When gaming on Xbox, your identity has always been important, none more so then your Gamertag. That tag is how you are first known in the world of Xbox gamers, and what sets you apart from others, be it a nickname from your childhood, a tribute to an idol, or maybe something entirely unique that just sounded right, your gamertag is you.
Xbox HQ feel that all players should have the opportunity to portray who they are as a gamer, building their identity within the Xbox community. In order to achieve this, the all-important gamertag is getting a revamp of sorts, a chance to empower gamers around the world with even more choice on how they choose to represent themselves.
As of yesterday, and continue throughout the next year, Xbox will be updating several features for the Xbox gamertag, which will roll out to PC, mobile devices and of course Xbox One consoles.
Please note that current Xbox players can keep their existing gamertags without any further action required on their part and no change in experience from the way that it looks today.
More Options for Your Gamertag
As of yesterday, the powers in charge are unveiling a new display option for gamertags, as well as support for new alphabets. Both of these additions will make it easier for players around the world to identify themselves.
The changes start with an expanded choice to build a new gamertag using 10 new worldwide alphabets. The current Xbox community spans across the world. With this change, new gamertags will support over 200 commonly spoken languages so more gamers can express themselves in their chosen language – you could be “SeñorBúho#5405” or even “닥터 부엉이#1882.” Newly supported character sets include:
- Basic Latin
- Latin-1 Supplement
- CJK Symbols for languages in China, Japan, and Korea
Next up is the new display option. Gamers can now choose a gamertag of their liking, even if that name is already taken by someone else. If the gamertag you want has already been taken by another user, Xbox will now auto-assign an ID suffix of numbers after a #-symbol to keep everybody unique, so there’s never any question about who’s who. We’ll even change the suffix font size to keep the focus on the name you chose. For example, if you want to be “Doctor Hoot,” and it’s already taken, you could now be assigned “Doctor Hoot#1056.”
Games are currently required to show the suffix while you play. You will also see the suffix in out-of-game experiences like the console UI or Xbox Game Bar, so each player has a unique, visible identity while still representing themselves the way they want.
Here are examples of gamertag updates in Xbox Game Bar:
A – An example of an updated gamertag in Hangul
B – An example of a gamertag the player chose not to change. This player was the first person to pick this name and is still known as “Pit Bear” with no change in experience.
C – An example of an updated gamertag in Cyrillic. In older experiences that haven’t updated yet, this player will continue to be known as the previous gamertag, Elder Red59233.
D – An example of a gamertag that was already taken. This user was given suffix ‘#1056’ because Doctor Hoot was already registered.
These updates are available now – they will show up to fans today in the new Xbox app for PC and Xbox Game Bar, and will show on mobile devices and on consoles over the next year – so if you change your gamertag now, you may not see the full changes take place immediately. This is the first step in an ongoing journey for evolving gamertags, so the xbox team appreciate your patience as the team continues to implement new features based on your feedback.
Maintaining Your Existing Gamertag
Current Xbox players can keep their existing gamertags without any further action required on their part and no change in experience. You can sit back, relax and continue to be known by your existing gamertag without a suffix, and since you are the original owner nobody else can ever have it unless you decide to change it. So, if you like your gamertag the way it is or have had it for years, nothing will change and no one will be able to use it without an assigned suffix.
If you see a player with no suffix, that means that the player was the first to ever claim that original gamertag, like our very own IisDaLaw.
Existing players can change their gamertags to take advantage of these updates if they wish, but by doing so may relinquish their original gamertag.