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How to Set up Xbox Series X – Without Using Mobile App

There are many tutorials showing how to set up the Xbox Series X console using the mobile app. However, maybe you would prefer to set up your new console using the traditional method with the controller. In this tutorial, I will show you how to set up your Xbox Series X console without using the mobile app.

These same instructions also apply to the Xbox Series S, but I will reference the Series X in this tutorial. The steps are identical regardless of which model you own.

Connecting Your Console

The first step is to get your console plugged in. First, you need to decide where you are going to locate your Xbox console. You will need enough room for proper ventilation and an outlet to plug it into for power. Ideally, you will also want an ethernet connection to your network since WiFi and gaming can be hit or miss. If you can’t get an ethernet cable to your console that is alright.  

First you will want to connect the HDMI cable that came with your Xbox to your TV or Monitor and to the HDMI port on the console. It’s worth noting that, to enable 4K at 120Hz graphics on the Xbox Series X, you need to use an Ultra High-Speed HDMI 2.1 cable. 

The included cable meets these requirements. Not all TVs are HDMI 2.1 compatible, but any 4K TV with an HDMI port will support at least HDMI 2.0 for 4K at 60 FPS. This is good enough given that most displays are still running 60 Hz refresh rates. If your display supports 120 Hz or higher it will likely have HDMI 2.1 anyways.   

Attach the included power cable to your Xbox and plug the other end into a standard wall outlet. For best results connect using a proper surge protector to protect your console from voltage spikes.  

Next, if you’re using a wired internet connection (highly recommended), connect your Xbox to your router or switch using a standard ethernet cable. Anything Cat 5e or better will work perfectly. Using Cat6a or higher offers no benefits whatsoever and is a waste of money for patch cables.  

Set your TV or monitor to display the HDMI input that you have attached to your Xbox. Use the source button to select the correct HDMI input.  

Lastly, power on your Xbox by pressing the Xbox logo on the front of the console. The console should power up and proceed to boot. If you don’t see anything on your display, double-check that the previous steps have been completed properly and that all cables are firmly connected.  

Configuring Your Console the Right Way

First, you will need to connect your controller to your console. Start by inserting the included AA batteries into the Xbox controller noting the correct polarity. The Xbox Series X does not ship with rechargeable batteries for the controller but instead uses 2 standard AA batteries.

With the batteries properly inserted, press the connect button on the front of the Xbox Console and then press the Xbox button on the controller in order to pair the controller with the console.

Xbox Series X Controller Setup

From here you will be able to navigate using the controller and follow the on-screen instructions. For this tutorial, we will not be using the mobile app.


Helpful Tips

You Likely Already Have a Microsoft Account

If you have ever signed into services including Xbox Live, Hotmail, Outlook, Skype, or OneDrive you already have a Microsoft Account. You may want to sign in using that account rather than creating a new account. This can save you some time.

Xbox Series X Microsoft Account

Your Gamertag is Your Public Facing ID When Online

Your Gamertag is a representation of yourself, choose something meaningful yet fun. There are millions of possibilities.

Xbox Series X Gamertag

A Wired Ethernet Connection Will Reduce Latency

If you are using WiFi and have issues with latency there is a strong possibility that switching your console to a wired connection will reduce or even eliminate the problem. In many cases, the issue is due to wireless interference which doesn’t affect a hard-wired connection. If running an ethernet cable is out of the question there are other options including powerline networking which can give you a more stable connection.