What Is DLC Xbox?

by Arnold Carreiro
Many Xbox 360 Kinect titles offer DLC too!

Many Xbox 360 Kinect titles offer DLC too!

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Microsoft's Xbox Live service contains a vibrant selection of DLC, or downloadable content, made to continue and improve upon your favorite gaming experiences. There is no feeling quite like learning that your preferred Xbox 360 titles have been expanded with downloadable content that adds a new character, story chapter or level in which to play.

Xbox Live Arcade

A well-known type of Xbox Live DLC is the many full games that are downloadable over the Xbox Live Arcade. This online store is stocked with hundreds of unique small-scale experiences that range from first-person shooters like "Perfect Dark" to classic arcade games like "Pac-Man Championship Edition DX" and "Jetpac Refuelled." All of these games are downloadable content that is saved to your storage device, eliminating the need for bulky disc boxes.

Continue the Story

DLC can also be used to continue the games that you have already completed with huge expansions that can add many additional hours to the game's playtime. Both science fiction games "Mass Effect" and "Mass Effect 2" offer lengthy story missions in DLC packages intended to get players to explore distant corners of the galaxy. Content packs are a common type of DLC that gives the game's developers the chance to introduce new supporting characters, weapons and experiences after the game has hit store shelves.

Fresh Characters and Items

Some types of DLC provide a specific tool to give players a new way to enhance their games. "Fable III" provided a "Five Star Dog Potion" to instantly boost all of your canine companion's stats, abilities and strengths. This DLC instantly gives "Fable" players an edge over their friends who must play through the game to get the same bonus. Individual weapons, costumes and playable characters create opportunities to play a great game in a new way.

New Levels and Maps

A popular DLC pack style contains original multiplayer maps, levels, racecourses and battlefields for gamers to challenge each other over Xbox Live. For example, the Defiant Map Pack seen in "Halo Reach" includes three new arenas for users to blast aliens and each other. DLC that contains large maps and levels is often aimed at a multiplayer experience to be enjoyed with friends. Many shooters and racing games offer this kind of DLC.

About the Author

Based in northern Florida, Arnold Carreiro has been writing video game articles since 2005. His work has appeared on websites including Simply Rare, Atlantic Publishing and Quirk Classics. Carreiro holds an Associate of Arts in graphic design from Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Photo Credits

  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images