The team at Xbox is upping network security by making a big upgrade to Xbox Live’s party chat feature.
This is a method by which other players can potentially access your IP address and launch “DDoS” (distributed denial-of-service) attacks on your network. In highly competitive shooters, for example, this is how an opponent might try to take you offline mid-match, achieving victory by default.
During something like a GameBattles Call of Duty tournament or Trials of Osiris run on Destiny, that can be disastrous. But Xbox is moving party chat away from peer-to-peer connections to a server-based system to prevent this from happening in the future.
Xbox Live party chat update
“Hey all, we know this is a problem — we are actually phasing out P2P voice connections for party chat completely, which we’ve been working on quite a bit in the background to stop this very problem,” Bill Ridmann, principal software engineer at Xbox, writes in a reply to the thread.
“We’ve been ramping up a larger percentage of parties to be completely server-based, week over week (so you don’t make direct connections to other party members, so they cannot see your IP), and soon should have no more P2P-based parties.”
He added, “I’ve seen some concerns here, as well, related to parties and the mobile app — it’s always been the case if you’ve used the mobile app to join a party [that] the party becomes server-based, and your phone’s IP is never exposed to others.”
It sounds like this transition should be finalized in the coming months, as next-gen Xbox Series consoles roll out and consumers start to get their hands on them.