The descriptor “video game” covers a pretty wide umbrella of experiences, from a 4-hour jaunt through a horror campaign to a long, meandering journey through a fantasy realm. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a helpful new tool coming to the Xbox app on PC to help with this exact problem: It’s a feature that tells you, on average, how long it takes to beat a game.
The announcement reads, in part: “We partnered with HowLongToBeat for a unique feature that makes it even easier to pick your next PC game — beginning today, you can view estimates for how long it will take you to complete a game in the game details pages for most PC Game Pass games.”
HowLongToBeat is a long-running community project where players can submit data on the amount of time it took them to complete a game, while factoring in various playstyles. For instance, blasting through a game’s main questline and beating the final boss may take 20 hours according to averages based on players’ submissions; doing all of the side quests and unlocking optional paths can take 35, while playing the game to 100% completion might take 50.
This is a nice quality-of-life feature to have, especially since Xbox Game Pass has such a vast library to sift through. Sometimes, you’re in the mood to settle in and feast on a 100+ hour RPG; other times, you just want something chill that you can knock out over the course of a couple of evenings.
There are some other changes to the Xbox app on PC, including easier browsing and better layouts for an individual game’s page. The latest update also boosts the app’s performance and reliability, launching 15% faster and reducing player reports of failed downloads by nearly half.