Latest Xbox One update gets the party started

Gamerscore leaderboard makes achievements (almost) useful again

Better start filling that Friends list - the Xbox One is going to get a whole lot more social in January.

The first update of 2016 is set to add a long list of features designed to get you playing with others faster - while helping you avoid the gamers you just can't stand.

Xbox Live head honcho Major Nelson  revealed the full list of changes on his blog last night. It's not going to be a colossal update like November's new look dashboard, but the January patch should fix a few of the irks and quirks left over from the redesign.

The biggest change is that you can finally see who's in a party before joining it. That should mean no more wandering into a group of random players just because you joined that one mate who always seems to be playing Destiny (if you can't think of anyone on your friends list like that, it's probably you).


A new Gamerscore leaderboard will show how you shape up compared to your friends - almost making those hundreds of hours trying to get the perfect Dead Rising 3 run, or grinding out online wins in Killer Instinct. There are separate boards for total Gamerscore, and for who gets the biggest gain over 30 days.

Home pins should be easier to organise, and you don't have to be online to launch them any more. Finally, the Avatar store is fully integrated into the dashboard, letting you customise your character without reaching for the Xbox App on your phone or PC.

Other smaller changes include friend suggestions, which should help you find people you know even if you don’t have their gamertag, Xbox News posts in the Activity Feed, a dedicated page for Trending games, videos and community content, and the option to hide game trials, betas and demos from the ‘ready to install’ screen.

The update is only available for Preview program members right now, but that typically only lasts a few weeks. It shouldn't be long until the update rolls out worldwide.