Can You Use Your Phone as a Wireless Connector for Xbox Live?

By Andrew Aarons

Updated September 22, 2017

XBox 360 gamers can connect to XBox Live either through a wired or wireless Internet connection and then link up with other gamers to play online games. XBox Live is also used for downloading game updates and sending messages, and can be accessed via any available wireless connection, including a wireless hotspot on a cell phone.

Wireless Hotspots

Most Android smartphones and Apple iPhones allow you to turn your 3G, 4G, or LTE connection into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect to the hotspot with any wireless-ready device, including an XBox 360, and use your phone’s data connection instead of your home Internet connection. Check the website for your phone’s manufacturer to see if your particular phone has hotspot functionality and for specific instructions for setting up the device.

Creating Wireless Hotspots

Thought the instructions for setting up a wireless hotspot will vary from device to device, wireless networks have basic components that you’ll need to configure on your network. When you create a portable hotspot, your device will automatically give the network a name, usually “Android12345” on an Android phone or “My iPhone” on an iPhone. Tap “Configure” to set up the security type on the network and to view the password. You’ll need the password, also called a network key, to log in to the phone from the XBox 360. You may have to set the device to automatically broadcast so that your XBox 360 can find it on the network.

Finding the Hotspot

On your XBox 360, choose “Settings” from the dashboard and then “System – Network Settings.” Your hotspot will appear as one of your choices; select it using the direction pad and then enter the password or network key when prompted. Your XBox 360 will automatically connect to XBox Live. If you can’t see the network, click “Configure network” and then scroll to the “Basic Settings” tab and choose “Wireless mode.” Select “Scan for Networks” and then highlight the hotspot to join that network.

Data Usage

Keep in mind that everything you do with another device through your phone contributes to your monthly data usage, so it’s important to keep an eye on your data usage through your phone while playing XBox 360games online. Unless you have unlimited data through your cell provider, don’t download updates or games. XBox 360 games are huge with some being several gigabytes, which would exceed most basic data plans. If your phone uses 3G, you may notice that the performance on XBox Live suffers compared to a wired connection.