Microsoft is introducing a new ‘Strike’ system to Xbox, aimed at curbing the ever-growing toxicity problem. This has been a long-running problem ever since the inception of multiplayer games. Toxicity means acting in a negative manner such as hurling slurs at others, being aggressive or rude, or spreading hate. Let’s look at how the new Xbox strike system functions, how many strikes a player gets, and at what point a player receives a ban for their actions.
In the past, developers have actively implemented measures to prevent players from engaging in toxic behavior with others. This includes in-game feedback systems for other players, promoting ethics of teamplay & compassion, and sometimes straight-up bans to toxic players. It’s quite an impossible task for any developer to be efficient at reducing toxicity in their game but measures like this definitely help. Xbox is calling its new feature the Enforcement Strike system.
New Xbox Enforcement Strike System: How Does It Work?
With the new enforcement strike system, Xbox aims to provide players with a robust method to reduce toxicity caused by problematic teammates. Every player begins with a clean slate, with 0 strikes. When a player violates the Xbox Community Standards, they can get reported for various types of inappropriate activities.
Depending on the severity of the actions, players can receive anywhere from 1 to 3 strikes. The length of suspension depends on how many strikes a player has. Below is an example of how the strike system will look for players. As you can see below, the player will be reminded to review the Xbox Community Standards (linked above) to avoid future consequences.
They expect players to learn better from the system, once they receive their first strikes. It seems that players will also get the option to submit an appeal for their suspensions.
These are some examples given by Microsoft, telling us how many strikes can get added based on the type of report received against the player:
Type of Action Number of Strikes Profanity 1 Cheating 1 Sexually Inappropriate 2 Harassment or Bullying 2 Hate Speech 3
If a player receives even one strike, they can lose access to Xbox Social features. These include parties, messaging, multiplayer, and other restrictions. If a player has received any previous suspensions, they have to be completed as well. Single-player experiences will still be functional, even for players with an active suspension. Also, if a player makes a serious violation, Xbox holds the right to suspend all functionality of an account, including access to past purchases. Here’s how the suspension length will vary based on the number of strikes:
Strike Count Length of Suspension 1 1 day 2 1 day 3 3 days 4 1 week (7 days) 5 2 weeks (14 days) 6 3 weeks (21 days) 7 2 months (60 days) 8 1 year (365 days)
Microsoft provided some insights into how players behave after receiving a suspension, based on observational data. They found that in the case of players who have received a single temporary suspension, they seem to learn from their previously inappropriate behavior. Around one-third of these players receive a second suspension, and in 2022, reportedly less than 1% of all players received a suspension.
This new strike system on Xbox is a welcome change, and I hope it can alleviate the problem of toxicity in online gaming. Since the entire Xbox platform (including the social services) has received this update, it will benefit the entire Xbox community across all the games they play. By the way, if you love playing new games, check out our article on some major upcoming games of 2023. We have plenty of games launching on Xbox this year, so check it out so you can find the next Xbox game to play.
What do you think about the new Xbox enforcement strike system? Will it reduce toxicity in online multiplayer games? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.