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Xbox Live Gamertag

We’ve all seen them — xXx1337SN!P3RxXx, ysosrsface, SilentAssassin69, and other horrible usernames. It seems like they’re everywhere nowadays (kind of like the cursing 12-year-olds in Call of Duty multiplayer), and we can't do a whole lot about that.

We can, however, try to prevent future cases by informing people how to choose a username, and that's why I put this list together.

1) DON’T randomly mash keys because you can’t think of anything

I know this one is easy to do, but you’re going to look pretty ridiculous with a name like skdjvfs7672.

2) DO pick something unique

The best usernames are always unique — something no one else would think of. Avoid clichés and check around the Internet before you pick. Chances are, if it’s taken, then it’s not as clever as you think.


3) DON’T put "X" or "O" around everything

Can’t get the username you want? Just put a bunch of Xs or Os around it and presto! You'll have a totally new and unique username. The Internet seems to think this way. Don’t do this. It’s not cool and too many people have already gone down this path.

4) DO spell correctly

Unless it’s part of a joke, misspellings look stupid. It should go without saying, but make sure you do a quick spell check before you hit confirm.

5) DON’T pick a dumb username for a site or service you won't regularly use

People might respect skdjvfs7672, but I don’t think anyone will take kitty0706 seriously.

6) DO pick something respectable

I’m not saying you can’t have a silly or funny name, but a man with a name like cuddlypuppies49 doesn’t exactly garner respect.

7) DON’T randomly insert capital letters

Honestly, I’m not even sure when this one started. Inserting unnecessary capital letters into your name doesn’t make you look cool. It makes you look like a kid.


Okay, so far, these tips have all been pretty obvious. Think it through, don’t pick something stupid, be creative, etc. But these last three are slightly less obvious and just as important.

8) DO keep it clean

Look at you! You managed to fit quite a few curse words and innuendos into your name. Listen, I know some services allow anything, but please keep it clean out of respect for the people who don’t appreciate that kind of language.

9) DON’T Use 13375P3AK or large random numbers

Numbers DO NOT make your name better. Leetspeak has been used to death, and I’m still not convinced it was ever cool. And if you want to put large numbers somewhere, put them in your password.

10) DON’T sound like a fanboy (or fangirl)

Aside from guaranteed trolling, it’s not wise to pick anything that implies fanboyism just in case you switch sides. A PlayStation 3 owner will have a hard time explaining a username like XB0X36ORUL3Z.

There you have it. Follow these 10 rules, and you’ll be on your way to possessing a username that doesn’t completely suck. Who knows, you might even come up with the next great handle.

Maybe you already have a decent tag, so post your best username down in the comments!