At E3 2019, Microsoft announced major changes to the Xbox Live Gamertag system. The biggest change is that you will be able to choose any Gamertag you want, even if it's already taken. If you choose a Gamertag that is already claimed, Xbox will auto-generate an ID suffix of numbers after an # symbol. For example, if you wanted HarambeXbox117 and it's already taken, you could be HarambeXbox117#1056 or some other variation of that.
The suffix font size is smaller and the color is different, so the name you want will stand out. You can see an example of this in the image above. Importantly, nothing is changing for existing Gamertags; you don't need to do anything, and you won't lose your name. These new changes are seemingly inspired by similar systems on Battle.net and Discord.
Additionally, Gamertags will now support more alphabets to work with more than 200 languages from around the world. The newly supported character sets include:
- Basic Latin
- Latin-1 Supplement
- CJK Symbols for languages in China, Japan, and Korea
The Gamertag changes are live now in the Xbox app on PC and will come to mobile and console "over the next year." Microsoft also teased that these changes represent the "first step in an ongoing journey for evolving gamertags, so we appreciate your patience as the team continues to implement new features based on your feedback."