Gamesharing With Friends on Xbox One

Play video games with family and friends anywhere

Gamesharing is a feature on Microsoft's family of Xbox One consoles that allows users to share their digital video game libraries with each other without being online at the same time or in the same physical location. Here's everything you need to know.

This guide applies to the entire Xbox One console line, which includes the original Xbox One, the Xbox One S, and the Xbox One X.

What You Need to Begin Gamesharing on Xbox One

Before you can enable gamesharing on your consoe, each person needs the following:

Why an Xbox One Home Console Is Important

A Home Console is a single Xbox One console that is manually chosen as the main device for a specific user. Designating an Xbox One as a Home Console ties all online digital purchases and service subscriptions to that device and makes all of the account content available to use even when that user is away.

If you have a Home Console at home, you can still log into other Xbox One consoles to access your games and media at any time. This is useful when visiting a friend or family member, for example. However, as soon as you log out of that other console, all access to your purchases are revoked.

This basic sharing functionality is fine for most situations, but if you want to share your games with someone else's Xbox One console on a long-term basis, you can choose to make their console your Home Console. This gives them access to all of your Xbox Live account's purchases even after you log out and you can still play your games on your own console by simply logging into it. This is what most people are referring to when they talk about Gamesharing.

How to Gameshare on Xbox One

To Gameshare with another user's Xbox One console, you need to log into their console with your Xbox Live username and password and make it your Home Console.

  1. Turn on their Xbox One console and press the Xbox symbol button on the controller to bring up the Guide.

  2. Scroll to the furthermost left panel within the Guide and click on + Add new. Sign in with your Xbox Live account username or email address and password.

  3. Now that you're logged in, open up the Guide again, scroll to the furthermost right panel, and click on Settings. Alternatively, if you have a Kinect sensor connected to your Xbox One, you can use the voice command, "Xbox, go to Settings" or "Hey, Cortana. Go to Settings."

  4. Once in Settings, select Personalization from the menu, then select My home Xbox.

  5. Choose to make this new console your Home Console.

All of your digital purchases should now be linked to this console and can be access without you being logged in. You can now log out completely by pressing the Xbox symbol button on your controller, scrolling to the furthermost left panel in the Guide, and selecting Sign out.

Important Things to Remember

Gamesharing and Home Consoles can be confusing, even for the experienced Xbox One user. Here are some important facts to keep in mind:

  • The phrase, Home Console, doesn't mean the console you have in your home. It's a specific setting you assign to an Xbox One console. Your Home Console can be your personal Xbox One you use daily at home, but it could also be a friend's, a relative's, or someone else's.
  • You're only allowed to have one Home Console at a time.
  • The Home Console setting can only be changed five times a year.
  • If you make your friend's console your Home Console, you can still buy, download, and play media and video games for whichever Xbox One console you're logged in on, including your own personal Xbox One at home.
  • Any Xbox One games or media you purchase with your account will automatically be available for anyone playing on your designated Home Console even if you're logged out.
  • Anyone using your designated Home Console can't access your account information, password, payment information, etc. as long as you log out of that console after making it your Home Console. It will still be your Home Console after you log out. Users just gain access to your purchase library of digital content.

What Content Can Be Shared With Xbox Gameshare?

Gamesharing gives other users access to all of your Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One digital video games in addition to any paid subscription services such as Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass, and EA Access. If that's not cool for you, you could consider gifting a game to your friend or family so you don't have to share your services.

Giving someone else access to your Xbox Live Gold subscription can be very beneficial, as this service is needed to play Xbox video games online. If you've granted someone else access to your Xbox Live subscriptions by making their Xbox One console your Home Console, you can still enjoy the benefits of this subscription service on whichever console you're logged into at the same time.