Microsoft Details The Xbox One’s Reputation System

The gradual drip feed of information about next gen consoles continues, this time as Microsoft detail the changes being made to Xbox Live and the new reputation system.

Taking to their blog, Michael Dunn outlines just how much information the algorithm will take into account, which is pretty much everything it can, in their attempts to give more people a more pleasant experience online, away from the stereotypically foul-mouthed teenager.

Your reputation score will determine which category you are assigned – “Green = Good Player,” “Yellow = Needs Improvement” or “Red = Avoid Me.” Looking at someone’s gamer card you’ll be able to quickly see their reputation. And, your reputation score is ultimately up to you. The more hours you play online without being a jerk, the better your reputation will be; similar to the more hours you drive without an accident, the better your driving record and insurance rates will be.

So, it logs every time someone blocks or mutes you online, and tots this all together. However, it values each of these votes against your character more or less, based on the reputation score of the person voting. It doesn’t stop there though, and tries even harder to weed out any falsified voting with some cunning analysis.

The algorithm is sophisticated and won’t penalize you for a few bad reports. Even good players might receive a few player feedback reports each month and that is OK. The algorithm weighs the data collected so if a dozen people suddenly reporting a single user, the system will look at a variety of factors before docking their reputation. We’ll verify if those people actually played in an online game with the person reported – if not, all of those player’s feedback won’t matter as much as a single person who spent 15 minutes playing with the reported person.

The most important point is that it’s searching for the unpleasant minority, but tries to give a lot of leeway. The vast majority will be labelled as good players, and the bad eggs should be shifted off to one side.

Most players will have good reputations and be seen as a “Good Player.” The algorithm is looking to identify players that are repeatedly disruptive on Xbox Live. We’ll identify those players with a lower reputation score and in the worse cases they will earn the “Avoid Me” reputation. Before a player ends up with the “Avoid Me” reputation level we will have sent many different alerts to the “Needs Improvement” player reminding them how their social gaming conduct is affecting lots of other gamers.

It’s a system which promises a lot, and can hopefully deliver on its aims. Microsoft will naturally have to keep a very close eye on things, to ensure that it doesn’t get abused, but if they get it right it will make online gaming better for all.

Source: Microsoft Blog, via Eurogamer.



  1. I guess this must be a big issue on Xbox? I don’t see a need for it personally but then i don’t play online much anyway.

  2. Good idea, it’s idiots that put me off multi-player, so anything that helps keep them away from me would be very welcome.

    • Same here, but there have been quite a few systems which promises a lot but don’t deliver.

      • if thry can make it work will itll be goid and cudos to Microsoft for getting something right…. maybe

  3. Sounds like a plan. First thing I thought before reading the article was how open to abuse and vote rigging it could be, but if the algorithm is effective then the CODlings could be weeded out and banished to a billynomates lounge to camp!
    *Assuming the problem is mainly Call of Duty gobshites*

    • I like the sound of Call of Duty Gobshite Edition, I get the impression it would be an online playpen for all the abusive wankers!

      I hope the system still goes as far as handing out online bans to those who deserve it. I hardly play online anymore but the few hours I’ve spent with Battlefield 3 have been full of others swearing and mouthing off. It’s never against me but I do feel sorry for the poor buggers on the receiving end, especially if they end up getting chased and killed over and over. I guess it’s just plain bullying.

      • You could be onto something there Ron, special editions for ‘Speshal Peepal’
        Call of Duty Gobshite Ops with Tommy Tanker weapon pack DLC available on the store. :P

  4. With how badly most matchmaking systems work I can’t see adding more variables into it will speed things up or make them run smoother.
    There’s not any big problem with behaviour on xbox anyway, as long as we can mute people that’s 99.9 of the problem solved.

    • In my experiance with xbox live i found the people to be a lot more nasty and abusive to each other compared to PSN sending each other abusive voice msgs an what not,as you say though muting does solve most of the issues,but in my years on PSN i’ve found it to be a more relaxed mature place i’ve barely come across any idiots and can count on one hand the amount of random strangers ive had problems with personally(well they seemed to have a problem with me lol),compared to my short stint with xbox live.

      • Yeah I’d agree there’s more sore loser type messages on xbox, but I’ve always wondered if its just because its quicker to go to recent players on live than it is on ps3. (meaning the swirly circles of doom take longer on the xmb)

      • Isn’t that the next Indiana Jones movie,Indiana Jones and the Swirly Circles Of Doom !Yeah you gotta love the swirly circles of doom,there up there with my favourite the 3 beeps of momentary despair. :D

  5. mute-ing a player should have nothing to do with their score. theres lots of times I mute people just because I don’t want to hear them talk, it has nothing to do with their attitude. There are alot of times I play online and the group I’m in talk about stuff that isn’t game related and I assume that during those times other people are mute-ing me as well. If youre going to punish people who get muted you might as well punish anybody whos mic is off as well, because MS is basically punishing anybody who doesn’t use their mic for its game intended purpose.

    Also this whole idea of labeling people sucks. You wouldn’t get away with this in real life. Imagine your kid gets in trouble at school so for the next month they are forced to wear a red shirt that signifies they’re a trouble maker and should be avoided by everybody who gets to wear a “good” green shirt.
    Do we really need a ratings system anyway? Cant we get by with just a block and/or report option. Because morality is all relative anyways. Just because someone doesn’t want to play their game the same way as someone else doesn’t mean they deserve to be labeled “bad”. Its a competition, theres going to be sore winners and losers.

    • Spot on with the muting point. I have muted people simply because me and my friends were having a conversation and I didn’t want to have other people hear me.

      • Isn’t it different because of party chat? If you’re in a party chat, you can’t hear other people?

        Anyway, given the number of things they’re doing, I’m pretty sure they’ll take into account when people block everyone in the lobby, and just discount that.

    • Well said.

      I think the whole system is open for abuse – like most things. Griefers are clever at what they do.

      l also agree about negatively labelling people.

      Wouldn’t it make sense to only allow up votes? So everyone is either Average, Good, Awesome or a Pillar of society.

      People are far less likely to bother up voting (human nature) which means to get a good rating you must actually _be_ noticeably worth up voting. Most people I play with are unremarkable. The ones that stand out are the pricks, which can be dealt with by blocking or reporting.

      A truely clever algorithm, would tap into game online game stats to see what kind of player a person was. If you’re a medic, or support troop in Battlefield, you should get _some_ positive feedback on your profile – perhaps after healing 1000 people or something similar.

  6. no matter how many safeguards they say are in place, or how clever the system is supposed to be, this will get abused.

    and when a known gay player gets voted down for no other reason than live is full of bigots?
    because i have no doubt that will happen.

    or it comes out that one player is a muslim, that player is inevitably going to get false bad reports.
    especially if they play on american servers.

    • I mute everyone as soon as I start a game unless I’m in a private party with friends.

      Seems stupid that would count against someone.

  7. 3 months after release before exploits are being…err…exploited.

    I’m not a very good player and it makes me laugh when someone sends me abuse. For instance, last week someone sent me a “Stupid c-word” message on PSN cos I was his 3rd friendly kill on BLOPS2 and he got kicked…I just block them and occasionally report them.

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