What is Xbox Live and how do I get started?

When you sign in to your Microsoft account on your Xbox One console, you’re automatically connected to Xbox Live at the basic level. If you don’t already have a Microsoft account, you can create one for free.

Note If you’re just getting started with your new Xbox One console, use the Xbox One System Set Up Solution.

Learn about Xbox Live

What is Xbox Live?

Xbox Live is the online service for Xbox One. Xbox Live is your ticket to the most exciting social entertainment network in the world.

With an Xbox Live free account, you can experience the hottest games, HD movies and TV shows, live events, music, and sports, along with premier entertainment apps, Microsoft Edge, and Skype on your TV.

With an Xbox Live Gold account membership, you'll have access to Games with Gold and free games for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Plus, we've introduced Deals with Gold for Xbox One, which gives members exclusive discounts on games in Microsoft Store. With all this and the most advanced multiplayer gaming, Xbox Live Gold is better than ever. And your Xbox Live Gold membership extends across Xbox 360 and Xbox One. So if you're already an Xbox Live Gold member, you're good to go.

Here's a sampling of what you can do on Xbox Live:

  • Enjoy unlimited online multiplayer gaming with friends wherever they are
  • Download and play free game demos and full Xbox One games*
  • Enjoy exclusive member deals and previews
  • Catch up on movies and TV shows through Movies & TV and a great lineup of partner services
  • Watch sports with ESPN, NFL, and other sports apps, which will be continually added to Xbox One
  • Listen to personalized music with your favorite streaming app
  • Use your phone or tablet as a second screen for an enhanced game and entertainment experience
  • Access your cloud game saves wherever you are*
  • Use your voice to easily find games, music, movies, and TV shows with Kinect

*This feature requires an Xbox Live Gold membership. Visit Xbox Live Gold to join today.

How do I connect my Xbox One console to Xbox Live?

You can connect your console to Xbox Live with a wired or wireless connection.

  • Wired connection

    A wired network connection is the fastest and most reliable way to connect to Xbox Live. For a wired connection, you use a network cable to connect your Xbox One console to a router or modem. Here's what you need:

    • A router, gateway, or modem
    • A network cable
    • A high-speed Internet connection, such as cable or DSL
  • Wireless connection

    A wireless network connection lets you connect your Xbox One console to Xbox Live without using network cables. This allows you the freedom to move your console further away from your network hardware (the router, gateway, or modem). Your Xbox One console can use your existing wireless network. Here's what you need:

    • A high-speed Internet connection, such as cable or DSL

      Note Satellite and 3G or 4G mobile connections are not recommended because you are likely to experience slow performance or lag.

    • A router, gateway, or wireless access point

For more information about how to connect your Xbox One console to Xbox Live with either a wired or wireless connection, follow the steps in the Xbox One First-Time Connection Solution.

How do I redeem my code?

If you have a digital code for an Xbox Live Gold free trial membership, learn how to redeem it by going to How to redeem an Xbox digital code.

If you don’t have a trial membership but would like one, see How to get an Xbox Live Gold trial membership.

How can I take advantage of Gold sharing on my home Xbox?

Xbox Live Gold members can take advantage of Gold sharing on their home Xbox. The first time you sign in on an Xbox One and save your password, that console becomes your home Xbox. The My home Xbox feature allows you to do the following:

  • Share games and downloadable content purchased from Microsoft Store with anyone else who signs in on your console. You can even share games downloaded as part of a subscription.
  • Share your Xbox Live Gold membership with anyone else who signs in on your console.

You can also play downloaded games while traveling or, in the event of a network or service outage, on your home Xbox. You'll need to ensure that your console is set as your home Xbox before you go offline. To learn more, see Using Xbox One offline.

If you have more than one Xbox One console, or if you sign in on multiple consoles, we recommend you designate the most frequently used console as your home Xbox. See How to designate an Xbox One console as your home Xbox to find out how.

Do I need a console to use an Xbox Live Subscription?

No, you don't need to own a console to use an Xbox Live Subscription. For example, if you play Minecraft on any "Bedrock" platform—Win10, Android, Nintendo Switch or iOS—Xbox Live will let you join multiplayer games with users on any of those platforms. Also, with an Xbox Live account, any Minecraft content you purchase in the Minecraft Marketplace can be used on any Bedrock version of the game you might own.

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