One of the biggest myths still floating around about Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console is that enjoying it without an internet connection is impossible. Let’s be clear, if Microsoft had continued on its original course, you wouldn’t be able to do so longer than a day. At first, Microsoft’s software design called for Xbox Live to check with Microsoft’s servers to determine if users own their games once every twenty-four hours. All disc-based games would have been automatically converted to digital titles when inserted into the console.
When people reacted badly to this scheme, Microsoft was forced to change things. First, you can play Xbox One games offline – as long as you lay some ground work first. Second, disc-based games don’t become digital because you insert them into the console. They install, but you’re free to keep that disc, loan it to others and share it. This also has the side-effect of ensuring that when you purchase a game from a store, it’ll work on an Xbox One that doesn’t have access to the internet.
Here’s how to play Xbox One games offline.
How to Play Xbox One Games Offline: Before We Begin
Before we begin, it’s very important that you understand how Microsoft’s offline features for Xbox One work.
There’s a digital switch built into the console that turns off its radios and stops it from trying to reach out to Xbox Live regularly. It’s because of this switch that playing Xbox One games offline is possible.
Playing offline does have some side-effects. First, you won’t be able to go to a friend’s house and pick up where you left off on any of your games. That’s because the Xbox One uses cloud storage to pull this off. If you do plan on going from your Xbox One console that’s not connected to the internet to one that is, remember to keep your game saves on a flash drive so that you don’t lose them.
Second, to play an Xbox One game offline, the game needs to not have a reliance on a server. Put more plainly, you can’t play a game that was designed for online connectivity specifically. That means Destiny is out of the question. Many of Ubisoft’s titles are too. Single player games should still work though. Be sure to look on the back of your game’s casees to find out whether it needs to be connected to the internet constantly.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to download extra content or updates for any titles that you own on Xbox One without an internet connection. You won’t be able to watch Blu-ray movies or stream videos from Microsoft’s Movies & TV store either. That’s because both of those experiences also rely on the console’s internet connection.
How to Play Xbox One Games Offline: Let’s Begin
Be sure that you’ve loaded up your Xbox One console with all the digital titles that you have in your collection. Download them from the Collection area called My Games and Apps. Next, open each of the games so that your console syncs your latest saves from Xbox Live. Note that this step is only for users that have an web connected console and are looking to transition their entire experience to being offline only.
New Xbox One buyers will need to find a solid internet connection so that they can download any console software updates that might be pending. Microsoft’s Xbox website lets you store the software update on a flash drive for installation later here.
Double tap the glowing Xbox logo on your Xbox One Wireless Controller to bring up the Xbox Guide. The Xbox Guide is a menu that slides out from the right side of our screen.
Once the menu is open highlight the Settings area at the bottom of the menu.
Now select All Settings from the Settings area.
Your console should have closed the Xbox Guide and taken you to the Xbox One’s dedicated Settings app. Select Network from the menu on the left side of your television’s display.
Now select Network Settings.
From the Network Settings menu, look for the Go Offline option on the left side of your display. Go ahead and select it.
At this point, your console will stop trying to connect to Microsoft’s servers and the internet. All of your game saves will stay on your console’s internal hard drive, or the external hard drive that you added to it and setup previously.
One thing to look out for are your Achievements. According to Microsoft’s support article on the subject, the Xbox One only has a limited cache for storing Achievements that you’ve unlocked. As such, the company recommends users frequently connect their console to Xbox Live if they’re worried about losing any Achievements. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t reveal how many Achievements can be stored.
Good luck playing Xbox One games offline. It might have taken a tidal wave of negative feedback for Microsoft to make this possible, but it’s definitely a good thing the feature got added in the end.