Xbox Cloud Gaming's latest Insider build adds social features to web browsers, including party chat

A look at the Xbox Cloud Gaming menu in a Meta Quest 2
(Image credit: Meta)

Players enrolled in the Xbox Insider Program have a new Xbox Cloud Gaming-focused build to check out, and it's a pretty substantial update.

As detailed in an Xbox Wire post, Xbox players on the Alpha Skip-Ahead program now have access to the latest OS version in testing. It primarily introduces new social features for Xbox Cloud Gaming when it's being used via a supported web browser, smart TVs, and even Meta Quest headsets.

The standout feature in our books is the ability to start Xbox party chats through the aforementioned sources. What this means in essence is that you'll be able to chat online when streaming via Xbox Cloud Gaming without needing to rely on a third party app like Discord. However, this functionality currently isn't available via the Xbox app for smart TVs; presumably this is still being worked on and will come later.

The Xbox Cloud Gaming interface on browser, smart TVs and Quest headsets has also seen something of an overhaul, and will now afford players access to features like sending messages, managing friends lists and viewing achievements. All in all, a bit more parity with the Xbox console dashboard, then. Lastly, a controller icon will be displayed in browser when an Xbox-compatible controller has been connected.

The full list of updates available in this Xbox Insider build, as per the Xbox Wire blog post, are as follows:

  • Find and manage friends
  • Start parties outside of playing games and continue party chats between game sessions (currently not available on Smart TVs)
  • Send messages
  • View user profiles
  • View notification inbox and toasts
  • View achievements

Note that you will need to have joined the Xbox Insider Program in order to enjoy these features before they're rolled out to the public sometime in the future. Doing so is rather easy, and you can learn all about it in our guide to joining the Xbox Insider Program.

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Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.