Kinect Troubleshooting Guide – Errors, Setup, Sensor, Speech, Space

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Microsoft Kinect has just out Wii’ed the Wii following the worldwide sold out of its motion control system. When millions of people are using anything, few issues are bound to arise. For the very purpose, we have this Kinect for Xbox 360 Troubleshooting Guide.

You can go through the basics on how to setup your Kinect and how to troubleshoot it when you come across any problem, with information provided in this guide.

I have tried to list every common issue, or problem faced by people so that you can find relative information to resolve your problem. In any case, if your problem isn’t listed below, you can write in comments and I will try to help you out or you can refer to the source.

How to Setup and Troubleshoot Your Space
What should be your ideal place space for Kinect ? this should be your basic question before playing around with Kinect. Or You’ll end up like these.

Your play space should be clean, no debris, or any objects that can spoil the gameplay. Your place space should provide you firm footing, like avoid hardwood floor. As with Kinect, you will be moving around a lot, so better play safe.

All your light sources should be in front of you, not the back. Like they should be behind the Kinect, in front of you. Make sure Kinect Sensor has clear line of sight.

Too much noise can conflict with voice commands that Kinect Recognize so avoid noisy background.

Kinect Sensor Placement and Setup
Kinect Sensor placement is most important aspect in making your Kinect for Xbox 360 work properly. You can read below how you should place your Kinect Sensor.

  • Between 2 feet (0.6m) and 6 feet (1.8m) off the floor.
  • Directly above or below the middle of your TV.
  • On the edge of a sturdy surface, so the sensor can see the floor when it tilts down
  • With enough room to allow the sensor to tilt up and down.
  • Make sure you setup your sensor at least 1 foot from any speakers or other sound sources, such as fans or video game consoles.
  • No glass or other objects between Kinect and you.
  • Make sure the cable can reach your Xbox 360 console.

You can run Kinect Tuner, to fine tune your audio calibration to make sure Kinect detects your voice command fine.

Your ideal play space is between; 6’ (1.8m) and 10’ (3m) from the sensor with the width of the play space being roughly the same as the distance you are from Kinect.

Kinect Speech Recognition and Chat
Speech recognition in Kinect allows you to browse/control some Kinect features, with your voice commands. You can enable or disable this feature at any time under System Settings -> Kinect Settings -> Speech Recognition.

If you get into any trouble setting up this feature, you can always text or configure it using Kinect Tuner. You will be all fine, if you keep in mind, the points below.

  • Background noise can conflict with Kinect Voice command functionality so make sure they is not much background noise around your place space.
  • Kinect Sensor should be able to identify and differentiate the sounds coming from your speaker and those coming from you.
  • Make sure your Kinect Sensor knows how different sounds will be hitting Kinect Sensor’s different microphones.

Among other things:

  • Keep the sensor away from Speakers.
  • Use clear voice.
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By Zawad Iftikhar

Zawad is the lead editor here and it's him who manages what gets published on the site. When not working on SegmentNext, he likes to relax with a few PC games.

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    • Hossam

      My Kinect Sensor works fine and detects me, but once it the game/calibration starts to move up or down, the led of the Kinect moves to red and stop working, and advising me to move anything if attached on the Kinect which there isn’t,

      and when I just simply move it by my hand it return green again, but after logging off from the game, please advise what shall I do ? thanks

    • Michelle

      My Kinect activates “pause” during the middle of a game without prompt from the player. I have tried re-calibrating Kinect but it still happens. Once that starts, it is impossible to continue to play the game as it continues to pause itself. Any help would be appreciate,

      • Hardy

        when we paly a game it pauses and says the kinect has restart.Where the green little is at, it turns from green to red and pauses the game

    • Gayle Furman

      My connect seems to work ok but I have a problem with the wave. It doesn’t seem to accept my wave but after a while it just suddenly does. I have tried everything to wave at it.

    • Maria

      Tengo el mismo problema.

    • Ash

      No just use your kinect calibration card or do the kinect setup thing again thats really no big deal, atleast your kinect is working unlike mine

    • Ash

      Well ive had my kinect since 2010 now and its 2012, I havent really use my kinect since the last update in November of 2011 but one night I tried to do video kinect with one of my friends and when we plugged the kinect in the light was just red. Ive done updates and crap and I still cant get it to work also the lights that are on the power thing at the bottom near the power adapter is also not coming on. Ive never had this problem since I had my kinect. Only since this dumb update which can be so complicated to use.

    • Chuck

      i recently got gow 3 wich sets up ur system 4 kinect well i recieved a bunch of problems shortly after how do i remove the recent updates i keep losing my profile please help

    • James

      My kinect ensor doesn’t recognise me sometimes when i’m playing Virtua Tennis 4 and i can’t get it back to work this is really frustrating. From the suggestion here the Kinect sensor has to be from 2 feet to 6 feet off the floor. I m not sure mine is but i’m going to try with different configurations and set ups to try and fix this very frustrating problem. Anyone have similar problems playing this game and i have this problem playing EA Active Sports 2 it keeps stopping in the middle of workouts and sometimes doesn’t recognise me.

    • Abby

      I just got my new xbox 360 with the kinect & I only had mine for two days & now it’s not working cuz my green light on my kinect turned red too!! Not very happy about this!!!!! Is there anything I can do????? Help me please!!

    • michael

      hi my kinect sensor light is red when we turn the xbox on ,it then goes green as though it was on but then turns back to red suddenly ,ive checked all leads and are all in fine ,and the power cable is lighting up green so there is power going to it any solutions thanks

      • priscilla

        did u find a way to fix your kinect mie is doing the same thing and i don t know what to do

      • Breana

        Please tell me if you found a way to fix that because mines was doing the same thing. Except sometimes it’s like that but at other times it’s green but it just won’t see me. But try to go to system settings, Kinect settings, and then turn your sensor off and then off. I did that and my red light went away but it just won’t see me.

      • Essam

        I have the same problem exactly

    • Debra

      My Kinect game keeps freezing up. At first it worked fine but now when I connect the usb and try to start playing the game keeps freezing up. Can you tell me why this happens

    • Yelkrub

      In reply to problem with “locking” on “identifying”; we had this problem too after the third play.

      After a bit of googling, I found a suggestion to delete the game save from the memory (HARD DRIVE OR 4GB MEMORY) I did this and the game worked. Only thing is, it puts you back to the start of the game :-(

      I think this happened as my wife hadn’t sussed the game autosaves and went in to the “save to” bit of the game and was playing about with the setting and corrupted the save.

      Probably worth copying a known good save to a memory stick so you don’t go back to start if it happens again!

    • Dena Sandwick

      My game, Your Shape; Fitness Evolved, locks up on the “identifying” screen. The game functioned correctly the first time I used it but I had to stop halfway through the introduction series. The problem is NOT the disk. I returned the original (thinking that very thing) and the new disk does the same thing. Other games play without error.

      Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?

      Thank you.

    • twilight fairy

      the kinect is not an outdoor item, so it is recommended that it be played indoors out of direct sunlight this includes bright windows. the lighting needs to be in front of you as well, back lighting produces shadows and can cause the sensor not to recognize you or see you.

    • khanshi

      CAN I PLAY KINECT OUTDOOR ,,SUNLIGHT !!!!!! ???

    • loek

      beste heer,
      De kinect geeft als foutmelding: \kinect sensor is not level\ aan.
      De sensor staat op 65 cm hoogte en voldoende afstand van de speler..
      Wat gaat hier fout?

      mvg,
      loek