Xbox Guidelines

Xbox Guidelines

5 min

This article outlines a complete set of guidelines in order for your game to be well-received and be an amazing user experience on the Xbox platform.

Launch Guidelines

The launch guidelines below should be used as a checklist to ensure your game has a smooth release on the Xbox platform. They should be followed to minimize the risk of your game being removed from Xbox.

No blood / gore
No intense violence
No profanity / offensive language
No gambling of any kind (or encouragement thereof)
No alcohol / tobacco / drug reference or usage
No in-game messaging (text chat)

Featured Game Guidelines

Getting your game featured is one of the best ways to get noticed and increase your player base on the Xbox platform. Following these guidelines is required for your game to be featured on Xbox.

No alcohol / tobacco / drug references or usage
No nudity / sexual / provocative references
No blood / gore
No profanity / offensive language
No discrimination (or encouragement thereof)
No gambling of any kind (or encouragement thereof)
No excessive frights or realistic depictions of fear
No content that is likely to offend a group of users (religions / cultures / races / communities of people)
No references to acts of any the above (references to acts of violence, acts of discrimination, etc.)
No unlicensed copy-written material (images, audio, text or speech without explicit permission from owner)
Explicit and licensed permission to use all in-game music (provide evidence with link to music library)
Explicit and licensed permission to use all in-game sound effects (provide evidence with link to sound effect library)
Sound effects and music do not instill feelings of intense fear in young children
Sound effects and music are not crude enough to be inappropriate for young children
Game controls remain responsive unless game is loading
Loading states are clearly communicated to the player
Game controls are explained within the game and not the game's description
Game controls are explained in Xbox-specific terminology
Gameplay Experience
Core game loop only ends at player's request or when game reaches an intended fail state
Game loop never halts with no opportunity to progress
Game Configurations
Game is "Active"
Game does not limit access to "Friends Only"
Game is not "Paid Access"
Game does not use platform-specific data stores
Game does not have an Xbox-specific version (a separate version of the same game available on other platforms)
Game Title
No messaging regarding "Alpha/Beta/Testing" status
Version number (if present) is greater than or equal to 1.0
Game Description
First paragraph is stand-alone and adequately summarizes the game
No instructional or tutorial content
No requests for favorites or thumbs up
No links
Game Icon
512×512 pixels in size
Clear from 10 feet away on an HDTV
Game Thumbnails
Game has at least 3 thumbnails
Every thumbnail is 768×432 pixels in size
Every thumbnail is clear from 10 feet away on an HDTV
Majority of badge descriptions clearly describe how they are obtained
In-Game Interface
Clear from 10 feet away on an HDTV
Only references Xbox One controls (no references to keyboard, mouse, touch)
Only one interactive menu visible at any given time
Menus and screens do not generally overlap
Menus communicate contents and button actions clearly, without unnecessary duplication
B button is almost always used to close a menu
Menus do not have multiple close buttons
Controller dot isn't present unless necessitated by gameplay
Purchase Experience
Displayed purchase prices are legible and correct
Purchasing prices are not misleading and don't allow players to make obvious purchasing mistakes
Purchased items operate as advertised with their function and control fully explained
Purchases are granted / activated / usable immediately after purchase

Best Practices

Practice Reason to Follow
Game Title
No symbols Symbols can cause confusion for players and detract from the meaning of your game title
Game has either 0 or 4+ badges The "Badges" section is hidden on the game details screen if you have less than 4 badges
  • xbox
  • launch
  • featured