If you are eagerly awaiting the chance to download the free Xbox LIVE Arcade Avatar updates launching soon, there are a few things you should be aware of to ensure you can download them successfully. This information only pertains to Hardwood Hearts, Hardwood Spades, and Bomberman; UNO and Kingdom for Keflings will also support avatars now, but don’t have a special upgrade process.

If you have never downloaded one of these titles, simply find them in Marketplace, and the version you download will come preloaded with Avatar support. Otherwise, if you are already an owner of one of these titles, follow these easy steps to get Avatars working in your game:

1. When you launch the game, accept and download the Title Update that is offered as usual.

2. When the game reloads, you will see a message highlighting the new features that will be added to your game, as well as a pointer on where to go to download. Click the A button to navigate to the download location.

3. Download the game package. For most users, there will be a checkmark next to the full game download option. This is okay, as a re-download of the package is necessary in order to enable the new features.

4. And that's it! Be sure to choose "Play Now" after the download has completed to reload the game.

[Update] In the event you are having trouble running the updated game after re-downloading, please navigate to System Settings: Memory and delete the game from all devices you have connected. Then download the game again.

For more information on all of the titles launching with Avatars, check out the new “Avatar Games” channel in Xbox LIVE Arcade.

--Scott Brodie, Producer for XBLA