Lately Microsoft is on a mission to improve the Xbox One's user interface, features set and online ecosystem. Several of these new features and updates are still in a testing phase for Xbox Insider members, like the Creators Update
. Insiders are about to receive another big update, this one bringing custom gamer pics, improvements to the Arena and Looking for Group features, Game Library updates and more.
First up, the Arena tournament feature to which we were introduced earlier will finally see some use. One big game and a well-known competitive organization have hopped on board. World of Tanks
players will be able to try out tournaments hosted by ESL, all accessible via the Arena feature.
- World of Tanks fans will be able to participate in new tournaments on their Xbox One, created by ESL and powered by Arena on Xbox Live.
- Discover tournaments from your Xbox One or Xbox app on Windows 10, get notifications when your match is ready, jump directly into your match on the Xbox One, enjoy automatic results reporting, and show off the results on your activity feed.
Profile and Activity Feed
The profile and activity feed are getting a big overhaul. Speaking of Arena, it has now been integrated into your profile and other players will be able to see how you've performed in tournaments and if you are scheduled to participate in any that are upcoming. Finally the ability has arrived to be able to hide individual posts (does everyone really
need to know you're currently addicted to Clicker Heroes
? Maybe just hide those achievement unlocks), pin a post at the top of their feed, similar to Twitter, and more.
Custom gamer pics, a much-requested feature, will also be entering testing with this Insider update. Do note Microsoft says they "expect it to be in preview longer than other features to ensure it’s great for everyone when released," which probably means they're trying to nail down a reliable way to keep out inappropriate pics before this update hits the public.
- Custom gamerpics are finally here! From your console, Windows 10 PC, or mobile phone, update your gamerpic with a custom image. We’re excited to bring this top fan-requested feature to Xbox Live and expect it to be in preview longer than other features to ensure it’s great for everyone when released.
- New ‘Join broadcast’ button in your profile, one of the many ways to access the game stream of someone broadcasting their gameplay.
- Your profile will display your Arena tournament history and upcoming tournaments.
- In your Activity Feed, we’re adding the ability to hide individual posts, pin posts to the top of your feed, and filter posts by friends, games or Clubs.
Clubs and Looking for Group (LFG)
Clubs and Looking for Group, which are already live for everyone, will be seeing some updates and quality of life improvements that Insiders get to test out. Say you religiously play Battlefield 1
at the same time every night and always put up a Looking for Group post to see if anyone wants to join in. Xbox will now allow you to look through your past posts and simply repeat them if you wish. It'll also remember tags you've used in the past so you don't have to peruse through the list of tags every time and can quickly access tags you commonly use.
Clubs are also seeing some new features. It'll be easy to tell who is a Club Owner or a Club Administrator when browsing Club posts. Owners and Administrators will also be able to use the new post pinning feature to pin a post at the top of their Club's feed.
- When you create an LFG post, as the owner you will be able to see new vetting cards that include hero stats from gamers interested in joining your party. Hero stats are contextual to the game you’re playing, showing you relevant stats like kill/death ratio, rank, or score.
- Achievement hunters, this one is for you! You will be able to search LFG posts from the Achievements tab, related to the Achievement you’re trying to finish.
- We’re adding the number of open LFG posts to the Game Hub and Club Hub headers.
- Have you made a successful LFG post that you want to create again? Now you can see previous LFG posts that you have created, participated or shown interest in, and can copy them to create new posts.
- When creating an LFG post, see all the recent tags you’ve used and easily select them.
- Club owners can upload custom images for their Club logo and Club background. Just like custom gamerpics, we expect this to be in preview longer than other features to ensure it’s great for everyone when released.
- Club owners and admins will be identified and labeled in their text posts to better help them stand out and manage their community.
- Club owners and admins can pin a post at the top of their Club feed.
My Games and Apps, and Settings
The Games and App library are also seeing some additions. If you participated in the Xbox 360 generation of gaming, chances are you've accumulated quite a library of backwards compatible games on your Xbox One. You'll now be able to filter by Xbox One or Xbox 360 to make sorting and selecting games easier.
- In ‘My Games and Apps,’ we’re adding the ability to filter your game library by platform – Xbox One and Xbox 360.
- Captive Portal support for wireless internet is coming to Xbox One, which allows for Wi-Fi authentication through a browser. Great for colleges, hotels, or public Wi-Fi locations.
- In the Settings, we’re adding the ability to select Kinect auto-zoom for Beam and Twitch broadcasts, as well as for the Skype app.
- On the Xbox app for Windows 10, we’re adding the option to select the audio input and output sources for Party chat.
All of these new features will be rolling out to "select Insider members" this month. If you're one of the chosen members, be sure to provide Microsoft with your feedback so they can tweak these new additions to perfection. Right now, there is no date for when these features will go live for everyone else.