Playing Xbox One games can now help fight coronavirus (yes, really)

Xbox One X
Xbox One X (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft now allows Xbox One gamers to donate to the CDC Foundation coronavirus response by playing and buying Xbox games, movies, and more.
  • The initiative comes via the Microsoft Rewards program, with every 1,000 points contributed matched by a $1 donation from Microsoft.
  • Xbox One owners can also participate via a "Do Your Part From Home" punch card, with up to 2,000 bonus Microsoft Rewards points up for grabs.

Microsoft has unveiled its latest effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an opportunity to donate to the CDC Foundation by simply playing Xbox One games. For Xbox One owners in the U.S., many locked up at home as the coronavirus sweeps the nation, Redmond presents a hassle-free method to fight for the cause. By playing Xbox One games, purchasing and renting movies, or even earning Achievements, contributed time will see Microsoft drop donations on your behalf.

The initiative spawns from Microsoft Rewards, its existing rewards program allowing players to collect points, redeeming them toward gift cards, virtual currency, and online competitions. Microsoft recently enabled users to submit accumulated points to the non-profit, with every 1,000 points matched by a $1 donation from Microsoft.

Here's how it works: If you are not already a Microsoft Rewards member, sign up for free through the Microsoft Rewards app on your Xbox One or online at and earn points simply by playing games on your Xbox. Then donate your Rewards points to the CDC Foundation. Hit the CDC Foundation button on the Xbox One dash to tell Microsoft you want to donate your Rewards points to the CDC Foundation, then Microsoft will match your donation one-to-one. 1,000 Rewards points is equal to $1 donated.

The usual opportunities to earn Microsoft Rewards remain across the Xbox ecosystem, including reaching certain milestones and purchasing items via the Microsoft Store. The initiative couples with a new "Do Your Part From Home" punch card, with three steps to secure 2000 bonus points. That includes visit Microsoft Rewards on your console, earning an achievement, and submitting a points donation to the CDC Foundation.

You can access Microsoft Rewards for free via the Xbox One app, or via the Microsoft Rewards website.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.