We're here to help you learn about the policies that govern the Xbox Live service so you can avoid behavior that will result in a suspension. Many enforcements are straightforward, such as suspensions issued as a result of harassment or profane content. However, other enforcements and policies may seem a bit more complex. Check out this section for a rundown of enforcement actions and what they mean for you (or your child).
Solicitation refers to using Xbox Live for commercial purposes, including buying, selling, or trading content or services that violate the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct.
Cheating is using unauthorized hardware, software, or account modifications to gain an advantage or disrupt the competitive landscape of Xbox Live. Cheating violates the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct.
Account tampering refers to any attempt to manipulate an Xbox profile in a way that violates the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct. Typically this involves the use of unauthorized software, with which players can attempt to make alterations to various parts of their Xbox profile.
Account theft is the unauthorized use of somebody else’s account. Buying, selling, sharing, borrowing, or transferring Xbox Live accounts is a violation of the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct. The most common way account theft happens is when someone shares their Microsoft Account email and password with somebody else.
Phishing is any attempt to get information from another person (such as an email address or password) by pretending to be trustworthy. There are many techniques used, but the end goal is always the same – theft of an account or personal information. Phishing is a severe violation of the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct.
Marketplace theft occurs when someone fraudulently acquires Xbox Live content or defrauds Microsoft through improper use of the Microsoft Store or Xbox customer support. This can include abuse of Microsoft refund policies or purchasing redemption codes, subscriptions, in-game consumables, and other content from inappropriate third-party websites. For the safety and well-being of both players and content providers, content should only be purchased from trustworthy retailers.
A Gamerscore correction occurs on a player’s Xbox Live account when they gain achievements through the use of external tools and avoiding gameplay. Xbox Live is committed to keeping the service free of this type of behavior as it violates the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct. When abnormal achievement or Gamerscore activity is found, Xbox Live modifies the Gamerscore of players who meet specific criteria
The Game DVR and Upload applications on Xbox One and Xbox on Windows allow players to record and share in-game video clips, Kinect content, and screenshots with other players. A suspension of these features can occur when a user creates or shares inappropriate content through these applications in violation of the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct.
Your Gamertag is your identity on Xbox Live. It’s how other users see you in games, send you friend and game invites, and send messages. On Xbox One and Xbox on Windows you can also choose to share your Real Name with Friends and friends-of-friends. Your Real Name is the First Name and Last Name on the Microsoft Account linked to your Gamertag. A Gamertag or Real Name enforcement can be issued if inappropriate or offensive content is used for either of these identities.
Harassment refers to any abusive, threatening, or bullying behavior by one person towards another. Though it includes a wide-range of offensive behavior and communication, all forms of harassment have the common purpose of disrupting the gaming experience for other Xbox Live players. Harassment violates the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct, and the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team is strictly opposed to harassment in all forms.
Impersonation is any attempt by one person to imitate or act like another on the Xbox Live service, usually to give the impression of having authority or other “official” status. Users who impersonate may threaten other gamers, attempt to phish for personal information, or intimidate people through other means while pretending to be an employee of Microsoft or partner companies. Impersonation is in strict violation of the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct.
Clubs are player-created and managed groups that help gamers meet and connect with others who have the same interests. Through Clubs, you can create a welcoming environment and bring people together. While nearly anyone can join or create a Club, in certain situations we may restrict certain Club features or even participation in Clubs when a Club is used to harass others, promote inappropriate content, or otherwise violate the Microsoft Services Agreement or Code of Conduct.
Certain Xbox Live features, such as your Gamerpic and Club background, allow you to upload custom images. This provides a great opportunity to showcase your personality and make a positive impression on the Xbox Live community. Though we encourage you to be creative, your content should respect the guidelines found in the Microsoft Services Agreement and Code of Conduct.
Your safety and wellbeing matters. When we’re made aware of an Xbox Live member who's going through a difficult time we may send a message referring them to Crisis Text Line, a provider of free, 24/7 support for people in crisis. If you've received a message, we wanted to provide you with the option to talk to a trained and confidential crisis counselor. Contacting Crisis Text Line is entirely up to you, but we feel strongly in empowering every player with the tools to maintain their wellbeing.
Some examples of inappropriate solicitation include, but are not limited to:
First, safety: solicitation lets people profit from malicious and unauthorized activities that pose a danger to our members, such as cheating and account theft.
Second, fairness: imagine the frustration someone feels if he or she spends hours working towards a particular achievement or rank, only for someone else to buy or get that rank without actually earning it.
If you engage in solicitation, your account could be permanently suspended. Especially bad or repeated violations may lead to additional action, including a device ban.
Cheating includes, but isn’t limited to:
When players cheat, the hard work and dedication of many others is diminished. Developers work extremely hard to publish quality titles, and players play hard to enjoy them. We are dedicated to preserving the integrity of Xbox Live games, and ensuring they’re played as intended.
If you are involved with cheating, your account can be permanently suspended. Especially egregious or repeated violations may lead to a device ban.
Account tampering includes, but isn’t limited to the unauthorized modification of:
It’s not fair, and it’s not safe. For example, when a player unfairly unlocks an achievement using unauthorized software, it’s unfair to the player who unlocked the achievement legitimately. It’s not safe, because manipulating a profile with unauthorized software and uploading it back onto Xbox Live risks the integrity and security of the service. Once an account has been tampered with, we can’t trust it on Xbox Live.
No, not really. We permanently suspend accounts because they were manipulated using software that violates our Code of Conduct and the tampered data was re-uploaded to the Xbox Live service. We hope you understand that we take the tampering of our system and network very seriously.
Unauthorized modification software is widely available on the web. All your child needs to accomplish these serious violations are a few button clicks on their PC or access to someone who already has the required software (a sibling, friend, classmate, etc.).
If you engage in account tampering, your account can be subject to a permanent suspension. Especially egregious or repeated violations may lead to a device ban.
There are a number of situations that are considered to be account theft. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
Account theft leads to financial loss, identity theft, a violation of personal privacy, and other avenues of fraud outside of Xbox Live. We are dedicated to the privacy and safety of every Xbox Live member, and cannot tolerate any attempts to steal accounts or personal information.
The best way to avoid getting in trouble for account theft is to avoid using accounts that weren't created by you. Ask yourself these questions:
If the answer to either of these questions is "no", then you may run the risk of enforcement for account theft.
Xbox Live is a social platform, and we encourage friends to play together. There’s nothing wrong with playing your favorite split-screen game with a friend. However, borrowing or transferring the account, using the account without permission, or using the friend’s account to make purchases or commit other Code of Conduct violations will result in an enforcement for account theft.
If you engage in account theft, expect to receive permanent account suspensions and/or device bans.
For more information about protecting your Microsoft Account and identifying warning signs of account theft, visit www.xbox.com/security.
Phishing includes, but isn’t limited to:
Phishing typically leads to financial loss, identity theft, a violation of personal privacy, and other avenues of fraud outside of Xbox Live. A single message directing your friends to a phishing website can lead to many stolen accounts. We are dedicated to the privacy and safety of every Xbox Live member, and cannot tolerate any attempts to steal accounts or personal information.
It’s never appropriate to ask for another player’s login information, regardless of the reasoning behind it. It is also never ok to send other players to a phishing website. Phishing is an extremely serious violation and we must hold the offending account responsible.
If you are involved in requesting account details, or directing users to those involved in such activities, expect to receive permanent account suspensions and/or device bans.
Marketplace theft includes, but isn’t limited to:
The Microsoft Store, accessible through the web, Windows, and your Xbox console, is a trusted one-stop shop for Xbox games and other digital content. Some games, especially those that sell consumable content such as loot boxes or items bought with in-game currency, may have their own trusted digital storefronts operated by the game’s developer or publisher.
Purchasing a game online and receiving an account or e-mail address and password.
Whether you’re attempting to purchase a game, downloadable content, or consumables such as loot boxes or in-game currency, a legitimate store will never supply content in the form of an account. Selling Xbox Live accounts is a violation of the Code of Conduct, and many sold accounts are stolen, “hacked” from unsuspecting players, or funded through illegitimate means. If you receive an account after purchasing a game or content, don’t use it.
Seeing a website consistently sell content well below market value.
While it’s great to take advantage of sales, if you encounter a store consistently selling games for considerably less than the rest of the market it could be a sign that the content was acquired illegitimately. For example, if a brand-new game is available from a seller for 50% less than other stores, and it doesn’t appear that the price is because of a sale, it may be a risky website to purchase from. Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
The only one who benefits from buying fraudulently-obtained content is the fraudster. It harms other players by supporting the theft of accounts and personal information, and it harms content creators by undermining their hard work and denying them the revenue they need to keep making great games. Because of this, purchasing from unauthorized sellers is considered fraud and can result in enforcement action.
Purchasing from fraudulent sellers can also lead to phishing and other risks to your own online safety. You should never provide personal information to a website that you don’t know to be trustworthy.
Sometimes, fraudulent sellers will provide redemption codes for games, subscriptions, or other content. While these codes may look legitimate, the seller may have stolen them from a trustworthy retailer or purchased them using a stolen credit card for resale. Keep in mind the signs of a fraudulent seller, and always purchase content only from trustworthy retailers.
A chargeback refers to a refund processed directly through a bank or credit card company, rather than the retailer that sold the goods being refunded. If you encounter a specific issue with a game or otherwise have reason to request a refund, it should be approached through Microsoft. Chargebacks that circumvent Microsoft refund policies harm content creators and undermine the integrity of the Microsoft Store, and can be considered a form of fraud.
We strive to provide every player with enjoyable products that they are proud to use. While there are situations that can allow for refunded content, attempts to abuse Microsoft refund policies are considered a form of fraud. This can include efforts to deceive Xbox customer support representatives by falsely claiming that content doesn’t work, falsely claiming that an account didn’t receive content that it should have, or repeatedly contacting customer support to achieve a different outcome following an unapproved refund request.
Developers make awesome games and other content, and we want Xbox to be the best place for you to use that content. To do that, we need to protect customers by providing them with a safe and secure place to purchase and play their favorite games, and we need to support developers by providing them with a vibrant marketplace that rewards their efforts. Fraud is a serious topic that affects everyone, and in addition to the Xbox Live Code of Conduct most developers and publishers have their own rules pointing out the dangers of buying and selling fraudulent content.
Gamerscore and achievement corrections occur on a player’s Xbox Live account when they gain achievements or other awards through the manipulation of an Xbox profile using external or unauthorized tools and/or hardware. When a Gamerscore correction occurs the player’s Gamerscore is reset and previously-earned achievements remain unobtainable.
We look for abnormal Gamerscore and achievement activity using criteria that identifies accounts that have used external means to unlock achievements and other awards. Players who play games legitimately to earn Gamerscore and achievements are unaffected by this.
Once an account has been tampered with, we can’t trust it on Xbox Live. If a profile has been modified with unauthorized tools or hardware, we have to treat it as a risk to the Xbox Live service. It is also unfair to players who have unlocked achievements through legitimate gameplay.
Gamerscore cheating will result in a reset of the account’s Gamerscore, and depending on the circumstances and severity of the violation may be accompanied by a temporary or permanent account suspension. Under certain circumstances, a Gamerscore correction may be limited to achievements earned on a particular platform. Egregious or repeated Gamerscore violations may lead to a device ban.
Inappropriate Game DVR content includes, but is not limited to
Xbox Live is designed to be fun and safe for everyone; when people upload harmful or offensive content, it disrupts the Xbox Live experience for other gamers. We remove this offensive content to preserve the quality of our service, and to create a safe and welcoming environment for all.
Remember, Xbox Live is designed for users of all ages and your clips and screenshots may be viewable by anyone! You’re welcome to create content from a Mature-rated title, but Kinect content (including audio, video, and text) must be appropriate for an audience of all ages. Gameplay clips or screenshots that are likely to be perceived as provocative, including those featuring egregious violent or lewd content without adequate context, may also be considered inappropriate.
While you personally may not have created the inappropriate content, your account was still used to create it. You are ultimately responsible for the content uploaded by your account. When an enforcement is issued, it’s not necessarily because you committed a violation, but because the account was used to commit a violation.
If content that you didn’t intend to share was taken down, your captures may be set to automatically upload to Xbox Live. If your privacy settings allow you to share game clips and screenshots automatic upload is enabled by default, and any captured clips or screenshots may appear in your activity feed and be visible to others.
To check if automatic upload is turned on, visit Settings on your Xbox One, then Preferences, and select the Automatically upload dropdown. If you don’t want to automatically upload captures to Xbox Live, select the Don't upload option. Keep in mind that you’ll still be able to manually upload any clips or screenshots that you choose to share.
If you create or share inappropriate Game DVR or Upload content, the offending clip or screenshot will be removed and your ability to use these applications may be revoked for seven, 30, or 90 days. Especially egregious violations may result in an account suspension and/or device ban, without any prior warning.
Inappropriate Gamertag and Real Name content includes, but is not limited to:
Xbox Live is designed to be fun and safe for everyone; when people choose harmful or offensive content for their identity it disrupts the Xbox Live experience for other gamers. We remove this offensive content to preserve the quality of our service, and to create a safe and welcoming environment for all.
If you create an offensive or inappropriate Gamertag, it will be replaced with a new automatically-generated Gamertag. If your Real Name content is deemed offensive it will not be changed, but the ability to share it with others on Xbox Live will be disabled.
Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement is proud of the diversity of Xbox Live players, and Real Name enforcements are not intended to pass judgment on anyone's name or identity. Instead, Real Name enforcements are issued in order to remove harmful and highly offensive content from the Xbox Live service. We do not target specific names or types of names, and each enforcement is issued only after a thorough investigation that determined the content could be seen as offensive by the Xbox Live community.
Harassment encompasses a number of situations, including, but not limited to:
Xbox Live is designed to be enjoyed by everyone, and no one should ever have to feel unsafe or threatened on the service. Harassing and threatening others goes entirely against the spirit of friendly online gaming, and one of Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement’s primary responsibilities is ensuring that all users have the opportunity to have a fun and safe gaming experience on Xbox Live.
If you engage in harassment towards other users, you could receive communications suspensions or temporary account suspensions. Especially bad or repeated violations may lead to additional action, including permanent account suspensions or device bans.
Many multiplayer games are highly competitive, and friendly banter and smack talk is completely understandable. However, when that language is used in an attempt to abuse, threaten, or otherwise cause genuine offense it’s no longer smack talk, but harassment. There’s a big difference between enjoying a competitive game and trying to offend others.
Trolling includes any attempt to intentionally provoke or manipulate other players, usually to disrupt their gaming experience or cause an emotional response. Regardless of the reason behind the trolling, it is always considered harassment. Even if the intent is to provide entertainment or get people to laugh, it’s still at the expense of other Xbox Live players, and that is not acceptable.
Impersonation encompasses a number of situations, including, but not limited to:
Xbox Live is designed to be fun and safe for everyone; harassment, coercion, and phishing as a result of impersonation can lead to compromised accounts and can result in people feeling unsafe. Impersonation can also contribute to false perceptions about Microsoft or enforcement policies and can reduce trust in actual employees or other officials.
If you engage in impersonation or related harassment, you could receive temporary or permanent account suspensions. Especially bad or repeated violations may lead to additional action, including a device ban.
Xbox Live has a number of features at your disposal for dealing with troublesome users. You can prevent users from communicating with you by using the Mute and Block features, and if necessary you can file a complaint that will be reviewed by Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement. However, impersonation and threats should never be used in an attempt to stop someone else from breaking the Code of Conduct.
Club violations include, but are not limited to:
Xbox Live is at its best when players rally around their shared passion for gaming and we believe players should feel welcome and supported. Inappropriate or offensive Club content can negatively impact the gaming experience for others. When this occurs, it’s a loss for the entire Xbox community. No matter who you are, where you come from, or how you play, everyone deserves to enjoy Xbox Live.
Gaming is about having fun and should bring people together, not drive them apart. In many cases, we force a Club name change due to profanity, slurs, sexual content, or other inappropriate terms. However, Club names may also be changed because the name is exclusionary and creates an unwelcome environment. Because Club names are very visible across Xbox, we encourage people to name their Clubs to welcome in people with similar interests instead of naming their Clubs to exclude others.
For example, the Club name “Hardcore Xbox Fans ONLY” implies that if you are a fan of other platforms or don’t meet the Club’s definition of hardcore, you’re not welcome. However, renaming this Club to “Hardcore Xbox Fans” doesn’t exclude others and builds the group around a common interest instead of a point of exclusion. This may seem like a fine point, but words really matter.
We encourage everyone to participate in Clubs that reflect their own identity and interests; these individual differences are both respected and protected. Because of this, it’s important that all Clubs respect the rules outlined in the Code of Conduct. This approach helps ensure that every Xbox Live member has a positive experience, no matter how they wish to use or enjoy Xbox Live. There may be content that other Clubs allow that you do not wish to have in your Club, and that’s okay! Club owners can make Club rules, but it’s never ok to harass others, promote inappropriate content, or create an unwelcoming environment. The Xbox Live Code of Conduct will always apply.
As with all enforcements, the resulting action depends on the type of violation:
Club owners can appoint admins who may remove disruptive members and take down select Club content. Admins help maintain a lively and inclusive environment and ensure the Club is run the way its members want, within the rules of Xbox Live. Though these admins fill an important role, they are not part of the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement Team and do not have the ability to issue Xbox Live suspensions.
Admins are responsible for implementing any Club rules and can remove any Club content that they believe violates the Code of Conduct. XBLPET is responsible for conducting in-depth reviews of possible Code of Conduct violations, but does not enforce the rules of individual Clubs. If you encounter content that you don’t think belongs in the Club (such as off-topic content or unwanted smack talk), report it to the Club admins. However, any content or behavior that you feel is a violation of the Xbox Live Code of Conduct can also be reported directly to Xbox.
Custom images are a great way to express yourself and what’s meaningful to you. Upload a selfie, show off your hobbies, display your awesome creations, or find another way to make a positive impression on the community. We’ve seen peoples’ pets, their cars, medals they’ve won, custom Xbox controllers, even their favorite pizza. Use your imagination!
Whatever image you choose, keep in mind that all images have to follow the guidelines in the Code of Conduct. Please avoid:
Our mission is to make Xbox a place where everyone has fun, and every member deserves to be welcomed and respected. Together we form an awesome community, and we need to work together to keep it fun for every player. By reporting inappropriate content, we can each do our part to help ensure that everyone has a positive online experience.
Xbox Live is your gaming network, and we want you to express yourself, but Xbox Live belongs to millions of other players too. It’s important to treat others as you would like to be treated.
We encourage you to be yourself and show off what makes you awesome, but not at the expense of other players’ positive online experiences.
The Xbox Live community is diverse, and you may occasionally encounter content that you disagree with that does not violate Xbox Live guidelines.
We feel strongly that players should be able to express themselves and show what’s important to them. This includes topics that encourage passionate and wide-ranging community opinions. You may disagree with another player’s views, but we want to provide everyone with the opportunity to show off who they are.
Everyone should be able to choose the experience that’s right for them and their family. Gamers who are 13 years or younger and have a child account will not be able to see custom images on Xbox Live unless a parent has changed the account’s privacy settings. You can learn more about privacy and online safety settings for a child account here.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to upload inappropriate images. To help keep Xbox Live fun for everyone, all content must follow the Code of Conduct.
If you upload an inappropriate custom image it may be removed and replaced with the most recent Microsoft-created image that you used, and you will be prevented from uploading any additional imagery for a specific period (typically 24 hours). Repeated violations or especially inappropriate images may result in lengthier suspensions.
Keep in mind that once you’ve uploaded an image, even if it was shown only briefly or was subsequently changed, it may get reviewed and the account may still be subject to enforcement action.
Crisis Text Line is a free, 24/7 service that provides support for people in crisis. Texting Crisis Text Line from anywhere in the United States allows people to connect with trained and confidential crisis counselors dedicated to helping others stay safe and healthy.
Crisis Text Line is not part of Microsoft, but an important partner in promoting online safety and wellness. When we identify someone who may be going through a moment of crisis we want to let them know that there is an opportunity to get help.
Usually it’s because a concerned player reported something. Xbox routinely reviews reported content and activity and if we think someone may be going through a difficult time we want to do what we can to help them stay safe.
Not at all. Though many Crisis Text Line referrals originate from player reports it doesn’t mean you did anything inappropriate. We care about you and sent the message only to provide you with the option to talk things out with a confidential crisis counselor.
Our mission is to make Xbox a place where everyone has fun. Part of that mission involves removing harmful content and behavior, but equally important is promoting online safety and empowering every player with the tools to maintain their wellbeing.
Your privacy is extremely important to us, and we will never share personal data or report on referrals except as required by law or in situations of imminent threat to life.
We don’t inform Crisis Text Line of any referrals that we’ve made and don’t provide them with any information about you. Likewise, any contact that you have with Crisis Text Line is confidential and we won’t receive any feedback or see anything that you discuss with Crisis Text Line counselors.