Xbox gaming now means more than just playing on a literal Xbox, as Xbox Cloud Gaming lets you play Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S titles on your phone, giving you path more processing power than your phone could handle on its own and allowing you to keep playing your favorite games when you’re on the go.
Getting your Xbox catalog up and running on your iPhone or Android requires a bit more work than dedicated portable gaming devices. Not too much lots of work, though. Once you know what to do, playing Halo, Gears of War, Forza, and the rest of the best Xbox One and Series X/S games is surprisingly smooth. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Get started with Xbox Game Pass
To stream Xbox games, you’ll need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. If you’re unfamiliar with the service, Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s version of a Netflix-like games model. You pay one monthly price and get access to hundreds of games at no additional cost. Game Pass is available for console (Series X|S and Xbox One) and PC. By subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you get the full catalog of PC and console games, including all Microsoft first-party releases on launch day; a slew of EA games like the Mass Effect Trilogy, Dead Space, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order through EA Play; and the ability to stream many of those games to your phone through Xbox Cloud Gaming. In short, it’s a lot of game for your money, and the ability to stream play is one of the best perks.
Additionally, Game Pass subscribers who choose to purchase a game while it’s available on the service receive a discount. However, there is no way to purchase streaming access to a game. If the game leaves Game Pass, you can no longer stream it to your phone.
It is important to note that purchasing an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership is the only way to access Xbox Cloud Gaming. You cannot subscribe to Xbox Cloud Gaming separately.
Setting up and using Xbox Cloud Gaming
On Android and iOS devices, setting up and running Xbox Cloud Gaming is pretty straightforward. That said, it is considerably Following simple on Android, where users can simply download the Xbox Game Streaming App from the Google Play Store, log in and start playing. Unfortunately, due to Apple policy, Microsoft is unable to provide an app on the App Store. Instead, iOS users should go to This site and sign in to their Xbox account. Once logged in, you can pin the site to your home screen, but it will still look like a mobile web app whenever you log in to play games. You may also need to occasionally remove and re-add the icon to your home screen for it to load properly.
Cloud saves are supported on Xbox Cloud Gaming, so you can pick up where you left off when you switch to your Xbox or PC.
System Requirements for Xbox Cloud Gaming
Most mobile devices are capable of streaming Xbox games. You just need to be on a device that supports Android 6.0 or later or iOS 14.4 or later. You can view a list of confirmed compatible Android and iOS devices on the Xbox Insiders subreddit. We recommend the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, as they both have large screens ideal for gaming.
What really matters here is your internet connection. Microsoft recommends using 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks because Xbox Cloud Gaming is not yet optimized for 2.4 GHz networks. On Android you need 7 Mbps or better, while on iOS Microsoft recommends 10 Mbps or better (20 Mbps or better for iPad). You also need Bluetooth 4.0 or later on Android and iOS devices.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is better with controllers
Many games included with Xbox Cloud Gaming support touch controls. Be sure to check each game’s thumbnail, as titles that support touch controls will have a finger icon next to them. But you’ll probably want a controller to play most games, either because they don’t support touch or because they’re just too demanding to play effectively without one. A reference Xbox Wireless Controller can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth (a play clip for your phone helps), but there are other dedicated options like the Spine for iOS and the Razer Kishi for Android and iOS that turn your phone into a Switch-like device. For more choices, check out our list of the best controllers for mobile gaming.
Xbox games you can stream to your phone
As we said above, just because a game is available on Game Pass doesn’t necessarily mean it’s available to play through Xbox Cloud Gaming. We’ve rounded up some of the notable games available through Xbox Cloud Gaming, but be sure to check out our full list of Game Pass games compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming.
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Battlefield V
- Cities: Skylines
- Repression 3
- Cree Tales
- darkest dungeon
- Dead in broad daylight
- dead cells
- Destiny 2
- Dirt 5
- Destiny (2016)
- Dragon Quest Builders 2
- Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
- Fallout 4
- Forza Horizon 4
- Frostpunk: Console Edition
- Speeds 5
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
- Gear Tactics
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Hollow Knight: Heart of the Void Edition
- Katana Zero
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War
- Minecraft Dungeons
- MLB The Show 21
- Nier Automata: Become Like Gods Edition
- No Man’s Sky
- octopath traveler
- Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Overcooked 2
- red dead online
- Resident Evil 7
- sea of thieves
- kill the arrow
- Superhot: mind control removal
- the ascent
- The Outer Worlds
- Wolfenstein: The New Order
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
- Yakuza 0
- Yakuza Kiwami
- Yakuza Kiwami 2
- The Yakuza Remastered Collection
- Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
- Yakuza: like a dragon