The new Xbox dashboard: complete guide

Tips, FAQs, and help with the Xbox's slick new front end

We've been playing around with the new dashboard, and dozens of questions leapt out at us like a pub quiz on a ghost train. Where've games gone? What's Bing's beef with our amazing voice commands? And what are these cloud beacons doing in our Lovefilms? We've figured most of it out now - but if you've got any questions, ask them here...

How do beacons work?

Beacons are like sending a game invite, but instead of going to individual Xbox Live friends or a party, the notification appears on all of your friends' screens. Get to them by hitting the guide button on your controller and selecting the 'Beacons & Activity' option, where you can select a particular game or app, add a personal message and then hit 'Set beacon' to ping your buddies.

The system isn't perfect yet - a "Batman Games" search isn't helpful

Even if your friend missed the notification because they'd just dug something particularly interesting out of their navel, while you've got the beacon active it'll appear hovering over your avatar's head in the friends list in the social tab.

There's also the option to share on your Facebook wall, which will require you to link your Xbox Live account to your Facebook account if you haven't already. Once you've done that, you can add a message and post it to your Facebook wall, where it will also appear in your friends' feeds. Probably 11 hours after the fact, but never mind.

How do I share Achievements on Facebook?

Relatively easy, this one. Every individual achievement now has a share option at the bottom of its description. Again, you'll need to link your Xbox Live and Facebook accounts, but then it's as easy as adding a message to let the world know how brilliant you are and then clicking share.

You don't even have to have just unlocked the achievement - you can dredge up accomplishments from your dim and distant gaming history if you so wish. Just remember it'll probably be as much fun to read as Raptr spam on Twitter

Where are Indie and Arcade Games?

It's pretty obvious that there's an "entertainment" marketing push driving the current layout. Games have slid horizontally to number five in a list of eight. Quickplay and Play Disc on the Homes Screen will give you ready access to recent games, but what if you want to find new ones?

If you're looking for Indie or Arcade games, you're in for a rummage. Select the Games tab, Games Marketplace, another Games tab, then Game Types. Inside that well-buried folder is a trove of Games On Demand (including Bulletstorm for £20), Xbox Originals (Jade Empire for 1200MP), Indie Games and Arcade titles. We're anticipating a certain amount of backlash for this - from Arcade devs and fans alike.

Is "Jumping In Front Of A Wall" a type of game, now?

Where has Recover Gamertag gone?

This has been replaced with Download Profile. We move their profiles regularly between the office and home, so this is one of our favourite new features - you can install your profile on more than one machine, without that artificially slow "recovery" process.

It works like MSN Messenger used to - log in somewhere new, and you'll be logged out on the older account. Simple, and much, much better than the old system.

Security tip: Don't check the "remember password" box if you're downloading to a friend's console. You don't want them logging you out by accident. Or posting on your Twitter...

What's this cloud business?

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