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Thanks to the new strike policy, it behooves the Xbox community to play nice with others.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

August 15, 2023

2 Min Read
Logo for Microsoft's Xbox console.

Xbox has introduced another wrinkle to its player reporting system in the form of enforcement strikes. With the strikes, players will see tangible repercussions for wrongful misconduct on their individual records. 

Safety for players and the larger community has become a big focus point for Xbox. Back in July, it introduced the ability to post voice clips to its player reporting system, and Microsoft bragged earlier in the year that player reporting numbers have been gradually falling every six-month period since 2021.

"This revised system gives players a better understanding of enforcement severity and the cumulative effect of multiple enforcements," wrote Xbox. "Enforcement transparency is about giving players clarity into how their behavior impacts their experience."

Each strike will be based on the severity of a player's action, and stay on their record for six months. As of today, players without a previous suspension will start at zero strikes, but a set number of strikes leads to the player getting suspended from a specific Xbox social feature.

Strikes and suspensions

Two strikes is a one-day suspension from the platform, and four strikes is a week-long suspension. Once eight strikes are hit, a player is suspended from all social features, including online multiplayer, for a full year from the start date. Single-player and previously purchased games will remain accessible during the suspension period. 

"With these changes, Xbox is evolving enforcement to focus on protecting players," wrote the developer. "However, for the most serious violations – including illegal activity – Xbox retains the ability to permanently suspend all functionality of an account including access to purchases."

Xbox confirmed that strikes are brought on after a report is fully reviewed by an Xbox Safety Team member and determined to be accurate. Players with previous suspensions will have to complete those before having their slate wiped clean. 

Data from the new enforcement system, and how effective it actually is, will be revealed via Xbox's transparency reports, which come out every six months. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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