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Xbox Series X Insiders just got access to an awesome new party chat feature

Xbox Series X|S Insiders in the Alpha ring just got access to a great new party chat feature as well as a notable update for Game DVR.

Party chat, for some Insiders on Xbox Series X|S, now has an 'ask to join' option. Want to check if there's room in a friend's gaming session before joining the party? Now you can, simply by going over to your friend's profile and selecting the 'ask to join' option.

Equally noteworthy is that Game DVR, Xbox's game capture software, just got a  welcome improvement too. Microsoft has increased bitrate by around 30% when capturing footage in 720p or 1080p. That'll result in a higher-quality image that captures busier scenes more effectively and with less pixelation.

Details on these Insider updates and more can be found on the official Xbox Wire post. You'll need to be enrolled in the Xbox Insider program to benefit, but the new features will eventually roll out to all Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S owners, potentially with some improvements thanks to Insider feedback.

Another win for Insiders

A man holding an Xbox Wireless Controller

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Chikena)

I highly recommend learning how to join the Xbox Insider Program, if only to have the chance to try out excellent quality-of-life features before they're ready for prime time. In the past, it's been used to test features like Discord integration, so it's always handy to be signed up to get a glimpse at future updates for your console.

This time's no different. The new 'ask to join' option for parties seems like a no-brainer to me, and I'm quite surprised it's something that hasn't been implemented already. It'll let people know you're requesting to join without you just jumping in. And if you're socially anxious like me, it seems like a great way to check to see if it's okay to join without feeling like you awkwardly barged in.

I'm also a fan of any improvements to Game DVR. A 30% increase to bitrate is significant and will make clips and game streaming both look much cleaner on Xbox consoles. When this update exits testing, expect a higher level of clarity on all your best Halo Infinite map-wide headshots, provided you capture them at HD resolution of course.

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