Some Questions for 360 Owners

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#1 Edited by WSGEXE (139 posts) -

Hello all.

Just this past month I bought an Xbox 360. I'm a little late to the party, you might say. Prior to that, my most recent console was a Nintendo Wii which I used mostly for Virtual Console and whatever downloadable oddities caught my eye.

Anyway, I have a few questions that I can't find satisfactory answers to elsewhere. I hoped some of you might be willing to indulge me.

Gamer Pics. I understand some of them are free and have located a few by scrolling through an enormous list.

1. It seems the free ones are almost if not entirely related to movies or advertisers. Is this accurate?

2. Is there a quick way to view all free Gamer Pics or do you just have to scroll through the list?

3. Is there a way to preview Gamer Pics before purchase? For instance, I might like Transformers but "Transformers 5 Pack" doesn't tell me if it contains pictures of Shockwave, Laserbeak, Hound, Soundwave and Bumblebee or 5 pics of Optimus Prime flexing. Do people really just purchase these packs blind and hope for the best?

Downloads. I occasionally receive notifications while playing a game or sitting on the dashboard that random things like "Optional Media Update" have downloaded. I never requested such an update. What is it? Why did I get it? I turned off "Auto-Downloads" but this option seems to be limited to updates for existing installed products. Which leads me to my next question.

I bought several sale games through the desktop Xbox website and then later turned on my console to play Far Cry 2. While I'm driving across all of Africa I receive a notification that one of the games I purchased has finished downloading(?) Yet I never initiated a download and since I don't have any immediate interest in playing these games, I don't particularly want them putting down roots on my hard drive.

3. Is there any way to turn these automatic background downloads off or at least view what downloads are currently in progress?

4. I don't have any Xbox Live friends. If you want to add me and do whatever Xbox friends do, feel free. My name on Xbox Live is also WSGEXE.

5. Bonus question: Avatars seem a bit stupid. Can I opt out of them entirely?

Thanks all!

Avatar image for ll_exile_ll
#2 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (2780 posts) -

You can view active downloads which will show you what's downloading, the current progress, total size of each download, and allow you to pause or outright cancel any downloads. To be honest, it's been several years since I've regularly used an Xbox 360, so I can't say for sure where it is in the current dashboard, but you'll likely be able to get to it using the guide button.

As for gamerpics, yeah most of the ones you'd actually want are going to cost money, though some games have gamerpics as rewards for unlocking certain achievements or doing certain things in-game.

Avatar image for turtlebird95
#3 Posted by Turtlebird95 (3618 posts) -

Alright, I think I can help answer most of these!


1. Pretty much. You can occasionally find free packs under certain games, but they're something of a rarity now. As Exile pointed out, some games even offer free gamerpics as a reward for completing certain tasks.

2. No, unfortunately.

3. I don't think so. Try looking up a Gamerpic pack you might want on Google. You should be able to see them there.


When you buy stuff from, it automatically sends the download to your 360. A nifty feature, actually. I don't think you can turn it off, though.

3. Yes, you can turn off background downloads in the system settings. You can view downloads in progress by pressing the Guide button on your 360 controller (the big one in the center), press LB until it goes all the way to the left, and you should see Active Downloads. You can cancel any download in progress from there, but you will need to delete the data on your hard drive if you truly want it gone.

5. Heh, no, lol. You have to deal with them I'm afraid.

Avatar image for wsgexe
#4 Edited by WSGEXE (139 posts) -

@Turtlebird95 Thanks so much!

Avatar image for bremaine
#5 Posted by Bremaine (62 posts) -

With avatars, just have a random one set up and be done. They're pretty pointless as I rarely view others avatars myself. The friend list on the dashboard takes a slower time to load so I just use the guide button to view friends. Most free gamerpics are from movies, tv shows and other such things. Usually advertising means. Some gamerpics for shows and movies will cost you though, but it's pretty cheap.

I have background downloads off as I hate to leave my 360 on to finish downloads.

Avatar image for xyzygy
#6 Posted by xyzygy (10595 posts) -

An avatar is just that, an avatar. You don't have to put a lot of thought into it, just make it look like yourself (or not) and it'll just show up when people scroll through their friends lists. The thing they'll be seeing the most of is your picture (Gamerpic), same as anything else online. You don't have to go crazy and buy a bunch of avatar crap if you don't want to, it's just there if you really like something from a game. For example, I have Garrus' eye scanner from Mass Effect 1, it looks pretty cool.

As for the Gamerpics, there are a few cool free ones. And some games give them out as rewards. I have Gomez from Fez as mine because I beat the game.

Press the Guide button the controller and you'll be able to see your active downloads in the left most tab. The guide button will be your best friend.

Feel free to add me, Dr Tchock. There is a space in between :)

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