Microsoft has made some major changes to the way Xbox DRM operates allowing users without any internet to play their games offline.
Previously, it was simply not possible to play games like the one that came with Smart Delivery without having the Xbox connected online. In the case of discs, they were required to be checked online for verification before they could be booted, while the ones with Smart Delivery would require the user to download the Xbox Series X version by inserting the disc into their consoles.
According to multiple reports, there has been a silent change in the way DRM operates on the Xbox console in the new update.
This update allows you to play your owned Xbox O|X|S games offline
Do Work Offline: Don't need a check-in (owed games)
– Xbox Series
– Xbox One
Don't Work Offline: Need a check-in
– Game Pass
– Xbox 360
– OG Xbox
An initial check-in is still needed to play any game tho.
— Idle Sloth💙💛 (@IdleSloth84_) September 19, 2022
I just tested it and yeah. 360 games (at least physically) work offline without issue pic.twitter.com/iOQgr5tHv8
— Kai 🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊 (@SmugKaiSupreme) September 19, 2022
A small step in the right direction, however two massive issues remain.
1) the system cannot be set up offline / no guest accounts – so games require the internet regardless right now.
2) the issue with smart delivery forcing lots of releases to simply ship with empty code https://t.co/Z88ye46naW
— Does it play? (@DoesItPlay1) September 18, 2022
It appears that the new changes have been applied to digital games as well as discs. This means that users will be now able to boot their digitally purchased games on their console without having to require an internet connection on the initial boot.
Update: It has been confirmed by Xbox Engineering Lead Eden Marie.
Yes, this is true since the 2206 update. We examined data since Series X|S launch & determined the online compatibility check isn't needed in the vast majority of cases for Xbox One discs. Some games may still need to be updated online after install to ensure the best experience.
— Eden Marie (@neonepiphany) September 19, 2022
Keep in mind that this requires the user to have set the Xbox as their Home console. It means only one console can be set this way so if you are sharing accounts across two different consoles, it won’t be possible to claim this feature.
That said, it is a welcome addition if you are the only owner of your account and are still forced to go online to go past the authentication of games. Do keep in mind that it won’t work for games tied to a service like Xbox Game Pass. These do require a check before they can be played offline so you will need the internet to gain access to them.