Choose a Good Xbox Gamertag

How fun is smashing n00bs on Xbox live if you don't have a unique Gamertag for them to remember and fear? Luckily, picking a great, memorable name isn't hard. With a few basic suggestion, you'll soon be coming up with awesome names on your own.


Coming Up With a Great Name

  1. Use a play on your actual name or nickname. Having trouble thinking of a good Gamertag? Your actual name is a great place to start. Try making a play on your first or last name. If you have a nickname, you can use it as well. Another idea is to make a pun or a reference to a character with a similar name from fiction.
    • Examples: Someone named John Smith might try XxSmithxX, JSmith95, JohnnyBoy1234, or AgentSmith4589.
    • Don't include your full, real name in your Gamertag. Keep in mind that anyone you play on Xbox Live will be able to see your name. For security reasons, it's a wise idea to keep your real-world identity to yourself.
  2. Base your name off of your favorite game. If there's a specific game you love, consider referring to it in your name. It doesn't matter whether you play this game any more than the others. You might try naming yourself after a character from this game. You can also try something less on-the-nose like a place, weapon, or event.
    • Examples: If you love the Halo series, you might try MasterChief3000, MrNeedler, CortanaLover99, CovenenantSquad01, or EliteHammer.
  3. Reference your favorite hobby or interest. Video games aren't the only things in the world that interest you, so they don't have to be the only things in your name. Draw on your wide range of skills, hobbies, and interests to think of an idea. You might reference an animal you like, a band you're a fan of, your dream car, or something else entirely. It's all up to you!
    • Examples: If you're a musician, you might try names with music terminology like TrebleKill333, BassicInstinct, Bad2theTrombone, BFlattened, and so on.
  4. Go for an intimidating name. Intent on completely wrecking your competition online? Let other players know that you mean business with a name that calls attention to your lethal skill with a controller. Go for a name that sounds scary, deadly, or diabolical. Keep in mind, though, that hate speech and offensive content are banned under the XBox Live terms of service.[1]
    • Examples: 7Obliter8r9, MsJennyDeath, Noobs Beware, KillerJoe, etc.
  5. Be dark or mysterious. Another way to give your competition the jitters is not to outright say that you plan to destroy them. Instead, suggest it. Names that imply some sort of mysterious or suspicious quality are quite popular as Gamertags. Sometimes, it's all about what you don't tell your enemy.
    • Examples: OnlyInTheShadows, Ninjitsu765, UnseenDoom, BehindYou!
  6. Make a joke or pun. Your Gamertag doesn't have to be grim or serious. In fact, having a more light-hearted one can make you seem more approachable to other players. This can be good when you're working with teammates toward a shared objective. Names that make someone laugh at first sight are always a good bet. Since you're working with a limited number of characters, quick puns are often easiest.
    • Examples: ChrisPBacon, CubaBaddingJR, TheOtherGuy, HeyYou (so that when people talk to you in-game, it's confusing.)
    • You may want to try using an online tool like the Pun Generator (available here) if you're having trouble thinking of ideas.[2]
  7. Use another language. All you need is a few words of a non-English language to give yourself a Gamertag that's unique in English-language games. You have a few options here. One is to translate a cool-sounding name that's already taken into another language. You can also try using the language's equivalent of your real name. You can even just find a word that you like the look of — it's up to you!
    • Examples: If you're a fan of bears, you might try Urso734 ("Urso" is "bear" in Portuguese) or 123Ayi ("Ayi" is "bear" in Turkish)
    • Online translators like Google Translate and can help with these sorts of names.[3][4]
  8. Be random. There's no rule that your name has to make sense. In fact, the more random your name, the less likely that it's already taken. Try combining two words that have no connection or using a random adjective to describe a word you happen to like. The more creative, the better!
    • Examples: GrandioseFox, OceanPillar1524, PantHill93, Seven8Six, etc.
    • You can even use a nonsense word or phrase — something that means nothing at all.

Picking a Name No One Else Has

  1. Check the availability of your name online. Before you go to the trouble of logging in and making a Gamertag for yourself, save yourself time by checking to see whether it's already taken. There are a few sites that allow you to do this online. A basic search engine query should reveal several.
  2. Add extra characters if needed. Is a gamertag that you really want taken? Don't worry! You can probably get a very similar name just by adding or changing a few letters. One common way is to put a string of numbers at the beginning or end of the name. You can also try spelling the name differently, adding extra letters, changing the spacing, and so on.
    • For example, if you want the name "MrJim" but it's already taken, you might try "MrJim127482," "123Mr Jim456," or something similar.
  3. Use "decorative" characters. Another common way that gamers get the name they want is by making designs on either side of their name. This is done with whatever letters and numbers are available. This can give the visual impression that your name is jeweled or decorated. There's no "right" way to do this, but arrangements of symmetrical letters like Xs, Os, Is, and Ys are common.
    • For example, if you want the name "SallyRide" but it's already taken, you might try "xXSallyRideXx", "OoOoSallyRideoOoO", or something similar.
  4. Include your clan membership. In online games, clans are essentially "clubs" that avid gamers can join to play with people they know. Often, players advertise their clan membership by putting the name of their clan at the beginning of their username. This can also help you get a name that's already taken — odds are, the version with the clan name at the front is free.
    • For example, if you're in the "Fyre" clan and you want the name "Lazr33", you might advertise your membership like this: "xFyrexLazr33"
    • Clans will often have instructions on exactly how to format your Gamertag to advertise your membership. Be sure to follow the directions!

Knowing What to Avoid

  1. Don't make a Gamertag with offensive language. There are very few rules dictating what you can and can't put in your Gamertag. There rules that do exist are covered in the XBox Live Code of Conduct. All players agree to follow this code when they sign up for Live. Perhaps the biggest rule about Gamertags is that absolutely no offensive language is allowed. Accounts that break this rule may be suspended or banned. The Code's definition of "offensive language" includes:[1]
    • Curse words
    • Hate speech (e.g., racist/sexist slurs)
    • Illegal drug references
    • Controversial religious topics
    • Controversial historical figures or events
  2. Don't make a Gamertag with sexual references. The other major rule about Gamertags is that very few sexual terms are allowed in users' names. As a general rule, anything that could be considered remotely "dirty" is off-limits. However, a few "clean" terms are allowed in Gamertags. These terms are:[1]
    • "Gay," "Bi," and "Lesbian"
    • "Transgender"
    • "Straight"
  3. Don't try "sound-alike" names. Even if your Gamertag isn't technically offensive, your account may still be probated or banned if your Gamertag tries to get around the rules with words that imply offensive concepts. It's usually obvious when a user is trying to "cheat" the Code of Conduct, so these sorts of names are almost always a waste of time.[1]
    • For instance, the name "Adolph Hitler" would definitely be prohibited under the rule against controversial historical figures. However, a name like "A. Dolph Hit L.R." would also be prohibited, since it's clearly referencing the same person.
  4. Don't buy or sell Gamertags. No matter what Gamertag you use, make sure it's your own. The buying and selling of Gamertags is against the XBox Live Code of Conduct. In these cases, both the seller and the buyer may be subject to penalties or bans.
    • If someone already has a name you want, use the tricks in the section above to find a name that's close to it. Don't try to buy or steal the name.
  5. Don't impersonate or defame anyone else. Picking a name that's intended to cheapen another person's name, whether that's through imitation or personal attacks, is off limits. This extends to other players, moderators, game developers, and Microsoft staffers. Make sure your name is all about you — not someone else.
    • Imitating authority figures like moderators and staff members is a tactic that is commonly used for scams. If you do this, even if you have nothing but the best intentions in mind, it can still earn you a ban or probation.


  • Be unique with your gamertag. If you get an idea from a friend's gamertag, always ask them first as they may be unhappy about you copying their once unique gamertag and you may have trouble changing it back.
  • Still stuck? Microsoft can provide you with suggestions at the 'Change Gamertag' menu.
  • Gamertags can only contain alphanumeric characters (A-Z and 0-9) and spaces. If you use other characters, you will be asked to change your name.


  • Adding too many Xs or similar decorative characters to your name is sometimes looked down upon and seen as unoriginal.
  • Be unique with your Gamertag! If you get an idea from a friend's Gamertag always ask them first as they may be unhappy about you copying their once-unique Gamertag and you may have trouble changing it back.
  • Don't join a clan without asking! Always ask the clan leader if you can join before you change your Gamertag.

Things You'll Need

  • 800 MS Points
  • Xbox Live
  • Internet connection
  • An Xbox 360

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Sources and Citations