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Microsoft is changing the way Xbox Gamertags work. The changes mean that you’ll have many more options available to you when choosing (or changing) your Gamertag. Thankfully, if you’re happy with your current Gamertag you can keep everything as it is.
Xbox Gamertags are the nicknames Xbox owners use when gaming. They mean you don’t have to use your real name, letting you create an online persona. You’ve been able to change your Gamertag for a while, but the options available are now expanding.
Microsoft’s New Xbox Gamertag Options
As detailed in a post on Xbox Wire, the first new Xbox Gamertag option is support for more character sets. Microsoft is adding support for 10 more worldwide alphabets, which means Gamertags will now encompass 200 commonly spoken languages.
The new character sets are Basic Latin, Latin-1 Supplement, Hangul, Katakana, Hiragana, CJK Symbols for languages in China, Japan, and Korea, Bengali, Devanagari, Cyrillic, and Thai. Which gives you a vastly expanded set of characters to use.
There are some changes coming to Xbox Live Gamertags to support more naming scripts to represent over 200 languages and provide you more options with selecting (or changing) your Gamertag. https://t.co/b5yORYLRxj
— Larry @ #E3 (@majornelson) June 10, 2019
The second change is ID suffixes. These mean that anyone can choose any Gamertag they like, even if that name has already been taken. In the event that someone has already taken it, the name will have a hashtag followed by a set of numbers to make it unique.
Microsoft gives the example of “Doctor Hoot,” which would become “Doctor Hoot#1056”. This may not be the prettiest solution, but it’s better than not getting to use your preferred nickname at all. It’s very similar to what works on Steam, Discord, and Battle.net.
If You’re Happy With Your Gamertag…
If you’re already on Xbox and are happy with your current Gamertag, you don’t need to do anything. Your Gamertag will remain the same and won’t have an ID suffix added to it. However, be aware that people can now use the same name as you, albeit with a suffix.
These changes are available right now through the Xbox app for PC and Xbox Game Bar. They will be rolled out to consoles and mobile devices over the next year, so if you make any changes now, you may not see the changes take place across all devices quite yet.
If you want to make more use of these new options, here’s how to change your Xbox Gamertag. Sony has also introduced the option, so here’s how to change your PSN name. Just beware that it costs real money to change them, so try to get it right the first time.