KEY POINTS

  • Players who attempted to sign-in encountered an error Thursday
  • The last major outage experienced by Xbox Live users was during the launch of the Xbox Series X/S
  • Microsoft is yet to disclose the cause of the latest outage

Users trying to access Microsoft's Xbox Live service faced an unexpected issue Thursday. They could not sign in or use some of its services for more than four hours. 

After fixing the issue, the Xbox support team tweeted, "Users should once again be able to sign-in, complete purchases and join chat sessions. Thank you for your patience and as always, we're listening."

Earlier, the team said they were aware of the problem and were "investigating to fix this issue." Microsoft is yet to disclose the exact cause of the outage.

Reports of sign-in issues began around 3:15 p.m. ET, Thursday. Shortly after, gamers also pointed out that party chat and content purchase were also unavailable.

"Our teams are continuing their investigation and have found that users experiencing sign-in issues may have issues with Purchasing Content and Party Chat as well. We will send additional updates here and on http://xbox.com/status when we have more information to share," the support team tweeted at the time.

Aside from the multiplayer and marketplace, some apps and games that rely on online connectivity to Microsoft's Xbox Live network also stopped working due to the outage.

Xbox Status Page Screengrab of Xbox Status page amid reported outage. Photo: Microsoft/Xbox

Xbox Status page said four services were facing "Major Outage" and they include "Account & Profile," "Store & Subscription," "Cloud Gaming," and "Multiplayer Gaming." The other services did not face any issues.

The last major outage experienced by Xbox Live users was during the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in November. It was due to a massive influx of gamers who attempted to simultaneously access Microsoft's gaming services, Windows Central said.

The Xbox Live service rarely encounters such issues that last for several hours. Business Insider noted that one of the longest service unavailability was during the holiday season in 2007, which lasted 11 days.

Xbox Live Down Xbox Live members reported service outages Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images