How to use Google Assistant to control your Xbox

With Amazon Alexa support built-in to Xbox after Kinect, voice control is a breeze. Instead, why not use Google Assistant and a speaker like the Google Nest Audio? As with Alexa, Google Assistant also enjoys the same treatment. And just as with Amazon’s speaker, there is no direct hardware connection. Rather, you use the cloud’s power and Google Assistant’s actions.

The two aren’t completely identical, as you would expect. But the overall execution is just as good whichever you use. The setup process for Google Assistant is a little different, though, so let’s walk through it step-by-step.

Before you begin

You should make sure a few things are in order before you begin. First, make sure you are using the latest firmware update on your Xbox. You cannot use your Xbox online unless you keep it up-to-date. A stable data connection is the key to making this work.

After that, make sure your Google Assistant-enabled speaker is on the same wireless network as your Xbox and that you’re logged in on the console with the correct Microsoft Account. You will also need the Google Home application for Android or iOS installed on your phone or tablet.

Enable digital assistants on your Xbox console

Even though you shouldn’t have to do this, it’s prudent to do it anyway to ensure success. In the settings menu on the Xbox console, there is an option to enable digital assistants. To enable the feature follow these steps.

  1. Press the Xbox button on the controller.
  2. Navigate to Settings in the guide.
  3. Select Devices & connections.
  4. Select Digital assistants.
  5. Check Enable digital assistants.

The rest is carried out from your mobile device in the Google Home app so it’s time to head over there.

Linking your Xbox and Google Assistant in the Google Home app

Log in to the Google Home app with whichever Google account you wish to use Assistant with before you begin. Once you’re past this step the rest is pretty simple.

    1. Select the in the top left-hand corner.
    2. Select Set up device.
    1. Choose the option for Works with Google.
  1. Select Xbox.
  2. Log in with your Microsoft Account and follow the prompts to select the console you wish to link.

You can get away with just naming one Xbox console, but if you own multiple consoles, you will need to name them all. The Xbox action will need to be able to differentiate between the consoles and the names you provide will be used to do it.

Now linked, Google Assistant will be able to control features on your Xbox console with your voice. Some of the basics include:

  • Hey Google, turn on Xbox
  • Hey Google, play Halo Infinite on Xbox
  • Hey Google, take a screenshot on Xbox

There are many more voice commands you can use with Google Assistant and your Xbox. Microsoft has a full list that’s worth bookmarking as you learn to use the feature.