Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Xbox Live and Games

August 7, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Possibly the killer app on Windows Phone, Xbox Live enables users to access their Xbox player accounts and enhance their standings with additional points and achievements, quite an advantage over other Xbox gamers!

Available on Windows Phone 7 via the Games hub, Xbox Live titles are noticeably more expensive than other games, largely because they are supplied by large software companies such as EA. Note that smaller, independent games are likely to be cheaper or even free.

Finding and choosing games can take a little bit of time, however, especially as the number of titles increases.

Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Xbox Live and Games

Finding Games for Windows Phone

Via the Marketplace you can access the vast list of games that are currently available for Windows Phone, and purchase and download them to your phone. However, this is easier said than done, so you might consider using the Search button on your phone to find the title you are looking for.

Once you have found the game that you want, trial versions are often available, or you might prefer to simply purchase the full title. Whichever option you go for, if it is an Xbox Live game, you will need to make sure that you are connected to a wireless network (Settings > WiFi) to download it as Windows Phone blocks large downloads across the mobile Internet.

This usually won’t be the case with free or non-Xbox Live games, although these are not necessarily as large and less likely to have a negative impact on your bandwidth.

Enhance Xbox Live Connectivity

You can really get more out of Xbox Live by downloading the useful Xbox LIVE extras app, a free download from the Marketplace that affords enhanced access to your Xbox Live profile.

Here you can check your avatar’s current look, view any recent achievements from games on your Xbox or your phone, check your friends and their avatars and even access instant messaging, assuming you have a Gold Xbox Live account! This is the only native instant messaging tool in the original release of Windows Phone, so if you can use it, do! The Xbox Live app also features the ability to edit your avatar in various ways, adding new clothes and so on.

Turn Off Xbox Live

Games and Xbox Live in particular might not be your cup of tea, however. If this is the case, don’t worry – there are plenty of other reasons to use Windows Phone, and you can easily disable Xbox Live.

Visit Settings > Applications > Games and flick the switch to Off to disable connectivity to the Xbox Live service; meanwhile, you can remove the Games hub from your Start screen by tapping and holding the tile and then hitting the Unpin button in the corner.

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