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Kinect on Xbox 360 gaming tips

About games

Pause a game

Kinect Guide gesture

Use the Kinect Guide gesture to pause game play or open the Kinect Guide when playing Xbox Kinect games. To do this, position both arms at your sides. Now move your left arm straight out at a 45 degree angle from your body.

Tips for two-player games

Two people standing side-by side, 8 feet away from the Kinect sensor.

Players should stand back at least 8 feet (2.4 m), and they should have enough room to move without bumping into each other.

If game players get switched, try the following:

  • Have both players step out of the play space and then step back in one at a time.
  • Make sure that the players' clothes are different colors and the room is well lit. See Room lighting conditions for Kinect.

If a game is not tracking a player or is tracking someone else in the room:

  • Make sure non-players are not in the play space.
  • Make sure the players are at least 40” (1m) tall.
  • Have one of the players hold a hand a few inches (5 cm) from the sensor for three seconds, and then step back into the play space. Be careful to not touch the sensor. This should help the game find both players.
A hand a few inches in front of the Kinect sensor

If Kinect still can't accurately track players, see Troubleshoot body tracking for the Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor.

In-game chat with Kinect

The Kinect sensor has a built-in microphone used for speech recognition and chat. After connecting to Xbox Live, you can chat with friends using the Kinect sensor. (You do not need a headset.)

For information about how to chat with friends, see Xbox Live chat on the Xbox 360 console.

Turn on the Kinect microphone

Before you turn on the Kinect microphone, disconnect any wired or wireless headsets. A connected headset disables the Kinect microphone.

A screen shows the Xbox Guide with the 'Chat and IM' option highlighted.

From the Xbox 360 Guide

  1. On your console, sign in to Xbox Live.
  2. On your controller, press the Guide button.
  3. Select Chat & IM.
  4. Select Kinect Microphone to turn the microphone on or off.
A screen shows the Kinect Guide.

From the Dashboard

  1. On your console, sign in to Xbox Live.
  2. Do the Guide gesture to open the Kinect Guide.
  3. Hover your hand over the chat icon (lower-left corner of the screen) to turn the microphone on or off.

Note If the microphone is on and someone can't hear you, see Troubleshoot problems with Xbox Live chat on Xbox 360.

To adjust the volume for chat

A screen shows the Voice tab within Preferences.

From the Xbox 360 Guide

  1. On your console, sign in to Xbox Live.
  2. On your controller, press the Guide button.
  3. Go to Settings and select Preferences.
  4. Select Voice.
  5. Select what you want to adjust:
    • Voice Volume: how loud other people sound.
    • Game Volume: the game's volume during chat.

Note These settings apply to private chat and party chat. They do not apply to chat sessions started by a game's built-in chat function.

Want to use a headset?

If you prefer, you can plug in a wired headset or connect a wireless headset. When you do this, the Kinect microphone is automatically muted. To use the Kinect microphone, unplug or disconnect the headset.

Hearing an echo?

If you hear an echo while using chat:

  1. Start the Kinect tuner to calibrate your audio. See Using the audio tuner on your Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor.
  2. If you still hear an echo, have the friends that you are chatting with also run the Kinect tuner.

Video chat

To learn how to set up and use video chat, see Video Kinect on Xbox 360.

Kinect games

To find games designed to work with Kinect, look for these logos:

A sample game package shows the 'Requires Kinect Sensor' logo.

Requires Kinect

You must have a Kinect sensor to play games that have this logo. You can control all aspects of gameplay by using your body and the Kinect sensor. You don't need a game controller.

'Better with Kinect Sensor' logo

Better with Kinect

Games with this logo don't require a Kinect sensor, but they're a lot more fun if you have one.

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