Community Standards for Xbox
We built Xbox for people like you—for players from all walks of life, everywhere in the world, who all want the same thing: a place to play and have fun. We need your help keeping the Xbox community safe and fun for everyone.
While the Code of Conduct section of the Microsoft Services Agreement applies to all Microsoft products, Xbox offers so many ways to interact with others that it benefits from an additional level of explanation.
To this end, we’ve created the following community standards for Xbox. Consider these standards a roadmap for contributing to this incredible, globe-spanning community. Remember: the Xbox community is yours. We all bring something unique, and that uniqueness is worth protecting.
Whether you’re brand new to gaming or have been playing for decades, we need you to be stewards of this place, to protect each other even as you compete. Because when everyone plays, we all win.
Table of Contents
The spirit of Xbox lives in our values, which are key to sustaining a vibrant and welcoming community. Living these values every time we play shows the world the unifying power of gaming.
- Gaming can be enjoyed by all
- Creativity powers community
- Competition is best when it’s fair
- Helping others makes all of us stronger
- Hate has no place here
Some parts of the internet don’t have rules—and the Xbox community isn’t one of them. Yes, Xbox is, in a meaningful sense, your gaming network. But it belongs to millions of others, too. You deserve a place to be yourself with confidence, free from bullying, hatred and harassment—and so does every other player. So it’s important to treat others as they would like to be treated.
- Win or lose, be a good sport
- Did someone have a great game? Let them know!
- You are the community
- A little bit of trash talk is okay, but keep it clean
- No one likes trolling, so don’t do it
The gamertags, gamerpics, screenshots, game clips and other posts you make with Xbox can be a great way to show off what’s meaningful to you. We encourage all players to be themselves and show off what they like, what makes them laugh, or what makes them amazing. But this sharing can’t come at the expense of other players’ positive experiences.
- Use your skills and creativity to add informative, helpful, funny or interesting content that contributes positively to our vibrant and diverse community
- Content you post needs to suit a wide audience
- Context is important, and mature content that makes sense in a game might not be appropriate elsewhere in the Xbox community
- Not everyone has the same likes or dislikes as you, so think twice about saying something hurtful about someone else’s content, playing style or choices
Helping others makes us all stronger. If you want to be a superstar and live our values, here are ways to go the extra mile:
- Help others have great gaming experiences by joining the Xbox Ambassadors
- Hang with like-minded players by joining clubs
- Make new friends by creating Looking for Groups to team with others in your favourite game
- If you experience or witness inappropriate content or behaviour, we encourage you to mute, block, report the player(s) acting inappropriately, and file a complaint.
At Xbox, we believe video games are a unifying force for the world. Cross-platform play empowers players across platforms to take part in a connected community that spans the globe, and no matter where you play, we welcome you to join. As we come together, remember we’re all gamers, and we all have a role in helping others level up:
- Be a positive ambassador for your platform
- Welcome all players to foster healthy cross-platform competition
- Passion for your platform is great, but respect where others play
- Be considerate. Every player is here to have fun!
As you've seen and agreed to the Microsoft Services Agreement, the following rules probably look familiar. They may sound a bit like legalese, but bear with us—upholding these standards is critical to maintaining a community where everyone can have fun! People differ about what seems fun, and conflicts sometimes occur. But while plenty of conflicts can be worked out between players, there are nevertheless some things we just can’t tolerate.
In each section you’ll find examples showing how the Microsoft Services Agreement’s Code of Conduct relates to Xbox.
I. Keep it legal
Xbox is available in countries all over the world. We respect local laws and remove content or behaviour that advocates or promotes illegal activities.
- Build a club around illegal drug use
- Send messages that encourage under-age drinking
- Create activity feed posts that promote criminal gangs
- Upload custom gamerpics that show animal abuse
- Tell other players to “KYS” or commit self-harm
- Use the flag of a terrorist organisation as your club’s profile pic
II. Do your part to keep everyone safe
To keep Xbox a place where everyone can have fun, we can’t allow behaviour or content designed to exploit, harm or threaten anyone – children, adults or otherwise. When threatening, abusive or insulting language is used against another member of our community, or the community at large, it undermines every player’s ability to enjoy themselves.
- Threaten someone with physical assault after an intense game
- Message other players with homophobic slurs
- Make a club grounded in ethnic hatred
- Create a Looking for Group that negatively calls out another player
- Post insults in another player’s activity feed
- Respond to someone’s smack talk with sexual slurs
III. Turn that spam into substance
It’s great to be excited about growing your popularity and sharing all the cool things you do with Xbox. The best way to do that is by producing amazing content—not through give-aways, asking for likes and followers, or other inauthentic behaviour. The best way to gain a following is by being yourself and creating awesome content that’s uniquely yours. Remember, creativity powers community.
- Offer prizes in exchange for follows
- Use giveaways to increase likes on activity feed posts
- Ask or demand that someone “add” or “follow” you or another player
- Repetitively message other players without their consent
- Repeatedly share the same screenshot in clubs
- Send repeated game invites to players who haven’t shown an interest in joining
IV. Keep your content clean
People enjoy all shapes and styles of content with Xbox. Everyone’s tastes are different, and that’s great! However, that doesn’t mean that absolutely anything goes. To keep the Xbox community welcoming and inclusive for everyone, some content must be avoided.
Support a welcoming and inclusive community
Harassment and hate take many forms, but none have a home here. To make the Xbox community a place where everyone can hang out, and to prevent people from feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome, we all need to be stewards. This means more than just not harassing other players—it means embracing them. It means saving those unsavoury jokes for people you know will enjoy them. It means taking particular care of others while you play, keeping in mind how they might interpret your content.
- Make fun of other people’s identities or personal traits
- Send harassing or abusive messages
- Use a club to shame other players or groups
- Start a broadcast in order to troll someone
- Flood voice chat with music during a multiplayer match
- Post game clips that will offend many others
Know the difference between trash talk and harassment
We get it—gaming can be competitive and interactions with other players can get heated. A little trash talk is an expected part of competitive multiplayer action, and that’s not a bad thing. But hate has no place here, and what’s not okay is when that trash talk turns into harassment.
Trash talk includes any light-hearted banter or bragging that focuses on the game at hand and encourages healthy competition. Harassment includes any negative behaviour that’s personalised, disruptive, or likely to make someone feel unwelcome or unsafe. To qualify as harassment, the behaviour doesn’t have to be drawn-out or persistent. Even a single abusive message could harm someone’s experience. Know when to draw the line, when to back off. Know and respect the other player.
Trash talk does not include any threats, real-life intimidation, personal insults based on sexual orientation, age, appearances, gender, religion, cultural beliefs, ethnicity, race, disability, etc.
Acceptable trash talk includes:
- Get destroyed. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.
- That was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked.
- Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. Try again, kid.
- Cheap win. Come at me when you can actually drive without running cars off the road.
- That sucked. Get good and then come back when your k/d’s over 1.
Going too far looks like:
- Get <sexual threat>. Can’t believe you thought you were on my level.
- Hey <profanity>, that was some serious potato aim. Get wrecked, trash.
- Only reason you went positive was you spent all game camping. KYS, kid.
- Cheap win. Totally expected from a <racial slur>.
- You suck. Get out of my country—maybe they’ll let you back in when your k/d’s over 1.
For more information on how to spot and report harassment, visit Protecting players from harassment.
Be yourself, but not at the expense of others
The Xbox community is yours, but it’s everyone else’s too. We encourage showing off what makes you unique and awesome, but it’s not cool to post something that keeps others from having positive experiences. We aspire to a community where gaming can be enjoyed by all. Problematic content just gets in the way. If you’re looking for a place on the internet to be overly edgy or get that rise out of people, Xbox isn’t the place for you.
- Upload a gamerpic that shows real-life graphic violence
- Make provocative religious comments in your profile
- Name a club after a highly controversial figure
- Send someone a picture that’s meant to shock or disgust
- Use Xbox as a platform for discussing politics
- Use Xbox as a platform for discussing religion
- Upload a club profile pic that’s similar to imagery used by hate groups
Make stuff that’s suitable for all audiences
People from all over the world play with Xbox, and we understand that people from different backgrounds have diverse perspectives about mature and adult topics. But because the Xbox community must be friendly and accessible to everyone, this isn't the appropriate place for sexual content. Keep your public posts and messages suitable for all ages and audiences.
- Share or distribute screenshots or game clips that include mature sexual content
- Use a custom gamerpic that contains nudity
- Send lewd messages to other players
- Share pictures that may be considered distasteful or inappropriate
They’ll see what you did there
Sometimes something seemingly harmless can actually reference something inappropriate, when looked at a certain way. Everyone appreciates a good joke, but if your content is designed to trick others into thinking they’re reading or seeing something inappropriate, we’ll have to treat it that way.
- Frame a custom gamerpic to make it look like something inappropriate
- Choose a gamertag that includes an inappropriate play on words
- Use double entendres or phrases with inappropriate dual meanings in your profile
V. Fraud benefits no-one
Fraud is any attempt to use deceit or misrepresentation for personal or financial gain. When players commit fraud against Xbox, it circumvents the processes that keep things fair for everyone, and ends up making games, add-ons and subscriptions more expensive for everyone. This also applies to trying to make money through Xbox in unapproved ways, since doing so bypasses safeguards that exist to help keep everyone safe and financially secure.
- Give another person access to your Microsoft account
- Sell or attempt to sell your gamertag or account to someone else
- Sell in-game content outside of official in-game mechanisms and stores
- Trade game lessons for Xbox gift cards or other compensation
- Buy a game from an unauthorised seller
- Share ways to fraudulently get Xbox Live Gold subscription codes for free
- Try to get out-of-policy refunds or compensation from Xbox support
- Give other players the impression that you’re a Microsoft employee
- Pretend to be an employee of a game developer
- Intentionally represent yourself as a player other than yourself to cause drama
- Charge another player to help them complete a level in a game
VI. Where there are limits, there’s a reason
It’s never fun to lose access to Xbox features, but know that when we put restrictions in place, we do so to help ensure everyone’s safety or improve an experience for the community. Attempting to circumvent restrictions can affect both customer privacy and the integrity of Microsoft or partner services. For the safety of all, it’s important to respect deliberate limitations.
- Create alternate Microsoft accounts to circumvent a suspension or restriction
- Use other accounts to continue communicating with a player who blocked you
- Try to circumvent regional content restrictions
- Resell or redistribute any part of Xbox services
VII. Harmful behaviour has no place on Xbox
Cheating, tampering, and the use of exploits
Since competition is best when it’s fair, a level playing field is one of the most important requirements for gaming. When people cheat, use exploits, or otherwise tamper with hardware or software to gain a competitive advantage, it ruins the experience for everyone. Because of this, cheating, tampering and the use of exploits is never acceptable in the Xbox community. Like, never.
- Use “mods” in games that do not allow modded content
- Use a glitch that lets you use your character outside of a multiplayer map
- Use specialised software to gain unfair advantage over other players
- Use Xbox services with modified or tampered hardware
- Manipulate game stats to gain a competitive advantage against other players
- Use multiple profiles to unfairly manipulate your multiplayer rank
- Try to circumvent in-game economies through “money drop lobbies”
- Use unauthorised hardware or accessories
- Use exploits to “duplicate” in-game items
- Intentionally play with or support someone who uses harmful or inappropriate mods
- Intentionally “teamkill” other players
For more information on how to recognise and report cheating, visit Protecting the Xbox network from cheating.
Piracy and unauthorised use
Pirating software is not a victimless crime—it robs game providers of revenue that funds games and add-ons that people want to play. Accessing or using content in inappropriate ways can contribute to fraud and spoil great experiences for other players, sapping the magic of Xbox. By using games and game content only in the ways intended, you help maintain a vibrant community for content creators and fellow players alike.
- Play a pirated game
- Play a game before its release date
- Share your profile with another person
- Try to access accounts you don’t own
- Use someone’s intellectual property in a way that’s not permitted
- Share content covered under a non-disclosure agreement that you’ve signed
Damaging Microsoft, Xbox, or its customers
Manipulation, exploitation and abuse of Xbox services doesn’t just affect Microsoft. These actions also inhibit the ability of Microsoft to provide the best possible services to customers around the world. At Xbox, we’re dedicated to the safety and well-being of our community, and we’re committed to ensuring that the products, features and services our customers enjoy are safe, secure and fun for everyone.
- Share tutorials showing how to financially exploit Xbox
- Share links to malware
- Interfere with someone’s ability to access their network or device
- Take any part in DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks
- Share confidential content during a game’s alpha or beta test
- Abuse Microsoft or Xbox staff (verbally or in text)
- Try to reverse-engineer or manipulate Xbox services
- Encourage terrorism (as by posting instructions for making bombs or other weapons)
VIII. Respect the rights of others
Essentially, this means don’t use things that don’t belong to you and don’t do things you don’t have permission to do. People work hard to make screen shots, game clips and other content that’s enjoyed by millions of people. It’s important to let content creators unveil and share what they create on their terms. If you’re not sure if it’s okay to use something, it’s better to be safe and assume that using someone’s content is not okay.
- Use someone’s intellectual property in an unauthorised way
- Access or try to access profiles you don’t own
- Use copyrighted logos or other material that you don’t have permission to use
- Disclose the surprise ending to a new game
- Leak game content before an important announcement
IX. Always respect the privacy of others
Microsoft runs on trust, and it’s critical that we protect the privacy of our customers. We take this responsibility seriously, and we won’t tolerate behaviour or content that puts the privacy or security of another player at risk.
- Share your profile with someone else
- Use someone else’s credit cards without their permission
- Share information about another player more broadly than they’ve agreed to
- Post private information about another player (engage in doxing)
- Use someone else’s profile to buy things for yourself
X. Be a force for good, even when others aren’t
Sometimes, helping others break rules is just as harmful as breaking rules yourself. If you know that someone is engaging in behaviour or dispersing content that violates these community standards, let them know that their behaviour is not okay, and caution them rather than help them walk the road they’re on.
For more information, review our Xbox Transparency Report.
- Create clubs to help people get harmful or inappropriate mods from other players
- Make Looking for Groups announcing that players have profiles for sale
- Participate in communities focused on cheating and fraudulent exploits
- Share links to websites that promote activities that break the rules
- Co-host or route players to a modded multiplayer lobby that provides an unfair gameplay advantage
Our priority is the safety of everyone in the Xbox community. Content and behaviour that puts players at risk or makes them feel unwelcome has no place here. So, sometimes we need to step in. We're not out to punish, but rather to protect everyone's experience.
Every suspension or other corrective action aims only to show what was wrong and what can be learned from a situation. When suspensions end, we welcome players back so they can contribute to the Xbox community in positive ways. We know people make mistakes, and we believe lapses in judgement can be significant opportunities for growth.
If you violate Xbox community standards, you may find restrictions placed on your profile and/or device. When we suspend an Xbox profile, we restrict access to features that are most closely associated with the problematic behaviour. Most commonly, this means a temporary suspension that removes one or more features for a period of time. Temporary suspensions can include:
- Restrictions on the use of online multiplayer gaming
- Removal of the ability to send text and voice messages
- Blocking real-time voice and text communications
- Restrictions on the use of parties and clubs
Since Xbox content must be appropriate for all audiences, sometimes we remove content to protect our customers. Depending on the type of content violation, this can result in us restricting certain features for the profile that created or shared the content. Temporary suspensions can include:
- Blocks on the ability to upload game clips and screenshots
- Removal of inappropriate content from Xbox
- Automatic assignment of a new gamertag
- Limits on the ability to share Xbox content on other social networks
- Removal of the ability to edit your Xbox profile or clubs
Repeat or severe offences
We may permanently suspend a profile or device if we can no longer trust it due to a severe violation, or if our attempts to correct repeated negative behaviours are unsuccessful. Under permanent suspension, the owner of the suspended profile forfeits all licences for games and other content, Xbox subscriptions membership time and Microsoft account balances.
If you experience or witness inappropriate content and/or behaviour, we encourage you to block and mute the content and also to report the player(s) acting inappropriately and/or the piece of content itself. If you report something, Xbox will conduct a review and may issue an enforcement only on the reported item, so ensure you are reporting on the right category (for example, reporting a player’s gamertag triggers a gamertag review only).
Last updated: 15/03/2023
We may update these terms at any time. When we post changes to these terms, we will revise the "last updated" date.