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10 tips for your new Xbox One X

Get your new Xbox One X working great with these tips.


Xbox One X

Sarah Tew/CNET

Fresh out of the box, there are some tips you need to know to make your experience with your new Xbox One X ($503 at Amazon) more enjoyable. Here's what you need to know.

1. Give it space

Before you even plug in your console, give some thought to where you put it. Consoles can overheat very easily, which can lead to poor performance and a shorter lifespan. To prevent overheating, make sure the console isn't sitting on other electronics that produce heat -- like your cable box -- and leave several inches between its vents and other items.

2. Not all games are 4K

One of the biggest reasons to get an Xbox One X is that it can play games at 4K resolution. Not all games are made to run at 4K, so don't be surprised if your not all that impressed with the graphics on every single one of your old Xbox One ($395 at Amazon) games. It's not you, it's the game. 

Here's a list of some of the games that are 4K ready or will be updated to work better on X in the near future:

  • Forza Motorsport 7
  • For Honor
  • Resident Evil 7 
  • State of Decay 2     
  • Metro Exodus
  • The Last Night  
  • Assassin's Creed Origins
  • Forza Horizon 3 ($25 at Walmart)   
  • Super Lucky's Tale  
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Minecraft
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Ghost Recon: Wildlands 
  • Rocket League  
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of War  
  • CodeVein
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Crackdown 3
  • Destiny 2
  • Gears of War 4
  • Killer Instinct 
  • Halo Wars 2 
  • Final Fantasy XV 

3. Your TV matters, too

Okay, so you have this awesome new console, 4K games and, to your incredible disappointment, the games look exactly like they did on your old Xbox. It's probably your television. To see those awesome graphics you need a 4K TV that has a HDR10 format. TVs that are compatible with your new console, according to Microsoft, may be labeled as:

  • 4K
  • 4K Ultra HD
  • UHD
  • UHD 4K
  • Ultra HD 
  • Ultra UDTV
  • 2160p
  • 3840 x 2160 at 24 Hz
  • 50 Hz
  • 60 Hz
  • HDR Premium
  • High Dynamic Range
  • HDR
  • UHD Color
  • Ultra HD Premium
  • Ultra HD deep color

4. It may be your HDMI

If you're sure you have a 4K TV and games, then sucky graphics may be due to your HDMI outlet. On some televisions, only one of the HDMI outlets are 4K at 60 Hz, which is best for your X. Check your TV's manual to make sure you're using the right outlet. 

Also, if you needed a longer cable and didn't use one that came with your Xbox One X, be sure you're using a HDMI 2.0 cable that is rated for 4K.

5. You can move stuff from your old Xbox One to X

When you start up your X for the first time, you'll need to download the latest updates. Once you have that sorted, you'll want to move your games to the X from your One or One S. Moving your games is faster than downloading the games from Microsoft

On your old Xbox, press the Xbox button on your controller and go to Settings > Network > Network transfer and check the box by Network transfer. Next, turn on your X and go to Settings > Network > Network transfer. On this page you'll see your old Xbox listed. Select it and choose the games you want to copy over to your X. Select Copy selected to get the process going.

6. Switch back and forth

You can make your X switch between 4K and a lower resolution for old games that aren't 4K, automatically. Press the Xbox button on your controler and go to System Settings > Display & sound > Video output. Then, set the TV resolution to 720p or 1080p.

7. You can run your cable or satellite box with your X

If you have satellite or cable, you can use your X to control the set-top box just like Hulu and Netflix. Disconnect the HDMI cord coming from the cable or satellite set-top box from the TV, then plug it into the HDMI IN port on your console.

8. You'll need an adapter for your Kinect

Want to move the Kinect to your new X? Well, you'll need a Xbox Kinect Adapter since the new system isn't compatible without one. You may have a hard time finding an adapter, though. At the time of writing of this post, most large online stores, including the Microsoft Xbox store, are sold out.

9. Use Cortana instead of a Kinect

If you only use your Kinect only for voice commands, then you may not need an adapter, afterall. Try using the Cortana feature. It's more dependable than Kinect and it works faster on completing your commands. 

To get started, tap the Xbox button on your controller, select Settings > All settings > System > Cortana settings. Highlight the Off switch and press A on your controller. To finish the set-up, choose Restart now to restart your Xbox.

Here are some tips for using Cortana commands.  

10. Get an external hard drive

The best first accessory to buy for the X is an external hard drive. The Xbox One X has an internal storage of 1 terabyte, but this can get used up quickly if you have a decent sized game collection.  Be sure the one you pick has a USB 3.0 connection, at least 256 GB of storage and a partition.