What is Xbox cloud gaming? Availability on console, iOS, Android, PC

What is Xbox cloud gaming? Availability on console, iOS, Android, PC

If you want to play a video game today, you would have to download a game in the form of a software programme and install it on your gaming console or PC. But many gaming companies have come up with another method of playing video games that do not require you to download or install any game on a PC or console. Instead, all you will have to do is stream the game the same way you stream a movie or a YouTube video. The method is now known as cloud gaming, and Xbox cloud gaming is at the forefront.

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Xbox cloud gaming
White and black Xbox One S control. Photo: @Kamil S
Source: UGC

Xbox cloud gaming is a type of online gaming that allows you to play a video game on your current device. And if you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership and a compatible controller, you can use the service to stream over 100 console games directly on your device.

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In this case, the games run on a remote server and Xbox streams them to your gaming device. So, unlike before, the video game will not run on your local machine, including your mobile phone, PC, or game console. Instead, you can stream the games on Xbox.com or use the Xbox Game Pass application.

Why play with Xbox cloud gaming as opposed to installing a video game?

If you have the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, Xbox cloud gaming gives you access to over 100 video game titles on your console. The games are playable after tapping on the cloud icon. Furthermore, cloud gaming has many advantages, including:

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  • You do not have to use the storage in your console to play games.
  • You can play online multiplayer games with your friends. However, they must also be Ultimate subscribers, and they do not have to install the games.
  • Since you do not have to download a game or worry about your console’s storage space, you get the flexibility of playing as many games as possible.

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While Xbox cloud gaming has its advantages, they fall short of several features, including the option of recording game clips and live streaming gameplay. Also, you do not have the option of local multiplayer but only online multiplayer.

How to get started with Xbox cloud gaming

Xbox cloud gaming is not as complex as the traditional methods of playing Xbox video games. Generally, you can start playing Xbox console games from the cloud if you have the following:

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership

You require an active Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership to access Xbox cloud gaming. The Xbox game pass cloud gaming ultimate membership gives you up to 100 high-quality video games at a subscription fee of $14.99 per month.

It also includes Xbox Live Gold, where you get a library of top Electronic Arts titles, exclusive rewards, and member-only content.

Xbox cloud gaming
A person holding a white Xbox controller. Photo: @Szauer Jennifer K.
Source: UGC

A supported device

Supported devices include Windows PC (including laptops), Android, or Apple phones and tablets.

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A compatible controller

You require a compatible controller to access Xbox cloud gaming. With the controller, you will have to connect it via USB or Bluetooth and select a game you can play with Xbox touch controls.

A controller could be the official Xbox controllers, any controller designed for Xbox, or a non-Microsoft controller verified by the Xbox team for cloud gaming.

Internet connectivity

You require an internet connection to play Xbox cloud gaming. A 5GHz Wi-Fi or LTE data connection with a minimum speed of 10 Mbps will be enough to offer high-quality gaming. But depending on your device, the speed needed will be 20 Mbps.

A supported region

Xbox cloud gaming is not available in all countries. If you are not in a supported region, you will not access the service. The Xbox cloud gaming countries are those that allow users to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass.

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You can also play Xbox cloud gaming on Xbox.com. In that case, you require a supported browser like Google Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge.

Do I need an Xbox for Xbox cloud gaming?

To access Xbox cloud gaming services, you require an Xbox, such as the Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One console. However, you can also use a verified non-Microsoft controller or one designed for Xbox cloud gaming. Once you have the device, here are the steps to follow to get started:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the user guide
  2. Select My Games and Apps
  3. Choose See All
  4. Select Full Library
  5. Select Xbox Game Pass

At this point, you can choose any game with a cloud icon to start playing it. Understand that you must log in to your Microsoft account and have the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership to continue.

Is Xbox cloud gaming on console? Xbox cloud gaming is available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles. However, you require a Game Pass Ultimate subscription to access the service.

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How to access Xbox cloud gaming on iOS

Xbox cloud gaming is available through the Game Pass app. However, the Xbox cloud gaming iOS service is not available on iPads and iPhones. Instead, iOS users can access the Xbox cloud games on the Safari browser. In this case:

  1. Launch your Safari browser on your Apple device.
  2. Go to Xbox.com/play.
  3. Sign in with your Microsoft account.
  4. Ensure you have the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership.
  5. Start playing games with the cloud icon.
  6. You can access the Safari browser if you have iOS 14.4 or later or iPadOS 14.4 or later.

How to access Xbox cloud gaming on PC

The advantage of the Xbox cloud gaming PC is that it gives you many options to play cloud games. Ideally, you can play games on your Windows 10 or 11 devices by launching the Xbox app. Here is how:

  1. Open the Xbox app on your Windows 10 or download it from the Microsoft Store if not installed.
  2. Log in to your Microsoft account.
  3. Go to the Game Pass tab.
  4. Select Cloud Gaming and choose your preferred game to start playing.

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Xbox cloud gaming
Black Xbox one console with controller. Photo: @Billy Freeman
Source: UGC

Apart from the Xbox app, you can play cloud games using your Windows browser, including Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. You require the latest version of Windows 10 OS to continue.

How to access Xbox cloud gaming on Android

Android users can access Xbox cloud gaming using the Xbox Game Pass app:

  1. Download and install the Xbox Game Pass app from Google Play Store
  2. Launch the app
  3. Sign in with your Microsoft account
  4. Tap on Let’s Play
  5. Tap on the Home icon at the bottom left corner
  6. Select the Cloud tab
  7. Scroll through the list of games
  8. Tap on Play once you find a suitable game

When playing Xbox cloud games on Android, you have to ensure that your device runs OS version 6.0 or later. Also, the Bluetooth version must be 4.0 or later. Since you require an internet connection to continue, ensure your mobile data must have a speed of at least 7 Mbps. Alternatively, connect to a wireless connection of 10 Mbps for the ultimate experience.

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Xbox cloud gaming is a service that allows you to stream videos games on your console and play them without installing software programmes. The service requires you to have an internet connection of at least 10 Mbps or wireless or 7 Mbps for mobile data, an active Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and a compatible controller to play over 100 video games. If everything is in order, you can start by streaming the games on Xbox.com or using the Xbox Game Pass application.

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