9 hidden Xbox One features only power users know about

Florence Fu/Tech Insider
  • The Xbox One is an incredible gaming console with the capability to do all sorts of cool things, but unless you have your finger on the pulse of the latest Xbox news, you might be missing out on a few of its best features.
  • Here are nine especially great features of the Xbox One that you may not know about.

Play your saved games on any Xbox One.


Any time you save your progress in a game on the Xbox One, a copy of that save file is automatically saved in cloud storage, too.

This means that if you visit a friend’s house or buy a new console, all of your latest saves will be instantly accessible as soon as you sign in to your profile!

See how much data your console is using.

If you’re in one of the unfortunate areas of the country currently experiencing caps on home data usage, you’re probably trying to keep a closer eye on how much data your gaming habit is eating up.

In order to check your Xbox One’s data usage, go to Settings -> Network -> Bandwidth Usage.

Continue your Xbox 360 games on your new Xbox One.


By now, you probably know that there are over 200 Xbox 360 games that are playable on your Xbox One, but did you know that you can start playing a game on your Xbox One right where you left off on your 360?

In order to make your Xbox 360 saves accessible on your Xbox One, you have to enable cloud saving on your Xbox 360. To do so, go to Settings -> System -> Storage -> Cloud Saved Games, and select “Enable.”

Next, start the game on your Xbox 360. When you save your progress, select “Cloud Saved Games” as the desired save location. Once the upload is complete, this save file will be accessible when you start the game on your Xbox One!

Also, keep in mind that in order to enable cloud saving on your Xbox 360, you must be an Xbox Live Gold member!

Use your phone or tablet as a controller.


First, download the Xbox One SmartGlass app and make sure both your phone and Xbox One are on the same WiFi network.

Then, select the “Connect” icon at the top of the screen and select your Xbox. Not only does this app let you view your screenshots and achievements from your phone, but you can also use your phone as a keyboard instead of trying to type with the controller.

Stream Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC.


If someone else is using the TV but you can’t wait to play your favourite Xbox One game, don’t panic! You can stream your Xbox One game to any PC with Windows 10 on the same WiFi connection.

First, enable streaming on your Xbox One. Go to Settings -> Preferences, and select “Allow game streaming to other devices” and then “Enable the SmartGlass connection from any SmartGlass device.”

Connect your Xbox app to the Xbox One using your PC. Then, when you select a game from the Xbox App on your PC, hit “Play from console.”

Expand your storage with an external hard drive.

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One of the biggest pains about downloading games digitally is the inevitable moment when you start running out of hard-drive space. The good news is that the Xbox One is compatible with external hard drives, allowing you to quickly increase the total amount of storage.

Try this 1 TB drive that’s on sale for $US60 through Amazon.

Watch TV with Sling and ditch your cable plan.


Rather than shell out large amounts of money for an expensive cable bundle, you can subscribe to Sling for $US20 a month and get 20 channels, including TBS, ESPN, and AMC. They also offer add-on packages for $US5 to $US15 a month if the channels you want aren’t available in the basic package.

With Sling, you can also pause and rewind most channels, in addition to having access to many shows for three days after the initial date they aired. Click here for more details.

Plug your cable box directly into your Xbox One and make it the home base for all things TV and gaming in your household.


This lets you take full advantage of OneGuide, an app on your Xbox One that shows TV listings and lets you pause and rewind shows, just like you would normally on your TV. Except now, everything is one convenient spot – no more HDMI-input-switching when you want to start watching “X-Files.”

Click here for more detailed instructions on how to hook this up.

Alternatively, if all you get are local channels directly from a coaxial cable plugged into your TV, you can buy this adaptor that lets you plug the cable into your Xbox One. In most places, OneGuide is able to pull local TV listings using your zip code.

Set any achievement as a background on your home screen.

Attached to each in-game achievement is a high-resolution image. Usually, they’re somewhat hidden from view, but you can set any of them as your the background on your main dashboard.

To do this, double click the Xbox button on your controller, scroll down to Achievements, click the menu button on the Achievement that you want, and click “Set as background.” Voila!

Tim Mulkerin contributed to an earlier version of this story.

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