Xbox Cloud Gaming: Everything you need to know

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Xbox Cloud Gaming is a cool feature that costs nothing to those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

It lets you play a wide selection of titles offered by Xbox Game Pass on the go; either on your smartphone, tablet, PC or even Xbox console. If you are weighing Xbox Game Pass against Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, then Xbox Cloud Gaming would definitely be a point in favor of the latter.

Previously known as Project xCloud, access to Xbox Cloud Gaming has only a few barriers to overcome. You must subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier, have a strong internet connection, and have a supported device to play the games. If you meet all of these criteria, you can start playing without needing an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console, or even an Xbox Wireless Controller.

If you’re interested in the benefits Xbox Cloud Gaming can offer you, we’ve put together a guide breaking down everything you need to know about the cloud-based service. We’ll also explain why this is a feature you absolutely shouldn’t sleep on, especially since it’s accessible through your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership on the latest Xbox consoles at no additional cost.

And there are more than a few reasons why you should definitely give Xbox Cloud Gaming a try, as it can be a great alternative to just downloading games to your console or buying one of the best gaming PCs. For one thing, save data is transferred seamlessly between platforms, meaning when you start playing through the cloud, you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.

Do you entrust your console to a brother or another significant person? If your game is supported by Xbox Cloud Gaming, it’s immediately accessible, allowing you to resume it on another device without losing any progress.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Xbox Cloud Gaming, its requirements, and the advantages and features it can offer over a more traditional console experience.

Xbox Cloud Gaming: Getting straight to the point

  • What is that? Xbox’s cloud gaming platform that’s playable on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, mobile devices, and PCs.
  • When did he come out? out now
  • How much will it cost? $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 per month, the cost of an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription

Xbox Cloud Gaming: What You’ll Need

Four video game characters in a row, including Halo's Master Chief and Doom's Doomslayer

(Image credit: Microsoft)

As mentioned above, access to Xbox Cloud Gaming first requires an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. At $14.99 / £10.99 per month, it’s a bit more expensive than the basic subscription tier, but the extra cost benefits you by giving you access to Xbox Cloud Gaming as well as the PC Game service pass.

You will also need a device that supports Xbox Cloud Gaming. These include both Android and iOS smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 or iPhone 13. But Xbox Cloud Gaming will also work on tablets like the iPad, iPad Pro 11, and Microsoft’s own Surface Go devices. . For smartphones and tablets, you’ll also need the Xbox Game Pass app, allowing you to access and stream supported games with just a few taps.

A brief list of supported devices is available at Xbox website (opens in a new tab). But in general, if you have a modern laptop, smartphone, or tablet running iOS or Android, you should be able to play games through Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Xbox Cloud Gaming titles can also be played on your PC or laptop, either through the desktop app or even through your favorite internet browser, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox.

Don’t have a supported mobile device? Fear not, you can also play games from the cloud directly from your Xbox Series X/S console. Although in this case, we suggest that you simply download the games you want instead, as you will be able to play beyond the limitations of Xbox Cloud Gaming, such as its inability to stream at 4K resolution.

Touch controls are supported on touchscreen devices, but you can also use controllers connected via USB or wirelessly via Bluetooth, including the Xbox Wireless Controller, Razer Kishi Mobile Gaming Controller, and even the Dualshock 4 from Sony.

Microsoft also recommends a broadband internet connection for optimal gameplay when using Xbox Cloud Gaming. You will need at least 20 Mbps speed and a 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection for an entry-level cloud gaming experience. Of course, faster speeds will provide a stronger connection to your streaming game, which will reduce latency and lessen quirks like screen tearing and the occasional blank screen.

Xbox Cloud Gaming: streaming quality and performance

Xbox Cloud Gaming played on a Samsung smartphone

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Allmy)

Streaming through Xbox Cloud Gaming means you can instantly play supported games on your device of choice, without needing to download the game to your device’s storage. This instant delivery is not free, of course.

To maintain consistent performance, Xbox Cloud Gaming streams at 1080p resolution at up to 60 fps. That means you won’t be able to stream games at a higher resolution of 1440p or 4K, but 1080p is more than usable on the smaller screens you’ll likely be using for Xbox Cloud Gaming, whether that’s a smartphone or tablet.

While a 1080p cap makes Xbox Cloud Gaming streaming more manageable for your internet bandwidth, you’ll still want to have a fast connection for a consistent experience.

Fortunately, if you meet the criteria for a smooth streaming experience, you’ll find that games played through Xbox Cloud Gaming offer sharper visuals and much better load times than the same games played on the last-gen Xbox One. Load times, in particular, are on par with the remarkably fast Xbox Series X/S SSDs.

Xbox Cloud Gaming: What can I play?

Xbox Game Pass

(Image credit: Microsoft)

You’ll be able to play a wide variety of games featured in the Xbox Game Pass library with Xbox Cloud Gaming. Not all games on the service are streamable, but using the app you will be able to access a dedicated “Cloud” subsection that lists all the games you can play through the Xbox Cloud Gaming service.

The range of titles available to play through Xbox Cloud Gaming is also quite extensive. From big-budget first-party titles like Forza Horizon 5, Gears Tactics, and Halo Infinite to some of the hottest indies around, like Hollow Knight, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and The Outer Wilds.

You’ll also be able to stream some of the best third-party games available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, including Dragon Quest 11, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and Mortal Kombat 11. Suffice to say, there’s plenty to play on Xbox Cloud Gaming. You can find the full list of games here (opens in a new tab)and you can even play them directly from your browser provided a compatible controller is connected to the device.

Xbox Cloud Gaming: Final Thoughts

Xbox Cloud Gaming offers a very solid alternative to downloading games to storage. It’s one of the best game streaming platforms available today, especially when paired with competing services like Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now.

You won’t be streaming games in 4K anytime soon, but what Xbox Cloud Gaming loses in image quality it more than makes up for in connection stability, fast load times, and a wide range of devices and controller configurations. supported. Another benefit is that you don’t need to own the best Xbox to take full advantage of cloud gaming. This means that even Xbox Series S specs can enjoy a cloud gaming experience equal to Xbox Series X.

There are of course notable barriers to entry, such as having to subscribe to the relatively expensive Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, as well as having a fairly fast internet connection, but if you meet the criteria, then Xbox Cloud Gaming could be your gateway to discovering the best Xbox Game Pass games, whether you’re at home or on the go.

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