Gamertag update FAQ

Top questions

What changes are you making?

We are updating our gamertag to a 12-character maximum, Unicode-based name of your choice with an auto-generated suffix. We now offer 13 different alphabets for gamers, which support over 200 languages worldwide.

Existing gamertags will remain unchanged with no suffix and no action required unless the player wants to make a change.

New Xbox players or players who want to change are allowed to register a gamertag of their choice, up to 12 characters. If it’s already taken by someone else, we will assign a suffix with numbers to differentiate you from other people with the same name. We will also auto-format the gamertag to show the suffix subtly in a different font so focus will be on the name you chose but the suffix will always be shown. If you want to change your gamertag using these updates, your first change is free, but every subsequent change will cost the same amount we currently charge for a gamertag change ($9.99 in the U.S.).

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 old gamertag? What if I like it?

That’s awesome and congrats on having a gamertag you love! There is no action required from you – you can keep your current gamertag with zero change in experience. You will not get a suffix. Anyone who chooses the same gamertag as you will automatically have a suffix added at the end to distinguish them.

Can somebody impersonate me or confuse me with other people?

No, your gamertag will always be uniquely different because of the suffix. If another player has a different suffix, it will be obvious it is not you. Suffixes aren't shown for your friends in the friends list, but you'll always be able to see their suffix by clicking their gamer pic and viewing their player card.

Will this appear on my Xbox console? Why isn’t it updating yet?

You will see the new gamertag format on console later this year after a system update. As we transition our gamertag system it will take time to update all experiences.

Will I have to claim my gamertag again? 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.

Do I have to pay to take advantage of the new updates?

Your first change on the new gamertag system is free, regardless of how many changes you have made in the past! However, we will charge for every subsequent change ($9.99 USD).

Where will I be able to change my gamertag?

If you want to make a change to your gamertag, use the following link: http://social.xbox.com/changegamertag.

Be aware that you may lose your original gamertag permanently if you make a change.

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

Yes. Even with the updates players will not be able to use a gamertag that is deemed offensive.

Gamertag suffixes 

Will the # symbol and suffix always appear next to my name? When will it not show up?

If you are assigned a suffix, the # symbol and suffix will appear next to your name in all experiences except for friends in your friends list. Your suffix will show in games so everybody knows who is who.

How many digits are the suffixes?

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

If people can have the same gamertag, how do I know which is which?

If multiple people have the same gamertag, the suffix will distinguish them from each other. You can always check your friends' suffix by selecting their gamerpic from your friends list and viewing their profile.

When will games start supporting the new format?

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

Will games always show the suffix? I’m worried that I won’t be able to tell who is real while I’m playing.

Games are currently required to show the suffix.

How do friends find me? Do I need to give them my suffix? That’s a lot to remember!

The best way to identify yourself to other players is to share your gamertag along with your suffix. We understand this is another thing to remember but it is the best way to ensure you have found the right person. We appreciate your patience and ask for your feedback if you have suggestions for improvements.

What if I / my child / a family member gets a message from a prominent gamer like Major Nelson? How do we know it’s the real person?

Check the player’s suffix and compare it to the gamertag of the player in question. We ask all players to please be wary of any unexpected messages from prominent celebrities or gamers as these are not common. If you feel like the 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. Nobody else will be quite the same because they will 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 ensure 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 currently have more than 12 characters in my gamertag! Do I need to change it?

Absolutely not! If you like your gamertag the way it is, you can keep it. No action is required from you.

Can I still get a new gamertag without a suffix?

Of course you can! There are still plenty of unique, 12-character maximum gamertags that do not require a suffix. Please note, only gamertags made with Latin-based alphabets (derivations of A,B,C,D, etc.) are eligible for gamertags with no suffix at this time.

Unicode support 

What languages do you support?

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.). We do not support special characters in any gamertag.

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

At this time we are 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 will 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 their gamertag appears in older experiences.

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

Search for their Latin equivalent gamertag.

Creation flow / payment

Can I change the way I appear in older experiences? I want to customize it.

Yes, if you make a paid change (your first change with the new system is free), you are given the option to customize how you are seen in older experiences that cannot 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 are an existing player and want to change your gamertag, note that you may lose your previous gamertag permanently.

Can I control the numbers at the end of my name? Who decides what number I’ll get?

At this time, the suffix is auto-assigned by Xbox using an algorithm to ensure all users are unique. We do not allow players to select their own suffix right now.

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