After Kinect, Xbox has built-in support for voice control with Amazon Alexa which works really well. But what if you use Google Assistant and a speaker such as the Google Nest Audio instead? The news is just as positive, with Google Assistant enjoying the same treatment as Alexa. And just as with Amazon’s speaker, there is no direct hardware connection. Instead, you use the power of the cloud 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
Before you start there are a couple of things you should make sure are in order. The first is that your Xbox is using the latest firmware update. Unless you keep your Xbox updated, you will be unable to use it online. 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
In theory, you shouldn’t have to do this, but it’s prudent to 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.
- Press the Xbox button on the controller.
- Navigate to Settings in the guide.
- Select Devices & connections.
- Select Digital assistants.
- 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
Before beginning, you’ll need to have ensured you have logged in to the Google Home app with whichever Google account you wish to use Assistant with. Once you’re past this step the rest is pretty simple.
- Select the + in the top left-hand corner.
- Select Set up device.
- Choose the option for Works with Google.
- Select Xbox.
- Log in with your Microsoft Account and follow the prompts to select the console you wish to link.
If you only have one Xbox console then you can get away with just naming it Xbox, but if you have multiple then naming will be crucial. 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.