25 Xbox One tips and tricks for getting the most out of your console

Let no feature hide away unused

Xbox One friends and followers

15. Tell friends from followers

The Xbox 360 only let you have up to 100 contacts on your Friends List – on the Xbox One, you can have up to 1,000 'friends', but an unlimited numbers of 'followers.' It's a system similar to Twitter, in that you can follow others for limited information like what they're playing, but if they follow you back, you become bona fide 'friends' - meaning you get more info on their activity feed and access to more personal interactions like inviting them to games or chatting through parties. You can also bookmark your favourite friends so that they'll always be clearly visible at the top of your feed, by selecting "Favourite" on their bio page.

Xbox One games with gold

16. Get Games with Gold

With the announcement that the Games with Gold program will be coming to Xbox One, an Xbox Live Gold account can now potentially net users four free games a month. Unlike Xbox 360 Games with Gold titles however (which once downloaded are yours to keep forever), Xbox One games will require an active Gold membership in order to use. Junes free titles are Charlie Murder, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Halo: Spartan Assault and Max and the Curse of Brotherhood. Plus, since it's been a year since the GWG initiative launched, Microsoft is throwing in one more free Xbox 360 game – Dark Souls.

Xbox One gamerpic

17. Create your own Gamerpic

Avatars might not be as prominently featured on the Xbox One as they were on the 360's dashboard, but they're still around, and you can use yours to strike a pose and use as your Gamerpic if you don't fancy any of the pre-made ones on the console. Select your profile from the left-hand side of the Home screen, and choose Profile > Set Gamerpic > Make One With Your Avatar. Select a pose, move the avatar around the screen, and zoom in or out using the left and right thumbsticks. You can then change the background to make sure your profile pic is entirely unique.

Xbox One toggle

18. Learn to multitask

Snapping is a useful feature that lets you multitask various games and applications on your Xbox One, but moving between those two applications simultaneously can be more than a little confusing if you don't know how to navigate. By quickly double tapping the Xbox button on the controller (that's the big central one that lights up), you'll instantly swap between which window you're currently in control of. Alternatively, saying "Xbox, Switch" will also toggle the currently active window, if you prefer to use voice controls instead.

Xbox One buttons

19. Using the burger button

The Xbox One's menu button – affectionately nicknamed the 'burger' button because of its design – is context sensitive, meaning the options that it brings up are different depending on whatever is highlighted at the time you press it. However, it'll always provide you with a shortcut to the console's Settings menu, which sits below the top entries with a black background (these refer specifically to the app you're using) and alongside the coloured options at the bottom, which are general options for the console. You can use the Menu button to completely quit out of a game rather than simply suspending it, which will stop any audio playback from the game or app whilst you're doing other stuff. Launching the app again will then trigger a fresh load-up from scratch.

Xbox One part chatter

20. Cut out Kinect's party chatter

The Kinect's microphone isn't half bad when used for in-game online communication - but it still doesn't quite manage to filter out all ambient sound in the room, which may be quite irritating to your potential team mates. Plus, there's nothing worse than forgetting it's on and having a natter with your friend or other half, unaware everyone else and their dog can hear you. Turn off the Kinect's mic by going to Settings > Kinect, and then unchecking 'Use Kinect Microphone For Chat'.

Xbox One sharing

21. Set your home Xbox

If you've already signed into another Xbox before getting your own Xbox One – like say for example you tried it out at a friend's house first - make sure you go to Settings on your shiny new console and select 'Home Xbox' to specify it as your primary machine. This will then mean that other profiles also linked to this console can access your full library of digital games without you having to be signed in first, and vice versa. And, if you have little ones and don't want them getting their hands on Call of Duty or Dead Rising through your account, you can set family friendly restrictions by going to Settings and choosing the 'Add To Family' option on the right.

Xbox One

22. Use Xbox One to control your TV

The Xbox One was designed with a mind to it becoming a hub for every other electronic device in your living room, especially your TV. You can use the Xbox One's Kinect voice commands to control your TV if you take a few minutes to perform a quick set-up. First, go to Settings (accessible at any time through the Menu button), then click on TV & OneGuide Settings. From there, select Devices, then select your TV's brand. Click Next, then click Automatic. Click on Send Command – this test should now mute your TV if you've calibrated correctly. You can also select the option to have your console and TV turn off and on together by going back to TV and OneGuide Settings and selecting Power Settings. From here, select Xbox One > turns on my devices and "Xbox Turns off" turns off my TV.

Xbox One games at a glance

23. Check game add-ons at a glance

To see all the available DLC for a game you already own, without having to go looking for specific names, you can select My Games Apps from the home screen, locate the title you want, press the Menu (burger) button and then select See in Xbox Store. Scroll right and you'll see all the currently available add-ons for that game. If you've bought a season pass, redeemed a code or have already purchased the content, you'll see an install button at the top of the list of options. Alternatively, you can hover over a game in My Games & Apps and press the menu button, then choose "Show all add-ons".

Xbox One

24. Never forget a saved game

On the Xbox 360, when you wanted to bring your save games to a friend's house you had to either dump them on a memory stick or pre-emptively upload whichever saves you wanted to the Cloud. There's no such faffing around this generation; the Xbox One automatically saves all games to the cloud if you're connected to Xbox Live - you don't have to go out of your way to select the option. For any local save files, you can delete or manage them from within the game itself. Essentially, any Xbox One console has the potential to become your personal Xbox One, as long as you can access a working internet connection.

Xbox One

25. Play PS4 on your Xbox?

Because of the Xbox One's HDMI Input port, you can plug pretty much any HDMI capable device into your Xbox One and have it run through it. Though the input is really designed with cable and satellite set-top boxes in mind, you can even plug another console into it and play Xbox 360 or even – gasp - PS4 games through your Xbox One. It's not an ideal set-up by any stretch of the imagination, and you are likely to experience some latency, but the play through is able to handle various resolutions and frame rates, including 480p, 720p, 1080i or 1080p at 50 or 60Hz.