Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


10 Things That Still Annoy Us About Xbox One

by Brian Shea on Jan 29, 2016 at 10:53 AM

When Xbox One launched in 2013, the operating system was a bit of a mess. Technical issues and user interface problems pervaded the system, and the force-fed Kinect integration did little to alleviate problems and win fans. Late last year, Xbox One received the New Xbox One Experience, which fixed various issues and softened others.

However, despite this update, several issues persist. Several of these problems are easily preventable through disabling features, but doing so often causes the system’s functionality to be less convenient and not the way it’s meant to be used. Check out the issues that are still annoying us with the Xbox One, then come back next week to see a similar list where we air our grievances with the PlayStation 4.

Partying Up

The Xbox 360 nailed the party system for consoles. You could easily join a party with friends and then hop into a match together. The Xbox One took a major step back in this department. In addition to the invite system not being fluid and it being unnecessarily difficult to join a party, once you’re in a party, it can be tough to get your party into the game. Even once you assemble your friends in the party, it’s not uncommon to have issues with getting the chat to work. It should be as simple as joining a party, having chat work, and then being able to invite that entire party to the game. Though it’s much better than when the system launched, Xbox One still has a lot learn from its predecessor when it comes to parties.

Resuming From Sleep

One major feature that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 tout is the ability to sleep instead of turning fully off. This allows for games and updates to install as needed and for quick boot-up of the system once you’re ready to play. Unfortunately for Xbox One, resuming from sleep can cause problems with some games and apps. From Netflix refusing to start-up properly to audio skipping in The Witcher 3 and Guitar Hero Live, players are often required to hard reset the system sometimes when resuming from sleep. The option exists to make it so it always turns completely off, but that’s an even bigger hassle, as you then have to install any new updates that have come through for the system or the game you want to play.

Long Sign-In Time

With the Xbox One being so user account-driven, it’s important to be able to pop into your account with relative ease. Signing in can sometimes take an exorbitant amount of time. There are even some cases where the sign-in process can error out, causing players to have to start the process all over again. The trick is – much like the issues stemming from resuming from sleep – it doesn’t happen every time, nor does it happen for every user.

Controller Connectivity

Nothing is more frustrating than when your controller dies in the middle of an exciting moment. You can monitor your battery life and even get alerts for when your battery is low to prevent that from happening. What you can’t prevent, however, is a random disconnection of the controller from the Xbox One. For some, this issue happens somewhat regularly. The controller drops its connection from the system, only to reestablish connection a few seconds later. It’s not like it becomes desynced altogether, but it’s enough to throw any game you’re playing to a screeching halt as an error message pops up telling you to reconnect your controller.

Menu Lag

Tapping the Xbox button on your controller twice in rapid succession brings up a menu on the left side of your screen. This is a new feature to the New Xbox One Experience, and it dramatically streamlines the experience of hopping from your game to your friends list, your party, or even your settings. You can also choose to record and snap a screenshot from this screen, or access any number of snappable apps through an extra level of the menu. Accessing the main level of the menu can lag quite a bit, but accessing the second layer of the menu to see the snappable apps likely makes you think your Xbox has completely frozen before it finally becomes responsive again. The lag also rears its ugly head when you jump from the game to the home screen with a single push of the home button, but it’s not nearly as bad as what presents itself with the left side menu.

On the next page, we look at more software issues and bring up a few problems that extend beyond the software.

Sensitive Touch Buttons

This is something that began with later models of the Xbox 360 and was carried into this generation for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Rather than using tactile buttons, Xbox One uses touch buttons for both power and disc ejection. This can be annoying, as something as common as dusting your T.V. stand or as rare as rearranging your entertainment configuration almost always leads to an inadvertent pressing. It’s also quite common for pets to hit these buttons with their noses. If Microsoft decided to go with tactile buttons on a future model, there’s little that would be lost in terms of aesthetics or functionality.

When It Turns Off It Takes Everything With It

A leftover from the Kinect-reliant days of Xbox One, you are able to sync the system with your television and sound system. This works great for when you just want to walk into a room, press one button, and have all of your entertainment components kick on simultaneously. Turning the Xbox One off has the same effect, which can be slightly more problematic if you just wanted to turn off the Xbox and do other things with your television or sound system. This can also become an issue if you have this feature enabled on your Xbox One, and have the Xbox One set to drop into sleep mode after a certain period of inactivity. You could take a break from playing Xbox One to watch some TV, but eventually your Xbox slips into sleep mode, taking your TV and sound system with it.

Can’t Purchase Backward Compatible 360 Games From Xbox One

One big advantage Microsoft has over Sony at the moment is that some games you already own on Xbox 360 can now be played on Xbox One free of charge. Xbox 360 titles included in the Games with Gold program are also now selected with the consideration of backward compatibility. So why can’t Xbox One owners purchase and download compatible Xbox 360 games from their Xbox Ones? You can already choose to “purchase” the Games with Gold for Xbox One on Xbox 360, so why not do it the other way around for those who ditched their 360s in favor of the newer technology? It seems like a no-brainer for Xbox to make this happen as it continues to emphasize its big legacy advantage over Sony.

Achievement Sorting

Xbox Live’s achievements are a fun way to figure out milestones you still have to reach within a game. The achievements app was meant to make the process of browsing achievements easier, but it has so many problems that it’s actually less intuitive than it was before. If you’re in a game or app, you can only access the achievements for that piece of software. This is true whether you’re using the snap or full screen version of the app. Even if you exit the game or app, the achievements app defaults to the last piece of software to use, with no readily apparent way to back out to the menu of all of the games you’ve played. If you want to view the achievements for a different game, you need to actually start that game up in order to get the app to make the change. It’s an unnecessarily complicated and time consuming process for something that should be an extremely fast and easy thing to do.

Auto Sign-Out

This is an issue that has the potential to affect anyone who has signed into their account on another Xbox. Whether it’s that person’s Kinect confusing your friend for you and signing you out as it signs you into his or her account, or your Xbox kicking you off of a friend’s Xbox because your home Xbox decided to kick on from sleep to install an update that requires signing in, it’s annoying. It can be more than annoying, however, as getting signed out in the middle of gameplay can even spell lost progress. This is preventable, as you can set how you get signed in to the Xboxes that your account exists on, but if you’re trying to experience Xbox One the way it’s meant to be experienced, those options should be turned on.

Do you experience these issues on your own Xbox? Do you have any others you'd add to the list? Let us know in the comments section!