Microsoft’s latest Xbox One features the New Xbox One Experience (yes, that’s what Microsoft calls it), which means a cleaner interface plus a host of cool new capabilities. I’m talking about things like being able to stream your games from your Xbox One to your Windows 10 device, so you can play games anywhere in your house, or being able to remap your controller so that you can customize your gameplay.
Want to know how to take advantage of all this new stuff? You came to the right place.
1. Stream games to your Windows 10 device
With the New Xbox One Experience, you can stream your Xbox games from your console to any compatible Windows 10 machine. That means you could play any game from your Xbox One on your Surface tablet from…wherever you might want to take your tablet! Here’s how:
1. In the Xbox One’s All Settings menu, make sure you have Game streaming enabled.
2. Sign into the Xbox app on your Windows 10 device. Make sure your device is on the same network as your Xbox.
3. From the Xbox app, select the Connect option on the left side of the screen, then choose the name of the Xbox One console you want to stream games from.
Once you’re connected, click Stream; the streaming — Netflix, Hulu, games, anything — will begin.
One major caveat here: The quality of streaming depends heavily on your network’s speed. If you have a bad wireless connection, you won’t be able to stream a game at all. Your best bet is to use a wired one. But if you want to walk around your house and play games, wireless will work if the connection is solid. You can also adjust the quality of your stream from Very high all the way down to Low if your connection isn’t working well.
2. Quickly access Pins
Pins are where you can find all of your games, movies, achievements, and more. But Microsoft chose to place them all at the bottom of the home screen.
Instead of pressing the down button repeatedly, you can quickly navigate to them by simply pressing the right trigger.
To go back up to the top of the home screen, press the left trigger.
You can also use the right and left bumper buttons to quickly navigate between the Home, Community, OneGuide, and Store pages.
3. Redeem game codes
If you’ve got a code for a free Xbox One game, you’re going to need to redeem it before you can start your download. Here’s how to do so:
1. From the Home menu, navigate to the Games tab and scroll down to Browse all games.
2. Select Use a code at the top of the screen.
3. Enter your 25-digit game code or scan your QR code using your Xbox Kinect. Once you successfully register your code, your game will automatically begin downloading.
4. To view your game, go to the home screen, and press the right trigger to navigate down to My stuff. The games will be in the My Games & Apps folder.
4. Remap your controller
Remapping a controller’s buttons can let you better customize a game’s control scheme; as Polygon points out, it can also do wonders for gamers with disabilities. Thankfully, Microsoft makes this possible as part of the New Xbox One Experience:
1. Go to Settings, by navigating all the way to the left from the home screen to access the Xbox Guide.
2. Select the gear icon to open All settings, and go down to Kinect & devices.
3. Select Devices & accessories, choose the controller you want to remap and then press Button mapping.
4. When the controller you chose appears on screen, select Configure then Button mapping.
You can also choose to invert the Y-axis on either the right or left thumb stick, as well as make the left stick the right stick and vice versa. The same can be done with the controller’s trigger buttons.
5. Control your Xbox One from your smartphone
Microsoft’s Smartglass app for the Xbox One lets you control the console from your smartphone. So if you’re charging your controller, or just don’t have it handy, you can still browse movies and TV shows without a problem; you can’t, unfortunately, play games.
1. Go to your smartphone’s app store (Android folks will go to the Google Play Store and iPhone people will go to the App Store), and search for the Xbox One Smartglass app.
2. Sign into your Xbox Live account; the app will automatically begin searching for available Xbox consoles on your home network.
3. Choose the Xbox you want to control, and you’re set.
6. Turn off disc auto-play
Just because you put a disc into your Xbox One, doesn’t mean you want to start it up right away. Thankfully, Microsoft has included a way to turn off auto-play on your games and Blu-ray discs.
1. Open the All settings menu from the Xbox Guide screen and scroll down to Disc & Blu-ray.
2. Select Disc, and uncheck the box next to Play disc automatically.
3. Back out by pressing the B button; do the same for Blu-rays.
7. Set your Xbox One to turn off automatically
To help save a bit on your electric bill, You can set your Xbox One to turn off automatically, in case you forget to shut it down.
1. Go to the All Settings menu from the Xbox Guide and select Power & startup.
2. Next, choose Turn off or restart and select the box that says Turn off after 1 hour of inactivity. You can leave this to let the system turn off after an hour, adjust it to shut down after six hours of inactivity, or (if you don’t want it to turn off at all) set it to Don’t turn off automatically.