7 common errors people make with the Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X console with controller and colourful background
(Image credit: TechRadar)

It’s much easier to get your hands on an Xbox Series X|S than it was at launch two years ago, which is great news for people looking to experience the new generation of gaming. However, over the years, we’ve learned about many common mistakes you can easily avoid. So make sure you get the most out of your Series X.

Before getting stuck into some of the best Xbox Series X games, we're showing you advanced customization to maintenance, these common errors can have long-lasting effects – or just make it, so you aren’t making the most out of your device Here are our top tips for Xbox Series X players to get the most out of their new consoles.

Buy Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass

(Image credit: Microsoft)

This one is the most obvious, but if you’re buying an Xbox Series X|S and not getting Xbox Game Pass, what’s your deal?

A monthly subscription may seem unnecessary alongside Netflix, Spotify, and that wine club you’re in, but if you can stretch to it, we’d highly recommend signing up. Xbox Game Pass gives you access to the vast game library, which includes day-one downloads of all new first-party Microsoft games, and value-adding features bundled into the membership plan. 

If you get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can also stream games to your console, PC, and phone using Xbox Cloud Gaming, saving time on lengthy downloads and installs.

Signing up for Microsoft rewards

Microsoft rewards art

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Did you know that Microsoft rewards players for playing games, unlocking achievements, spending money with Microsoft, and even using Microsoft Bing? Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all reward players differently, and Microsoft’s has some real advantages.

Using Bing may not appeal, but you're missing a trick if you don’t sign up for Microsoft’s free rewards program. You don’t gain masses of points quickly, but over time it’s a great way to try your luck on some of Microsoft’s contests, redeem gift cards, or make charitable donations. 

Download the Xbox mobile app

Xbox mobile app

(Image credit: Microsoft)

This one is a definite must. Downloading the Xbox Mobile App on iOS or Android gives you access to your friends and chat when you’re out and about and even allows you to remotely purchase and download games ready for your return. Genius. 

Plus, if you have an Android phone or tablet, an iPhone or an iPad, your Xbox Series X|S is no longer confined to the bezels of your TV. Now, you can remote play on your handheld devices. Once you know how to use the Xbox app to stream games on your Windows PC, it's a great feature to play with.

Use the customization features

Xbox Dynamic Background

(Image credit: tom Warren)

There’s a lot of room for customization in the Xbox Series X|S, allowing you to tailor your gaming experience. One of the best is the customizable home screen, where you can order your games, select backgrounds, colors, and themes, and even set up different moods for different times of the day.

You can also customize your controller, changing the button actions, vibration intensity, and beyond in the settings under Devices & Connections, where you’ll find the Accessories and Configurations menu. There’s also the option to save different profiles, depending on your game type. If you want a quicker boot-up time, you can link your controller to your profile, meaning you’ll sign in automatically whenever you use the controller.

Use the voice assistant


(Image credit: Future)

This isn’t one of the most prominent features on this list, but it’s worth hollering about if you’re building a smart home or have a few connected devices. You can enable digital assistance from the Devices & Connections menu and follow the setup guide for Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. 

With voice assistants, you can switch your Xbox on and off, capture screenshots and videos, search for games – including on Game Pass – and launch said games, among other features.

Clean the vents

Xbox Series X lying on its side with a controller resting against it

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Jim1982)

Now, if we’re still having to lecture you on this and you’ve owned even one console before, I’ll be disappointed – but if you need a reminder, clean your vents. 

Many a console has died fuzzy deaths at the hands of fluff-laden follicles, which can result in fried components, so make sure you’re not only keeping the vents clear but also keeping a tidy home, dusting and vacuuming regularly. This is how to clean your Xbox Series X if you need a refresher.

Turn off notifications

Xbox notifications

(Image credit: Microsoft)

This one’s personal – I hate notifications, especially needless ones. At the best of times, they’re slightly annoying, and at the worst, they can completely break your immersion when you’re watching a cutscene or distract you right when you’re aiming for the kill. 

Fear not, the Xbox notification settings are very customizable, and you can adjust which ones you receive and when by heading to Preferences in settings, then notifications. Make sure to do the same in your mobile app by tapping your Gamertag, then navigating to the notification settings.

Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.