Gamertag update FAQ

Xbox has expanded the range of possible gamertags and languages. Get the details below.

Top questions

How have gamertags changed?

We’ve updated new Xbox gamertags to support a 12-character max, Unicode-based name of your choice, with an auto-generated suffix if the gamertag is shared. We now offer 13 different alphabets for gamers, which support more than 200 languages worldwide.

Note Existing gamertags will remain unchanged with no suffix. No action is necessary unless you want to make a change.

New Xbox players or those who want to change their gamertag can claim one of their choice, up to 12 characters. If a gamertag is already taken, a suffix with numbers is attached to differentiate you from other people with the same gamertag. Suffixes are subtle so that the focus is on the name you chose, but they are always shown.

New gamertag updates are available at https://social.xbox.com/changegamertag. If you do decide to change your existing gamertag, be aware that you may lose it to someone else.

What’s the reason for the changes?

All players should be able to express themselves proudly in their native language. We’re making this change to empower players around the world with more choice in how they represent themselves.

Can I keep my existing gamertag?

Of course. You can keep your current gamertag with zero change in experience, and no suffix will be attached. Anyone else who chooses the same gamertag as you will automatically have a suffix added to distinguish them.

Does the suffix always appear next to my gamertag?

If you’re assigned a suffix, the # symbol and suffix appear everywhere except in friends lists. You don’t see suffixes of friends in your friends list and they don’t see yours in their friends lists. Your suffix is used in games so that everybody knows who’s who.

Do I have to pay for the new updates?

Your first gamertag change is free, regardless of how many changes you’ve made in the past. Subsequent changes are the same as before ($9.99 USD).

Will I be confused with other people?

No, new gamertags will always be uniquely different because of the suffix. If another player has a different suffix, it’ll be obvious it’s not you. Suffixes aren't shown for your friends in the friends list, but you can see their suffix by checking their profile.

Can somebody else claim my gamertag from under me?

No! There is no action required to keep your existing gamertag. Nobody will ever be able to claim the same gamertag without a mandatory, auto-assigned suffix.

Gamertag suffixes 

How many digits are in the suffixes?

Suffixes are 4 digits by default, but they depend on how many gamers have chosen that gamertag. For a 12-character gamertag, we’re limited to a 3-digit suffix. For an 11-character gamertag, we’re limited to a 4-digit suffix. For 10 characters, a 5-digit limit, and so on.

Can I control the numbers at the end of my name?

The suffix is auto-assigned by Xbox to make sure everyone is unique. We don’t allow players to select their own suffix at this time.

If people can have the same gamertag, how do I know who’s who?

If multiple people have the same gamertag, the suffix distinguishes them from one another. You can always check your friends' suffix by viewing their profile.

How will friends find me?

The best way to identify yourself to other players is to share your gamertag along with your suffix. We know this is more to remember, but it’s the best way to make sure you’ve found the right person. We appreciate your patience and ask for your feedback if you have suggestions for improvements.

If someone gets a message from a prominent gamer like Major Nelson, how can you tell if it’s the real person?

The real Major Nelson won’t have a suffix (because he’s the original), but an imposter will. So check the player’s suffix and compare it to the gamertag of the player in question.

Everybody should be wary of unexpected messages from prominent celebrities or gamers, as these aren’t common. If you feel like a message is offensive or a scam, report the user to Xbox so we can investigate further.

Existing gamertags

I’ve had my gamertag for years! Can somebody else be just like me?

Because you have your gamertag already, you don’t need a suffix and will continue to be known by your gamertag. You were first in line! Nobody else can be quite the same because they’ll always have a suffix unless you give up your gamertag.

Why do gamertags only support 12 characters now?

We require at least 3 characters to auto-assign you a suffix and make sure that everybody has an equal chance to have a name they can be proud of. Many older games allowed 16 characters for displaying gamertags. We’re reserving three of those characters for the suffix and one for the # symbol, leaving 12 characters for gamertags.

I have more than 12 characters in my gamertag! Do I need to change it?

Nope! If you like your gamertag the way it is, you keep it.

Can I still get a new gamertag without a suffix?

Sure you can! There are still plenty of unique, 12-character-maximum gamertags that don’t require a suffix.

Note that only gamertags made with Latin-based alphabets (derivations of A, B, C, D, etc.) are eligible to be new gamertags with no suffix at this time.

Will you continue to enforce policies for rude or offensive gamertags?

Yes. Even with the updates, players won’t be able to use a gamertag that is deemed offensive.

Language support

What languages are supported with the new gamertags?

We offer gamertags in the following alphabets/Unicode scripts: English basic, Latin, Latin extended, Latin extended-A, Hangul, Katakana, Hiragana, CJK Symbols (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), Bengali, Devanagari, Cyrillic, Greek, and Thai. These alphabets represent over 200 languages worldwide.

Do you support numbers in the new alphabets?

We only support numbers in Latin-based alphabets (derived from A, B, C, D, etc.).

Are emojis or special characters (%, $, <>, etc.) supported?

At this time we’re focusing on alphabet-based words so that players can easily find one another.

If I choose any non-English characters (like ö or ñ), how do I appear in older experiences if the formatting isn’t supported?

If your gamertag uses Latin-based characters, it will show the Latin alphabet equivalent (ö will appear as o, for example). If your gamertag uses non-Latin-based characters, you’ll continue to appear as your previous gamertag as we transition. New players who don’t have a previous gamertag will have the option to customize how it appears in older experiences.

How do I search for a player with non-Latin characters in their gamertag?

Search for their Latin-equivalent gamertag.

Current experience

When will games start supporting the new format?

A few games released this year might support the new format, but most games won’t support it until 2020 and beyond. It may take a few years to migrate all new games over to the new gamertag format.

Can I customize the way I appear in older experiences?

Yes. If you make a paid change (your first change with the new system is free), you’re given the option to customize how you are seen in older experiences that can’t show the new format.

Can I take advantage of the changes on my existing account? Or is this only for new customers?

All players can take advantage of the new update (the first change is free). If you’re an existing player and want to change your gamertag, note that you may lose your previous gamertag permanently.

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