Xbox Game Bar: How to Access Widgets, Chat, and More While Gaming on PC
How to Download and Use Xbox Game Bar on Windows 10/11
If you are a gamer who likes to record, stream, or share your gameplay, you might be interested in using Xbox Game Bar on your Windows 10/11 PC. Xbox Game Bar is a built-in feature that allows you to access a variety of gaming activities without leaving your game. You can capture videos and screenshots, chat with friends, monitor performance, play music, and more. In this article, we will show you how to download and use Xbox Game Bar on Windows 10/11.
What is Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar is a customizable gaming overlay that works with most PC games. It lets you access different widgets that provide various functions and features for your gaming experience. Some of the widgets that are available by default are:
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Capture: Record videos, take screenshots, and share clips of your gameplay.
Audio: Adjust the volume of different audio sources such as game, chat, or background apps.
Performance: Track your CPU, GPU, FPS, RAM, disk usage, and other stats in real-time.
Resources: See what apps and processes are using system resources and close them if needed.
Spotify: Play and control your music from Spotify while gaming.
Xbox Social: Find and chat with friends across Xbox console, mobile, and PC.
Xbox Chat: Start a text or voice chat with one or more friends.
Xbox Achievements: Track your progress and achievements in compatible PC games.
Widget Store: Download more widgets for Xbox Game Bar from third-party developers.
Xbox Game Bar can enhance your gaming experience by allowing you to do more things without interrupting your game. You can also customize the layout and appearance of the widgets according to your preferences.
How to Enable and Open Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar is pre-installed on Windows 10/11 devices, but you need to enable it first before using it. To do so, follow these steps:
Open the Start menu and click on Settings.
Select Gaming and then Xbox Game Bar.
Toggle on the switch that says Enable Xbox Game Bar for things like recording game clips, chatting with friends, and receiving game invites.
Once you have enabled Xbox Game Bar, you can open it by pressing the Windows logo key + G on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can also use the Xbox button on your Xbox controller if you have one connected to your PC. You can also change the keyboard shortcut for opening Xbox Game Bar in the Settings widget.
How to Customize and Manage Widgets in Xbox Game Bar?
When you open Xbox Game Bar, you will see a toolbar at the top of your screen that shows the icons of the available widgets. You can click on any icon to open or close the corresponding widget. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts that are shown next to each icon. For example, you can press Windows logo key + Alt + R to start or stop recording a video.
You can customize and manage the widgets in Xbox Game Bar by following these steps:
Click on the Widget Menu icon (the three horizontal lines) on the toolbar to see all the widgets that are installed on your PC.
Drag and drop any widget from the Widget Menu to the toolbar to add it to your favorites.
Right-click on any widget icon on the toolbar to pin it to your screen, remove it from your favorites, or uninstall it from your PC.
Click and drag any widget on your screen to move it to a different position.
Use the resize handle at the bottom right corner of any widget to adjust its size.
You can also use the Widget Store icon (the shopping bag) on the toolbar to browse and download more widgets for Xbox Game Bar from third-party developers. Some of the popular widgets that you can find in the Widget Store are:
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XSplit Gamecaster: Stream your gameplay to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms with advanced features and overlays.
Razer Cortex: Boost your PC performance and optimize your game settings with one click.
Corsair iCUE: Control and synchronize your RGB lighting effects across your Corsair devices.
NVIDIA Broadcast: Enhance your audio and video quality with AI-powered noise removal, background blur, auto frame, and more.
How to Record and Capture Gameplay with Xbox Game Bar?
One of the main features of Xbox Game Bar is the ability to record and capture your gameplay with ease. You can use the Capture widget to do this by following these steps:
Open Xbox Game Bar and click on the Capture icon (the camera) on the toolbar.
To record a video of your gameplay, click on the Record button (the circle) or press Windows logo key + Alt + R. You will see a timer on the top right corner of your screen that shows how long you have been recording. To stop recording, click on the Record button again or press Windows logo key + Alt + R.
To take a screenshot of your gameplay, click on the Screenshot button (the camera) or press Windows logo key + Alt + PrtScn. You will see a notification on the bottom right corner of your screen that shows where your screenshot is saved.
To record the last 30 seconds of your gameplay, click on the Record That button (the circle with a check mark) or press Windows logo key + Alt + G. This is useful if you want to capture something that just happened without having to record everything beforehand.
You can also use the Share button (the arrow) on the Capture widget to share your videos and screenshots with your friends or social media platforms. You can also use the Open Folder button (the folder) to open the folder where your videos and screenshots are saved. By default, they are saved in C:\Users\YourName\Videos\Captures. You can change this location in the Settings widget.
How to Adjust Audio Settings with Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar also allows you to adjust audio settings for different sources without leaving your game. You can use the Audio widget to do this by following these steps:
Open Xbox Game Bar and click on the Audio icon (the speaker) on the toolbar.
You will see a list of audio sources that are currently active on your PC, such as game, chat, browser, etc. You can use the slider to adjust the volume of each source individually.
You can also use the mute button (the microphone) to mute or unmute your microphone. You can also use the Windows logo key + Alt + M shortcut to do this.
You can also use the settings button (the gear) to open the audio settings menu. Here you can choose your input and output devices, enable or disable spatial sound, and adjust the microphone sensitivity and volume.
The Audio widget can help you balance the sound levels of different audio sources and improve your communication with your friends or teammates.
How to Monitor and Optimize Performance with Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar can also help you monitor and optimize your PC performance while gaming. You can use the Performance and Resources widgets to do this by following these steps:
Open Xbox Game Bar and click on the Performance icon (the graph) on the toolbar.
You will see a dashboard that shows your CPU, GPU, FPS, RAM, and disk usage in real-time. You can also see the temperature and fan speed of your CPU and GPU if they are supported by your hardware.
You can use the pin button (the pushpin) to pin the Performance widget to your screen so you can always see it while gaming.
You can also click on the Resources icon (the battery) on the toolbar to open the Resources widget.
You will see a list of apps and processes that are using system resources. You can sort them by name, CPU, memory, or disk usage. You can also use the search box to find a specific app or process.
You can use the close button (the X) to close any app or process that you don't need while gaming. This can free up some system resources and improve your performance.
The Performance and Resources widgets can help you keep an eye on your PC performance and optimize it for a smoother gaming experience.
How to Play Music with Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar also allows you to play music from Spotify while gaming. You can use the Spotify widget to do this by following these steps:
Open Xbox Game Bar and click on the Spotify icon (the green circle) on the toolbar.
If you have not linked your Spotify account to Xbox Game Bar, you will see a QR code that you can scan with your phone or a link that you can open in your browser. Follow the instructions to sign in to your Spotify account and grant permission to Xbox Game Bar.
Once you have linked your Spotify account, you will see a mini player that shows the current song that is playing. You can use the play/pause, skip, shuffle, and repeat buttons to control your music.
You can also use the browse button (the magnifying glass) to search for songs, artists, albums, or playlists on Spotify. You can also use the library button (the heart) to access your liked songs and playlists.
You can also use the volume slider to adjust the volume of Spotify separately from other audio sources.
The Spotify widget can help you enjoy your favorite music while gaming without having to switch between apps.
How to Connect and Chat with Friends with Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar also allows you to connect and chat with friends across Xbox console, mobile, and PC. You can use the Xbox Social and Xbox Chat widgets to do this by following these steps:
Open Xbox Game Bar and click on the Xbox Social icon (the person) on the toolbar.
If you have not signed in to your Xbox account, you will see a sign-in button that you can click to open a browser window. Follow the instructions to sign in to your Xbox account and grant permission to Xbox Game Bar.
Once you have signed in, you will see a list of your friends who are online or offline. You can also see what games they are playing or what devices they are using.
You can use the add friend button (the plus) to search for and add new friends by their gamertag or email address.
You can also use the invite button (the envelope) to invite friends to join your game or party chat. You can also accept or decline invitations from other friends.
You can also right-click on any friend's name to open a context menu that allows you to view their profile, send them a message, start a voice chat, or remove them as a friend.
You can also use the Xbox Chat icon (the speech bubble) on the toolbar to open the Xbox Chat widget.
Here you can see your recent conversations with your friends. You can also start a new conversation by clicking on the new chat button (the pencil).
You can type your message in the text box and press enter to send it. You can also use the emoji button (the smiley face) to insert emojis, GIFs, or stickers.
You can also use the voice chat button (the microphone) to start a voice chat with one or more friends. You can also use the video chat button (the camera) to start a video chat if you have a webcam connected to your PC.
The Xbox Social and Xbox Chat widgets can help you stay connected and chat with your friends while gaming without having to use a separate app.
How to Access More Features with Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar is not limited to the widgets that are included by default. You can access more features and functions by using the Widget Store to download more widgets for Xbox Game Bar. To do this, follow these steps:
Open Xbox Game Bar and click on the Widget Store icon (the shopping bag) on the toolbar.
You will see a list of featured widgets that are available for download. You can also use the categories menu (the three horizontal lines) to browse widgets by different genres such as gaming, productivity, entertainment, etc.
Click on any widget that you are interested in to see more details such as description, screenshots, ratings, reviews, etc.
Click on the get button (the arrow) to download and install the widget on your PC. You may need to grant permission to the widget to access certain data or features on your PC.
Once the widget is installed, you will see its icon on the toolbar. You can also find it in the Widget Menu. You can then use it as any other widget in Xbox Game Bar.
The Widget Store can help you discover and download more widgets that can enhance your gaming experience with Xbox Game Bar. You can also rate and review the widgets that you have used and provide feedback to the developers.
How to Configure Settings for Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar also allows you to configure settings for various aspects such as accounts, keyboard shortcuts, notifications, etc. You can use the Settings widget to do this by following these steps:
Open Xbox Game Bar and click on the Settings icon (the gear) on the toolbar.
You will see a menu that shows different settings categories such as General, Accounts, Keyboard Shortcuts, Notifications, etc.
Click on any category that you want to change settings for. You will see a list of options that you can toggle on or off, or select from a drop-down menu.
Make any changes that you want and click on the save button (the check mark) to apply them.
The Settings widget can help you customize Xbox Game Bar according to your preferences and needs.
What are the System Requirements for Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar is compatible with most PC games that run on Windows 10/11. However, there are some minimum system requirements that you need to meet in order to use it properly. These are:
Operating SystemWindows 10 version 1809 or higherWindows 11 version 21H2 or higher
ProcessorIntel Core i3-2100 or higherAMD FX-4100 or higher
Memory4 GB RAM or higher
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 or higherAMD Radeon HD 7750 or higherIntel HD Graphics 4000 or higher
Storage SpaceAt least 1 GB of free disk space
Internet ConnectionA broadband internet connection is required for some features such as downloading widgets, sharing clips, chatting with friends, etc.
What are the Alternatives for Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar is not the only screen recording and gaming overlay tool that you can use on Windows 10/11. There are some other tools that offer similar or different features and functions that you may want to try. Some of the alternatives for Xbox Game Bar are:
OBS Studio: A free and open-source software that allows you to record and stream your gameplay with high-quality video and audio. You can also use various plugins and extensions to add more features and effects to your recordings and streams.
NVIDIA GeForce Experience: A software that comes with NVIDIA graphics cards that allows you to record and stream your gameplay with NVIDIA ShadowPlay. You can also use NVIDIA Ansel to take stunning screenshots and NVIDIA Freestyle to apply filters and enhancements to your games.
AMD Radeon Software: A software that comes with AMD graphics cards that allows you to record and stream your gameplay with AMD ReLive. You can also use AMD Radeon Chill to save power and reduce heat, and AMD Radeon Boost to increase performance and FPS.
Steam Overlay: A feature that comes with Steam, the popular gaming platform, that allows you to access various functions and features while playing Steam games. You can use Steam Overlay to chat with friends, browse the web, take screenshots, stream your gameplay, and more.
These are some of the alternatives for Xbox Game Bar that you can use on Windows 10/11. You can compare them and choose the one that suits your needs and preferences best.
What are the Tips and Tricks for Xbox Game Bar?
Xbox Game Bar is a powerful and versatile tool that can improve your gaming experience on Windows 10/11. However, there are some tips and tricks that you can use to make the most out of it. Here are some of them:
Use keyboard shortcuts: Xbox Game Bar has many keyboard shortcuts that you can use to quickly access different widgets and functions. You can see the list of keyboard shortcuts in the Settings widget or press Windows logo key + G + H to open a cheat sheet.
Use voice commands: Xbox Game Bar also supports voice commands that you can use to control some widgets and functions. You need to have a microphone connected to your PC and enable voice commands in the Settings widget. You can then say "Hey Xbox" followed by a command such as "record that" or "take a screenshot".
Use game mode: Xbox Game Bar works well with game mode, a feature that optimizes your PC for gaming by reducing background activity and prioritizing resources. You can enable game mode in the Settings widget or press Windows logo key + G + M to toggle it on or off.
Use feedback hub: Xbox Game Bar is constantly being updated and improved by Microsoft. You can use the feedback hub widget to provide feedback, suggestions, or report issues to the developers. You can also see what other users are saying and vote for their feedback.
These are some of the tips and tricks for Xbox Game Bar that you can use to enhance your gaming experience on Windows 10/11.