The move to video game streaming has been slow, but developers and platform owners have made strides towards the inevitable future. While we are certainly not where many companies would like us to be, there are a handful of streaming services worth trying out. Perhaps the most notable is Xcloud (or Xbox Cloud Gaming), a service that lets you stream Xbox games to your PC, tablet, and mobile devices.
It’s a fairly new service that has been in the works for a while but is now available on iOS and Android devices – so you can play Xbox games from anywhere. Since this is a new service, you may not be sure how it works or how to access it on your mobile devices. In this guide, we’ll walk you through accessing Xcloud on mobile devices, including iOS and Android.
Xcloud (or Project Xcloud as it used to be called) is Microsoft’s new streaming service that allows you to play a select number of Xbox games on many devices. Not only does this allow gaming from anywhere, it also eliminates the need for a powerful console. Microsoft wants its audience to play games by whatever means necessary. The company isn’t quite busy selling you their consoles.
Instead, it wants you to subscribe to its subscription service, which includes a range of games – many of which are available through Xcloud. This includes new Xbox Series X titles, as well as older games from Xbox One and earlier.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Gamers can access the latest games at an affordable price while Microsoft makes profits without developing expensive hardware. Granted, the company still makes consoles for now, but systems aren’t known to be profitable until later in their lifecycle. From a business perspective, monthly subscribers are ideal, more predictable, and in many cases more profitable than selling hardware.
Because of this, Xcloud is a responsive service that likely signals the future of video games.
Get the right controller
If this all sounds tempting, you’re probably thinking about jumping on board. Here’s what you need to know.
The first is that in order to play Xbox games through Xcloud, you must have a compatible controller. Many controllers work and can be synced with compatible devices that support Xcloud. If you own a modern console, chances are you have a compatible controller like the DualShock 4 or the Xbox wireless controller.
Controllers from the following companies work with Xcloud:
- Performance A.
For more information on compatible controllers, see Microsoft’s website to see the full list.
Be an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member
You must be an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member to access Xcloud. It costs $ 15 a year and gives you access to Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live Gold, and the ability to play games through Xcloud. If you want a huge library of games to choose from – on the go or from a console or PC – this is the service for you. The Game Pass titles alone are worth the entry-level price, along with the ability to play online thanks to Xbox Live Gold.
Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold are separate, but Xbox Game Pass Ultimate brings them together and gives you great value for one low monthly price.
Use a compatible device
The final piece of the puzzle is to make sure you have a compatible device that supports Xcloud. You can play from an iPhone, iPad, or a compatible Android tablet or phone. On Apple devices, make sure you have iOS 14.4 or higher along with Bluetooth 4.0.
USB connections work with some controllers. See the previous section for more information.
For Android, you need Android 6.0 or higher and Bluetooth 4.0 to play wirelessly.
The other thing Microsoft recommends is an internet speed of at least 10Mbps with 5GHz Wi-Fi to get the most out of your gaming experience. Therein lies the problem with streaming games as it is difficult for anyone to have internet speeds that can keep up with them.
Now that you have a compatible device, controller, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership, you’re ready to start playing! There are several ways to access Xcloud, depending on your device.
Those with iOS devices need to access their Xcloud games through a browser. So, launch Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge to get started. Then visit the Microsoft website and log in. Assuming the account you’re signed in to has Game Pass Ultimate, you’ll get access to over 100 games straight from your browser. From there, you simply control the menu like you would on an Xbox console. The best part is that you don’t have to download anything. All compatible games are instantly available provided your internet can handle them.
There is an additional option on Android, but it works in a similar way to Apple. You can either access Xcloud through a browser like you do on iOS, or you can use the Xbox Game Streaming app. In either case, the process is the same. Sign in to your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate account and get access to over 100 games right from your phone or tablet.
The list of games is over 100 strong and includes many recent releases. We’re not going to go through all of them here, but we’re going to highlight a few fan favorites that you should definitely check out:
- Fallout 3
- Yakuza: Like a dragon
- Evil in 2
- A plague story of innocence
- Fighting toads
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- ARK: Survival Evolved
- Fate 2
- Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
- Fabulous anniversary
- Forza Horizon 4
- Course 5
- Grand Theft Auto V.
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- MLB The Show 21
- Monster Hunter: World
- NieR: machines
- Ori and the will of the will-o’-the-wisps
- Red Dead Online
- Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
- State of decay 2
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Sims 4
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
The full list can be found at Microsoft’s website. Keep in mind that as Game Pass expands, this list has grown since its inception. And presumably every first-party version will be available through Xcloud.