Xbox Series X Physical Games Offline


I would like to buy an Xbox Series X, but I would like to know if it’s possible to play physical games without ever having an internet connection?

I know I need a connection for my first Xbox Series X launch and physical games who work on Xbox One and Xbox Series X. However, I would like to know if physical games who play only on Xbox Series X and not on Xbox One work without internet? Without ever having an internet connection?


Paging @peter42O

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But why though?

You can play your physical disc based games once you “validate” them via an online internet connection. For example, you install a game disc while Series X is off-line (this is so it doesn’t update the game while installing the game disc which takes forever). Once completed, you connect the Series X to your internet connection. From there, update the game first if there’s an update. Once done, start the game disc. I normally go to the title screen and then press the massive X button to go back to the dashboard and then quit the game/app which you can access by pressing the Menu button. Scroll down and select quit.

From here, you should be good to go. Make sure your console is set to “My Home Xbox” which is what mine is set to and my console is just for me so if you game share and whatnot, you may have other issues.

If it’s just you, you should have no issues playing disc based games. However, if for whatever reason, a situation arises where you have to reset the console with or without removing the games already installed, you will have to validate each disc based game again which would require an internet connection.

Hope this answers your questions. If you have any other questions, feel free to reply back to me or @ me.


Wait, seriously?

So if I were to buy a brand new Series X and a game on disc, and just power on the Xbox without entering any wifi credentials or anything, I can’t just play that game as-is?

I have to get online at least once? If so, that’s absolute crazy town. I had no idea.

If the game is Series X only (not cross-gen or smart delivery) and has all the game data in the disc it won’t require a connection, which that is a rare case right now with how few those games are.


Ok… But let’s say it is a Series X game only, (or Xbox One console and Xbox One game) how would the Xbox know the game needs an update? Or do publishers ship games that simply can’t be played, with hard-coded instructions to go online and download an update before it allows for the game to be played?

It’s not about an update requirement, it’s about whether the disc has all it needs to play the game and for majority of games now the discs simply don’t.

Note I’m just talking about Series X here, Xbox One has no online requirements for playing disc games (unless that changed with Smart Delivery games too, i don’t know).

For Xbox One games, they need to download their own individual backwards compatibility layer/config to play. For cross-gen, Smart Delivery games, the discs simply can’t fit all the game data for both generations so they require the game data to be downloaded first to play.

The bottom line is that discs that require connection has nothing to do with a DRM check, it’s just because of the way they set-up their BC and Smart Delivery, required data is missing from the disc in majority of cases, but it should not be the case for Sereis X only games.


Ok, thanks. That makes it clearer. I appreciate taking the time to write all that.

Thank you @peter42O for the wonderful breakdown of the best user flow to get this going. Also thank you @DARK-PARADISE for following up with the general technical gist, so I didn’t have to. Both are greatly appreciated. :sunglasses:

Yes, seriously. The console is basically a paperweight if you don’t go online to set it up and disc games are useless if you don’t validate them. I know because I have tried this with AC Valhalla, NBA 2K21, WD Legion and RE 8 Village and every game gets a pop up message saying that you need to connect online.

Not true. I bought the Series X version for Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands on disc. I could not start the game until I validated the disc online.

Isn’t that a cross-gen game?

It’s cross-gen but the versions are separate SKU’s. There’s an Xbox One/PS4 SKU for $60 and an Xbox Series X/PS5 SKU for $70.

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And you’re sure it requires a connection to validate the game not download missing files?

No. What was said is true. It is very much on the Developer and Publisher to put all the required data on the disc. Let me drag out the existing counter-example of Devil May Cry that shows what is possible when everything is included.

In this situation Tiny Tina’s Wonderland does not have all the data needed on the disc.

And yes, this should be something Microsoft has a more hands on approach for, so online connection is not needed when the disc has enough space for all that is needed. I am disappointed with Microsoft in this regards, being too hands off.

Are they not l using the 100GB Blu-rays?

IIRC every Series X only SKU is able to install and run offline, its the dual gen SKU that requires download.

This is a good breakdown of native versus smart delivery.

Regardless of who it’s on, I could not play Wonderlands until I validated the disc.

I do have Steel Rising on September 9th that im buying for Xbox Series X and it’s current generation only. I will install the game and try to play it without connecting online and post if I get that pop up message or not.

EDIT: Hahaha. That’s the stupid fucking image I have seen several times. lol

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