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How to Use the Xbox One’s HDMI In Passthrough Port to Plug in Other Consoles

Xbox One X Header

Did you know you can plug other consoles and peripherals into the “HDMI In” port at the back of your Xbox One, Xbox One S or Xbox One X?

Given that HDMI is now the defacto standard for most consoles and other audio-visual equipment, it’s surprising how many TVs still only come with two or three HDMI in ports. One way of getting extra HDMI ports is to buy an HDMI switcher.

UPDATE: The OneGuide app is no longer on the app store but you should be able to access it from ‘my games and apps’.

But if you own an Xbox One console, you can plug any one HDMI device into your console without needing to fork out any extra money for a switcher.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Turn your Xbox One off, and turn it round. Look at the back and you’ll see an HDMI port labelled “HDMI In”.
  2. Get the device you want to use, whether it’s a console or Blu-Ray player or whatever.
  3. Get an HDMI cable and plug one end into the HDMI out socket on the device.
  4. Plug the other end of the cable into the HDMI In socket on your Xbox One.
  5. Go to “My games & apps” on your Xbox One, then to the apps section and you should have an app installed called “OneGuide”, represented by three broken lines.
  6. Turn on the other device, and then launch OneGuide on your Xbox One.
  7. Follow the instructions. You’ll only need to set up OneGuide once.

You should now see the output of your other console or device on the Xbox One. Now you’re set up, in future all you need to do is this:

  1. Turn the Xbox One on.
  2. Turn the other device on.
  3. Launch OneGuide on the Xbox One.

You need to have your Xbox One turned on to receive the output of the other device, not just in sleep mode.

One warning: using the “HDMI In” socket does introduce the tiniest bit of controller lag. It’s not noticeable in most games but there are titles, such as Guitar Hero, that reward you for precision timing, where it becomes an issue. We found that Fitness Boxing on the Nintendo Switch, when passed through the Xbox One, gave us lower marks because  our timing was off.

This minor issue aside, if you’re short on HDMI sockets it’s a handy feature to have. Happy pass-through gaming!

Weekend Editor // Chris has been gaming since the days of the Acorn Electron, which was allegedly purchased to 'help him with his homework'. You can probably guess how well that went. He’ll tackle most genres – football titles aside – though he has a taste for games that that are post-apocalyptic, horror-oriented or thought provoking in nature.