“A gamertag is your alter ego in the Xbox world. It’s made from an alias, an optional avatar or picture (called a gamerpic), and a bit of info to represent you when you’re playing games and sharing with other people in the Xbox community.” – Microsoft Website.
Gamertags have been popular since nearly two decades as gamers all across the world have been using their customized names over the internet for cooperative and multiplayer experience. Although, the use of gamertags has been widely popular among the Xbox community, it is not limited to that platform as several more online platforms have emerged over the years, namely, Steam, Origin, Uplay, and Battle.Net. A gamertag can be a combination of letters, numbers, special characters, and single-line spaces. Few platforms may provide certain restrictions over the use of gamertags, especially if the same name already exists for that platform. But exceptions apart, a gamertag can be basically any name that you want to be referred to as.
Here’s how gamertags in Xbox Live work. When you sign in to the Xbox app for the first time, Microsoft automatically creates a gamertag for you, based on your name and other information provided during the creation of your account. If you don’t like your gamertag, you can change it once for free. Further changes however, would require you to pay a small fee. Changes you make will be reflected across all your Xbox Live games and social interactions.
According to a report by Windows Central, Xbox Live gamertags may take on a more Discord and Battle.Net styled approach.
Gamertags or usernames in Discord and Battle.Net differ from other platforms like Steam and Xbox Live. You have the freedom to choose any username you like, even if it’s a duplicate. But here’s the thing. All the gamertags in Discord and Battle.Net are followed by a hash number. This means that even if two gamertags have the same name, they can be uniquely identified by the hash number at the end. Here’s a quick example. Let’s say your name is John Smith. It is possible that your gamertag will be “John”. Now let’s say there’s another guy out there who’s name is John Adams. He might as well use the gamertag “John”. But in platforms like Discord and Battle.Net, these usernames would look like “John#004” or “John#1827”.
Xbox Live gamertags currently do not follow the above naming system. But based on the report, they might take a different approach to their naming system and Xbox gamertags may be followed by a hash number in the future, similar to Discord and Battle.Net. The Xbox Game Bar on Windows 10 recently received an update, which makes it look similar to the Nvidia GeForce Experience overlay, with new widgets and options. In addition to that, Microsoft changed the name of the Xbox app on Windows 10 to “Xbox Console Companion”. “This app is being renamed to Xbox Console Companion to be a dedicated app for your Xbox console’s features and settings,” stated Microsoft in the update message. Microsoft has teased the future of the app saying “A new desktop experience is coming soon!”.
It looks like the desktop app is yet to receive a major overhaul and more information will be revealed at Microsoft’s E3 2019 Press Conference. Apart from information regarding their upcoming games, their next-generation console, and the Xbox Game Pass for PC, it looks like we’ll receive more information regarding the new Xbox gamertag system as well as new updates to it’s desktop app.