Xbox One includes MKV support for video playback with these codecs

You can play MKV video files on Xbox One, but as long the use these codecs, and only these features are supported.

Halo 5 Xbox One

Along with hardcore gaming, Xbox One is a complete media center system capable of playing an array of file formats, including MKV (Matroska Media Container).

The .mkv extension is a container that supports multiple video and audio codecs, such as your typical H.264 video and AAC audio. Generally speaking, a container describes the structure of the data and other information about the video and audio streams.

In addition, containers can include other types of data, including subtitles, images, chapter information, menus, and more. It’s like the content you’ll find on a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, but MKV is a much more flexible format that supports a slew of container features.

Xbox One uses its built-in Media Player app to bring MKV support to the console, and in this guide, you’ll learn the codecs and MKV features supported in the console.

Xbox One MKV codec support

Remember that MKV is simply a container, and it can include an array of video and audio tracks encoded with different codecs.

Xbox One can play .mkv videos using the following codecs:

Matroska IDMicrosoft Media FoundationDescriptionFourCC or WAV identifiers
V_MPEG4/ISO/AVCMFVideoFormat_H264H.264 videoH264
V_MPEG1MFVideoFormat_MPG1MPEG-1 videoMPG1
V_MPEG2MFVideoFormat_MPEG2MPEG-2 video 
V_MPEG4/ISO/ASPMFVideoFormat_MP4VMPEG-4 part 2 videoMP4V
V_MPEG4/MS/V3MFVideoFormat_MP43Microsoft MPEG 4 codec version 3MP43
V_MS/VFW/FOURCC Maps to several codecs usually supported in the AVI format that are available on the console. 
A_AC3MFAudioFormat_Dolby_AC3Dolby Digital (AC-3) 
A_PCM/FLOAT/IEEEMFAudioFormat_FloatUncompressed IEEE floating-point audioWAVE_FORMAT_IEEE_FLOAT

If you have an .mkv video file that is not playing on your console, usually the problem is that the container doesn’t support video and audio streams.

Xbox One MKV container features

While Xbox One doesn’t support every MKV feature, the console supports the container in a number of ways:

  • The first track of video or audio will be played if multiple tracks are detected.
  • Captions won’t appear when there are multiple captions tracks.
  • Captions and images won’t appear when there are multiple fonts and images present.
  • Menu and chapter information isn’t supported.
  • When files with chapters refer to supplemental files, the supplemental files won’t play.
  • Thumbnail images are only available on files stored on a USB drive.
  • According to Microsoft, using this set of features, the console will be able to play most MKV files.

It’s worth pointing out that Xbox One doesn’t support all the MKV container features, but it includes support for the features that will bring the most value to users.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].