Xbox is reportedly banning players who run emulators in the console’s retail mode

by Danny Craig  · 
Xbox is reportedly banning players who run emulators in the console’s retail mode

Those who are playing emulated games in the retail mode of the Xbox Series X/S are being temporarily suspended after Microsoft previously closed the loophole that allowed the applications to run outside of developer mode.

The details:

  • Around the time of the Series X/S's release, all console owners could freely download emulators for retro systems from the Microsoft Store, allowing them to play older titles on the system as long as they had the ROMs. Microsoft later closed the loophole that allowed this, but players could still use the console's developer mode to run the software, sacrificing the ability to play retail games and use apps.
  • Earlier in July, a group was said to have discovered a new way to access emulation software on the retail mode of the console, offering access to the new method to anyone willing to pay $2 to subscribe to their Patreon. The method appears to have involved submitting account information, which the group members would then use to add the user in question to a whitelist, which is typically used to provide pre-release builds and give them access to the software.
  • As reported by YouTuber Hikikomori Media, who cited the Discord server "Xbox Emulation Hub," Microsoft has begun to suspend players who used any of the retail emulators for 15 days. GoldenSky, the server's administrator, stated that retail emulation was "dead" and that the channel dedicated to retail emulators would be deleted within a week. "Effective immediately, we are halting any and all retail mode emulation, permanently," GoldenSky wrote. “A significant amount of users have been receiving 15-day suspensions as a warning shot from Xbox. We STRONGLY recommend removing any and all emulator apps from your console in retail mode immediately (dev mode is unaffected). We apologize to anyone who got a 15-day suspension, we know it sucks.”
  • GoldenSky also revealed that anyone attempting to re-upload the emulators to retail mode is receiving console bans rather than temporary suspensions, adding that it's "not worth it" and that players should "just use dev mode" in the future. As GoldenSky stated, users can still run emulators within the Xbox's developer mode without fear of being banned; however, to access the mode, players must pay a one-time fee of $20.

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