The next major Xbox One update is set to deliver a variety of anticipated features – including the long-awaited arrival of refreshed, player-designed Xbox Avatars. Despite being initially unveiled for a late 2017 debut, Microsoft is finally close to releasing these reworked characters. Rebuilt from the ground up, the new Xbox Avatars tout diversity and inclusivity not seen in previous revisions.

While Microsoft is yet to formally release the new Xbox Avatars to the public, a limited subset of the Xbox Insider Program can now gain access. Here's how to access the redesigned Avatars and what to expect during the beta.

How to use new Xbox One Avatars

With the public release assumedly still some time away, Microsoft is limiting Avatar access to a small portion of the console install base. The refreshed app is currently limited to those in the invite-only Alpha Preview and Skip Ahead rings of the Xbox Insider Program, with a wider rollout expected soon.

For eligible Xbox Insiders, access to new Xbox Avatars can be found through the Xbox Insider Hub. These are the steps to access the new system on your console today:

  1. Open the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox One console.
  2. Select the Insider content tab.
  3. Select the Xbox Avatar Editor preview. (If this option isn't present, Avatars aren't currently available to you.)
  4. Select Join. (You can now download the new Xbox Avatars experience.)

  5. Press the Xbox button on your Xbox One controller.
  6. Select the My games & apps tile.
  7. Navigate to the Apps tab.
  8. Select Xbox Avatar Editor, and the new Xbox Avatars app will open on your console.

After opening the app, you'll be walked through creating your Avatar using the new system. Tools to finely craft your face, body, and style with further precision than before are all outlined. And even more items are expected to be added closer to the public launch.

Microsoft plans to expand Xbox Avatar availability to more Xbox Insider rings at a later date. Access for Beta, Delta, and Omega rings is likely in the coming weeks, though timeframes are not available.

Xbox Avatars hands-on video offers a glimpse of good things to come

Over to you

Have you had the opportunity to try the new Xbox Avatars system? Drop into the comments section below with your thoughts on the changes and what you'd like to see tweaked before release.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.