, there was only 100mb on the disk and 20gb download haha.

  • I miss the older days for console setups, the last one I got for Xmas was the PS2, plug all the cables in, put a disc in, play! Box to gaming in less than 5 minutes!

    Its great advice you’re giving to set up beforehand, kids getting a console for Xmas likely won’t be playing their new games that day if their parents don’t!

    • Right? Long gone are the days of making sure your shit actually works properly before kicking it out the door.

      I mean I get fixing things in your games with a patch if you find issues before launch, but it does feel at times like we’ve taken several steps backwards when technology advancing is generally meant to help us step forward and make things simpler, easier, etc.

  • I know where you’re coming from with the advice to set it up before wrapping it but that’s not for us. My kids *enjoy* going through the set up process and being involved in all that, they’d be gutted if they knew i’d opened it up and fiddled with it first.

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