Xbox Guidelines

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

Launch Guidelines

The launch guidelines below should be used as a checklist to ensure your experience has a smooth release on the Xbox platform, and to minimize the risk of your experience 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-experience messaging (text chat)

Getting your experience featured is one of the best ways to get noticed and increase your player base. Following these guidelines is required for your experience 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-experience music (provide evidence with link to music library)
Explicit and licensed permission to use all in-experience 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


Controls remain responsive unless experience is loading
Loading states are clearly communicated to the player
Controls are explained within the experience, not in the experience's description (descriptions on Xbox are clipped)
Controls are explained in Xbox-specific terminology

Core Loop

Runtime loop only ends at player's request or when experience reaches an intended fail state
Runtime loop never halts with no opportunity to progress


Experience is "Active"
Experience does not limit access to "Friends Only"
Experience is not "Paid Access"
Experience does not use platform-specific data stores
Experience does not have an Xbox-specific version (a separate version of the same experience available on other platforms)


No messaging regarding "Alpha/Beta/Testing" status
Version number (if present) is greater than or equal to 1.0


First paragraph is stand-alone and adequately summarizes the experience
No instructional or tutorial content
No requests for favorites or thumbs up
No links


512×512 pixels in size
Clear from 10 feet away on an HDTV


Experience 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


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
Controller 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 design


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
No symbols in experience title Symbols can cause confusion for players and detract from the meaning of your experience title
Experience has either 0 or 4+ badges The "Badges" section is hidden on the experience details screen if you have less than 4 badges