Trending March 2024 # How To Change Your Xbox Gamertag Via Pc Xbox App, Online, Or Gaming Console # Suggested April 2024 # Top 11 Popular

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There are multiple ways via which Xbox users can change their Xbox Gamertag. The feature is not just limited to so the console, even users who do not own a console can change Xbox gamertag without Xbox. The most preferred way to do so is to simply use a web browser on a Windows PC.

Gamertags, if you are not aware is your alter ego in the Xbox world. It’s made from an alias, optional avatar or picture (called a Gamerpic), and a bit of info to represent you when you’re playing games and sharing with other people in the Xbox community.

Can you change your Xbox gamertag for free?

Often, we like changing gamertag to suit our mood but what restrains our urge from doing so is the fear of losing our Gamerscore, Achievements, or even Friends list. Not anymore!

If your gamertag was created for you when you initially signed up for Xbox (Not the one selected by you), you can change it one time for free. Additional Xbox gamertag changes cost extra.

Let us see the method of changing the gamertag via Xbox app on Windows 10.

How can you change your Xbox gamertag?

Xbox Gamertag is your alter ego in the Xbox world. It’s made from an alias, optional avatar, or picture (called a Gamerpic). Basically, it represents the info you choose to show or share with other people in the Xbox community while playing games. There are multiple ways you can use to change the Gamertag. These include,

Xbox app on a Windows PC.

Changing Gamertag online.

Using Xbox Series X/S gaming console.

Using Xbox 360 gaming console.

Converting your offline profile into a gamertag.

All your Gamerscore, Achievements, and Friends list are kept intact. So, there’s no fear of losing them.

How to change Xbox Gamertag using Xbox app on Windows PC

Launch the Xbox app in Windows 10

Sign in using the Microsoft account email address and password associated with your gamertag.

In the upper-left corner of the app’s home screen, find your gamerpic and select it.

Next, In the banner at the top of the profile screen, chose Customize option

Thereafter, hit the ‘Change gamertag’ tag.

Enter text for your preferred gamertag, and then select Check availability.

If available, select the desired gamertag and hit the Change gamertag button to claim it.

Once done and confirmed, the change will be reflected across Xbox and it will also be visible to your friends. No need to inform them about this.

2] Change Xbox Gamertag online

Go to the Xbox social webpage, and sign in with the Microsoft account email address and password associated with your gamertag.

Enter the new gamertag you want in the text box and select Check availability. Note, the selected name can be up to 12 characters long, including spaces. It shouldn’t start with a number.

If you get a ‘That name isn’t available. Try a different one’ message, it means you’ll need to choose a different name.

Then, on the next page, review how the gamertag will look across Xbox services.

If the selected gamertag is already being used, you can still use a version of it with a suffix that includes the # symbol and a unique set of numbers. Microsoft allows this to enable gaming enthusiasts to use their desired gamertag while still having a unique identifier.

3] Change Xbox Gamertag using Xbox Series X/S gaming console

Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.

Choose Profile & system tab and then select your gamertag.

Under Choose your new gamertag title, enter the new gamertag you want in the available text box and select Check availability option.

On the next page, review how the gamertag will look across Xbox services.

If you’re satisfied with your new gamertag, select Change gamertag.

4] Change Xbox Gamertag using Xbox 360 gaming console

On your Xbox 360 console, go to Social, and then select Sign In or Sign Out.

Next, choose your profile to sign in.

Then, scroll right to Settings and choose the Profile tab.

Choose a new gamertag and then hit the Done button to save the changes. If the gamertag you entered is already taken, you’ll be prompted to try another gamertag.

After you enter or select a new gamertag, hit the Yes, use this gamertag link.

5] Change Xbox Gamertag by converting your offline profile into a gamertag

Before you proceed with this method, make sure you have a Microsoft account available that’s not currently associated with another gamertag. Also, when you follow the steps in this method, the gamerscore from your offline profile transfers to your Xbox profile.

Now, to convert your offline profile into a gamertag, sign in to the profile that you want to convert from an offline profile to a gamertag.

Press the Guide button on your controller to bring up the mini-guide.

Then, head to Settings and choose Profile.

Here, select Join Xbox Live.

Enter your first name, alongside your Microsoft account details (email ID and Password)

Verify the information and current privacy settings.

Review the Microsoft Services Agreement, and then, hit the I accept button.

Can you have a 3 letter Xbox gamertag?

Although you can have any 3 letter gamertag you want, you will get # and numbers against it, if it is already taken.

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Xbox Project Scarlett Console Questions And Answers

Microsoft revealed the next generation of Xbox, codenamed “Project Scarlett,” at E3 2023, and even though, the company didn’t dive deep into every single detail, we now know a lot more information about the hardware, capability, support, and release date.

Xbox Project Scarlett Q&A

When Project Scarlett will launch? According to the company, Project Scarlett will launch in the fall of 2023 alongside Halo Infinite game.

How many variants of Project Scarlett will be availble? Although the company hasn’t disclose this information, the rumor has it that Project Scarlett will have two models, including Anaconda and Lockhart. Anaconda is the current name for the higher-end model, which is expected to replace the Xbox One X. Then there is the lower-end Lockhart model, which is expected to replace Xbox One S.

Correction: According to chúng tôi Microsoft is only planning to launch one new Xbox console under Project Scarlett that will focus in high-end gaming.

What’s Project Scarlett tech specs? Xbox Project Scarlett will use a custom-designed 7nm processor from AMD using the new Zen 2 architecture and Radeon RDNA graphics, and it’ll use super-fast GDDR6 memory.

How much faster will the new Xbox console will be? Microsoft claims that Project Scarlett will be as much as four times more powerful than the current Xbox One X.

Will Project Scarlett use an SSD instead of HDD? Yes, the next generation of Xbox console will ditch the traditional rotating platters hard drive for a Solid-State Drive (SSD) storage.

For Project Scarlett, Microsoft is creating a new SSD technology to boost performance by approximately 40 times. As a result, the new console will significantly reduce the load times to almost none.

The new SSD is so fast that the console will also be using it as virtual RAM.

Will the new Xbox console have a disc drive? Although Microsoft is already building a console without disc drive (Xbox One S All-Digital Edition), Project Scarlett will include a disc drive.

However, this doesn’t say that Microsoft doesn’t plan to release another console based on the Project Scarlett characteristic, but without an optical media.

Will I be able to play Xbox One games in the new console? Yes, Project Scarlett will be backwards compatible, which means that all the Xbox One games that you play today will run on the new console.

Does Project Scarlett support 8K gaming? Yes, Project Scarlett will include hardware capable of delivering 8K gaming. However, it’ll be up to the developers to build this support into their games. As a result, you can expect to see game studios targeting all sorts of resolutions, including 1080p, 4K, and 8K.  

Will Project Scarlett support ray tracing? Yes, the next Xbox console launching in 2023 will include graphics processor capable of ray tracing.

Ray tracing is a technique new on gaming, but it’s been around in filmmaking for a long time, which renders lighting in real-time as it bounces out to create a reflection of the element in a particular scene. In other words, it’s a new technology that mimics a more realistic physical behavior of the light.

Will the new console offer 120fps gaming experience? Yes, starting with the Project Scarlett console, you’ll be able to play games with up to 120fps (frames per second). However, the game and the television set also need to be designed to deliver the frame rate.

Will Project Scarlett support variable refresh rate? Yes, Microsoft is focusing on delivering a new console with the latest bells and whistles, including ray-tracing, 120fps, and variable refresh rate, a technology that helps to reduce stuttering and tearing while playing games.

Windows 10 includes variable refresh rate support since the May 2023 Update.

Will Xbox One S and Xbox One X be supported after Project Scarlett releases? Yes, according to Xbox’s Phil Spencer, older versions of Xbox will be supported as long as there are enough people using them.

Will Project Scarlett support existing Xbox accessories? Yes, Microsoft is planning to support existing Xbox One games as well as the controllers and accessories.

Xbox Error 80151006, Sorry, This Profile Can’t Connect To Xbox Live On This Console

Some Xbox gamers are reporting the issue whereby they get the error message Sorry, this profile can’t connect to Xbox Live on this console, Error Code 80151006 when trying to play ceratin games on their Xbox console. This post identifies the potential culprits, as well as provide the most suitable solutions affected gamers can apply to successfully resolve the issue.

Account Info

Sorry, this profile can’t connect to Xbox Live on this console. Please download it again.

Code: 80151006

The following are the most likely culprits to this error;

Xbox Live Core Service issue.

Glitched Temp data.

Corrupted Local 360 Storage folder.

Xbox profile stuck in the middle of the signing process.

OS corruption.

Xbox Error 80151006, Sorry, this profile can’t connect to Xbox Live on this console

If you are getting the error message Sorry, this profile can’t connect to Xbox Live on this console, Error Code 80151006 on your Xbox console, you can try our recommended solutions below in no particular order to fix the error on your gaming device.

Power-cycle your Xbox console

Check Xbox server status

Clear local Xbox 360 storage (for Xbox One)

Remove and re-add Xbox profile

Reset Xbox console

Let’s take a look at the description of the process involved concerning each of the listed solutions.

1] Power-cycle your Xbox console

You can begin troubleshooting to fix the error message Sorry, this profile can’t connect to Xbox Live on this console by power-cycling your Xbox console.

Do the following:

Press and hold the Xbox button on the front of the console for approximately 10 seconds to turn off your console.

Unplug your Xbox from the mains.

Wait at least 30-60 seconds.

Once the time elapses, plug your Xbox back into the power outlet.

Now, press the Xbox button on the console or the Xbox button on your controller to turn your console back on.

In the case, you don’t see the green boot-up animation when the console restarts, you can repeat these steps and make sure that you hold the power button until the console completely shuts down.

Try the next solution if the error persists.

2] Check Xbox server status

You may encounter the issue in view due to a temporary problem with the Xbox Live servers, preventing you from playing backward compatible games – this is typically due to there’s a scheduled maintenance period or there’s some kind of unexpected outage issue caused by a DDoS attack or an unexpected problem with the servers in your area/region.

Basically, if the core services are down, your game ownership will not be validated, so you will not be able to play the backward-compatible game. In this case, you can check the Xbox Live status at chúng tôi and verify if any core services are currently not operational or are functioning with limited capabilities. If all services are up and running, you can try playing the game again. On the other hand, if the servers are down, there isn’t much else you can do other than wait for Microsoft’s engineers to fix the problem – and keep checking the Xbox Status page regularly until you see the server is back online and all services are running.

3] Clear local Xbox 360 storage (for Xbox One)

The error in view can also occur due to some kind of file corruption inside your Local360 Storage folder. This is a hidden folder and can be accessed after you try to launch the backward-compatible game on your Xbox One.

To delete the local Xbox 360 storage on your Xbox One console, do the following:

Press the Xbox button to open the guide.

In System Storage menu, select the Clear local Xbox 360 Storage option.

Follow the prompts to complete the procedure.

Restart console when done.

After the console reboots, you can try to play the backward-compatible game again and see if the issue is now resolved. Otherwise, try the next solution.

4] Remove and re-add Xbox profile

If there are inconsistencies with the Xbox profile that you’re currently signed in with, you are likely to encounter the issue in hand. In this case, to resolve the issue, you can remove and then redownload and re-add your gamertag/Xbox profile on your gaming device.

Do the following:

Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.

Under Account, select Remove accounts.

Select the account that you want to remove.

Select Remove to confirm.

Select Close when done.

You have now successfully removed the Xbox profile on your gaming device. To now redownload and re-add your profile, do the following:

Press the Xbox button on your controller again.

Select Add new in Profile & system.

Note: You won’t be creating a new account when you select this option. You’re just adding your existing profile to the Xbox console.

Type the email address or phone number you use to sign in to your Microsoft account.

Enter your password.

If you’ve forgotten it, select I forgot my password, and then follow the instructions to recover your account

Review the privacy statement summary, and then select Next.

Select your Sign-in and security preferences.

Check out how you look on Xbox, and then select Next.

Choose your color, and then select Next.

Note: The preference that you’re currently using at home appears with a checked box.

Press the Xbox button on your controller to return to the Home screen.

Scroll left from Home, find and select your gamertag, and then select Sign in.

Now, launch the backward-compatible game once again and see if the issue persists. If so, try the next solution.

Go to My games & apps.

Select See all.

If the game is listed, your game has successfully been upgraded to the best available version. If the optimized version has been released but your game has not been upgraded yet, do the following:

The game may be waiting as an available update, which can happen if you don’t have the auto-update games setting enabled on your console.

To find out if the games you own are backward compatible, you can check your game library by following these steps:

Then filter on All console types.

Select Xbox 360 & Xbox games or Xbox One games.

6] Reset Xbox console

At this point, if nothing has worked for you in resolving the issue in hand, you can reset your Xbox console – make sure to select the Reset and keep my games & apps option when performing the reset procedure.

Hope this helps!

Related post: Error Code 0x8007045D, Xbox Live profiles can’t be downloaded on your Windows PC or Xbox console

Why does it say my profile cannot play on Xbox Live?

You may receive this message if you do not have an active Xbox Live Gold account, which is required to play multiplayer games online – sign up for an Xbox Live Gold account. If your Xbox Live Gold account expired, you can renew the subscription.

How do you get Xbox Live Gold for free?

Once you earn 7000 points through searches, challenges, and rewards, you can use them to purchase a month of Xbox LIVE. Just go to the Xbox LIVE membership reward page – this is where you’ll claim your free month of Xbox LIVE.

How do I get my 14 day free trial on Xbox Live?

To get your 14-day free trial on Xbox Live, follow these steps:

After you create a Microsoft account, sign into the Subscription page.

Select Gold – 1 Month FREE Trial.

Follow the prompts to complete the signup process.

Do 12 month Xbox Live codes still work?

Microsoft removed its 12-month Xbox Live Gold memberships online back in July 2023. You can convert your existing Xbox Live Gold membership to the same period of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate through a current promotion. The $1 Xbox Live Gold subscription unlocks online multiplayer, free games, and more – with a one-month membership. A month of Xbox Game Pass is also available for $1.

How To Use Discord On Your Xbox

Don’t want to use built-in voice chat on your Xbox One or next-gen Xbox? You can use Discord voice chat instead. In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Discord on Xbox, with several ways to connect your Discord and Xbox accounts, as well as how to get started using Discord on Xbox.

Enable Remote Features

The first step is to enable remote features so you can use Discord on Xbox. Here’s how to do that:

Table of Contents

Press the

Xbox button

on your controller.

Check the

Enable Remote Features





Power Options

. This is extremely important, as remote play won’t work unless your Xbox power mode is set to Sleep.

Your console will now test your setup.

How to Link Your Xbox and Discord Accounts

In order to use Discord on Xbox, you first need to link your Xbox and Discord accounts. There are a number of different ways to connect your accounts, on desktop or via mobile. Since you’ll need the Discord app later for voice chat on your console, we’ll start with how to link your accounts via mobile.

First, you’ll need to download the Discord and Xbox apps from the Play Store and sign into both apps.

How to Connect to Your Xbox From the Discord App

Open the Discord app.

Tap your

profile icon

at the bottom right.



to see a list of your linked accounts.



at the top right of your screen.

Scroll down and tap the

Xbox button


On the “Let this app access your info?” screen, tap



Note: If you’re not signed into the Xbox app, you’ll see a prompt to enter your username and password.

You’ll then see a screen that says “Xbox wants to access your Discord account” — tap

Authorize and continue


Your accounts are now connected!

How to Connect Your Discord Account Using the Xbox App

Open the Xbox app.

Tap your

profile icon

at the bottom right.



, tap

Linked Accounts








On the “Xbox wants to access your Discord account” screen, tap



Your accounts are now linked.

Connecting Your Discord Account on Desktop

You can use the Discord desktop app, the Xbox app for Windows, or the Xbox Game Bar to connect your account to your console on desktop.

How to




our Discord




sing the Discord Windows



Download and install the Discord app on your computer.

Open the app and log in to your account with your username and password or by scanning the QR code with your phone.

Next to your profile icon at the bottom left, select

User Settings






Add accounts to your profile

, select

View More

and choose the

Xbox icon

, then follow the on-screen prompts.

You’ll be prompted to sign into your Xbox account, if you’re not already signed in.

When you reach the “Let this app access your info?” screen, select



You can now use Discord on Xbox.

Connecting Your Discord Account Using the Xbox App for Windows

Download and install the Xbox app on your computer.

Press the


button on your PC.



from the list to launch the app.

Select your

profile icon

at the top right, then choose





next to Discord.

Follow the prompts to connect your account.

Your accounts are now linked, so you can start using Discord on Xbox.

Connecting Your Discord Account Using The Xbox Game Bar

To connect your account using the Xbox Game Bar, just follow the below steps:

Press the

Windows button



to open the Game Bar.

Next to Discord, select



Follow the on-screen prompts to link your account.

How to connect your Discord account using your Xbox console

The final way to link your Discord account to your Xbox is to do it directly from your console.

Press the

Xbox button

on your controller.


Linked social accounts




under the


tile and follow the on-screen instructions to link your account.

How to Use Discord Voice Chat

Now you’ve connected your Discord account to your Xbox using your preferred method, let’s take a look at how to use Discord voice chat on your console. There are several ways to do this, including directly from your Xbox console or from your phone.

How to join a Discord voice chat channel on your phone

First, open the Discord app on your phone.

Tap the voice chat channel you’d like to connect to.

At the bottom of the screen, tap

Try voice chat on console!

Tap J

oin on Xbox

. Make sure you don’t tap

Join Voice

or you’ll connect via your phone.

This will open the Xbox app.


Transfer voice

and you’re ready to start chatting.

How to join a Discord voice chat channel on your console

Press the Xbox button on your controller.

Select the Discord server you’d like to join from the list and press


. Or you might want to make a Discord server so you can invite your friends.

Choose the Discord voice channel to join from the Voice Channels List, then press


to join.

Note: You’ll only see servers listed that you have already joined. You can join a Discord server from the mobile or desktop app (and you’ll need an invite to do so). Getting an Invite Invalid error? Check out our guide to why your Discord invites aren’t working.

Leaving a Discord Channel

If you need to leave a channel for any reason, it’s easy to do so.

Press the

Xbox button

on your controller.




As you can see, it’s pretty simple to set up Discord on your Xbox, and there are a few different ways to do it. Pick the method that works best for you, whether that’s using the Discord app on your mobile device or via the Xbox Windows app, and you’ll be ready to chat in-game with your friends in no time at all.

How To Play Xbox On Iphone

The new Xbox app for iOS and iPadOS devices is here and it now allows you to stream games on the same network directly from your console. This has been a much-requested feature since game streaming was announced by Microsoft back in 2023. After numerous beta tests and negotiations with Apple, the company has finally managed to release the app for all iOS devices.

This new Xbox app is not to be confused with Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service that uses dedicated servers instead of your local Xbox console to stream games. xCloud is still very much in production, and if reports are to be believed, then Apple’s restrictions will force Microsoft to put out dedicated apps for each game that they wish to introduce with xCloud. This will end up not only being cumbersome for Microsoft but also for users that you wish to use xCloud on iOS and iPadOS devices.

For now, you can make full use of the new Xbox app and stream your entire game library from the cloud in your entire home. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.

1. Things you will need

An iOS or iPadOS device running iOS 14 or later

The latest Xbox app — Download Link

An Xbox Series X, an Xbox Series S, an Xbox One, an Xbox One X, or the Xbox One S

The same Bluetooth Xbox controller paired to your console and iOS/iPadOS device

2. Enable Remote features on your Xbox

Power on your Xbox and press the Xbox button when you are on the home screen.

Now use the shoulder buttons to navigate to the ‘Profile’ tab.

Select ‘Settings’ to access your console settings.

Select ‘Remote features’ in the right tab.

Now check the box for ‘Enable Remote features’ at the bottom of your screen.

Select ‘Test Remote Play’.

Xbox will now test your network and show you a report after the test is complete. This will help you determine if your Xbox is ready for the remote play functionality.

If there are any issues faced during the test or if you are using a 2.4GHz network then we recommend you make the necessary changes before proceeding with the next guide.

Once your Xbox is tested and ready for remote play, simply follow the guide below to set up your device.

3. How to play Xbox on your iOS device

Start by downloading and installing the new Xbox app on your iOS or iPadOS device using the link above.

Once installed, launch the app and tap on ‘Sign in’.

Now sign in to the app using your Xbox account credentials.

When you are signed in, you will be taken back to the welcome screen. Now tap on ‘Set Up Console’ at the bottom of your screen.

Make sure the device is connected to the same network as your Xbox (this is not necessary but recommended for an easy pairing process for the first time). Once you tap ‘Set Up Console’ your TV should display a 6 or 12 digit code.

Note: If your console does not power on and display the code automatically, power it on manually and try the steps again. You should be able to get a code by manually turning on your console. Additionally, if your Xbox can link with your account in the cloud then it might skip this step for you.

Once you enter the code, your Xbox will be connected to the Xbox app on your iOS device and you will be taken to the home screen where you should be able to view your entire game library currently stored on your console. When you are on the home screen, tap on the ‘My Library’ icon as shown below.

Your console should show up here under the Consoles tab. It will also display your console’s storage space as well as its current state. If your console does not appear in this section then you might want to try the pairing process again by tapping on ‘Set up console’ again. Additionally, if everything has been set up correctly then you should recheck if remote play features have been enabled for your Xbox and then restart the console.

In the My Library tab under the Consoles section tap on your console.

This will bring up a sub-menu at the bottom of your screen. Tap on ‘Remote play on this device’.

The device will now switch to landscape mode and display a spaceship animation. This is meant to signify the connection process.

You will now get a pop up saying ‘Xbox would like to find and connect to devices on your local network’. Tap on ‘Ok’ to proceed to the next step.

Now if you have already connected a controller then you will be good to go right away. But if you have not connected the controller to your iOS device, then the Xbox app will prompt you to do so.

You can refer to this comprehensive guide by us to help you pair your controller to an iOS or iPadOS device easily.

And that’s it! Your console home screen should now be visible to you as is. If your console was powered off, then it should turn on automatically and display the home screen to you. You can then use your controller to navigate the home screen and launch any game that you would like to play on your iOS or iPadOS device.

Can I remote play only on WiFi?

No, Mircosoft has made it pretty clear that you do not need to be on the same network to use the remote play functionality. You can access your Xbox directly from the app and stream games even on a cellular network. Your cellular network will have to be a minimum 4G and this will use up a lot of data.

So if you are on a metered data plan then you should use this functionality wisely. Additionally, the app will also let you know if the current cellular network is not suitable for streaming games.

Can’t pair my Xbox controller to my iPhone or iPad?

If you are unable to pair your controller then it is likely that it is running an older firmware. This might come as a surprise to many but Microsoft does indeed release firmware updates for its Xbox controllers to fix bugs and introduce performance improvements.

Compatibility with iOS devices was added much later on which is why it requires a firmware update. Additionally, the controller does not update to the latest firmware automatically and needs to be manually updated from your console which is why this feature tends to go unnoticed by most users. You can refer to this guide by us to easily update the firmware of your Xbox controller.

Once the firmware has been updated to the latest version, you should have no trouble using it with your iOS or iPadOS device. If you still end up facing issues during the pairing process, then you should consider updating to the latest iOS or iPadOS released by Apple.

Apple introduced support for controllers in 2023 and only managed to get them working properly after iOS 13.2 and later on. If you are running an older version of iOS then it is likely the cause of all your pairing problems. You can easily solve this by updating to the latest version of iOS 14 available for your device.

Screengrabs Via: YouTube/Dusty Porter

Best Indie Games For Pc, Ps4 And Xbox One

Freed from the constraints of marketing departments and AAA budgets, indie developers have been putting out some of the weirdest and most interesting games out there, and thanks to support from Valve, Microsoft, and Sony, it’s never been easier to find and buy the best indie games, whether you play on console, PC, or just on your phone. 

Still, there are thousands of great indie games out there, and it can be a bit daunting if you don’t know where to start, so with that in mind, we’re rounded up a few of our favourites.

We’ve played every one of the games in our list (most of them for more hours than we’d care to admit), and they range from open-world survival epics to short, intricately crafted stories. They’ve all got one thing in common though: we think they’re brilliant.

Oh, and if you want to find more great games for specific platforms, we’ve rounded up the best games (indie or otherwise) for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Android.


Amazon,  PlayStation Store, Xbox Store,  Steam, GOG

A spiritual sequel to the also-very-excellent Limbo, Inside is a 2D puzzle platformer that pairs brilliant gameplay with a surreal, one-of-a-kind story. You play as a young boy breaking into a mysterious facility under the cover of darkness, uncovering more and more mysterious goings on as you delve deeper, all of which is relayed entirely without dialogue.

Mechanically, you’re typically tasked with finding your way from the left of the screen to the right. That might mean figuring out how to cross a divide or climb over a wall, how to activate a mechanism or evade an enemy. At times Inside is sedate, leaving you time to ponder, while at others it forces you to work at breakneck speeds.

Supported by striking, shadowy art, Inside is that rare sort of game that just gets better and better as it goes on, with each section somehow an improvement on the last. It all builds and builds towards a climax that is breathtaking, exhilarating, revolting, extraordinary and more, and alone represents the best 15 minutes of any game in 2024.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Amazon,  PlayStation Store, Steam

The sleepy, empty village of Yaughton deep within the Shropshire countryside has a secret to tell, but can you figure out what it is? And most importantly, what happened to the residents of the village?

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is one of the most visually stunning indie games we’ve come across, providing an accurate depiction of a typical sleepy English village in all its glory. Everything, from the sounds of leaves rustling in the wind to the creaky gates opening, help the player believe that they’re really in Yaughton. As you wander through the empty lanes and houses, you’ll discover pieces of a sprawling puzzle presented as monologues from residents of the village. Beautifully scripted and intriguing, the monologues enable a strong emotional connection with each of the characters and their personal issues. When paired with the haunting originally-written soundtrack, the last words of the residents can leave a lasting effect.

Every monologue is related, but with no real UI or a way to recap what has been said, it’s up to you to put it all together and work out what really happened. The non-linear design of the game means that you can play it more than once, and hopefully come across parts of the story that you initially missed to give you a better understanding of what happened. Winner of a BAFTA Game award, very few games are more deserving of a place in this chart.


PlayStation Store, Xbox Store,  Steam, GOG

If you go into the woods today, you’re sure to find a compelling murder mystery, great characterisation, and stunningly rendered sunsets. That’s how the rhyme goes, right?

Anyway, the point is that Firewatch is pretty great. It belongs to that nebulous ‘walking sim’ genre, which is basically code for ‘you walk around and explore and let the plot gradually unfold’. That plot sees you step into the shoes of Henry, a volunteer in a U.S. national park tasked with watching out for fires during a hot summer. You’re in radio contact with Delilah, the volunteer in the next tower over, but that’s about it, and otherwise you’re simply left to explore and gradually uncover evidence that there may be something more sinister going on.

The gameplay itself is pretty simple first-person exploration, and the focus is really on the ambiguous narrative and your slowly unfolding relationship with Delilah. Firewatch gives you just enough dialogue options to make sure you can have your say, without ever compromising Henry’s base characterisation, and by the end of the four-hour story you’re almost certain to feel pretty heavily invested.

It also just so happens to be one of the most beautiful games of 2024 – which is all the more impressive coming from a small indie studio.

FTL: Faster Than Light

Subset Games, Steam, GOG, App Store

If anyone ever tells you that there’s never been a truly great Star Trek game, point them towards FTL. Sure, you may not get to control Captain Kirk or face off against the Klingons, but this is Star Trek in all but name.

You’re in charge of the crew of a spaceship, tasked with directing them to man the various weapons, shields, and engines or repel alien boarders. You’ve also got to worry about diverting limited power resources to the various systems, putting out fires, repairing damage, and targeting specific sections of enemy ships. Don’t worry if that all sounds like too much to keep on top of – FTL lets you pause at will to issue commands and plan your next move.

It’s not all lasers and explosions though. Between encounters you have to explore the galaxy, pushing your luck in mini procedurally generated encounters that could reward you with resources, upgrades, or crew – or could throw you into another risky fight.

It all seems simple enough, but there are hidden depths here, not to mention devilish difficulty and a dangerously compulsive ‘just one more playthrough’ loop. Prepare to sink a lot of hours into this one.


PlayStation Store, Xbox Store,  Steam

It’s a little hard to describe Aaero, but here goes: it’s a twin-stick-dubstep-rhythm-shooter. Make sense? Probably not.

First things first, it’s a rhythm game, along the lines of Guitar Hero or cult classic Rez. You control a spaceship travelling down a cylindrical path. A track worms its way down the level around the edges of the cylinder, shifting in time with the beat, and you have to use the left control stick to keep your ship in the right spot. 

At the same time though, you’re under attack from some robotic alien enemies, and have to use the right stick to lock on to up to eight at a time, firing the right trigger to blast at them – all while you’re still trying to keep your ship following the beat. 

The 15 levels are each paired to a different song, all squarely at the dubsteppier end of electronic music, and there are three difficulty levels to master, along with a more relaxed ‘Chill out’ mode. Throw in monumental boss battles (also in time to the beat) and secrets dotted around the levels, and you have one of the most compulsive games of 2023. 

Even if you don’t like dubstep, Aaero will prove pretty hard to resist. Get past the initially steep learning curve, and you’ll find the best rhythm game in years.

Papers, Please

Steam, GOG

We’re willing to bet you’ve never played a game quite like Papers, Please. It takes a fictional version of a war-torn Eastern Europe for its setting, but instead of casting you as a soldier or a spy, you’re something much more humble: an immigration officer.

Stationed in your border control outpost, your job is to apply the increasingly byzantine rules handed down to you each morning, detailing which passports, visas, and permits people need to enter the country, while diligently inspecting each for evidence of fakery. Let in the people you should, and you’re rewarded with the wages you need to buy food, medicine, and heating for your family. Get the rules wrong, and your pay packet takes a hit.

So what’s the wrinkle? Well, as anyone watching American politics should know, morality and immigration policies occasionally collide. Will you separate a husband and wife because one of their visas has expired? Turn down a desperate refugee seeking asylum? Let in a man who you know plans to exploit vulnerable women? Doing the right thing might cost you your life – or your family’s – how far will you go?


Amazon, Steam, GOG, Humble

Papers, Please not depressing enough for you? Try Frostpunk, a downright miserable city sim from the developers of the rather brilliant (and also incredibly dark) This War of Mine.

You’re in charge of building what may well be the last city on earth, huddled around a coal generator in the frozen north after a new ice age has swept across the planet. That means that in addition to the usual city sim problems like managing construction resources and food, you’ve also got to worry about the encroaching cold, which starts off below freezing and only gets colder from there.

You’ve also got to track your city’s levels of both hope and discontent to avoid a full-scale crisis. To help you with that, each day you’re able to pass a new law, which range from innocuous things like legalising pubs, to pragmatic steps like authorising amputations, to the downright authoritarian – opening propaganda centres or forcing children to work down the mines.

There’s a thin plot that you can uncover by sending scouts out into the frozen wasteland, but really this is just a story of survival, challenging how far you’re willing to go – and what you’re willing to give up – to keep humanity alive.


Amazon, Xbox Store,  Steam,  GOG

You’d be forgiven for thinking that first-person shooters haven’t seen much in the way of major innovation in recent years, mostly focusing on getting bigger, louder, and shinier. Luckily, it turns out there was still space to do a major shakeup of the FPS – you just had to break it first.

On the surface, Superhot might look like just about any shooter. You run around, find guns and other weapons, and take on ever-increasing numbers of enemies – admittedly in a novel, minimalist, wireframe artstyle. So what makes Superhot different? It’s all about time. Namely, if you’re not moving, neither is it.

The game world stands still (well, almost – it slows to a crawl) whenever you stop, giving you time to catch your breath and plan your next move. You can see bullet trails in the air and eye up potential weapons and opportunities, making this about the closest you’re going to get to feeling like Neo in The Matrix. And if you’re not obsessively muttering “SUPER. HOT.” to yourself under your breath by the end of the game, you’re doing it wrong.

Her Story

Steam, GOG, Play Store, App Store

Cast your mind back to the early ‘90s and you’ll find a strange world where videogame cut scenes ignored their own engines and sprites in favour of ‘full motion video’, filming their own footage, traditionally complete with hammy actors and dodgy effects.

Fast-forward to 2024 and the FMV genre enjoyed a brief, spirited revival in the form of Her Story, which not only featured FMV footage but actually built the whole game out of it.

Load the game up and you find yourself facing a virtual computer desktop, browsing a collection of police interview footage related to a homicide. The videos aren’t available in full though, or arranged chronologically – instead you can only search via keyword to access individual brief clips, piecing together out-of-order hints about what happened and who is really responsible.

The gameplay itself is minimal – you just watch the videos and try to pick the best keywords to search for the most vital footage, but unpicking the story’s twists and turns and scouring each clip for clues is undeniably compelling. Fair warning though – the game leaves a lot open to interpretation, so if you’re hoping for a neat, tidy resolution, you might be disappointed.

Ark: Survival Evolved

Amazon,  PlayStation Store, Xbox Store,  Steam

If, like most of us, you love the idea of Jurassic Park and roaming around forests with dinosaurs then look no further than Ark: Survival Evolved, an open world game available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

So, what do you do? Like with many online open world games, there’s not much of a narrative – you just have to try and survive the environment and all its inhabitants. In this case, that’s around 123 different dinosaurs on land, water and in the air, along with other online players that can join your tribe and help you thrive, or can make your life in Ark a misery. Oh, and you’ll have to keep an eye on your water and food levels too, or you’ll die of thirst and starvation. It’s brutal in the Ark.

The coolest part of Ark: Survival Evolved? You can not only tame the dinosaurs that you come across on your travels, but you can ride them. That’s right, saddle up and ride a T-Rex or soar through the skies on the back of an Argentavis. Coolest open-world dinosaur game ever.

The Sexy Brutale

Amazon, PlayStation Store,  Xbox Store,  Steam, GOG

In the grand old vein of Twin Peaks and Lost, The Sexy Brutale is all about the weird. From the moment you wake up, mask stuck to your face, greeted by a vaguely demonic looking woman in red, things are, well, off kilter. And it never really lets up. 

You’re in the midst of a masked ball. Except the staff are killing the guests. And not just through nice traditional means like guns (though they have those too) – they opt for more theatrical methods, like death by psychic demon fish.

Sadly, as with Twin Peaks and Lost, The Sexy Brutale nails the atmosphere but can’t quite stick the ending – the story falls apart a bit. But it’s enough fun along the way to be worth the trip.



Rust, another online open world survival game, is one of the most popular open world games on Steam at the moment. The only aim? To survive. You’re dropped in a rather bleak environment with the aim of surviving by scavenging, hunting and building.

There’s not much in the way of storyline or NPCs, meaning that you’ll mainly be up against other online players (and really annoying dogs that want to eat you), making things much more interesting. Team up as a squad or go solo, it’s up to you. But, if you get caught, you’re dead and left with nothing.

Rust depends a lot on the community playing it, and while there are trolls, the community is friendly and, in some experiences, even indulge in a little bit of roleplay. We’ve been told of players who have been held up and robbed at gunpoint by other players, while others have been handcuffed and kidnapped, only to be imprisoned until the captors let them go.

None of this was scripted, it just happened – and it’s little instances like that, that make Rust worth playing. You never quite know what you’ll find.

Aporia: Beyond the Valley

Steam, Green Man Gaming

How many games have you played that manage to get by without a single word?

Aporia: Beyond the Valley is a first-person puzzle game (think Myst) that tasks the player with exploring the seemingly lifeless ruins of Ez’rat Qin, piecing together what happened to the civilisation that seemingly collapsed.

All of the storytelling is either environmental or through a series of mute animations, but if you pay attention there’s enough to figure out just what happened here, and that wordless narrative is one of Aporia’s greatest strengths.

The puzzles are variable, with a few that are dead-simple and a handful that are more satisfying chin-scratchers, most notably a giant one involving redirecting the flow of water around a huge square.

The soundtrack is eerie and beautiful, and the world is at times jaw-dropping, though at launch it’s all let down a bit by some disappointing bugs – we didn’t encounter anything game-breaking, but textures don’t tend to load smoothly, ladders and glitchy and fiddly, and other small gripes pop up every now and then.

Aporia isn’t quite polished then, but there’s enough of a vision here to make it well worth devoting a few hours to ambling around Ez’rat Qin to see what you can find.


Xbox Store,  Steam

Astroneer is, essentially, everything we wanted No Man’s Sky to be but wasn’t: open world (or should that be open solar system?) exploration with friends. While the game is still in pre-alpha and is fairly basic in terms of what it offers at present, what it does feature is promising.

The planets are widely varied in terms of not only resources but flora (sadly, not fauna just yet) and are dotted with crashed ships, caverns and other secrets ready for exploring. The planets provide stunning vistas, and we really like the low-poly art style.

In terms of gameplay, it’s a third-person exploration game where you’re in the boots of an Astroneer on an alien planet. Upon arrival, you have only your shuttle to provide life, but through discovering new technologies and harvesting resources, you’ll be building vehicles, trade bays and even spaceships to other planets before you know it.

We really like the terrain editing tool in Astroneer, providing players with an intuitive way to re-shape the environment to get across steep drops and dig down into the underground tunnels with ease.

Friends can easily join a single-player game via Steam and help explore and build, although none of the discoveries or materials found will transfer to their own saves – it’s all for the host. We imagine this process will be improved as development continues and new features are added. If you were disappointed with No Man’s Sky in 2024, give Astroneer a go.

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