How Does Xbox Live Work

Ever ask yourself how does Xbox Live work? Take the mystery out of this much-hyped Microsoft creation by learning about Xbox Live features and functionality.

Xbox Live features depend on your membership.
First and foremost: Xbox Live features depend on your membership. The free Xbox Silver membership enables you to

  • Download content.
  • Buy points to download paid content.
  • Share your gamer profile and avatar with other Xbox Live members.

The paid Gold membership enables you to do the following:

  • Engage in multiplayer gaming with other Xbox Live members online.
  • Use the gamer feedback system to provide feedback about other gamers.
  • Access content via the Xbox Marketplace.
  • Create parties of friends via Xbox Live.
  • Watch Netflix content streaming to your Xbox.

Some features cost extra.
While the paid Gold membership enables you to watch Netflix content from your Xbox, the Gold membership doesn't include the cost of the Netflix membership; you must pay for the Netflix membership separately. Likewise, while the Marketplace enables you to download content, you have to pay for much of that content with Microsoft Points, which you must purchase. Therefore, even these extra features aren't free; you face additional charges on top of Xbox membership to use these features. You can get Microsoft points at retail stores, or you can add them directly to your account via your linked credit card.

You can use Parental Controls to protect your children on Xbox Live.
The Parental Control system enables you to restrict the content that your kids can see via Xbox Live. Go to System Settings, select Family Settings and then click on Console Controls to set restrictions to the content that your kids can access. You can also use Console Controls to cap the amount of time your kids spend on the console per week, restrict the maximum rating on DVD movies or TV shows that your kids can watch and hide restricted content from the Xbox Marketplace.

Your Gamercard says a lot about you as a computer gamer.
The Gamercard is one of the most unique and whimsical features of Xbox Live. Your Gamercard contains information about you and the games you've played. The Gamercard lists achievements you've unlocked in specific games, as well as your Xbox Live reputation, which other people can give you when you play multiplayer games with other Xbox Live members.

Your Gamercard also contains your Gamerscore, which is a total score based on achievements you've unlocked throughout the course of playing various Xbox games. Finally, your Gamercard includes your Gamer Zone, which denotes the type of gaming in which you wish to engage. Gamer Zone helps to match you with other players with similar play preferences; i.e. casual gamers, family-friendly gamers or professional gamers looking for a serious challenge. You can add your Gamercard to many social networking Web sites, including Facebook, MySpace and even some blogs.

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