Your gamertag represents you to everyone else on Xbox Live. But not everyone loves their gamertag; you might cringe at the one you chose while in high school, or maybe you didn’t get a chance to set your own gamertag when you set up your Xbox account.
Whatever the case, you’ll be glad to know that Microsoft lets you change your Xbox gamertag. Here’s how to walk through the process.
How to Change Your Gamertag on the Web
If you’re not at your Xbox console, or prefer to type your new gamertag out, you can change it using a web browser on your phone or PC.
To do so, head to the change your gamertag page and sign in with your Microsoft account if needed. Check the name at the top-right to make sure you’re signed in with the right account; this is especially important if you gameshare on Xbox with a friend and have their credentials!
On this page, you’ll see a box where you can enter a new gamertag and click Check availability to see if it’s taken.
As the page notes, gamertags can have a maximum of 12 characters, which includes spaces. Gamertags can’t start with a number. You’ll see an error if your new proposed tag breaks any of these rules (or breaks Xbox’s profanity rules).
If the gamertag is available, you’ll see a preview of how it will look across the Xbox platform. Gamertags already in use also include a suffix consisting of a hash symbol (#) followed by a string of numbers. These suffixes allow multiple people to use the same gamertag, while still having something to differentiate them.
As the page notes, changing your gamertag will release your current one back into the pool. If you’ve never changed your gamertag before, you can do so once for free. Changing it again will cost you $10 each time.
How to Change Your Gamertag on an Xbox Console
If you prefer, you can choose a new gamertag on your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One. The steps are identical across console generations.
Hit the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide, then scroll to Profile & system (this shows your avatar; see our guide to setting a custom gamerpic if you want a new one) and select your account.
Go to My profile > Customize profile and select your gamertag. In the Choose new gamertag section, enter the one you’d like to swap to, then check its availability. If it’s available, you’ll see a preview of how it will look, then can confirm.
The same points as above on gamertag length, suffixes, and cost apply.
Important Points When Changing Your Gamertag
If you’re thinking about changing your gamertag, you should note a few important points in addition to what we discussed above.
First, changing your gamertag doesn’t affect anything else about your account (like your Gamerscore or privacy settings). Your gamertag will automatically update for all your friends, so while you might want to let them know to avoid confusion, they don’t have to do anything manually on their end.
Be aware that if you choose a gamertag already in use and thus get one with a suffix, those numbers will appear almost everywhere (except in friend lists). You cannot choose the suffix numbers. Consider choosing a unique gamertag if this bothers you.
These suffixes are four digits in most cases, but the length depends on the gamertag length. A 12-character name has a three-digit suffix; each fewer character in the gamertag allows for another in the suffix.
When Xbox updated its gamertag system in 2019, it expanded language support. You can thus use alphabets other than the Latin alphabet in your gamertag; however, using non-Latin characters always results in a suffix.
Change Your Xbox Gamertag and Represent Yourself
As we’ve seen, it’s simple to change your gamertag on Xbox Live. Since the first change is free, you have a chance to update your name to match your online presence elsewhere, or change it up for something fresh. Keep the small points discussed in mind and it will be an easy experience.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of ways to customize your Xbox beyond your gamertag.