Skip to main content

Microsoft punishes bad Xbox One players with reputation warnings

Act like a jerk on Xbox Live, and your console might start giving you an earful about your behaviour. Continue, and you'll likely be stuck playing with other jerks.

Microsoft provided a refresher on its upcoming reputation system in a blog post after teasing out most of the key details of the programme in July 2013. Starting this month, reminders will start going out to those who straddle the line between good, wholesome Xbox Live players and trolls.

Here's how it works: If you're the kind of Xbox Live gamer who just goes about his or her business and receives zero reports from other gamers, then you're automatically going to be put into the top tier of Microsoft's reputation system: "Good Players." At some point in the future, your awesomeness will result in rewards, but Microsoft is still working on that part of its incentive plan.

But if your fellow gamers have been reporting issues related to your behaviour (which would have happened since the launch of the Xbox One), then you're going to fall into the second category – "Needs Work." If you're there, then you'll start receiving "reputation warnings" from Microsoft, suggesting you might want to clean up whatever it is you're doing to irritate other gamers.

Continue to be a jerk – as reported by the community – and you'll get dumped into the "Avoid Me" category. If you're big into online gaming, you don't want to be in that category.

"For example, people with an 'Avoid Me' rating will have reduced matchmaking pairings and may be unable to use certain privileges such as Twitch broadcasting," writes Microsoft programme manager Micheal Dunn.

On the plus side, Microsoft is actively working with its reputation system to ensure that those who unfairly target other players – perhaps because they just got stomped on in a Titanfall match, or are otherwise using the reputation system to be jerks themselves – won't have much of an effect, if any.

"Remember, we designed the algorithm so it won't penalise you for bad reports over a few weeks of play. The system also adjusts for false reports from people that might intentionally report someone of greater skill or for other griefing purposes," Dunn writes.

Speaking of, Microsoft's reputation system is a bit more lenient than what might happen if you're caught cheating in said Titanfall game. Developer Respawn Entertainment, as of Friday, started banning players caught cheating in the game using what is known as the FairFight system. Though, perhaps "banned" is a bit strong of a word — cheaters can still play Titanfall online, just in a very particular setup.

"Great news: you get to keep playing Titanfall! Less-great news: you only get to play with other cheaters. You can play with other banned players in something that will resemble the Wimbledon of aimbot contests. Hopefully the aimbot cheat you paid for really is the best, or these all-cheater matches could be frustrating for you. Good luck," reads a post on the Titanfall blog.