When you (or your parents) were younger, playing console games with friends meant that you all had to gather in one place.
Today, things are much different. With a high-speed internet connection and a subscription to Xbox Live, you are ready to connect with friends around the country and possibly even around the world.
Are you ready to get started? One of the first things you need to know is that playing with a group of people online isn’t a free service.
Although you can still get access to many Microsoft apps and other features for free, the subscription to Xbox Live Gold is required for online playing. This is a pretty standard move from all console brands.
Most of the following information is pertinent to Xbox One and Xbox 360, as well as Xbox on Windows, so when you pick up your subscription card from DoromaCard, you can probably redeem it on whichever console you currently own.
Step one: Purchase the Xbox subscription
Before you can start an online game with your friends or opponents, you need to sign up for your Xbox Live Gold subscription.
You can choose from a monthly or yearly subscription, but the yearly option is about half the price of the monthly cost. Obviously, you’ll get more value for your dollar when you sign up on a yearly basis.
If you want to try the online service before you commit to a full year, you could certainly go with one month before making the longer commitment. Pre-paid cards are a great way to go because they are convenient and can be found at DoromaCard and other retailers.
Step two: Consider a headset
A good quality headset is one of the most important accessories for gaming online. A slim headset that stays securely in place is perfect for communicating with your friends and teammates.
Talking strategy or simply enjoying each other’s company is much nicer with voice messaging than through text. In the past, some consoles came with the headset included, but you’ll need to pick one up these days.
Fortunately, there are some good quality sets for affordable prices from many local retailers. You could also try using a set of 3.5mm headphones, but you won’t get quite the same quality.
Step three: Find your friends
When people first get started playing online, after redeeming their cards from DoromaCard, they naturally spend some time playing with random teams and opponents.
When you are ready to connect with friends you’ve made online or in person, you need to add them to your friends’ list. You can do this by signing in at the home screen. You can get there by pushing the Xbox button at the top of your controller.
On the home screen, scroll right and look for the “Friends” online. (You may need to open the Social tab first.) Look for “Find someone” and then add your friends’ Gamertag.
Step four: Add friends
Next, click “Add Friend.” This sends a request to your friend who will accept, ignore, or delete. Hopefully, your friend will accept your invite.
Be aware that you will now become your friend’s follower, and some of your profile information will be openly available. You can choose the information that is displayed in your profile, so review that before inviting friends.
- You can’t use real names or personal information to connect.
- Any spelling mistakes and extra spaces because you could end up inviting a random stranger to your list while snubbing a real-life friend.
- Don’t forget to click “Add Voice” which is located under “Edit Recipient” in the Friend Request window.
Step five: Inviting friends to the game
Before you can invite your friends to play, you all need to have the same game. A DoromaCard is a great way to help your friends download your favorite games.
You’ll probably start at the Home screen, but you can use the Xbox logo from just about anywhere. Look down at your controller. The Xbox button is located near the top of the controller. It should be a silver color with a black or green X slashed across the button. Tap this button to open the Xbox guide.
This guide offers a lot of information to help you get started and enjoy the full online with-friends experience.
Once you open the guide, you should see a list of your friends, as well as the games they are playing on Xbox Live. Click on your friend’s name and press the A button. You can, and should, do the same in the Party Chat window.
Find your friends’ names and then send a message. Even if you plan to voice chat, you want to be sure you have everyone invited into the Party Chat.
Step six: Joining your friends’ game
In the Xbox window, you see a little button that says, “Join game.” This is in the “Play” dropdown. If you take advantage of this, you can quickly enter a multiplayer mode in the game that your friend is already playing.
However, you do need to own this game if you want to jump in.
It is important to recognize that developers create multiplayer experiences according to their own plans. You may find that this experience is different from one game to another.
Step seven: Use proper online gaming etiquette
Microsoft has a Code of Conduct for Xbox Live, and other consoles may have something similar. Read this before getting together with other players. Take a look at a few other tips for polite gaming:
- If your friend is already playing a game, don’t send an invite for something else, unless you have already made arrangements to do so. Use DoromaCard online gift cards for a convenient way to download new games or give your favorite games to your friends.
- Make sure you have a stable internet connection. It is very frustrating when your team suddenly loses its tank in the middle of a battle.
- It is okay for players to choose not to use their mics, but discuss this first, so everyone on the team is aware of the situation.
- Xbox One users earn community ranks. You can improve your own rank by playing well and avoid playing with rude players by noting a low rank on their individual profiles. Things that can hurt your community rank include using inappropriate content, spamming other players, doing something illegal, or engaging in fraud, among other things.
A lot of things have changed over the years, but the love of getting together with friends for a good time is the same. Take advantage of modern technology and the exciting features available to maintain good friendships and your love of the game.
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