Xbox Gamertag Update Lets You Take Someone Else's Name With One Key Distinction

Microsoft is embracing a system already used on and Discord.


At E3 2019, Microsoft announced major changes to the Xbox Live Gamertag system. The biggest change is that you will be able to choose any Gamertag you want, even if it's already taken. If you choose a Gamertag that is already claimed, Xbox will auto-generate an ID suffix of numbers after an # symbol. For example, if you wanted HarambeXbox117 and it's already taken, you could be HarambeXbox117#1056 or some other variation of that.

The suffix font size is smaller and the color is different, so the name you want will stand out. You can see an example of this in the image below. Importantly, nothing is changing for existing Gamertags; you don't need to do anything, and you won't lose your name. These new changes are seemingly inspired by similar systems on and Discord.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: New Xbox At E3: Everything We Learned About Scarlett

No Caption Provided

Additionally, Gamertags will now support more alphabets to work with more than 200 languages from around the world. The newly supported character sets include:

  • Basic Latin
  • Latin-1 Supplement
  • Hangul
  • Katakana
  • Hiragana
  • CJK Symbols for languages in China, Japan, and Korea
  • Bengali
  • Devanagari
  • Cyrillic
  • Thai

The Gamertag changes are live now in the Xbox app on PC and will come to mobile and console "over the next year." Microsoft also teased that these changes represent the "first step in an ongoing journey for evolving gamertags, so we appreciate your patience as the team continues to implement new features based on your feedback."

In other Xbox news, Microsoft has confirmed its next-generation Project Scarlett plans, include compatibility for four generations of Xbox platforms.

More E3 news:

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 2 comments about this story