Still want a 15-character gamertag? Use an Xbox 360 to create it

By Sam Quirke,
Xbox 360

As we have detailed in the past, Xbox now uses a similar system to Discord for assigning gamertags – a small blip on the newsdesk, perhaps, but one that suddenly had our developers undertaking the biggest update in TA history to support it. Players can now have the same gamertag, and players who were the first to claim it won't have any trouble. Anyone else who tries to use the same gamertag is going to have a four-digit hash number after the name, to differentiate. A side effect of this overhaul has been the reduction of the standard gamertag character limit from 15 to 12 characters. Some players looking to create or change their gamertag to a 12+ character handle have found a workaround to the new system – setting up the tag on an Xbox 360.

There is a way around the new gamertag systems character cap, if you change your gamertag on 360 it allows 15. from r/xboxone


This Reddit post shows off the fact that the Xbox 360 UI still allows for new gamertags to be entered with a 15 character limit. It's worth noting that this will only work on a physical Xbox 360 unit – although backwards compatible games on the Xbox One allow access to an emulated Xbox 360 UI system, it's a stripped down version that just handles the basic requirements of running the game. It's also worth pointing out that if the 360 is running the old gamertag creation model, it won't be possible to have the same tag as someone else as there's no room for a suffix – you will have to come up with something unique.

The leading speculation as to why the character limit was reduced is due to the fact that older games – especially all of those backwards compatible 360 games – are probably not going to receive an overhaul so that they will properly display gamertags with suffixes. Therefore the suffixes have to fit in the old 15-character cap, which means the length of the main portion of the gamertag has to be reduced to allow for the suffix to show.

The overall impact of the gamertag reduction is relatively low – especially as players that already have a 12+ character gamertag aren't going to be affected. However a few players looking to move from another platform or service with a larger character limit – or looking to reinstate an old Xbox handle from the pre-Live days – are a bit miffed. If they can get their hands on a 360, their problems may be solved. We expect that Microsoft will look to put a stop to it at some point, though.

(Thanks, Eurogamer.)
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016 and is now the Editor for both TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. He loves gaming on all devices and in all genres. He remains a stubborn Assassin's Creed and Pokémon fan.