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Xbox is testing features for identifying unavailable games

We’ve all been there. Ready to play a game in our library, only to find we’re missing something. It might be the disc, account permission, or it’s gone from the marketplace. The frustration is real. It is usually most common on consoles. Steam seems to have figured out a system of letting us know we can’t play certain titles on PC. Now, it seems Xbox is working on a way to let players know when a game is inaccessible.

According to a Twitter thread from Xbox engineering lead Eden Marie, Microsoft is currently trying out a system of alerts. In the screenshot accompanying the thread, you can see various symbols in the corner of the titles unavailable to the account holder.

A caution symbol indicates the digital title’s removed from GamePass, or the account doesn’t have the licensing permissions to play it, as in the case of shared play. An empty disc means that the physical disc isn’t inserted into the console. This should make it easier for players to see immediately what’s ready to go.


She also mentioned the disc cache “has only been tracking for a year or so and does not survive a factory reset.”

More to come

Whether this will make error messages clearer, and how it affects Xbox Live outages is unknown. Marie said they’re always trying to improve their systems, and that some “will require more work in upcoming releases.”

Commenters asked about additional feature rollouts like being able to remove content you no longer play from you library. Marie responded that there’ll be other improvements in the future. This test  s just the “necessary first step,”

This feature is only available to Xbox Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead Insiders at the moment. But with a successful test and feedback, the feature will roll out to all consumers in the future.


Alicia Graves

A bit nerdy, a bit punk rock princess, and a whole lot of mom, I'm constantly in motion. I have an enthusiasm for gaming and the cultural complexities of entertainment, both past and present. I don’t believe in limiting myself to one kind of genre in books, comics, manga, anime, music or movies. I prefer to seek out hidden gems in panned pieces, uniqueness in the mundane and new outlooks on nuances.
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