Want to share games with friends? The Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X make it easy. In just a few steps, you can give another person access to your entire library of downloadable games. The process of giving a friend or family member unrestricted access to your digital games, often called “gamesharing,” is surprisingly simple, but comes with some big restrictions. You and your friend will both need Xbox One systems and your own accounts with games that you’d like to access. Once you have those all sorted, here’s what you need to know in order to gameshare across all of Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles.
Share your info
Before you start, both you and your gameshare partner will need access to each other’s systems and be willing to exchange account info — including the email associated with your Xbox accounts and the matching passwords.
From here, the following steps will explain what you and your partner should do on your Xbox One. To exchange libraries, you will need to repeat the process twice — once to connect your Xbox One to their account and a second time to connect their Xbox One to your account.
How to gameshare
Once you’re ready, select the icon at the top left on the home screen, then navigate to the user account menu (again on the left). Select Add new, and then add both accounts to your Xbox One.
From there, you must make your gameshare partner’s Xbox One your “home Xbox.” Go into the Settings menu, then Personalize, then find Make my home Xbox. In that menu, register the system as your default device. As the description reads: “If you make this your home Xbox, people can play games without having to sign in as you.” Convenient and, of course, exactly what we’re looking to do.
Lastly, all you have to do is go into your game library by selecting My Games & Apps, and then Ready to Install. Here, you should see a list of all the games that are accessible to your account. This will now include both your own games, as well as your gameshare partners’. Sharing also allows you to split an Xbox Live Gold account.
To exchange libraries, repeat steps 2-4 on your partner’s device, making their console your “home Xbox.”
Things you should know before gamesharing
The process comes with a few risks. Your friend will be able to make purchases through your account on the Xbox store, so be careful about what information you save on your account. We highly recommend you only set up gamesharing with a trusted friend or family member. That way to won’t have to worry about them making purchases without your permission.
If your internet connection happens to go out and your current Xbox One isn’t registered as your home Xbox, you also won’t be able to access your digital game library. Other users on your console also won’t have access to your games or Xbox Live Gold subscription if it isn’t your home Xbox.
You’ll have to repeat this process should either of you purchase a new Xbox One or upgrade to an Xbox One X. Microsoft allows you to change your home Xbox five times per year, starting from the first time you switch it. In other words, you cannot constantly swap accounts with friends to share different games. We recommend you pick one person and make a plan before exchanging account information.