How to Use an Xbox 360 System Link With Only a Game Disc

By Kenrick Callwood

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Original game disc

  • System link cable

  • 2 Xbox 360 consoles

  • Straightened paper clip

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Xbox 360 is a video game console from Microsoft that has hundreds of games across multiple genres. Many of those games feature multiplayer game modes that allow two or more players to interact with the game at the same time. Players may choose to share a screen or link two or more systems together to use separate TVs. Before the 2008 change to the Xbox's dashboard allowing games to be installed on the hard drive, this required two or more copies of the game. Now, with a simple trick, players can enjoy multiplayer games with just one disc.

Remove the faceplate of one of the original Xbox 360 consoles. Remove any memory cards or USB drives and close the disc tray. Grip the console firmly and use your thumbs to pry the faceplate of starting at the end the houses the USB ports.

Connect the two Xbox consoles to their respective TVs and connect the consoles together via the system link cable. Turn everything on.

Insert the game disc into the Xbox 360 with the faceplate removed.

Wait for the Xbox to recognize the disc and scroll to the "My Xbox" menu.

Highlight the game and press "Y" to bring up the game details. Highlight "Install Game" and press "A" to begin the installation process. This may take a few minutes depending on the size of the game.

Press "A" to launch the game after the installation process is complete.

Wait five minutes or until you are completely sure that the disc has stopped spinning in the tray.

Insert a straightened paper clip into the disc tray's "Manual eject" hole until the tray pops out. The "Manual eject" hole is one of the three holes located directly beneath the tray. The exact location depends on which brand of DVD drive the console carries.

Pull tray out with your hand and remove the game disc, but do not close the tray.

Insert the game disc into the other console and launch the game as normal.

Select the multiplayer mode on both consoles and begin playing. The console without the disc reads the information from the hard drive, and the other console reads from the game disc.