November 20th 2013 5:03 pm PT

How to Party Up on Xbox One

I’ve seen a few questions about how the Party System will work on Xbox One. I had Steve Dolan, whose team works on the Party System (and more), write up the below guest blog post about how parties work and how they are better on Xbox One.

* * *

Hi, my name is Steve Dolan and I’m the program manager responsible for the multiplayer and achievements experience on Xbox One. Like most of you, I’m stoked about the new wave of online titles coming in the next year. Here is how we’re going to make it easy to party up and play these great games on Xbox One.

Always a Party

When playing online games on Xbox One you’re part of an Xbox Live party. When you go to your friends list you’ll see your party right there at the front that shows the game your party is playing. You’ll also see all your friends’ parties, making it quick and easy to see who is playing online and who to join. Of course, just like Xbox 360, you’ll be able to set if your party is joinable or if it’s invite only.

Profile_US

Joining a Game

If you see the perfect match and the party is open, you can simply join if there is room for more players in the match, and the game thinks you’re a good fit using Smart Match (in terms of skill , playing style, etc.) you’ll be offered a slot automatically.  If the game is full, you can check out other games, TV and apps while you wait for the game to open up – go work on your “Killer Instinct” moves, watch your friends’ Upload videos or check out your favorite Twitch personality while you wait for a slot to free up. When more players can be added, you’ll receive a notification and have a limited amount of time to accept. Just say “Xbox, join” or use your controller to accept the match.

Movie_Game Ready Toast

Parties, Smart Match and the Party Scout

Two of my favorite features are parties and Smart Match.  Now, when you combine these features together you get a new super power we call Party Scout.  Imagine you’re watching Netflix and your friend sends you a party invite.  You accept and start chatting about what you want to play.  Your friend tells you about a new “Forza Motorsport 5” challenge that involves playing online matches.  You both decide that sounds like fun and that s/he will set up the online party.  They launch “Forza Motorsport 5,” find the right playlist for the challenge and kick off matchmaking.  You can keep rolling in Netflix while matchmaking runs, additional players are found and all the networking tests are performed.  Only when your match is ready will you get the “match found” notification.  You can then accept the match and launch right into your online game.

Snap Your Party

Of course, we want to make it simple and easy to manage your party, invite more people and see who is in party chat all without having your game go off-screen.  Sounds like a perfect time to use the Snap app.  When you want to, the Party app can be snapped along the right side of the screen while you play or, if you want your full screen, you can dismiss it and have it run in the background.

Gameplay_Party_Snap_en-US

Time to Party Up

There you have it.  On Xbox One, online gameplay is always a party, anyone can set up as a Party Scout and when your match is ready you’ll be notified so you can easily jump into a game.  If you want to join your friends in a game, you can join their party.

I’ve been working at Xbox in one way or another since 2002.  As always, I’m humbled by all the dedicated, talented and frankly amazing people that create the hardware and games for you, the fans.  Even more so, I’m floored by your passion and drive to push us to deliver delightful experiences.

Thanks and see you on Xbox Live!

how-to, Xbox Live, Xbox One By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • Joshua Guss

    First

  • trfe

    Can’t wait to get my hands in there!

  • Daniel

    MajorNelson, I’m confused.

    So are individual game’s in-game lobby systems for their online multiplayer no longer needed? For example, in COD Ghosts, is there no point in joining the in-game matchmaking lobby or is it still going to work the traditional way of playing online multiplayer?

    It’s very vague what you just posted from Steve Dolan. Xbox 360′s current party system does no search for games, you have to actually go into the respective game itself and use its own online multiplayer lobby system (if it’s got one, BF4 doesn’t).

    Do X1 parties replace individual game’s lobby systems?

  • Joshua Guss

    I can’t wait to get my XBOX (W)ON(E)

    • willhe

      Go Saints!

    • Dylan

      The Ahmad Brooks-Drew Brees penalty was BS and you know it!

      • Jason

        Nah it wasn’t intentional, but he hit him in the neck area then took him to the ground by his head.

    • Jason

      WhoDat!

  • ravenchorus

    Major Nelson could you please answer my questions?

    MS promised that the X1 would not be regionlocked why is it that the
    smartglass app is? both android & w8 ver is locked in swe…

    Is there a way to get the app as downloadable file or will the region lock be fixed?
    Would just like to know how gimped the X1 will be when you import it!?

    Tried to tweet this question to a range of xbox people and xbox support but no one will replay :(

    Anyway, thanks for your time…

    • Joshua Guss

      Major Nelson is too busy to be answering your questions. Then every XBOX fans would want Major to answer their question. And Major would never get a break.

      • Lucas Sanches Cestari

        nope, he is here almost everyday to see our comments,he already answered 1 question i did some time ago, if he is lucky, major nelson will come here as soon as possible to talk about this

    • beardyman3218

      You could always try downloading the android apk from elsewhere its free anyway so not illegal to do so. I am assuming it isn’t region locked though and in fact has something to do with localisation.

      • ravenchorus

        yeah, was thinking about that but hasn’t found the apk yet.

        any tips where?!

        • beardyman3218

          If you install aptoide on your android you can get it through that.

          • ravenchorus

            thanks alot, worked like a charm :)

  • MrRadiolips

    I love my Xbox and everything but all these new features are pushing me away. I know im going to get downvoted like crazy for my opinions but this machine and the PS4 are losing people like me.

    • roozbeh, again

      You don’t like party chat?

      • MrRadiolips

        Not about the party chat…i said new features.

        • Dylan

          I have a PS4 and all that extra share/twitch stuff is completely optional.

          • MrRadiolips

            Why would people vote down on this comment. On the other hand it kind of reminds yourself that you are actually a gamer and not a fan to a single product.

    • avi

      new features are pushing you away??
      you mind expanding a bit?
      all I see is positive expansion of what already was there on the xbox 360. nothing negative.

      • MrRadiolips

        Eventually its going to expand and just be too much ridiculous options and just end up being crammed full of things that people like me would never use. Keeping it simple would be better than to shove everything you can in it. What they should have done is thought more about realeasing hardware for Xbox1 or a XboxOS for P.C since that is basically what the new consoles are anyway. Remember this is just my opinion and i realize that not everyone would wants what i would like.

        • Nick Peck

          It’s simple, the biggest use base wants “more”. You do know you can pin things how you want so you can dance around all of the options you don’t want, right?

          As for the PC comment, they wouldn’t bother doing that as there is already Windows that plays games just fine and if that’s what you want, why are you here and not gaming on a PC?

          Just asking, it’s your opinion and I that’s fine, I just don’t really get your thinking I guess. Take it easy. :)

          • MrRadiolips

            Windows is horrible for playing…absolutely horrendous. Anyone with a brain stem knows that. http://www gamespot com/articles/microsoft-admits-it-could-have-been-more-focused-on-pc-gaming/1100-6416038/

          • roozbeh, again

            Still better than linux and OSX.

          • MrRadiolips

            Only at the moment. Things are going to be moving forward. Just wish it was Microsoft who thought of it first. With SteamOS and Mantle on the horizon its going to be exciting.

          • roozbeh, again

            Still, I doubt they would do anything meaningful to be a threat to Windows

          • MrRadiolips

            Using Windows for gaming i do believe it is a huge threat. Its basically allowing people to build their own gaming consoles which in turn in the gamer enviroment is a MS killer.Tons of Linux versions of games are already beginning to be released and by mid 2014 they estimate all of the Steam library and even Origin will have Linux (SteamOS) versions.

          • roozbeh, again

            We’ll see, but I doubt SteamOS will do much gaming wise to Windows.

          • MrRadiolips

            I like the fact that we can have a healthy debate instead of going all Jerry Springer on each other..lol!

          • roozbeh, again

            *Watches South Park console wars episode 2

          • MrRadiolips

            Here is another article: http://www mcvuk com/news/read/microsoft-core-first-party-titles-will-see-release-on-pc/0123867

          • MrRadiolips

            Oh and another: http://www
            shacknews com/article/81897/microsoft-promises-more-core-games-coming-to-pc-than-past

    • evilfangs .

      You’re upset that you’re getting more bang for your buck?

    • StormRaging

      New features are also pushing me away. I want a game console first and a netflix/hbo go etc box 2nd. Not an entertainment box that plays games. I read somewhere that 15% of the system power (not sure if graphics card or processor) are reserved for Kinect and the Snap feature. That’s 15% less power that can be used to make games on parity with the PS4. Makes me wonder if that’s why most multiplat games are 1080P on PS4 and 720 on X1 :(

      • MrRadiolips

        Both systems at the core specs are basically built to only last 2 to 3 years thats all and they will stretch it to about 5 to 6 years. You would think that this day and age they could begin to compete with PC. I really think that Microsoft has other plans for the future of P.C.

        • StormRaging

          I agree with your specs comment. I know that they start desiging these systems well in advance and that is why they seem like mid end PC’s when they launch. What I don’t understand is why can’t they design them with some kind of fluidity in design. They could leave room for updating the video cards and such in final spec you would think.

          • MrRadiolips

            Agreed. An option to upgrade hardware would be amazing!

          • StormRaging

            There would probably never be a user hardware upgrade option but you would think they could plan for a possible last minute as they would call it hardware upgrade if once they get closer to final design the hardware has become loads better. I guess that’s the one drawback to using custom chips vs off the shelf.

          • MrRadiolips

            Reminds me of the good old days of Genesis and Sega CD. Thats hilarious now but as a kid it would blow your mind!!

          • DavidinCT

            Agreeed 100%, should of started off with some baseline and before it went to final press, should of made major upgrades on the hardware so the systems were not a year outdated by the time they are released.

          • MrRadiolips

            It would just be a console P.C. if they decided to work like that. They should have worried more about the OS and 1 year before release complete the hardware specs and spacing to fit. So yes i do agree..lol

          • DavidinCT

            You would never see that on a console. If you want that, get a PC to play games. As I like the idea, it would cause fragmentation in the Xbox One games… One person can’t play a game because he didn’t upgrade “this” or would deal with poor performance. This is why you wont see, this, You would see a Xbox Two before you would see that (different models, different specs, different games)
            The xbox one and Same wth the PS4, is a game console, if you buy the release version or the slim version 3 years from now, Release games and new games will play on all systems.

          • StormRaging

            not sure if you were directing that to me or not so I’ll go ahead an chime in. All upgrades I mentioned were things I think they should have allowed for before release. I agree that allowing the user to do that is just crazy and if you wanna upgrade your hardware then buy a PC. I do disagree with them not allowing you to change you HDD this round and I disagree with the fact that the 360 did not use off the shelf HDD’s like the PS3 and PS4

          • DaWhiteBrotha

            H3LL NO!!!!

            One of reasons I play a console is I do NOT have to spend the $10 million to play the next game coming out. I grew incredibly tired of having to go out pay $8 million for video card, another $1 million for audio card then another $1 million dealing with tech support to get all the drivers to work, etc.

            With a console, I buy, I take game home, I put game in console, I play game, I happy.

            And Kinect spying on my heart rate and facial expressions will confirm that without a doubt the console experience that much more enjoyable for me.

          • MrRadiolips

            Did you hit your head?

          • DaWhiteBrotha

            No. But made more sense and coherence in my ppst then yours. Have a great weekend sir.

          • MrRadiolips

            No it really didnt. lol

      • shinji

        Just to correct since no one else did. It is actually 10% but that is just a conservative number for now. As time goes on they will optimize and tweak things then release some of that back to the developers.

        This happened on the XBox 360 as well but it wasn’t widely known but one example of this happening is when they changed the disc format for the games. They had 1GB of data storage reserved for system use on the discs and they eventually were able to tweak the format to release nearly all of it for game use.

  • http://kinglizzle.com/ Lizzle

    I find the description and the screenshot a bit confusing the way it refers to game parties and “Forza Motorsport 5 Party”. Will there still be an option to create a party independently of playing any game? Often my friend and I turn on our consoles just to chat and either won’t play games at all or else may be playing entirely different games. I guess the key question is this: will parties still function as they do on 360 with Party Scout etc being additional options on top of that functionality?

  • beardyman3218

    So…. how do parties work, I still don’t understand, is it simple like 360 invite to party, accept, join or are we constantly in parties?

  • evilfangs .

    This blog post confused me even more then I already was about the new party system.

    • beardyman3218

      I think another blog post is in order.

  • Stephen Seymour

    Have a problem. Lost most of my hearing in the Iraq war and the little chat sets don’t get loud enough or vibrate with base I need away around the headset thing. Can’t have tv volume that high and reading lips of games does not work. Help please. Thanks

    • evilfangs .

      Have you tried gaming headsets?

      • Stephen Seymour

        Yes but the xbox one needs an adaptor and will not be out for a while. I would like to know of which headsets will work to hear some sound and will get adaptor later. Sucks, watching a movie in close cap.

  • AtomicInternet

    If Xbox 360 isn’t able to join Xbox One parties, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. If you can’t do this at launch, I hope you can eventually. There’s no better way to get 360 owners to upgrade to One than have their friends chatting it up as they play.

    • StormRaging

      I’m not sure why they are blocking people from cross system chat. If it’s a technical hurdle then IMO it’s one they built in as they were developing as I would think it would have been an easy thing to do during the development cycle.

      • Morris ヅ

        due to higher quality audio codec what they should do s add a system were we go to the old codec and chat with 360 users.

        • StormRaging

          IMO that should have been a no brainer. Make a way that the X1 can downgrade it’s audio when talking with the 360

          • Morris ヅ

            yh i hope they add this.

    • incendy

      Skype chat runs in the background so you can always use that for Parties too. Not as convenient but it would work.

  • StormRaging

    What about the HDD management that is being reported that we do not have? Is that coming back?

    • evilfangs .

      I’ve heard Microsoft will be added in the ability to see how many space we have used up and have on our hard drive later. At the moment we just have to guess though.

      • StormRaging

        I just don’t understand why they can’t have things that seem like no brainers ready on release. I’m speaking about both camps. Sony also talked up features that are now not ready yet. If it’s not ready then don’t ship. Don’t promise a date if you cannot meet that date with all features intact.

        • evilfangs .

          Well both products were going to be something else till gamers spoke up, so the developers have had to spend most of they time fixing they mistakes to bring us the console we want.

          • StormRaging

            I never heard of Sony changing anything but if they did that’s not my point I guess. I just think that if it wasn’t going to be ready as advertised then don’t release until it’s ready. That’s also why i’m glad that I decided to wait until both consoles are out and the early adopters have had serious play time on them before I determine which one I’m buying.

          • shinji

            If companies kept to that then nothing would ever get released.

  • DavidinCT

    Was there ever an update so we can join a party chat with people on the 360?

    I have so many friends who I play with all time who wont get a Xbox one till around X-mas time and it stinks that I wont be able to at least talk to people if I have a Xbox one and they have a 360.

  • MrRadiolips

    I guess so. Thats why people like you only stick to one option to play games.

    • Juve Torres

      I own a ps3, a Wii and xbox 360. Plus my PC.

  • Bayside

    You guys really need to do something about this. None of my friends have XB1 and they won’t have it for a while. I got through last night by having my 360 on as well and chatting but I would get disconnected then my 360 would freeze once in a while.

  • cruz azul

    Yes they have to do something so that we can party up with 360 friend’s. Now I dont play because my friend dont have xbox one and my 360 I gaive it away.

  • davvyk

    Party chat doesn’t work for me. Wont let me enable chat. Says to try again later.

    • MichiganJack

      I’m having a similar issue, where I can hear friends through the Kinect, but when I have my headset plugged in my friends can hear me but I can’t hear them. I’ve gone through all of the basic trouble shooting problems, but I’m beginning to think I may have gotten a faulty headset.

      • davvyk

        Well i had the same issue in regards to friends hearing me but me unable to hear them in headset. I thought i had a faulty headset at first. I had to insert and remove the headset four or five times. It then seemed to connect up to the pad and the earpiece started working.

        Once its connected up the pad 100% the mute button should light up orange when you press it and it should beep when you hit volume up. Previously it didnt seem to connect up to the pad correctly.

        That said i still cant do a party chat as i cant enable the chat once im in a party. Just get the try again later message. Headset now works in BF 4 though.

  • Michel Simmons

    Aside from the fact that this console is huge with a separate power brick again the other problem I have is non user replaceable hard drive like Sony. I have a 7200rpm 2.5inch HDD that’s ready action.

  • Tel Prydain

    There is an old saying about fixing what isn’t broken that is pretty applicable here. The idea of a scout is cool – but it could have worked with the old party system too.

 

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