Xbox One Gift Games: How to Send A Game Gift Over Xbox Live

gift xbox one games through xbox live
Give a gift of an Xbox One game right through Xbox Live. Screenshot

Microsoft introduced the Xbox One gift games feature during the summer of 2017, but the gift-giving feature didn't roll out to everyone right away. It was first made available to Xbox Insiders running special, updated software that controls the Xbox (specifically, it's build 1710). Everyone else would have to wait for the big Fall system update, just in time for the holidays.

Do You Need to be an Xbox Insider to Send Gift Games?

If you open the Xbox One store, and there's no option to send gift games, then you need to join the Xbox Insiders program to unlock that feature. However, the situation is more complicated than that.

When you join the Xbox Insiders program, you are placed into a special group called a preview ring. There are four of these groups, with the alpha ring receiving updates and new features immediately, and the omega ring getting in on the fun just a little bit before the general public.

Most people are placed in the omega ring initially, but participation in the program will allow you to level up and move into the more advanced rings.

If you aren't an insider, but you want to access new features like Xbox One gift giving, you'll find instructions on how to get the ball rolling further on in this article.

How Does the Xbox One Gift Games Feature Work?

Xbox One gift games feature
Buy games on Xbox One and send them to your friends as gifts. Screenshot

The process of sending a game as a gift over Xbox Live is pretty simple. If you look at a game listing on the store, and you see a Buy as gift option, that means you're running a version of the Xbox software that allows you to send gift games.

All you really have to do is select Buy as gift and proceed with the purchase.

More in depth instructions on how to buy and send a gift game over Xbox Live can be found below, as well as information about how to join the Xbox Insiders program.

How to Gift Games Over Xbox Live

how to gift games on xbox one
You can send game gifts to people on your Xbox Live friends list or specify the email address of someone who isn't on your list. Screenshot

To send a gift game to someone on your Xbox Live friends list:

  1. Navigate to the Store tab on your Xbox One console.
  2. Locate a game that you would like to give as a gift and open its store listing.
  3. Select the Buy as gift option.
  4. Select Choose from your list of Xbox friends.
  5. Select the Gamertag of the person you want to send the game to.
  6. Enter a preferred sender name and a message if you so desire.
  7. Choose your payment method.
  8. Select Buy as a gift to complete the transaction.
    • Important: As soon as your friend claims the gift, you will lose the ability to request a refund on the purchase.

If you aren't friends with someone on Xbox Live, but you want to send them a game, you will need to know their email address:

  1. Navigate to the Store tab on your Xbox One console.
  2. Locate a game that you would like to give as a gift and open its store listing.
  3. Select the Buy as gift option.
  4. Enter the email address of the person to whom you would like to send the gift.
    • Note: Make sure that you enter the correct address, as you will not get a chance to verify it later.
  5. Choose your payment method.
  6. Select Buy as a gift to complete the transaction.
    • Important: After you complete the transaction, a 25 digit code will be sent to the email address you specified in step 4. After this code is redeemed, you will no longer be able to request a refund.

Get the Xbox Insider App

xbox insider hub app
Downloading the Xbox Insider Hub app is the first step in joining the Xbox Insider program. Screenshot

If you want access to game gifting before the general public, then you need to join the Xbox Insiders program. Joining may not provide access to the feature immediately, depending on the ring you are placed in, but participation in the program is the only way to access new features before anyone else.

The Xbox Insider program is designed to allow regular gamers to provide valuable feedback to Microsoft similarly to the Windows Insider program. When you join, you're essentially agreeing to beta test features and builds whenever you play your Xbox One.

The main benefit you get when you join the program is that you will often get access to new features, like giving gifts via Xbox Live, much sooner than the general public.

If you want to get in on the action, the first thing you need to do is download and install the Xbox Insider Hub:

  1. Open the Store tab on your Xbox One dashboard or open the guide and select the Store option there.
  2. Select the Search function.
  3. Type Xbox Insider Hub into the text field and search for it.
  4. Select Get/Install to download and install the app.
  5. Launch the Xbox Insider Hub app and follow the prompts.

Join the Xbox Insider Program

Xbox One Insider select preview ring
The longer you're an Xbox Insider, and the more you participate, the earlier you'll get access to features like game gifting. Screenshot

Downloading and installing the Xbox Insider Hub is just the first step. If you want to be able to check out preview builds and get early access to new features, you need to opt in to the program.

  1. Launch the Xbox Insider Hub app.
  2. Navigate to Insider content and select it.
  3. Select the preview that you want.

If you're already an Xbox Insider, you can also manage your participation in the program and choose the specific preview ring you want to be in.

  1. Launch the Xbox Insider Hub app.
  2. Navigate to Insider content and select it.
  3. Go to System > Xbox One Update Preview
  4. Select Manage.
  5. Choose the preview that you want to opt into.
    • Note: New Xbox Insiders only have access to Xbox One Update Preview Omega. Access to higher preview rings can be gained by participation in the Xbox Insider program.
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