What Is Xbox Live?

Xbox Live
Xbox Live

Xbox Live is Microsoft's online service for gaming and content distribution for the Xbox and Xbox 360 and Xbox One videogame systems.

Xbox Live allows you to play games against other people online as well as download demos, trailers, and even full games in the Xbox Live Arcade. You get to choose a nickname (called a Gamertag) which is how you will be known to other people in any games you play. You can keep friends lists in order to keep in touch with real life friends or new people you meet online you like to play with.

To use Xbox Live you have to have an Xbox 360 or Xbox One (Xbox Live on the original Xbox console is no longer available) as well as a broadband internet service provider. Xbox Live is a subscription-based service that can be purchased in 1 month, 3 month, and 1 year periods. You can either buy subscription cards at retail stores or you can use your credit card on the console itself to sign up for Xbox Live.

There are two levels of service. The free level lets you download things from the Xbox Live Marketplace, chat with friends, use apps such as Netflix, WWE Network, ESPN, and many others, and share your gamer profile with other users. You can't play games online, however. ​The Xbox Live  Gold Level is a paid service and gives you all of the Silver level benefits along with the ability to play games online.