November Xbox update brings new dynamic backgrounds, badges, and more to Xbox Series X, Series S

Xbox November Content Update Image
Xbox November Content Update Image (Image credit: Xbox)

What you need to know

  • The first proper content update for the Xbox Series X|S operating system is rolling out right now.
  • The November update adds new dynamic background options, Auto HDR tags, "Optimized for Xbox Series X|S" badges, and more.
  • The update is also coming to Xbox One devices, with tweaks and improvements included for all consoles.
  • This includes a new "Game Activity" tab in the Guide, a pre-install section for Xbox Game Pass titles, and more.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been out in the world for a few weeks now and have successfully ushered in the "next-gen" of console gaming. As November comes to an end, Xbox is releasing the first proper content update for the next-gen consoles, with some new features and quality-of-life changes. The November 2020 Xbox Console Update is beginning to roll out to all Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles today, with a great list of improvements included.

The November Xbox Update includes a few new features. The ones catered for the Xbox Series X|S include:

  • New dynamic background options. This update includes lots of new dynamic background options for the Xbox Series X|S to further customize your Dashboard. We previously revealed all of the dynamic background options for Xbox Series X|S we knew about in testing, and this update looks to enable those.
  • Auto HDR tags. Auto HDR is a nifty feature that allows the Xbox Series X|S to add HDR to older games without any additional work required by developers. If a game is using Auto HDR, there will now be a tag whenever the Guide is open that tells you. If you're not sure if HDR is enabled on your console or TV, refer to our guide on enabling HDR on Xbox Series X|S.
  • "Optimized for Xbox Series X|S" badges. The final Xbox Series X|S-specific feature are new badges for games that are properly enhanced for next-gen, to make it easier to tell at a glance which of your installed or uninstalled games will run and look best on your Xbox Series X|S.

There are also features that improve all Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, which include:

  • New Game Activity tab. The Guide is getting tweaked again, by merging and combining sections into the "Game Activity" tab. This tab is your hub for everything to do in-game, including Achievements, in-game events, groups, and more.
  • Add family members during set-up. It's now easier than ever to add family members to your Xbox console during initial set-up, with prompts if family members are found connected to your account. This is especially great when combined with the new Xbox Family Settings app.
  • Pre-install "Coming soon" Xbox Game Pass titles. A new "Coming soon" section will be added to Xbox Game Pass on Xbox consoles with all the games that will be added to Xbox Game Pass in the near future. This also includes options to pre-install games that support it, so you can jump into that game the moment it's officially apart of Xbox Game Pass.

There are also likely bug fixes, optimizations, and other general improvements included in this update that aren't listed. Microsoft may have fixed the audio issues that next-gen adopters have been experiencing with Xbox Wireless headsets.

This update is rolling out right now for all supported consoles. If you want to take advantage of next-gen features like Auto HDR or Xbox Series X|S optimizations, be sure you have a display that can handle them, with one of the Best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X|S.

Xbox Series X/S


Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.