Xbox One Backwards Compatibility FAQ Explains The Ins and Outs of Playing Your Old Xbox 360 Games

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility FAQ Explains The Ins and Outs of Playing Your Old Xbox 360 Games

Microsoft launched today the preview version of Xbox One’s backwards compatibility feature that will ultimately let you play Xbox 360 games on your news console.

Alongside with the announcement, a post on the private preview forums by Program Manager Emily Hanson explains the full ins and outs of the feature in its current preview incarnation.

Remember that this is just a preview version, so many details can change when the feature will be released this Holiday season.

It’s also worth mentioning that the feature is not up and running just yet at the moment of this writing, and it will be implemented for preview members only later today.

Q: How do I play an Xbox 360 game on my Xbox One?

A:  You must own a supported Xbox 360 title. (For a list of supported titles, see below)  If you have a supported digital version of the game, you can install the game from the “Ready to Install” section of My games & apps.  If you have a disk version of the game, you can simply insert the disk into your Xbox One console.

Q: Where is Borderlands? You showed it, but I don’t see it in Preview.

A: We are continuing to finalize all the necessary packaging and validation work with our partners to bring your favorite games to the program as soon as possible. While not part of the Preview launch, stay tuned to find out when Borderlands will be available through Xbox One Backward Compatibility. 

Q: What about my other Xbox 360 games?

A: We are continuing to add more titles.  Not all titles will be supported but check back and see if your titles have been added to the list. Or go to Xbox Feedback to suggest your favorites.

Q: Do I need to also own an Xbox 360 Console to play these games?

A: No, you do not need to own an Xbox 360 console. 

Q: Can I buy these games from the Xbox One store?

A: If you want to purchase these games, you can buy them digitally from the store on your Xbox 360 console, on (search for titles in Xbox 360 games) or from your local retailer.

Q: How do I get to the Xbox 360 Guide on my Xbox One?

A: While playing your Xbox 360 game on Xbox One, you can access the Xbox 360 Guide by pressing the Menu and View buttons on your Xbox One controller at the same time. (Note: some games have additional functionality when pressing either the Menu or the View button individually. Be mindful there may be unexpected behavior if you press one button prior to the other. Check the Game Specific Issues in the Known Issues for workarounds in specific titles.)

Q: Can I continue a game that I started on my Xbox 360?

A: If you have saved your games to the cloud from an Xbox 360, you will be able to continue that game on the Xbox One.  Some titles do not support cloud storage. In those cases, game saves will not be recovered on the Xbox One. Please refer to the list below to see which titles do not support cloud storage. For help on saving your games to the cloud from your Xbox 360 console, check the following articles:

Setting up cloud storage on 360:



Q: I saved my game on Xbox One but don’t see the saved game on my Xbox 360. What happened to my game?

A:  Xbox 360 game saves are uploaded after you quit the game on Xbox One.  You must quit it from Home or launch another non-backward compatible game in order for the save to be uploaded.  If you turn off your console, it will be uploaded when you turn it back on. 

Q: Can I play multiplayer with friends who are playing the game on Xbox 360 or Xbox One?

A:  Yes!  For games that have multiplayer, you will be able to play with others who own the title on Xbox 360.  For Xbox One users, only members of the Public Preview audience who own the game will be able to play with you during this beta.

Q: Will I need to earn my game achievements again on the Xbox One?

A: No, if you originally earned the game achievement on the Xbox 360 you will not get duplicate achievements nor lose your previous achievements.

Known issues:

Game Saves

Save your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One often!  If you leave the game (i.e. launch a full screen app or another game) you could potentially lose any unsaved progress.

Creating Parties and Chatting

When engaging with Xbox 360 users or other users of Xbox One playing Xbox 360 games, use the Party and Chat functions on the Xbox 360 Guide (press Menu and View buttons to bring up the menu and select Party or Chat).

Navigation with multiple controllers

If there is more than one controller connected to your Xbox One, only one controller can be used for navigating the Xbox 360 Guide. 

Home Screen Tile performance

Playing an Xbox 360 game inside the large tile of the Xbox One Home screen can cause audio and visual performance degradation. Play games in full screen mode to avoid this.

In-game issues (for all games)

  • Rich presence says “Home” instead of something game specific.
  • The ESRB splash screen or disclaimer text does not show at the beginning of games.
  • After the Xbox 360 boot animation renders, the game sometimes takes a few seconds to load, just be patient. 

Game Specific Issues

  • A Kingdom for Keflings: May not use correct avatar when playing offline.
  • Defense Grid: Pressing the View button will reset the level if pressed during gameplay.  If you are trying to call up the Xbox 360 guide it is recommended that you first press and hold the Menu button then press View to avoid resetting the level.
  • Geometry Wars Evolved: It is possible to start a game before the Xbox Live sign-in completes, and when it does it will return you back to the game’s main menu.
  • Hexic: Corners of locked tiles in Survival mode are not rendering correctly.
  • Kameo: If you receive the error “problem with the disc you are using”, it is the game’s generic error, it is likely not an issue with the disc.
  • Mass Effect: Framerate degradations in 360 version may manifest slightly differently in Backward Compatibility version.
  • Perfect Dark Zero: Framerate degradations in 360 version may manifest slightly differently in the Backward Compatibility version.
  • Perfect Dark Zero: Ranked multi-player is not yet supported in Backward Compatibility.
  • Perfect Dark: Co-operative multi-player between 360 and Backward Compatibility is not yet supported.
  • Super Meat Boy: There is a pre-existing bug from Xbox 360 where controller input doesn’t behave correctly with controller 2.
  • Toy Soldiers: Online multi-player may sometimes get out of sync.
  • Toy Soldiers Cold War: Existing framerate degradations in 360 version may manifest slightly differently in Backward Compatibility version.
  •  Zuma: There is a pre-existing bug from Xbox 360 where achievements that should be earned, are not always earned.
  • Zuma: Some users are not getting achievements. To make achievements work for a specific user (“User X”) you can perform the following workaround. This will require 2 user accounts (“User X” and “User Y”:
    • o   Sign in “User X” and “User Y” into Xbox One.
    • o   Choose “User Y” and start Zuma
    • o   Proceed past the “Press A” to the main menu.
    • o   Ensure that you have seen “User Y signed into Xbox LIVE” notification.
    • o   Bring up the Xbox 360 Guide by pressing Menu and View buttons at the same time.
    • o   Sign out “User Y”
    • o   Sign in “User X”

Current Xbox 360 titles that are playable on Xbox One:

  • A Kingdom of Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Banjo Kazooie
  • Banjo Tooie
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Defense Grid
  • Geometry Wars Evolved
  • Hexic HD
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Kameo
  • Mass Effect
  • N+
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Super Meat Boy*
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
  • Zuma

*Cloud saved games are not supported for this title