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Setting up my PC I used Powershell to permanently delete all the unnecessary bloat from my PC, and this included apps such as:

  • XboxApp
  • XboxGameOverlay
  • XboxIdentityProvider
  • XboxSpeechToTextOverlay

I Am wondering if anyone knows which of these I need to reinstall from an ISO to enable sufficient functionality for Crossplay with a friend (XB user)? No rush, I just want to get myself sorted out for when State of Decay 2 hits.

Bonus question: Is it absolutely necessary to be signed into a Microsoft account (rather than a basic user account) to make app purchases from the Windows Store, and further to enjoy XBLA?

  • Well if you're signed into a Microsoft account when you make purchases you'd be able to sign into any Windows 10 PC or Xbox One and be able to download and play any of the games you purchases. If you do that with a local account (which I'm assuming is your basic user account?) you wouldn't be able to do that. (I'm also surprised you can purchase apps from the Windows Store with a local account). As far as which Xbox apps are required there's no obvious indication of which ones are necessary but I do see the Xbox logo a lot. I was testing with Gears of War 4. – BlueBarren Jun 18 '17 at 11:54
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I would say to need to have the Xbox Application (XboxApp), since that will make it easier to launch games. Games that install on your computer get buried deep within folders as I've found out. Gears of War 4 for example was within a very messy folder structure. I'm not even sure if it was possible to launch the game without the app.

XboxIdentityProvider is likely needed as well. This site states its description:

The description says : "A system app that enables PC games to connect to Xbox Live."

Here is the link to redownload the identity provider. You won't be able to connect to Xbox Live if you do not have this downloaded.

You should be able to get away with not having the XboxSpeechToTextOverlay, which at the moment, appears to only be available for one game (Halo Wars 2). According to that site, this service provides:

...a speech-to-text service that also supports text-to-speech.

I assume games will work fine without this - Halo Wars 2 may be the only game impacted by it for now if anything.

The XboxGameOverlay I believe is the service that controls the feature when you press the Windows Key + G. The first result after Googling it yields this article about how to disable it. You should be fine without this, but note that taking screenshots and recordings with this service allows you to share it to Xbox Live (using the above mentioned Xbox Application). Without it, you won't be able to share your content to Xbox Live - or at least not as easily.

Bonus:

Reading this Microsoft Help article, if you are signed in with a local account:

Upon launching any Microsoft app, including the Store, you'll see a prompt to sign in or create a Microsoft account. The first Microsoft account you use to sign in will become the default account your device will use to sign you in across all Microsoft services.

If you are using a local account to sign in to your PC, you will need to use a Microsoft Account to use any Microsoft Applications (including the Xbox Application).

If you use a Microsoft Account as your PC login:

If you signed in to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, that account will be linked to the user account signed in on the PC. This makes it much easier to sign in to all Microsoft apps (Skype, OneDrive, Office 365, Xbox, Groove Music, Movies & TV, and much more).

  • Thank you for this detailed answer! :) I suspected as much regarding the requirement of a logged-in-Microsoft account; guess I'll just have to create a second user account for gaming. Won't know for sure what apps are needed until I actually buy a game for Crossplay (likely to be Sea of Thieves), but once I've found the solution I'll update this post if it is possible to do so six months from now. – Chris Jun 19 '17 at 13:55
  • @Chris right now, not many games support Cross Play. The big ones that currently do are Gears of War 4, and Halo Wars 2. I believe they call is "Xbox Play Anywhere" now also. A list of games that support it can be found here, as well as future titles that plan to implement it. – Timmy Jim Jun 19 '17 at 13:57
  • If my understanding is correct "Xbox Play Anywhere" refers to the ability to load profile data across platforms (including save data). Not quite the same thing as Crossplay, which I believe is the ability for Xbox and Windows gamers to play games together on the same multiplayer servers. But I have it on good authority though from my Xbox-gamer friend that both Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 will indeed support Crossplay :) It is probably the only thing MS could have done to draw me away from Steam/GOG for certain purchases, so my hats off to them for leveraging their advantages. – Chris Jun 19 '17 at 14:08

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