Consoles are regarded as an affordable alternative to PC gaming, but any cost-effective benefits end the second a system is purchased. The former can easily consume thousands of dollars per generation, while the latter has access to deeper software sales. With each passing year, the gaming industry seems to be increasing the number of quality games released on a monthly basis. It must be said, such a statement might carry a tad more weight if the previous months had not coincided with the release of a couple of underperforming AAA projects, but Anthem and Crackdown 3 are exceptions to the rule.
PC Gaming affords the opportunity to tailor a system's functionality to an owner's preferences. Conversely, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are all about accessibility and comfort. Nintendo occupies its own ecosystem, so much so, there is hardly any point referencing the system. If companies such as Ubisoft are to be believed, consoles are quickly approaching the end of the road. Microsoft's plans to extend its gaming services to third-party devices adds credence to this belief; meanwhile, the Xbox One continues to lead a somewhat muted existence.
Are consoles destined for the big trash heap in the sky? Possibly, but its too early to make a definitive statement. Until such an age comes to pass, we plan to make the most of our Xbox One! Nothing against Microsoft's customer care representatives, but certain things are better handled without outside assistance. "Do It Yourself" tips ensure a system's features are fully utilized.
Here are 30 DIY Xbox One hacks every gamer should know about!
30 Xbox On The Go
DIY is not always cheap. In some cases, hiring outside assistance might be less expensive than trying to do it yourself. In 2017, Ben Heck decided there is no reason the Nintendo Switch has to be the only home console designed for the go. The modder transformed the Xbox One S into a laptop, albeit one that needs to be connected to a power supply.
Heck produced an impressively slick portable console, although this is one DIY that demands a lot from the creator. Microsoft should consider enlisting Heck's help for the Xbox Two.
29 A Smart Remote
Always use every resource made available to you. Consoles tend to prioritize comfort and Microsoft's modern system strives to ensure an owner's needs are thoroughly satisfied. Along with Halo and Gears of War, the Xbox One is a solid media device, with the updates models even supporting 4K Blu-Ray discs. If seeking a break from Apex Legends, Netflix or Crunchyroll are ready and available.
Compared to a controller, a traditional remote is a more accurate and faster tool for browsing movies and TV series. Fully aware of this fact, Microsoft's console app allows a smartphone to be transformed into a remote. Just download the app and get comfortable!
28 Laggy Interface? A Refresh Should Help
The Xbox One's dashboard leaves something to be desired. Cluttered with adverts and icons, the interface is unpleasant on the eyes and overcomplicates the simple act of launching an application. With a bit of tweaking, the dashboard just about achieves acceptability, but this level seems to be its ceiling.
The dashboard seldom runs like a fine-tuned machine, but severe lag should be reduced once the interface is refreshed. Thankfully, a full reboot is not necessary! Grab the controller and press LT + RT + Y to trigger a dashboard refresh.
27 More Space = More Games
Modern consoles are basically PCs stripped of their inherent flexibility. Allowing for parts to be swapped at the user's discretion, a system's bottleneck can be bypassed with a new piece of hardware.
Consoles, to a lesser extent, are upgradable. Just to be clear, modifications tend to void a device's warranty, but that should not be much of an issue for those with an original Xbox One. 500GB is too limiting to hold more than a few applications, with AAA titles typically claiming at least 50GB. Replacing the internal hard drive entails some work, but the internet is a resourceful tool.
26 Faulty Controller? Wait, Do Not Buy A New One!
At one point or another, every player holds a faulty controller that refuses to properly interpret commands. Multiplayer games are frustrating enough without throwing in jammed shoulder buttons or unresponsive joysticks. Controllers cost a pretty penny, but a properly functioning one is vital in enjoying a game.
Resist the urge to fling the accessory out of the window, as opening the controller could very well fix any issues. A Torx 8 Security screwdriver, a must own tool for any console owner, will quickly deconstruct Microsoft's peripheral. Once open, replace parts as needed.
25 An Affordable Racing Wheel
Racing games are simultaneously niche and mainstream. Need for Speed is not for everyone, but most players - at one point or another - have owned an entry in the franchise. Steering wheels undoubtedly improve a racing game, but only the genre's staunchest enthusiasts are prepared to drop possibly the hundreds of dollars required to purchase a decent one.
DIY is all about thinking outside the box, but what if the box does not exist? In such a situation, use a 3D printer to create the aforementioned box. Budget printers cost around $200, but this adorable steering wheel can be purchased from numerous online outlets.
... Yes, this picture is of a PS4 controller — but it works on Xbox One as well!
24 Hard Reset
A piece of advice famously immortalized by The IT Crowd, many issues can be fixed by turning the device off and on again. Once in a while, computers need a fresh start; however, a normal reboot might not be enough.
To allow for downloads to continue to be processed, the Xbox One's instant-on feature causes the console to enter standby mode rather than a complete shutdown. More often than not, standby is perfectly fine, but a full reboot helps clear out the cobwebs. If experiencing Xbox Live issues or struggling to launch a game, press the power button for ten seconds to initiate a hard reset.
23 Connect A PlayStation 4
What is an HDMI pass-through port? Consoles use an HDMI-out to transmit video and audio signals through a monitor's HDMI-in. Due to Microsoft seeking to market the Xbox One as a media device instead of a standard gaming system, the hardware comes with an HDMI-in port to facilitate for a cable box.
Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for customers to test other devices to see whether they can also be linked to the Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 is compatible. Lag is an issue, but this is a neat workaround if your monitor lacks sufficient HDMI ports.
22 Stream As A Team
Mixer should be deemed a must-download for streamers seeking to harness a closer relationship with their audience. Twitch and YouTube are not the only streaming platforms on the market, and they might not be the best! Mixer is an easy to use application designed to streamline the steps to providing followers with new footage, but controller sharing steals the spotlight.
Enabling this feature enables viewers to seize the driver's seat and control the gameplay. Become the streamer! The viewer does not need to own an Xbox One.
21 Custom Controller
Microsoft's controller is quite comfortable, but nobody is going to be impressed by its bland default design. Now, in all fairness, plain white or black frames are a safe bet. They are neither interesting or annoying.
A quick Google search reveals dozens of retailers specializing in expensive custom controllers, which is a viable option if purchasing a gift for an Xbox One owner. If money is an issue, an alternative could be to paint the controller yourself. Steady hands are recommended.
20 Why Pay For Xbox Gold?
A convincing argument can be made for Game Pass saving Microsoft's bacon in recent years. While Crackdown 3 garnered a muted shrug from critics, fans of the series were slightly more forgiving of the repeatedly delayed sandbox shooter, and Game Pass helped soften the sequel's landing. Its easier to accept mediocrity when the price tag is $10.
Microsoft Rewards allows customers to earn points by completing daily challenges. Among others, Game Pass or Xbox Live subscriptions can be redeemed. Why spend money when Microsoft is handing out freebies?
19 See All The Colors
Consoles are simple. Plug in the device and start playing. The Xbox One adheres to this mantra, but it is still recommended to review the video settings to check whether any tweaks might improve the experience. Depending on the connecting TV or monitor, enabling HDR or altering the color scheme could be the difference between washed out and stunning visuals.
Once all the settings are chosen, select Calibrate HDTV to finetune the results. Trust us, it is worth the effort.
18 Edit Videos
Streaming is an inescapable element of modern gaming. Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer facilitate the transmission of live footage to billions of people from all around the world, with top-tier streamers earning quite a decent amount of money.
Another option is to record gameplay for future uploads. In an attempt to assist creators, Microsoft created a video editor specifically for the Xbox One. Compared to even free PC editors, Upload Studio is undeniably barebones and unlikely to satisfy those yearning for any real control over their footage. If someone only wishes to split gameplay into sections before sharing the video, Upload Studio gets the job done.
17 Prefer An Xbox 360 Controller?
Outside of purchasing a third-party adapter (coming soon!), an Xbox 360 controller cannot be directly connected to its successor. So, is that it? Should the outdated accessory be put out of its misery?
No! A DIY workaround exists that does not demand any third-party adapter; however, a computer installed with Windows 10 is necessary. You may have heard about the Xbox One's ability to stream to other devices, particularly computers carrying Microsoft's operating system. Connect an Xbox 360 controller to the PC to play Xbox One games with its predecessor's accessory.
16 Need Space? Connect An External Hard Drive
The mere thought of opening the Xbox One, removing the default hard drive, and installing a 2TV storage device might instantly discourage owners who are less comfortable around electronics. What if something goes wrong? While the process is reasonably straightforward, an alternative is to simply opt for an external hard drive.
A device has to meet certain specifications to be compatible with the console. Along with supporting a USB 3.0 connection, a drive cannot be smaller than 256GB or larger than 16TB. $60 should be enough to purchase a decent 2TB drive.
15 Console Controls The TV Star
Nowadays, everything is connected. The Internet of Things is an ongoing movement to link the entire world via the world wide web, and things are moving forward as planned. By 2030, a network encompassing billions of objects should be a reality, one that allows traffic to be controlled through the internet. The possibilities - good and bad - are endless!
What does this have to do with the Xbox One? While on a far humbler scale, the console ability to control the TV's power state is a (simplistic) snapshot into the future. The Xbox One is the internet, while the attached monitor represents everything else.
14 Clean It
Following a long day at the office or school, few things hit the spot like a warm bath and a hot cup of cocoa. Okay, playing a few hours of Metro Exodus sounds slightly more enjoyable, but a bath is a distant second. A good wash is the closest human activity to a system refresh, even more so than a night of sleep.
Now, for the sake of argument, imagine going six months without a wash. What are the chances you would be able to perform at anything resembling your best? Consoles are the same way. The Xbox One does not need a daily scrub, but the occasional cleaning makes a world of difference.
13 Libraries Hold More Than Books
Libraries are awesome and shockingly underutilized. While some claim a small membership fee, most public libraries are free of charge and packed with enough resources to keep anyone busy for decades.
Books are cool, but we are here to talk about games. Nowadays, libraries seldom stock solely traditional literature, with many carrying films, music, and games. Obviously, things vary from location to location, but libraries in major cities should be a safe bet. Next time boredom begins to take hold, put on a coat and head to the nearest library. Save money and have fun!
12 (Possibly) Faster Downloads
A faster DNS server equates to shorter downloads. This holds true whether web browsing on a laptop or gaming through a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. To avoid delving too deep into Domain Name Systems, let it just be said that a slower connection is especially detrimental in multiplayer games.
Most devices are set to automatically select a DNS server, generating speeds adequate for the bulk of situations. However, picking a specific DNS address may generate a tiny boost in online performance. Google's Public DNS tends to be a popular option.
11 Turn Off Automatic Updates
Automatic updates reduce the risk of encountering a situation when a game cannot be launched due to being out of date. Permitting a user has access to unlimited downloads, there is no benefit to deactivating this feature. For those on a data limit, updates for barely touched games may be seen as a waste of resources.
Go to Settings >Power & Startup to deactivate automatic downloads of updates and purchases. Updates can be manually initiated by entering a title's hub area, and the Xbox One typically notifies users when a download is available.
10 Prefer A DualShock 4?
Regardless of personal preference or allegiance, many will presumably admit Microsoft has Sony's number in the controller department. The DualShock 4 is as close to perfect as the model is likely to reach, but the Xbox One controller might just be flawless. Nevertheless, a situation may arise compelling the attachment of an unofficial controller to Microsft's current hardware.
CronusMAX PLUS permits Halo 5: Guardians to be played using a DualShock 4. Compatible with numerous other systems, the third-party accessory almost completely eliminates lag and even offers a handful of neat shortcuts.
9 Swap X With Y! Or, A With B!
PlayStation 4 owners fond of importing Japanese games are likely to appreciate customizable controller buttons more than Xbox One players, but both systems have the feature. Remapping the controller's buttons requires accessing Xbox Accessories located under My games & apps. Once the application is open, a controller should appear alongside the option to remap the buttons.
Please note, modifications occur on a system level. Games will not register any changes, meaning quick time events are liable to be even more irritating than usual.
8 Type Like A Champ
Towards the end of 2018, Xbox announced plans to rollout mouse and keyboard support, further adding substance to the theory that consoles are steadily morphing into budget PCs. Controllers are not disappearing anytime soon, but endorsing mouse and keyboard usage opens the platform to a whole range of genres and licenses historically deemed unsuitable for consoles.
Developers decide whether to permit the use of other input devices besides a controller, but the floodgates have been opened. Plug a keyboard to the Xbox One's USB port to eliminate typing with a joystick.
7 Customize Home Screen
At launch, the Xbox One's home screen was nothing short of a mess. To be fair, the PlayStation 4 hardly fared any better. Over the years, Microsoft has gradually loosened the shackles and integrated new ways to customize the dashboard. As the eight console generation gently comes to a close, the home screen is finally somewhat decent.
A previous entry dealt with swapping the home screen's background, but the customization options do not end there. 2017 brought the introduction of content blocks, user-generated sections permitting applications and games to be pinned to the dashboard.
6 The (Original) Xbox One's Travel Case
Planning to go on holiday with family, friends, or alone? Cannot afford a 3D printer to create an Xbox One laptop? In that case, take the console on the road. 2013's heavier model may not be ideal to lug around the world, but the Xbox One's box is actually perfect for such an occasion. Unlike the Xbox One S's packaging, the original possesses a convenient handle at the top of the box.
Along with consisting of quite sturdy material, this makeshift travel case exists solely to carry the Xbox One.
5 Memorialize Your Achievements
The Xbox One's interface desperately needs an upgrade; in the meantime, artwork should help paper over the cracks. Achievements serve as a testament to a player's dedication and work. Crucially, they also tend to be represented by some rather fine artwork.
Tired of looking at the same old boring dashboard? If the answer is yes, then it is time for a change. Along with screenshots, achievement art can be used as backgrounds and some are downright mesmerizing. A hard-earned Lara Croft improves any dashboard.
4 Be Prepared For Launch Day
Modern graphics are a testament to the perpetually evolving nature of technology. In 2019, developers have at their disposal the necessary tools required to produce photorealistic visuals; however, such beauty comes at a cost, mainly in the form of massive downloads.
Permitting a decent internet connection is available, Red Dead Redemption 2 should download in a couple of hours. What about customers straddled with far slower speeds? Downloads can easily last days. Luckily, the Xbox One supports preload to ensure certain titles are ready for launch day.
3 Sample Achievement
Achievements are not worth all that much, but we cannot deny feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction whenever a congratulatory notification pops up on the screen. If nothing else, achievements serve as (digital) evidence of a player's accomplishments.
Achievements are tallied to form a user's gamerscore. A higher total translates to a better ranking on the Xbox One's leaderboards and additional bragging rights. Running out of achievements to unlock? Try out a demo. Dead Or Alive 6 and Devil May Cry 5 are good places to start.
2 Bring Back The Kinect
Fueled by the accessory's success during the previous generation, Microsoft controversially promoted the Kinect to a mandatory device for the Xbox One. Along with inflating the price and gifting Sony an early advantage, developers seldom utilized the camera to its full effect. The initial backlash to the console's reveal prompted Microsoft to back peddle on quite a number of talking points, including the Kinect's importance.
In 2017, the adapter to connect the sensor to the Xbox One S or X could no longer be purchased. Permitting one can be found, the adapter is now an endanger item that costs quite a hefty fee. Conversely, you can just do it yourself!
What tops a portable DIY Xbox One? How about a laptop capable of running both Sony and Microsoft's catalog of games? Due to the Xbox One's backward compatibility feature, the PlayBox technically incorporates four distinct consoles.
Designed by Eddie Zarick, the PlayBox somehow succeeds in jamming both systems into a frame fitting of a 22" laptop. On the one hand, the PlayBox showcases human ingenuity at its absolute finest; on the other, its name brings back memories of copycat consoles from the '90s. That is not necessarily a bad thing.