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Xbox adds eight-strike policy to curb cheating, swearing and abuse

For Xbox gamers it’s now eight-strikes and you’re out. No, this isn’t a new batter-friendly baseball game. It’s the new community standards policy.

Microsoft is today offering a little clarity on why gamers will be banned from Xbox social features, for set periods of time.

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So, once you hit two strikes you’re done for the day. Four strikes, you’re done for a whole week. If you hit the maximum of eight strikes, you’re locked out for an entire year. That’s no multiplayer, no party chat, no messaging and no other social features for 12 months you naughty, naughty Xbox owner.

However, it’s not just a case of all infractions being levied with a single strike. If you swear or cheat during a Forza Horizon 5 multiplayer session, for instance, you’ll get a strike. If you send a sexually inappropriate or bullying message, that’ll be two strikes. Straight up hate speech in Starfield and that’s three strikes.

Gamers will be able to view their enforcement history, so they’re able to keep tabs on how their next infraction might affect their ability to continue gaming. Strikes will be appealable and enforced strikes will remain on the record for six months.

Microsoft likens the new policy to how driving infractions are punished in countries like the UK, but expects most gamers to correct their ways after one suspension.

In a blog post, Microsoft said: “In 2022, fewer than 1% of all players received a temporary suspension, and only 1/3 of those received a second. Our data shows us that players typically stop inappropriate behavior after one enforcement, quickly learning what is and is not acceptable based on the Xbox Community Standards and how to better engage on our platform.

“The strike system is designed to further empower players to engage positively and appropriately on Xbox and with the community.”

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