Microsoft have began rolling out the new Holiday update for Xbox One, which adds Clubs, Looking for Group, Achievement Rarity, Group Messaging and more for the Xbox community. Let’s take a look at what these new features offer players.
“With this holiday update, Xbox Live becomes even more social as we unite gamers across devices, giving you access to more people to play with that share your interests and more choice in how you play.”
While ‘Arena’ will remain in Preview for continued testing, it should arrive some time in 2017, allowing players to set up competitive events, and take e-sports to another level with gaming clans.
Here are details about some of the top new features rolling out to Xbox Live on Xbox One and the Xbox app starting today:
Clubs on Xbox Live. Clubs are gamer-created and managed groups that can help you meet people and grow communities of gamers who love the same things you do. Anyone can join or create a Club, and you’ll probably see a Club for just about everything. If you do not, creating a Club is quick and easy.
“As a Club member, you’ll be able to set up parties, play games, share content, and easily communicate using voice and text chat with the Club across Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10, iOS, and Android devices.”
However, it appears that you can’t set up a group that starts with a number. That causes all sorts of headaches for us here at 4-One Gaming, so we’re open to suggestions from the community on what we can do to work around that. Making it www.4onegaming.com, or ‘Official 4-One Gaming Club’ or something else?
“You can search for Clubs (or create your own) in the Community tab on Xbox One and the Clubs section on other devices, and Clubs associated with a game will be accessible in the title’s Game Hub.”
Major Nelson provided a helpful video which shows off the new features rolling out to Xbox One players.
Looking for Group on Xbox Live. Looking for Group (LFG) helps you quickly find other players that you want to game with. It’s like posting a gaming “want-ad” to the Xbox community. You can use LFG to help complete daily quests, Achievement hunt, or just to make some new friends.
This will be great for those looking for those Achievements that require other skilled players to accomplish, or to find a strong team for competitive gameplay.
“You’ll be able to add certain requirements to make sure that you’re finding the right gamers. You can specify the game, the game mode, the language the party will be speaking, how many people you need, rules like no trash talking or casual friendly, and any other in-game requirements like level, gear or character type.”
Major Nelson explains how LFG works. “Here’s how LFG works: gamers can browse open LFGs and request to join the ones that they’re interested in. The LFG host chooses from the list of gamers who have expressed interest and, once the group is full or the host is ready, the host can quickly get those people into Party Chat and start playing. You can even create an LFG post for future gaming sessions up to seven days in advance! For example, if you’re on your way home and want to make the most of your gaming for the night, you can set up everything in advance from your phone, so when you’re home and ready to go, you can just jump right in.”
Achievement Rarity. Achievement Rarity, a top fan request on Xbox Feedback, helps you discover just how unique an Achievement is among players of a given game. When you earn a rare Achievement, you’ll get a special notification and diamond icon highlighting it.
I unlocked one last night on Gears of War 4 myself, when I hit level 100 in multiplayer and Re-upped, or ‘Prestiged’ as it is known more commonly. Thanks Call of Duty!
Group Messaging on Xbox Live: Group Messaging helps you coordinate and keep in touch with your friends and fellow gamers by sending a single group message to everyone in a single conversation. You can also add people to the group and dynamically change the conversation topic. Group Messaging works across Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10, iOS, and Android devices. To help you write your messages even faster on Xbox One, we have added a new predictive dictionary which you can quick access with the right thumb stick on your controller.
Following the update, I found that I had 7 new messages, but couldn’t locate where they were. Upon scrolling my messages, I found a few relating to shared content, when Rob would send me a kill streak in Rainbow Six Siege for example, or a funny moment. Clicking in reduced my message count, but I still have 3 messages ‘unread’. Gahhh!
Gamerscore Leaderboard. We’ve improved the Gamerscore Leaderboard on Xbox One and the Xbox app on Windows 10 devices. The Leaderboard now resets at the beginning of each month instead of displaying results for a 30-day rolling period, meaning you and your friends will have a clean slate to compete against one another at the start of each month! You can keep an eye on the Gamerscore Leaderboard through the Achievements tab in your profile.
Emojis for your Xbox One virtual keyboard. Emojis will be joining your virtual keyboard on Xbox One! In addition to the existing alphabet and symbols that you can use, you’ll now be able to express your likes, dislikes and more with a host of different emojis on Xbox Live. Once on your virtual keyboard, you can get to emojis by pulling the left trigger until they show up. From there, select any emoji, or press and hold on one to see more related emoji.
The only thing that was missing from Xbox Messenger, in my books! Joking! Still, it will help add some tone to messages when you send something to another gamer. It’ll be like Facebook, Viber, Whatsapp or whatever messenging app you’re more familiar with.