Xbox adopts an eight-strike suspension policy

Players who strike out won't be able to use Xbox's social or multiplayer features for an entire year.

·2 min read
Aaron Souppouris/Engadget

Microsoft is attempting to be more transparent about how it enforces the Xbox community standards. The company is moving to an eight-strike suspension policy, which comes into force today. Every enforcement action will include strikes. The number of strikes that the Xbox Safety team applies to an account will depend on the severity of the infraction. Each strike results in a suspension from Xbox's social features.

Account suspensions scale depending on the number of strikes. After two strikes, the player will be suspended for a day. When a player hits four strikes, Xbox will suspend their account for a week. Hit the full eight strikes and a player will be locked out of multiplayer, messaging, parties, party chat and other Xbox social features for one year. During a suspension, a player can still sign in, play games that don't need Xbox online services, use some apps and make purchases.

Xbox asks players to report any violations of the community standards that they see or hear someone else committing. The safety team assesses reports to figure out if a violation actually happened. If so, they'll determine how many strikes to include in the enforcement action.

Strikes will remain on players' accounts for six months. After strikes expire, they won't count toward a player's total. That said, if the safety team deems a violation of the community standards to be especially severe or egregious, it may issue a permanent ban regardless of the number of strikes on an account.

Players can view their enforcement history, where they can see how many strikes they have and exactly when a suspension will end. They can appeal against eligible enforcement actions too. Xbox will also share data on strikes and enforcement actions in its bi-annual Transparency Report.

Any enforcements applied to an account before today won't have any strikes applied to them. However, players will still have to complete any current suspensions before they regain full access to Xbox services.

Microsoft notes that in 2022, it handed out temporary suspensions to less than one percent of all players, and just a third of those had to endure a second suspension. Still, this is the latest in a string of efforts by the company to make the Xbox community safe and welcoming for everyone. Recently, it started rolling out an Xbox feature that allows users to capture and report abusive or inappropriate voice chat.