Microsoft is introducing a new enforcement strike system to tackle bad online behavior on Xbox that can result in some lengthy suspensions.
Under the new system, each violation of the Xbox Community Standards will result in a strike which remains on a player’s record for six months. Each strike results in a suspension from Xbox’s social features (e.g. messaging, parties, party chat, and multiplayer) starting at one day and stacking up.
Because the strikes remain in place for months, particularly badly-behaved players can see them stack along with the length of the suspension. It’s possible to receive a maximum of eight strikes against your name, which will result in a suspension lasting an entire year. When you come back, your record will be wiped clean and hopefully you’ve learned what “inappropriate behavior” means on Xbox.
Dave McCarthy, CVP Xbox Player Services, points out that Microsoft won’t stop suspended accounts from accessing their single-player experiences and they will retain access to purchased content. 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.”
Players are able to appeal their strikes, and Microsoft promises there will be “no automated enforcement actions based solely on the fact that a report was made.” It doesn’t matter how many reports are filed against a player, either. No strikes will be issued until reports have been reviewed by the Xbox Safety Team.
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The good news, this new system isn’t likely to impact that many people. Microsoft says that during 2022 less than 1% of players received a suspension, and only a third of those suspended received a second strike. Let’s hope no player decides obtaining eight strikes is a new type of achievement and tests the limits of this new system.
Microsoft recently replaced Xbox Live Gold with Game Pass Core and reintroduced the $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offer, but it only lasts for 14 days now. It’s also going to be possible to record Xbox voice chats to act as proof of inappropriate behavior.
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