Microsoft has revealed some new social features coming to Xbox Live, accessible to PC gamers via the Xbox app on Windows 10, which it says will give players “more choice in how you play games.” First on the list are Clubs and Looking for Group, which are live now for Xbox Live Preview members, and it’s also got a new online tournament platform on the way called Arena.
Clubs are user-created groups that give Xbox Live members the ability to form and manage their own personal online communities. Clubs can be formed around virtually any shared interest, and members can play online together, share content, set up parties, and communicate through voice and text chat. Clubs that are associated with particular games will be accessible in its Game Hub, to make them easier for like-minded fans to find.
Looking for Group, meanwhile, is “like posting a gaming want-ad to the Xbox community.” Players can browse and join open LFGs, or create their own; once the group is full (or the host decides he’s tired of waiting), everyone will be brought into a party chat and the game can begin. Hosts can set rules to govern the behavior of players, like “no swearing” or “mad skillz only” (something to that effect, anyway) to ensure that everyone involved theoretically gets what they’re looking for. As opposed to, say, berated by strangers on the internet.
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The Gamerscore Leaderboard is also being changed to be faster and more reliable, and will now reset at the beginning of each month, giving you and your friends a fresh start for your online competitions. A detailed breakdown of the changes is available on the Xbox Wire.