Novice Guide to Setting Up Your Xbox 360

his Novice Guide will introduce you to the console itself, the premier next-generation videogame console, Xbox 360™.


Time to get this beauty powered up and running.

Congratulations! You picked up a new Xbox 360, or better yet, you just received one as a gift. Now that you have the console, it’s time to get it up and running. Xbox 360 and its varied accessories practically define plug-and-play, but to make sure your initial experience is pain free, check out the following tips.

Out of the Box
Take a couple deep breaths before you rip into the box and dive in. Open the box and remove the contents carefully. You never know when you might want to pack it back up to take it to a friend’s house. If you keep all the packing materials intact, keeping your console safe while you travel will be a breeze.

Once you have the console out of the box, remove the clear plastic strip covering the disc tray of the system. If you leave it on you may inadvertently damage the disc drive, so take it off before you do anything else.

Are all your parts accounted for?

Ideal Placement
Once your baby is out of the box, consider the ideal placement of your console. Typically, your home entertainment setup will dictate where your Xbox 360 will live, but before you hook it up, check the lengths of your cables. Stretch out your power cable and see how far it will run, and measure it against your component cables and your optical audio cable, if you have one.

When you decide whether your console will sit on its side or stand up, make absolutely sure that the console is off and that there isn’t a disc inside it. Never move the console while it’s running or while there is a disc inside. Finally, make sure that wherever you decide to put your console, it has enough room to breathe. If you slide your console into a cramped cubby hole in your entertainment center, you run a real risk of overheating it.

The Hookup

Connecting your console is a relatively simple matter, as you simply connect one end of each cord to the console, and the opposite ends to the power outlet, TV, and receiver. There are a couple of points that may require clarification though.

  • HD SwitchIf you are connecting your Xbox 360 HD Component Video Cable to an HDTV, you will need to toggle the switch on the cord so that it sends an HD signal to the TV. This tiny switch is on the underside of the cable as it connects to the back of your Xbox 360.
  • Color Confusion: Both the component video and audio cords have red-colored plugs, so make sure you plug the right cords into the right receptacles. The standard Xbox 360 HD Component Video Cable separates the audio and video plugs into separate bunches, so they should be easy to tell apart.
  • Optical Out: The optical audio output is located on the component video cable as it connects to your console, not on the back of the console itself.

Don’t get your cables confused.

Wireless Connected
The last stage of your initial console setup is synching your Xbox 360 Wireless Controller to the Xbox 360 itself. This is a quick and easy, four step process, and it should just take a few moments.

  1. Turn on your Xbox 360.
  2. Turn on your Xbox 360 Wireless Controller by holding down the Xbox 360 button and waiting until all four lights blink around it.
  3. Click the wireless connect button on the front of your console. This small button is right next to the memory card slots. It will be beneath them if the console is standing upright, or to their right if it is placed horizontally. Hold this button down until you see the lights circle the power button.
  4. Hold down the wireless connect button on the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller until the lights begin to circle the Xbox 360 button. Release the wireless connect button, then wait for the light to hold steady in one of the quadrants.

Congratulations! You now have the world’s most powerful, multi-talented gaming console up, running, and ready to be enjoyed.