What is Xbox One FastStart? How does it work with Games?

One of the major annoyance among the Xbox One Gamers is waiting time. As Xbox has moved towards digital games, the sizes have made it impossible to start playing the game quickly compared to the games which were installed from the Disc. The first attempt Microsoft took was Ready to Start option. It allowed games to start playing games to an extent while the game downloaded in the background. That really didn’t work well. Now with a recent update to Xbox One, a new feature – FastStart games -have been rolled out. In this post, I talk about what is Xbox One FastStart, and how it works with the games.

Xbox One FastStart

Xbox One FastStart

When games are compiled, not all data is set to deliver you like a linear progression through the game. It downloads based on multiple factors. With FastStart, Microsoft ii changing it.  It’s a patented technology which downloads games based on your game progress. I would like to call it True Ready to Start.

It finds out which parts of the game you need next and starts downloading it as you progress through the game. Imagine this as a torrent download, but you are streaming it. This meansFastStart identifies which files are needed to begin playing and prioritizes the download of those files first.

This reduces waiting time. It would feel almost like playing it on the servers, with local speed. There are two limitations. First, you need to have a minimum of 20 Mbps download speed, and secondly, the game should support it. It makes take a while for the portfolio to expand.

Which titles will be FastStart-enabled?

As of now, FastStart will be enabled for few games that are available on Xbox Game Pass catalog. Also, it will be available for English Language only. This will make sure to get the benefits of FastStart out to maximum gamers in a short time. As of now, there is no official list of games from the company, but they will be listed here. However,  The Flame in the Flood, one of the first games to support FastStart on Xbox One.

How quicker are start times with FastStart?

According to the Xbox Team, this is twice as fast as compared to previous experience, on an average. In short, if you had to wait for an hour to start playing, you can start playing it in half of that time now. However, the real deal is that you can start playing almost instantly once the basic files are downloaded. The better your download speed is, the better advantage of FastStart while minimizing the possibility of experiencing gameplay interruptions.

That said, if your connection doesn’t stay stable, and speed falls below the minimum threshold, you will receive a warning. The notification will share about the problem and may pause the game until the download is complete.

FastStart vs Ready to Start

Ready to Start was dependent on Game developers, and there were no set rules to follow. Some game developers allowed to launch the game, but to play you had to wait for the download to complete. However, with FastStart, things are in Microsoft’s hands. It will use some smart inputs which they call it “crowdsourced data ” to figure out which file is needed next.

The part crowdsourced is interesting. If my guess is correct, it is some sort of AI which takes input from users who are involved in beta testing of games or uses some input from the Game companies to deliver the update in a way users would expect. Sadly there is not much detail available.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.