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Beginners guide to Xbox Series X

Xbox newbie? Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your game face on.


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So, you’ve made the plunge and gone for an Xbox Series X. Nice! It’s an amazing next-gen console, and it’ll open up a whole world of online gaming for you.

If you haven’t bought an Xbox before, you might not be too sure about the best way to get everything up and running properly. So, let us show you the ropes with this step-by-step setup guide.

1. Unbox and connect

Open up your box, and make sure you’ve got everything you need! You’ll find an Xbox Series X console (of course), Xbox controller (with two rechargeable AA batteries), power cable, HDMI cable and a good old instruction leaflet.

So, let’s connect your Xbox and power it up!

Now connect the HDMI cable to the console and TV. Microsoft has given you a quality Ultra High Speed HDMI 2.1 cable here – it’s the best one for the job, giving you the best possible resolution and framerate.

Top TV tip: To enjoy the sight of a dazzling 4K UHD 120hz display when you’re playing your Xbox, you need a 4K TV or monitor compatible with HDMI 2.1. But even if you don’t have a 4K TV, you’ll still get a super-smooth gaming experience packed with detail!

Now connect the power cable to your console, plug it in and switch on. You might as well pop the batteries into your controller too.

2. Use the Xbox app to get set up

Setting up the Xbox Series X doesn't take long. But it can be tricky to do it on the console itself. That’s because there’s a lot of passwords and codes to type in, and you’ll need to use a controller rather than a keyboard.

So here’s a much better bet. Get the Xbox app on your iOS or Android phone, and do it all through that. When you’ve downloaded and installed everything, simply scan a QR code and you’ll be walked through the setup process. Easy.

If you really can’t wait to get gaming, you can now skip to step 7, and do the other steps later. But we definitely recommend you check them out at some point!

3. Set up voice commands

You can do sooo many things on your new Xbox by just asking. You won’t even need to touch it to switch it on – a simple “Xbox. On!” will do the trick. All you need to do is set up your digital assistant…

Dive into Settings, head to the Devices & Connections menu, give ‘Digital assistants’ a tap and enable yours. Then go into your digital assistant’s app to sync it up with your Xbox. Once it’s set up, you’ll be able to dish out loads of voice commands, from asking to play games to taking screenshots.

4. Set up parental controls

If your kids will be using the Xbox, you can set up content and playtime restrictions for them. Sure, they might not thank you for it – but it’ll give you much needed peace of mind that they’re not seeing or doing anything they shouldn’t be! Go to Settings, Account menu, and choose Family settings.

You can now manage the type of content your youngsters can access. Select Content restrictions, and choose the age ratings for the games, movies and other types of content you’re happy for them to see.

You can also set break reminders, to give them notifications when they’ve been gaming for longer than they’re allowed. To do this, go into Setting, Preferences and Break reminder.

5. Save some power

Your Xbox Series X is set up to do lots of useful things by default, from installing updates to charging anything you plug into its USB port. If you’re interested in saving energy (and reducing your bills), you can adjust those default setting to make your Xbox a little less power hungry. Go to Settings, Power mode, and you’ll be able to fine-tune lots of things that can reduce energy – like how soon your Xbox switches off when it’s not being used.

6. Adjust your display settings

Your new Xbox Series X is capable of spectacular visuals. So if you have a 4K TV, it’s worth making sure everything’s set up correctly to help you enjoy the best possible display.

First off, calibrate your TV. Go to Settings, General, TV & display options. Press the option to Calibrate TV, and you’ll be taken through a step-by-step guide to give you the best possible settings.

If your TV supports HDR, you’ll want to make sure it’s also set up on your Xbox. It makes a huge difference to the quality of your display, and helps you get the most out of dark, shadowy action. Go to ‘My games & Apps’, head to the app section and select ‘HDR Game Calibration’. Once again, this will take you through a simple step-by-step guide to set things up.

7. Get gaming!

As soon as you’re set up, you can enjoy amazing gaming. The Xbox Series X has some awesome exclusive games lined up – look out for the ‘Optimised for Xbox Series X|S’ icon (you’ll see it on games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Forza Motorsport and Halo Infinite). These games have been designed to give you lightning-fast load-times, amazing visuals and smooth framerates up to 120 FPS.

It’s also worth checking out the Xbox Game Pass. For a few quid each month, you get access to over 100 Xbox games straight off the bat, plus regular discounts on other games and downloadable content.

Remember to keep visiting TechTalk for the latest Xbox news, games reviews and more!

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