Microsoft is bringing a new strike-based enforcement program to Xbox aimed at curbing bad behavior among players. The company outlined its new measures in a blog post, along with a system diagram that clears up any confusion about how penalties are imposed based on violations. Depending on the severity of the offense, whether using slurs, hateful behavior, or sending death threats, affected players can now report bad behavior, which will trigger a response from the Moderation Team, which will investigate the issue. The new system will have players warned up to eight times, after which they will be banned from using Xbox multiplayer services such as messaging and voice chat.
Under the previous ban system, players were confused as to why some bans were resolved within a day, while others took weeks or even months to subside. Right now, it’s unclear how Xbox determines the severity of a strike, but from now on, every player in its gaming ecosystem will start from scratch with no strikes. Strike-based penalties scaled up in scale, with longer penalties imposed for those who failed to maintain good behavior despite being suspended once. As mentioned before, Xbox released a chart to best explain this, where actions such as using profanity or cheating in the game amount to a hit. Both the first and second strikes will ban you from using Xbox Online services for one day, while the third strike will suspend you for three days. When eight days are finally reached, the player is banned for a full year.
All strikes are kept on your profile record for six months, so if you don’t want strikes to accumulate over time, it’s best to be cool about the toxicity. Additionally, after being banned, affected users will be able to view their execution history, which details strike counts, reasoning, active suspension start and end dates, and a link to Xbox Community Standards. Any completed and expired pauses are also shown, although I’m assuming the latter is just for you to record after you’ve built a clean record. That said, Xbox guarantees that players will always be able to appeal any enforcement action against them. If the penalty is reversed, the strike also disappears.
Here’s how Xbox’s latest forced strike system issues penalties:
strike 1 — Paused for 1 day
strike 2 — Paused for 1 day
Assault 3 — Suspension for 3 days
strike 4 — 7 days suspension
strike 5 — Suspension for 14 days
strike 6 — 21-day suspension
strike 7 — 60-day suspension
strike 8 — 365-day suspension
Xbox has assured that all reports are carefully evaluated and will not implement automation based on simple reports. “Less than 1% of players will receive a provisional suspension by 2022, and only a third of them will receive a second suspension. Our data shows that players typically stop misbehavior after one enforcement, and according to the Xbox Community Standards Get a quick overview of what’s acceptable, what’s not, and how you can better engage with our platform,” said Dave McCarthy, Principal Vice President of Gamer Services, Xbox blog post.
“The Strike system is designed to further enhance active, appropriate player engagement on Xbox and in the community.”