How to gift a game through the Xbox Store

Step one: burn your gift bag collection

After a short period of testing in its Xbox Insider Program, Microsoft has announced it’s rolling game gifting out to all Xbox One users. 

The announcement was made by Xbox VP Mike Ybarra on Twitter who said the feature has arrived “just in time for the holidays.”

With game gifting, all Xbox users will now be able to use the Microsoft Store to purchase games, DLC, and service subscriptions and send them to their friends as gifts. 

There are some restrictions to the feature, however, as it appears in the terms and conditions on Microsoft’s website that games can only be “purchased and redeemed by users in the same country/region.” 

Yes, that does mean if you want to send games to your family abroad you’ll still have to fork out for the post and packaging.

Quick and easy

To send a game to a friend, simply access the Microsoft Store on your computer or console, pick the game you’re interested in and instead of buying it for yourself, select ‘send as gift.’ 

After this, you’ll be able to enter the email address of the person you’d like the download code to be sent to and asked to complete the purchase. Do double check that the email address you enter is the correct one as you won't be given any prompt to do so. 

On console you'll also be given the option to select someone on your Xbox Live friends list rather than enter an email address.

Once the purchase is complete, the recipient will receive an email containing the code and be able to redeem it. 

Major Nelson actually tweeted a short demonstration of the process on consoles which you can see below:

It’s worth noting that you can actually schedule when you want your giftee to receive the email containing their code up to a year in advance, so if you want something to land in their inbox on Christmas morning but don’t really want to be on the Microsoft Store that day yourself that’s completely possible.

If you change your mind or it turns out your friend already has the game you bought them, you have 14 days to cancel your purchase as long as the code hasn’t been redeemed. 

Interestingly, like the bottle of wine that’s passed around your family like a hot potato every holiday season, it seems it’s actually possible to regift the games you receive if you don’t want them. 

According to Microsoft’s terms of service “anyone with access to the Gift email can use the Code to redeem the Gift, and Microsoft does not control whether the recipient elects to redeem the Gift or pass it along to others.”

So, if you receive a game you’re not completely interested in you could always risk Santa’s naughty list and send it on to someone else.