How to Start an Xbox Live Party on Xbox One  

Starting an Xbox Live party isn’t just an essential skill. Truth told, if you don’t know what an Xbox Live Party is or how to create one you’re missing out on a lot that the Xbox One has to offer you. The Party system is how you connect with other people. On Xbox One, Parties allow you to play your favorite games with friends or strangers if you want, all the while communicating with each other easily.

For the New Xbox One Experience Microsoft tried to prioritize the tasks that users do regularly. A new Guide floats out from the right side of the screen, letting you quickly access a limited amount of the consoles settings, send messages, snap apps and look at your friend’s activity. Xbox Live Parties are among these easily reachable options.

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Here’s how to start an Xbox Live Party on Xbox One, Microsoft’s latest video game and entertainment console.

Before We Begin

Before we begin, there’s some things you need to know. First, the Xbox One console we’re using in this tutorial is running Microsoft’s New Xbox One Experience. The software is very, very different from the software the Xbox One came with originally.

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If you’re connected to Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online gaming service, you’ll be automatically prompted to download the New Xbox One Experience over your internet connection. This update is now required to access Xbox Live; turning it down forces you to play your games offline. If offline online play is fine with you then skip this tutorial. The Party system is specifically for communicating with friends over Xbox Live. Without a connection to Xbox Live, it’s useless.

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Creating and joining a Party is something that Microsoft requires users to have its Xbox Live subscription service for. Xbox Live Gold allows users to download some games each month at no additional charge, and play games with other people over Xbox Live. Xbox Live Gold costs $9.99 a month or $60 a year.

What Is a Xbox Live Party?

Xbox Live Parties are like hangout areas, really. On Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox on Windows you can create a room for only you and your friends to voice chat. You can do this whether each of you is in a game or in an app. In the last few months Microsoft has worked on connecting Xbox One to its Windows platform. Now users can start a Party Chat with their friends even while they’re playing a PC game. This is because Microsoft plans to let Xbox One and Windows users play along side each other in some upcoming games. Fable Legends and Gigantic are examples of these.

How to Start A Xbox Live Party

With your Xbox One console on, double tap the glowing Xbox logo on your Xbox Wireless Controller.

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Welcome to the Guide. The Guide provides you with need to know information and quick links throughout the Xbox One settings. The OneGuide always takes you to your profile first when you’re logged in. Use the left joystick to go down to spaces until you reach the Party area of the guide. It’s the third icon from the top.

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Use the joystick and the A button on your controller to select Start a Party. Xbox Live will take a few moments to process your request, then you’ll be in an Xbox Live Party on your own. If you have a Kinect sensor or a microphone plugged into your Xbox One controller, you should assume that you’re mic is on from the moment you press the Start a Party button. Remember, Microsoft has an enforcement team that doles out punishment to rule breakers.

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Now that you’re in the Xbox Live Party, you’ll need to invite some friends. You can invite anyone on your friends list by selecting the Invite option and selecting their gamertag from the drop down list.

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By default Microsoft makes all Xbox Live Parties joinable. This means that anyone that sees you are in a party can jump in and begin chatting, provided they’re on your friends list. Select Make the party invite-only to lock down your Xbox Live Party to only the people you’ve invited.

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As long as it’s a party you’ve created, you’re the Party owner. That means only you can decide who gets let in. If your friends are ready to dive into a game together you can switch over to Game Chat if you’d like to focus on what you’re playing.

Finally, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need a microphone to take join an Xbox Live Party. Anyone can join a party and send text messages, using the Party area’s Text Chat view. Note that it’s better to have the Xbox One ChatPad or a device equipped with the SmartGlass app if you’re seriously going to rely on Text Chat.

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Good luck starting Xbox Live Parties. Remember, every one in your party will need Xbox Live Gold to participate. Also, note what your friends are doing on Xbox Live before you send them a Party invite, they could be  doing something else besides gaming.