Last month, we released several fan-inspired feature updates to the community. This month, we are starting to roll out even more features including a new Party overlay to help you see who’s speaking in your group, more fan-requested improvements to Looking for Group on Xbox Live and the Activity Feed, and later this month Killer Instinct tournaments powered by Arena on Xbox Live.

Since we announced Arena at E3 2016, and first launched it to Xbox Insiders this past fall, the team has been hard at work building and refining Arena to make esports available for gamers on Xbox Live, regardless of their skill-level. Huge thank you to Xbox fans for sharing your thoughts on the feature – your feedback has had a direct impact helping us evolve the Arena experience, and will help ensure the feature is great when it rolls out broadly. Over the next month, we will open up World of Tanks tournaments on Arena to more Insiders, and we’re excited to launch Killer Instinct tournaments, including the ability for users to create their own tournaments in their Clubs. Here is a little more about the great new features coming to Arena, as well a look at other features coming to Xbox Insiders in the coming weeks.

Arena on Xbox Live

In addition to World of Tanks on Arena in partnership with ESL, later this month Killer Instinct on Arena is back for select Xbox Insiders! You can discover, register, and play in both official and user-generated tournaments in Clubs across Xbox One and Windows 10. Get notifications when your match is ready, enjoy automatic results reporting, and show off the results on your Activity Feed when you’re done.

Want to create your own Killer Instinct tournament? Starting this month, Club owners and administrators can create and host tournaments in their Clubs. Download the Xbox app (beta) on your Windows 10 PC, go to your Club and click on the “Tournaments” tab then select “Create tournament.” Fill out your tournament info and publish your event. Other members of that Club, or guests if they are allowed, on either PC or Xbox One can then discover, join, and play in your tournament.

As Arena continues to grow, be on the lookout for more tournaments with games like Halo Wars 2 and Smite, as well as gamer-created tournaments for World of Tanks. And watch for more details about our first public Arena-powered prized tournament: The Killer Instinct Battle for New York, where eight top Killer Instinct players will win a trip to compete for over $10k in cash and prizes in our New York Microsoft Store studio. We’re really excited to bring the excitement of competitive gaming to the community on Xbox One and Windows 10 – it’s never been easier to compete on Xbox Live.

Party Overlay

We’ve recently shipped several multitasking features, including the Achievement tracker, to improve your gaming experience. With this update, we are adding a new overlay that will tell you who’s speaking in your Party, without having to open the Guide. When you are in a Party, go to the Guide to enable the overlay. Just like the Achievement tracker, you can choose where on the screen you want to place the overlay and how transparent it will be. The window will show the Gamertag of the player whenever they speak, and when no one is talking, the window will be invisible. This is particularly useful for Looking for Group and other scenarios where you might not know all the members of your Party.

Fan-Requested Feature Updates

Building on the update we shipped last month, we are continuing to improve features based on input from the community, which you can read about below:

  • Share your Looking for Group post on the Activity Feed or through a message
  • Unfollow a Club or Game Hub directly from your Activity Feed
  • Your profile will display your Arena tournament history and upcoming tournaments.
  • For Beam and Twitch broadcasts, you will now have an option in the Guide for your Kinect to locate you automatically.
  • Captive Portal support for wireless internet is coming to Xbox One, which allows for Wi-Fi authentication through a browser. Great for colleges, hotels, or public Wi-Fi locations.
  • Filter posts on your Activity Feed on the Xbox app for iOS and Android
  • On the Xbox app for Windows 10, we’re adding the option to select the audio input and output sources for Party chat.

As mentioned earlier, these updates will start to roll out today and in the coming weeks. And as always, keep letting us know what you think about our features at Xbox Feedback. Your input is invaluable as we continue to evolve the Xbox experience. Thank you!

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Last month, we released Clubs and Looking for Group on Xbox Live to Preview members on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) to give you more choice in how you play and who you play with. Today, we’re starting to roll out even more features to Preview, including Arena on Xbox Live, special updates to Achievement Rarity and Looking for Group! Big thanks to Xbox fans for sharing your thoughts – your feedback continually inspires us to make Xbox the best place for gamers.

Now, here’s a bit more on the new features rolling out to Preview members on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta):

* Arena on Xbox Live: Beginning today, Arena launches to Preview on Xbox One with the pilot title and legendary fighting game, Killer Instinct. During Preview, you can look forward to competing in daily Killer Instinct tournaments across Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10 PC. For the initial roll out, Arena will only be accessible to Preview members through practice tournaments on Xbox One in the U.S., with plans to add additional features and expand to the broader Preview audience later in October. To start competing, all you have to do is register on the Tournament tab in the Killer Instinct Game Hub. We’re really excited about the potential of Arena and eager to hear your thoughts as we evolve it and make eSports more accessible for gamers everywhere, regardless of skill-level.

* Achievement Rarity: You might have already seen some buzz about Achievement Rarity from @XboxQwik and me. If you missed it, Achievement Rarity, a top fan request on Xbox Feedback, launched to Preview a few weeks ago. Now, you’ll be able to discover just how unique an Achievement is among players of a given game and celebrate the Achievement itself with a special notification and diamond icon highlighting it. Unlock one today and let us know how you like the new animation!

* New Looking for Group (LFG) Features: Starting today, you will be able to create LFG posts for future gaming sessions – up to seven days in advance! Additionally, based on your feedback, you can now create LFG posts directly in a Club and control who sees them: just members of the Club or everyone on Xbox Live. When creating LFG posts, you can also note what language the party will be speaking and filter your LFG searches based on the language.

* Group Messaging on Xbox Live: Last week, we launched Group Messaging on Xbox One and the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10 PC. Group Messaging helps you coordinate and keep in touch with your friends and fellow gamers by sending a single group message to everyone in the group. You can also add people to the group and dynamically change the conversation topic. Group Messaging will soon work across the Xbox app (beta) on iOS and Android devices.

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Based on your feedback, we will continue to roll out updates to Preview in the weeks ahead. Keep on the lookout for improvements to existing features and new features – coming to gamers across Xbox One, the Xbox app (beta) on Windows 10, iOS and Android devices.

These features and more coming to all Xbox members later this year.

Enjoy the latest updates and keep the feedback coming!