Current-generation consoles are packed with all sorts of features. By default, they have for many become the centre of the home entertainment system. Installing Netflix or Spotify is an obvious feature. But did you know there’s a lot more that can be done than watching Disney+, listening to music and playing games? Here’s seven Xbox Series X features you might not have heard about, but should definitely give a try!

So what else can you do? Most of the features below centre around making your gaming time more efficient. Or perhaps a little prettier, depending on the TV/monitor setup you game on! Read on for more details, and also consider upgrading that Xbox Series X|S storage.

7 Xbox Series X Features You Should Try

First up, it should be noted that all of these features also work on the Xbox Series S. Regardless of whether you’ve got the big boy or little brother, all of the below will be available. However, the Xbox Series S’ video output is obviously significantly more limited. But, without further ado, let’s get into the meat of the article!

Xbox Series X|S home screen

Pin Games & Apps to Your Home Screen

By default, your Xbox Series X|S home screen will show you games and apps you’ve used recently. It will also offer a host of recommendations for new games and media to buy. However, you can customise your home screen options. Simply scroll all the way down the home screen and select “Add more.” Here, you’ll be able to add whole new categories, such as Microsoft Rewards, the Xbox Store or specific games and apps. This can make it much more efficient if you regularly use specific titles!

Microsoft Rewards Redemption

Now that you’ve pinned Microsoft Rewards to your home screen, it’s time to make use of it! The Microsoft Reward program lets you earn points for undertaking various actions within the Microsoft ecosystem. On Windows you can complete daily missions such as simple quizzes. On Xbox for PC, you can get points simply for playing a game. Xbox consoles, you can play Game Pass games to earn points (if you are a subscriber, of course!). Your Microsoft Reward points will build until you redeem them, which is very much worth doing. Microsoft Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards, Xbox Game Pass memberships and more, so it’s very much worth seeing how many points you’ve amassed!

Customise the Guide

The Xbox button on your controller commands the guide to slide in from the left-hand corner of your screen. By default, this guide shows you messages, friends activity, profile information etc. If you head to the ‘Personalization’ option in the Settings menu, you’ll find a ‘Customize the Guide’ option. This will let you select which functions you want and which you don’t. But more than that, it will actually let you reorganise the whole bar.

Change Your Wallpaper

And while we’re on the subject of customisation, what about the home screen wallpaper? If you go to ‘Personalization’ in the Settings menu, then ‘My background’, you can customise how you want each screen to look. You can also choose screenshots from games, custom images, official Xbox art or even “dynamic” animated backgrounds.

Xbox Series X|S video settings

Optimise Your Video Settings

The Xbox Series X is pretty good at autodetecting what kind of TV you have. However, it’s likely that a little tweaking will bring better results. Head to the Settings menu, ‘General’ and then select ‘TV & Display Options’. Here, you can check resolution and frame rates, as well as HDR calibration. But while here, you should also check out the option labelled ‘Video modes’. This gives you granular detail about certain HDR and refresh protocols. For example, if your display Dolby Vision for Gaming, it may not have been enabled by default.

Save Some Money

No, this one isn’t about Microsoft Rewards again. If you’ve bought an Xbox Series X within the past few months, then Energy saver mode will be enabled by default. However, if you were an early adopter it may not be. Go to the Settings menu, ‘General’ and ‘Sleep Mode & Startup’. Here, you’ll see two sleep mode options. ‘Energy Saver’ is the one Microsoft recommends, as it uses almost no power when the console isn’t up and running. ‘Standby’ consumes 20 times as much power as Energy Saver.

Connect Your Remote

Tired of navigating Netflix with your Xbox controller? If you have a smart TV remote or a universal remote, there’s a high chance that you can control your Xbox with it. Under the ‘Settings’ and ‘General’ menus, you’ll find an option labelled ‘TV &A/V power options’. Here, you can enable HDMI-CEC. HDMI-CEC lets you use many modern remote controls to navigate your Xbox, instead of a controller.

Which of these have you already tried? Any Xbox Series X features listed that you didn’t know about? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our recommendations for the best Xbox Headsets!

Categories: Games Tech