Xbox One Party Chat and Friends Lists Are About to Get Significantly Better

Managing 1,000 friends is about to get easier.

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March is pretty well booked for Xbox One owners, with Titanfall shipping March 11, Twitch broadcasting going live that same day, the launch of an official Media Remote and a user interface update detailed in the video above that’ll fix an issue with Party Chat (and refine its user interface) while making significant alterations to how you list and interact with Friends.

For whatever reason, Party Chat is disabled when you join a party today; the March update rectifies this by making “on” the default. And if you happen to be chatting cross-game, the interface better distinguishes between people with whom you’re playing a game (in a party) as opposed to people you’re simply chatting with — they’re now arrayed in separate lists that stack on top of each other in your sidebar.

Microsoft’s also increased Party invite granularity, allowing you to distinguish between inviting someone to your Party, inviting them just to the game you’re playing, or inviting them to both the Party and game simultaneously. And if you prefer, you can now invite the entire Party to a game at once.

The update also improves Friends list management, eliminating steps to get you more quickly to the online status screen (Microsoft says that’s what most people are doing when they visit Friends now, thus the change). And since you can now have a battalion of friends (literally — the Xbox One lets you have up to 1,000) the update adds a “Favorites” view so you can pare things down.

Deployment timetable? Microsoft’s only saying “March” at this point.