Xbox app now adapts to ASUS ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go, and other handheld PCs

Lenovo Legion Go (2023)
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox November update improves several areas of the gaming experience across both PC and console gaming.
  • The Xbox app for PC now has a Compact mode that optimizes the app for smaller screens on devices like the ASUS ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go.
  • On consoles, it's now possible to select specific keyboard layouts for Japanese keyboards.

It's the end of November, which means it's time for another monthly Xbox update. This month, Microsoft improved the gaming experience across both Xbox consoles and PC gaming through the Xbox app. The biggest change is arguably Compact mode, which makes the Xbox app look better on handheld gaming consoles like the Lenovo Legion Go and ASUS ROG Ally while also being more accessible.

Compact mode has been in preview since late October. Our Colton Stradling took a deep dive into the feature when it first came out.

The update also adds the option to select specific keyboard layouts for Japanese keyboards on Xbox consoles. There are over 100 layouts available for Japanese keyboards.

Microsoft also made it easier to know when your favorite games become free-to-play for a limited time. If a game on your wish list is part of Xbox Free Play Days, you'll get a notification on your console about that title.

Here's the complete list of changes in the Xbox November Update, as shared by Microsoft:

Xbox November Update

PC Gaming | Xbox app

Introducing Compact mode

We’re excited to announce that Compact mode is now available as part of the latest update on all Windows devices, including handhelds like the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go! Compact mode is a new feature that enhances your gaming experience by providing a more intuitive user interface on smaller screens. With Compact mode, the side bar collapses into icons, providing you with more space to browse content. To use this feature, click on your profile in the top-left corner of the app and turn the toggle for “Compact mode” on.

We’re also partnering with Asus and other manufacturers to ensure that Compact mode is enabled by default on your handheld devices. We’ll continue to focus on updates to deliver a great Xbox app experience for Windows handheld screens.

Notifications and banners

With new games and benefits coming to Game Pass all the time, we’re making it easier to keep up with what’s new by giving you the option to show only unread notifications in the notification dropdown on the Xbox app on PC.

Additional improvements

We’ve heard that you want a more streamlined experience when diagnosing and troubleshooting, so we’ve added the new Gaming Services Repair Tool, a dedicated tool to fix any issues with Gaming Services or missing content when launching the Xbox app on PC.  To use this feature, click on your profile in the top-left corner of the app and select “Support.”

Xbox console updates

Japanese language support for physical and virtual keyboards

You can now select specific keyboard layouts for Japanese keyboards for your console. For example, you can choose between the 106/109 keyboard layout for Japanese or the 101/102 English keyboard layout.

To update your keyboard settings, press the Xbox button on your Wireless Controller to open the guide, and then go to Settings > System > Language & location. You’ll be able to select the Japanese keyboard layout if the Keyboard & dictation setting is set to Japanese.

Console wish list notifications for Xbox Free Play Days

For the holiday season, do you have your Xbox wish list up to date? It’s a great time to make sure you have all the games you’re wishing for added to your list. With this update, if a game is on your wish list and is part of Xbox Free Play Days, you’ll get a notification on your console that the game is free to play for a limited time. Don’t have a wish list yet? It’s easy to get started. Press the Xbox button to open the guide, and then go to Store and select Add to Wish list on any game’s detail page.

Redeeming rewards on your console gets better with new phone authentication

Now you can use phone authentication to redeem your rewards from your console. To redeem Rewards directly from your console, visit your profile and look for the My Rewards tab. Open the guide and go to Profile & system > your profile > My Rewards and click on “Get rewards.” You’ll be able to confirm your rewards after you authenticate with your phone.

Xbox Wireless Controller firmware update

Keeping your controller updated with the latest firmware maximizes your controller’s capabilities and compatibility. We’re rolling out a firmware update that includes bug fixes to enable Shift mode for keyboard mapping on Elite Series 2 and Xbox Adaptive Controllers through the Xbox Accessories app. It also includes a fix for some users whose controller fails to take a previous firmware update.

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at