Microsoft announces new Xbox Live Clubs and Looking for Group features

Microsoft has revealed some new social features coming to Xbox Live, accessible to PC gamers via the Xbox app on Windows 10, which it says will give players “more choice in how you play games.” First on the list are Clubs and Looking for Group, which are live now for Xbox Live Preview members, and it's also got a new online tournament platform on the way called Arena.   

Clubs are user-created groups that give Xbox Live members the ability to form and manage their own personal online communities. Clubs can be formed around virtually any shared interest, and members can play online together, share content, set up parties, and communicate through voice and text chat. Clubs that are associated with particular games will be accessible in its Game Hub, to make them easier for like-minded fans to find. 

Looking for Group, meanwhile, is “like posting a gaming want-ad to the Xbox community.” Players can browse and join open LFGs, or create their own; once the group is full (or the host decides he's tired of waiting), everyone will be brought into a party chat and the game can begin. Hosts can set rules to govern the behavior of players, like "no swearing" or "mad skillz only" (something to that effect, anyway) to ensure that everyone involved theoretically gets what they're looking for. As opposed to, say, berated by strangers on the internet.

The Gamerscore Leaderboard is also being changed to be faster and more reliable, and will now reset at the beginning of each month, giving you and your friends a fresh start for your online competitions. A detailed breakdown of the changes is available on the Xbox Wire.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.