If you are into Xbox games, whether you enjoy playing them or watching other people play, you probably know that people are able to access some releases early.
And you might be asking yourself how that is possible and whether it’s something that you could do.
Yes, you can!
In this article, I will show you how you can access some Xbox releases several hours early and everything you need to know about how to play games early on Xbox, so let’s get right into it.
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How To Get Pre-Ordered Games Early On Xbox
The main thing that you do to get even earlier access to your pre-ordered games is to change your location settings and set it to the New Zealand time zone.
Since you get games based on your store region and what’s the time there, if you set your location to the region that just by nature of how time zones work gets it first, you will also get the game early on Xbox, as if you were living there.
Here are the steps for how you do this:
- Go to the Xbox Dashboard and open the Settings menu
- From the list of options on the left side, choose and click on System
- When the System section is opened, you will see several different buttons, and click on Language & location
- On the left side, you will see three different buttons, and you should click on Location
- Once it gives you the different regions to choose from, click on New Zealand
And that’s it!
Make sure that you do this a day early and not on the release day.
Once you set it to New Zealand, you will see that the release date has changed, meaning that you will get access to the game before you originally would’ve, had your settings stayed on your real location.
And don’t worry, this isn’t something that you need to continue doing.
Once the day has passed, and the game has been released for your region, too, you can change it back to your real region… until there is another release that you want to get ahead of!
How Changing Your Location Works
This might sound a bit too good to be true, as it seems like a bit of a bigger loophole, and it shouldn’t be this easy, right?
Well, with launches like these, it is, so let’s see what this is all about.
When a company launches anything on the Internet, including video games, it can either be a simultaneous or a local time launch.
When it is a simultaneous launch, the game becomes available for everyone at the same time, no matter what time it is.
For you, it could be launching at noon, but your friend overseas might be getting it at 4 am; it doesn’t matter; you’re getting in the same exact moment.
When launches are organized like that, this workaround, obviously, would not work.
With local time launches, the game becomes available at the same local time, so both you and your friend overseas will be getting it at noon; it’s just that noon comes to them first, and then it comes to you.
This means that New Zealand is the place that gets launches like this first, and if you live on the West coast of the US, this is way ahead of you.
So, when you change your region to New Zealand, you will be getting the game at the same time people over there do, hours before people who are physically closer to you will get it.
Does Changing Your Time Zone Influence Your Game Progress?
One concern that arises every time this loophole is mentioned is whether changing up your location will have some impact on your game progress and whether you’ll lose it.
Thankfully, you can sit down and relax since your game progress is something that stays the same even if you change your region, so you can play pre-ordered games without any worries.
What Xbox Thinks About The “Change Location” Workaround?
Since you’re reading this information on a very public platform and not getting it from some dark, sneaky corner of the Internet, you probably assumed that Xbox is aware of this workaround.
And you assumed right, they absolutely know that people are doing this, and even though they might not have predicted this happening, they don’t seem to mind it, as there has been no action whatsoever to stop it.
Moreover, there have been tweets from the official Xbox Australia and New Zealand account throwing jokes at this practice and welcoming people who “moved” to NZ when the Forza Horizon 5 game dropped.
Benefits For Streamers Who Play Xbox Games Early
If you are a streamer, then you might already know just how many benefits you could have with your audience if you decided to use this trick and then stream the game you have gained this early access to.
Streaming only on Twitch is great, but in case you also stream on YouTube, this is the prime time to make the most of it and stream on both platforms until the game becomes available for everyone.
On the YouTube homepage and tailored ads will help you to be found, and it’s inevitable that the engagement and site statistics will go up when you do this.
On the other hand, not a lot of people on Twitch will be playing this game at the same moment as you, so you know that you will stand out from the crowd.
Having An Engaged Audience After The Release Date
As I’ve said, you will gain a lot of traction by playing the game that hasn’t yet become accessible to a lot of your viewers, but as you probably know, having a successful streaming career is more about having people stay on your channel, rather than concentrating on these occasional spikes.
So, this is what you need to do to make the most out of the audience engagement and site popularity and keep new people on the channel:
- Don’t be shy and remind people directly to consider following or subscribing if they have enjoyed the stream
- Be aware of the chat and try and do things that people want to see
- Try to upload some of the early content you’re currently viewing on a VOD channel, which you should make if you don’t have it already
- Since you’re playing a new game, you will probably be playing it a lot in the weeks to come, so be sure to talk about your future plans with your audience so they have something to be excited about
- As always, be yourself and don’t feel pressured to put on an act just because you have more viewers than usual; being yourself will certainly get you very far
Using this loophole to gain earlier access to Xbox games is very easy and should be a no-brainer.
Who doesn’t want to get content a day early, anyway?
Besides the fact that you will be able to enjoy it for yourself, streaming this early will provide you with a lot of benefits that include new viewers and significant growth when it comes to your watch time.
Overall, it’s a great thing to do for both yourself and your community, and if Microsoft doesn’t have anything against this practice, there’s no reason for you to hesitate trying it out the next time a game you’re waiting for is coming out.
How do I get my Xbox game to play one day early?
Depending on your settings and the kind of launch a game is having, you might get it at different times, but to get it a day early, you need to change your location in your system settings and set it to New Zealand.
Can you get banned for changing location on Xbox One to play a game early?
No, you can’t get banned for this.
Microsoft is very much aware of this practice and has so far shown no interest whatsoever in stopping it.