Xbox Live is changing the way that gamertags work. The service now enables you to change your name to whatever you want — although you will get a numerical identified to go along with that. Of course, you still can’t use a lot of hateful or suggestive words. And the length maxes out at 12 characters.
You can change your gamertag once for free — even if you’ve used your free name change in the past. Under this new scheme, any name you choose will work, but it will have a “#” followed by some numbers on PC. On console or mobile, you will get your name immediately followed by the same numbers without the “#.” Xbox Live also now supports many foreign-language characters.
So you can go as just “J” on Xbox Live now on PC. But if someone wants to find you on the service, they’ll need to look for something like J#2666. But if you go as J (J#2666) on Xbox Live on PC, players on Xbox One and mobile (and within games) are still going to see you as J266.
This naming system is similar to how the communication service Discord and Blizzard’s Battle.net work. Instead of telling you that a name is taken, the service just adds a unique identifier to every gamertag.
Xbox Live gamertag change will eventually come to console, mobile, and games
Microsoft plans to update everything to the new system eventually.
“The Xbox One console and mobile app will be updated soon to display your new gamertag,” reads the site for changing your name. “Games will follow sometime in 2020.”
As the cloud-gaming technology Project xCloud rolls out and as the next Xbox console debuts, it seems that they will launch with the new naming convention.
So go ahead and change your name to whatever you want. Just keep in mind that you will lose access to your current gamertag. And others could then snatch that up as their own at that point.