Whether you’re playing on the Xbox Series X or the Xbox Series S, you’re getting a great next-gen gaming experience. The Xbox Series X is a beastly powerhouse designed to play the most demanding games at sharp, crisp resolutions and speedy frame rates, while the Series S is a tiny, quiet marvel with incredible power under the hood. Both consoles are, of course, great at playing games, but did you know that there’s much more they can do besides that? Here are the top 10 Xbox Series X|S features you may not have known about.
1. Web browser
Unlike the PS5, both the Xbox Series X and Series S have a built-in web browser you can use to surf the web if you want to. All of your favourite websites are accessible through this browser, so whether you want to play a classic casino en linea in the Spanish style or you’re looking to browse social media, you can use your Xbox’s browser to do so. It’s not quite as streamlined or easy to use as a true desktop browser, but it’s nice to have nonetheless!
2. Quick Resume
Both the Xbox Series X and Series S have a feature known as Quick Resume. This feature allows you to quickly drop out of a game, then pick back up where you left off. It’s incredibly useful if you need to stop playing for whatever reason, but you’re not at an appropriate stopping point. Up to three save states for standard Series X|S games can be saved, but if you’re playing Xbox One or Xbox 360 games, then you can save more slots than this, because they use less memory.
3. Controller profiles
Did you know you can tell your Xbox Series X|S what you want your controller to do? It’s true – you can set different profiles, so you can assign profiles for different players, for example, or different genres of game. You can find these options under the Devices and Connections menu, which is in Settings. From there, just head to Accessories, then select Configure. You should now be able to set functions for different controller buttons, as well as saving different profiles.
4. Voice commands
It’s possible to set up services like Alexa or Google Assistant to work with your Xbox, so you can tell it what to do without lifting a finger. To find these settings, just head into the Devices and Connections menu again, then find the Digital Assistants option. There, select which digital assistant you want to use and follow the setup process. You should now be able to tell your Xbox to do things like play games or open apps without even using a controller. Not bad, eh?
5. Custom backgrounds
One of the biggest casualties of the PS5 era has arguably been custom themes and backgrounds; it’s no longer possible to set a custom theme on your PS5, so you can’t personalise your console to that extent anymore. The Xbox Series X|S doesn’t quite let you use dynamic backgrounds like a true theme, but it does allow you to set a custom picture as your background, so you can have whatever wallpaper you like. You can find this in the Personalisation menu, under Settings > General.
6. Automatic controller sign-in
The Xbox Series X|S allows you to assign controllers to individual profiles, so that when that controller is switched on, a certain profile will sign in. You can do this by heading to Settings, then Account, then Sign-in, Security and PIN (or passkey – it may look different for you). There, you should see an option that lets you use a controller to sign a profile in. This is a great idea if you have multiple Xbox users in your household and they all have a controller assigned to them!
7. A Blu-ray player
Okay, so this one might not be a surprise if you watch a lot of movies, but many people we speak to are actually surprised that the Xbox Series X (not the S, though, as it’s digital-only) has a built-in Blu-ray player. Physical media may be becoming somewhat obsolete in the age of downloads, but Blu-ray discs are still useful, and you may have a large collection that you want to watch. All you need to do is slide a Blu-ray disc into the console and voila – you’ll be able to watch your Blu-ray without issue.
8. Your old Xbox library
If you’ve been part of the Xbox ecosystem at any time in the past, then you’ll almost certainly find the games you bought there in your library. All you need to do is sign into your account (make sure to use the same one you used on Xbox 360 or Xbox One!), then head to My Games and Apps and browse your library. The All Owned Games option should show you all of the games you’ve bought or downloaded over the years, so now you can revisit those old Xbox 360 games you know and love.
9. Xbox One peripheral compatibility
Much like its game library, the Xbox Series X|S is also compatible with Xbox One peripherals. You can use Xbox One controllers with the console, and peripherals like headsets, racing wheels, and charging stations should also work. Some peripherals may not be compatible, though, so make sure you check with the peripheral’s manufacturer to ensure that it works with the newer consoles. All official Microsoft peripherals should be fine, however.
10. USB storage compatibility
If you’re running out of storage space on your Xbox (which is a common problem on the Series S thanks to its lower capacity), then you should know you can plug in any USB storage device and format it so that it can store games. Obviously, you’ll want to plug something larger in; an 8GB memory stick probably isn’t going to be much use to you here. Still, if you’ve got a USB hard drive or SSD lying around, then you can use them to store games and free up some space.