As a pretty big fan of PC gaming, I have always wanted a better way to find my friends online and jump into a server with them. Well, XFire provides that solution and so much more.
You can grab XFire here and quickly install it. Once installed, XFire will automatically detect all of the games on your computer and prompt you to enter any of your friends’ emails, names or XFire names. This makes it extremely easy to get started.
XFire supports a massive amount of games from popular games like Counter-Strike to small time wasters like Zuma Deluxe. If you want to look at the exhaustive list, you can find it here.
Once some friends are added, you will be able to see exactly what games they are playing and where they are playing them. This is where XFire shines. You don’t just get to see your friends playing, but you can actually join them in the game and in voice chat by just clicking on the “join” button.
The sidebar is set on the friends view by default, but there is much more to the sidebar than meets the eye. The sidebar also includes Chat Rooms, Servers, Files, Screenshots, and Videos.
This isn’t a widely used feature, but it does exactly what you think it does. It allows you to make a chat room for all your friends or your team to discuss all of your awesome screenshots and videos.
This tab will replace all of your in game server browsers, as it allows you to see all of the servers in which you have played recently. It also gives you the option to add them to your favorites, so you can join them later. Not having to boot up Counter-Strike only to find out all of your favorite servers are full is such a great feeling.
In this area, you can download the latest patches, demos, trailers and movies. You are able to see the newest and most popular downloads. You can also search for a video you are looking for, but this will take you to the XFire website where you can better refine your search.
XFire has the ability to take and manage all of your screenshots. This is a great feature for anyone that competes or likes to take lots of screenshots of their amazing scores. XFire gives you the ability to customize the screenshot hotkey, and it conveniently saves all of your screenshots within your XFire folder.
This offers much of the same options as the screenshots tab except for video. You are able to record in game demos using a customizable hotkey for that highlight reel you want to put together some day.
Social Side of Things
On top of a great PC gaming messaging client, you also have a nice social network built in. XFire will automatically build you a basic profile, but you must go online to fill out the rest of the information and customize its appearance.
Your profile page allows you to upload the screenshots and videos you’ve taken. It also keeps track of the amount of time you’ve been playing each game, and it is the process of tracking and displaying some of your in-game statistics.
This way you can show off your high scores to your friends, and show them just how long it took you to do it.
Do you know of any good XFire equivalents that you would recommend?
(By) Kyle Judkins is a part-time freelance writer and tech blogger. He is the author of Lost In Technology where he talks about technology tips and tricks that everyone can use.