Xbox One games can be massive in size, and take hours to download. Rather than waiting for games to download when you’re ready to play them, you can remotely start game downloads on your Xbox One from a smartphone or web browser.

Got a new Xbox One X or Xbox One S? Squeeze out every drop of game juice out with these in-depth tips and tricks. Do yourself a favour and download the free SmartGlass app for Xbox One (just. Should you buy digital or physical Xbox One games? The Xbox can read off the disc faster than it can download the full game from the internet — but that advantage has been mostly scuttled. Home Forums > Consoles > Xbox One > Xbox One Tutorials > How to Download Games Faster (Xbox One) Discussion in ' Xbox One Tutorials ' started by Salty Meat Balls, Apr 30, 2016 with 7 replies and 11,787 views. How To Install Digital Games Faster On Xbox One! I'll be showing you how to download digital games faster on Xbox One, or how to install digital games quicker on Xbox One. Be sure to leave a like.

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Best answer: If you value convenience, Xbox Play Anywhere, or Game Pass above all, digital is your best bet. If you're motivated most by getting the best price, then you should buy physical games.

  • Amazon: Xbox gift card (From $10)
  • GameStop: Pre-owned games

Some folks, including those who work here at Windows Central, have gone all digital to rid their lives of clutter, and that is a very valid reason. Some of us on staff have in excess of 250 titles in our collections, and that'd make for a mountain of physical discs and cases.

Digital doesn't also mean you have to stop buying games at your favorite retailers. You can go into a store or online to somewhere like Amazon or the Microsoft Store and hand over your cash in exchange for a download code, or for Microsoft Store credit to spend through your console.

Embrace your laziness and get rid of clutter with digital copies.

Then there's the ever-growing population of [email protected] titles from smaller developers. More often than not these are only available in digital form from the store. Likewise, if you want to take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere or Xbox Game Pass, you're 100% reliant on digital downloads.

Physical discs might seem like they would have an installation speed advantage — for most gamers, the Xbox can read off the disc faster than it can download the full game from the internet — but that advantage has been mostly scuttled by the massive first-day download patches that have become par for the course for practically every major game release these days.

And finally, for those of us who hate getting up, digital copies allow you to fully embrace your laziness. You don't need to extract yourself from your comfortable spot on the couch to pop a new disc in. That physical discs install fully to the Xbox's hard drive and still require you to insert the disc to play makes a case for digital even stronger.

For digital

Xbox gift card

Keep your account topped up with credit.

Not only are gift cards great gifts for your loved ones, but they're a great way to keep your account topped up to buy games with, and a good alternative if you'd rather not leave a credit card attached to your account.

The case for physical is essentially a monetary one. As you're giving someone money for an object, you're not as limited to where you can get your games from as if you're buying digital. Sure, download codes are sold in a number of places, but discs are sold in more.

One of the big things you will nearly always see with physical copies of games is that prices drop a lot quicker than their digital counterparts. There are some ancient digital games on the Store that are still full price but can be had for peanuts somewhere like Amazon or your local game retailer.

Buying physical opens you up to buying pre-owned or trading in your finished games.

In-store deals are frequent among traditional retailers, and it's unlikely a week will ever pass by without there being something worth snapping up.

Amazon xbox one games digital downloads

Buying physical also opens you up to buying pre-owned from places like GameStop and eBay, while also being able to trade in your finished games for money off something else. Once you've completed a digital title, it just sits there, paid for and with no further benefit to you. You can sell a disc online or trade in for credit on the next hot new game.

And of course, some of us enjoy having a collection, especially considering that special, collectors editions of games often come with a physical copy, not a download code. See the Rage 2 collectors edition as an example of that.

So which is best?

There's no right and wrong answer. Only you can decide what is best for you. Our recommendation is a little bit of both. It doesn't matter how you get your games just so long as you're getting what you want and you're happy with what you've paid.

There are distinct financial benefits to be had from buying physical copies which can't be ignored, but there are plenty of good and valid reasons for going digital. You can't go far wrong keeping your options open.

Top up

Xbox gift card

Buy digital games with credit from a physical store.

There are plenty of reasons you might want to have both digital games and the ability to buy from someone who isn't Microsoft, and topping up your account with a credit code is a great way to do it.

Pre-owned goodies

GameStop pre-owned games

Save a bundle buying pre-owned physical games.

Buying physical games gives you the opportunity to save a packet and buy pre-owned. And then the opportunity to trade-in yourself when you're done. Everyone's a winner!

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

Richard Devine

Make Xbox One Download Faster

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Should you buy digital or physical Xbox One games?

For digital

Xbox gift card

From $10 at Amazon

Top up

Xbox gift card

From $10 at Amazon

Pre-owned goodies

How To Make Xbox One Download Faster

GameStop pre-owned games

See at GameStop

Downloading a game from online storefronts like Steam or the Xbox Live Marketplace is the modern equivalent of waiting for your modem to connect to the internet circa 1998: They’re both long, arduous processes that we all know can happen much faster than they do.

The good news is that just like broadband killed dial-up, Microsoft has introduced a new feature called FastStart that will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to start a new digital game you’ve just bought.

Announced at E3 2018, FastStart is part of Microsoft’s July platform update that brings a number of small - but impactful - updates to the console. While some of these other updates are worth noting (pulling up a search bar from anywhere on the UI should be pretty nifty) the biggest update is FastStart.

According to Microsoft, games that utilize the feature will half the amount of time it takes from when a download begins to the moment you’re actually able to play it. You won't have to do anything extra to make it work besides updating to the latest version of the Xbox software.

Less waiting, more gaming

So how exactly does it work? FastStart-enabled games prioritize the most important parts of the game first, saving the rest of the data to download in the background while you’re playing the first few minutes of the game. You'll still need to download the entire game, obviously, but this will reduce the amount of time you're just sitting around watching a download bar inch forward.

The two big caveats here, though, are that games need to be FastStart-enabled by Microsoft and you'll need a download speed of around 20Mbps.

It's also possible that if your connection slows down while FastStart is still downloading a game in the background, you'll need to wait for the download speed to pick back up before you can continue playing.

Microsoft says a number of games available on its Xbox Games Pass program will be available to download using FastStart starting today and more games will follow suit sometime down the road - no extra developer work required.

  • What games should you download? Start with the best Xbox One games

Best answer: If you value convenience, Xbox Play Anywhere, or Game Pass above all, digital is your best bet. If you're motivated most by getting the best price, then you should buy physical games.

  • Amazon: Xbox gift card (From $10)
  • GameStop: Pre-owned games

Some folks, including those who work here at Windows Central, have gone all digital to rid their lives of clutter, and that is a very valid reason. Some of us on staff have in excess of 250 titles in our collections, and that'd make for a mountain of physical discs and cases.

Digital doesn't also mean you have to stop buying games at your favorite retailers. You can go into a store or online to somewhere like Amazon or the Microsoft Store and hand over your cash in exchange for a download code, or for Microsoft Store credit to spend through your console.

Embrace your laziness and get rid of clutter with digital copies.

Then there's the ever-growing population of [email protected] titles from smaller developers. More often than not these are only available in digital form from the store. Likewise, if you want to take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere or Xbox Game Pass, you're 100% reliant on digital downloads.

Physical discs might seem like they would have an installation speed advantage — for most gamers, the Xbox can read off the disc faster than it can download the full game from the internet — but that advantage has been mostly scuttled by the massive first-day download patches that have become par for the course for practically every major game release these days.

And finally, for those of us who hate getting up, digital copies allow you to fully embrace your laziness. You don't need to extract yourself from your comfortable spot on the couch to pop a new disc in. That physical discs install fully to the Xbox's hard drive and still require you to insert the disc to play makes a case for digital even stronger.

For digital

Xbox gift card

Keep your account topped up with credit.

Not only are gift cards great gifts for your loved ones, but they're a great way to keep your account topped up to buy games with, and a good alternative if you'd rather not leave a credit card attached to your account.

Amazon Xbox One Games Digital Download Free

The case for physical is essentially a monetary one. As you're giving someone money for an object, you're not as limited to where you can get your games from as if you're buying digital. Sure, download codes are sold in a number of places, but discs are sold in more.

One of the big things you will nearly always see with physical copies of games is that prices drop a lot quicker than their digital counterparts. There are some ancient digital games on the Store that are still full price but can be had for peanuts somewhere like Amazon or your local game retailer.

Buying physical opens you up to buying pre-owned or trading in your finished games.

In-store deals are frequent among traditional retailers, and it's unlikely a week will ever pass by without there being something worth snapping up.

Buying physical also opens you up to buying pre-owned from places like GameStop and eBay, while also being able to trade in your finished games for money off something else. Once you've completed a digital title, it just sits there, paid for and with no further benefit to you. You can sell a disc online or trade in for credit on the next hot new game.

And of course, some of us enjoy having a collection, especially considering that special, collectors editions of games often come with a physical copy, not a download code. See the Rage 2 collectors edition as an example of that.

Xbox One Games Free Download

So which is best?

There's no right and wrong answer. Only you can decide what is best for you. Our recommendation is a little bit of both. It doesn't matter how you get your games just so long as you're getting what you want and you're happy with what you've paid.

There are distinct financial benefits to be had from buying physical copies which can't be ignored, but there are plenty of good and valid reasons for going digital. You can't go far wrong keeping your options open.

Top up

Amazon Xbox One Games Digital Download Sites

Xbox gift card

Buy digital games with credit from a physical store.

Amazon Xbox One Games Digital Download For Pc

There are plenty of reasons you might want to have both digital games and the ability to buy from someone who isn't Microsoft, and topping up your account with a credit code is a great way to do it.

Pre-owned goodies

GameStop pre-owned games

Save a bundle buying pre-owned physical games.

Buying physical games gives you the opportunity to save a packet and buy pre-owned. And then the opportunity to trade-in yourself when you're done. Everyone's a winner!

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.

Stayin' alive

Xbox One Digital Codes Free

Our top picks for survival games on Xbox One and Series X S

Buying Xbox One With Downloaded Games

There are a wealth of survival games on Xbox One, with gameplay that revolves around hunger, thirst, and oftentimes, finding shelter (or even building your own). These uniquely challenging games are plentiful on Xbox, and here are our favorites.

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