5 Xbox One Hacks That Actually Work

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Christmas is over, and you’re sitting with a brand new Xbox One resting neatly under your TV. Either that, or you’ve decided to resell the somewhat misguided presents gifted to you by your family - the over-sized jumper from Auntie Jane, the windscreen de-icer from gran, the X-Factor festive single from your second-cousin.

That’s where we come in. Rather than spending our time actually playing games on our Xbox Ones, we’ve been digging deep down into the nuts and bolts of the console to find the cleverest and craftiest secrets it has to offer. We’ve been to the deepest, darkest corners of the internet to unearth the type of tips and tricks that none of your friends know about and will make you the talk of the town at the next Xbox convention (if that’s even a thing).

All this super sleuthing has resulted in a dedicated list of five hacks for your Xbox One that will change your life, or at least make you look a bit clever in front of your mates. Oh, and we may have squeezed in a few games of FIFA in the middle of all that, too. Just don’t tell the boss, okay?

1. Take Charge Of Your Xbox One With Your Phone

If you’re like me then you’ll probably have enough apps integrated into your daily routine that it’d be difficult to fit in another. But, believe it or not, there may be something more fruitful to do with your time than endlessly swipe right on dating apps.

The SmartGlass app works as sort of a touchscreen-based controller for your Xbox One, allowing you to take charge of the machine like a remote - providing you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

This contactless control basically means you can swan about your everyday life as if the Xbox was right there in your pocket. That’s preferable to actually walking around with your Xbox in your pocket, by the way, which tends to stretch them out so far that your mum would be fuming.

2. Play Xbox One Games On Your PC/Laptop For Free

In earth-shattering news for teachers/lecturers/bosses the world over, it turns out you can hook your Xbox up to a laptop and play your favourite games in class/at uni/at work. Not that we would condone that, of course.

The majority of the titles published by Microsoft are signed up to the ‘Play Anywhere’ platform, which, in short, it means you can download games you’ve bought on Xbox One onto any Windows-based machine for free.

Being someone who used to have to make do with playing solitaire on the PC while revising, I’m feeling so jealous right now.

3. Play PS4 And Xbox 360 Games On Your Xbox One

Yep, it’s totally possible to plug a PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 or any other console with an HDMI out into your Xbox One and play it through Microsoft’s flashy new system.

If you’re wondering just why you’d want to do that, then consider this: it brings some Xbox One style functionality to other consoles, like the ability to snap gameplay to one side of the screen while making a Skype call/watching a YouTube video/messaging Xbox Live friends/erm, doing something a little more private...

4. Massively Cut Down Game Installation Times

This is a bit of an odd one. But, by disconnecting your console from the internet before inserting the game disc for the first time, it cuts down the installation time as quickly as Mike Dean brandishes a red card.

Why? Well, it could be because it delays any mandatory updates that typically come with any game launch to a later date, or it could be because Xbox Ones are powered by magic, like airplanes, self-service coffee machines and Sergio Aguero. Either way, it’s a handy time saver.

5. Try Buying a Refurbished Console

Remember how happy you were when that December payslip landed a week earlier than normal? It felt so good at the time. Fast forward to January and you’re already considering adopting a soup-only diet in order to preserve those precious pennies.

So, come next payday, don’t blow your wad on a full price Xbox (should you want one, of course) - another trick is to save a few bob on your console by purchasing a refurbished model rather than one at full whack. Runs like a dream and for a fraction of the price – what’s not to like?