What Is Apple Arcade and How Does it Work?

The inside scoop on Apple's gaming subscription service

Apple Arcade game shown on multiple devices

Apple Inc.

Gamers rejoice! Apple Arcade brings an exclusive selection of great games to the world's leading mobile gaming platform. Before you press start on a new game, learn all about what Apple Arcade offers, what it costs, and more.

What Is Apple Arcade?

Apple Arcade is a subscription-based gaming service available on Apple devices. For a single monthly subscription price, gamers get unlimited access to a selection of exclusive games that can only be found within Apple Arcade. With it, Apple is working with game developers and publishers to bring great titles from a range of genres and game types to the already-popular and powerful iPhone and iPad gaming platforms, as well as the Mac and more.

What Games Are Available on Apple Arcade?

Apple Arcade launches with over 100 games, but more games will be added over time. Some of the titles available at launch include:

  • ChuChu Rocket! Universe, a puzzle game from Sega.
  • Frogger in Toy Town, a new version of Frogger from Konami.
  • PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE, an arcade-style Pac-Man game from Bandai.
  • Rayman Mini, a micro-sized running game from Ubisoft.
  • Skate City, a skateboarding game from Snowman.
  • Sonic Racing, a racing game starring Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega.
  • Super Impossible Road, a futuristic racing game from Rogue Games.
  • Various Daylife, an RPG from Square Enix.

How Often Are New Games Added to Apple Arcade?

That hasn't been announced yet. It seems safe to assume new games will be released regularly, but Apple hasn't said if there's a specific release schedule for new games.

Games available in Apple Arcade can only be played by subscribers. The games are not available in other streaming services, to buy from other stores, or in any other way.

What Devices Work With Apple Arcade?

Apple Arcade is compatible with the following devices:

One of the really cool features of Apple Arcade is you can continue games on different devices, meaning if you start playing a game on your iPhone on your ride home, you can pick up where you left off on your Apple TV, iPad, or Mac.

You can also download games and play them even when you're not connected to the internet.

Apple Arcade is compatible with both the Screen Time and Restrictions features that allow parents to control access to games and other features.

Do Apple Arcade Games Support Game Controllers?

Not all Apple Arcade games will support external game controllers, but some will. Games will have onscreen controls, support for the Apple TV Siri Remote as a controller, and some will support PlayStation Dual Shock 4 controllers, Xbox Wireless Controllers with Bluetooth, and controllers made for iPhone and iPad.

For an in-depth look at using game controllers with the iPad, check out How to Connect a Controller to an iPad. We've got similar tips for controllers and iPhones, too.

What Does Apple Arcade Cost?

There is a 30-day free Apple Arcade trial, after which users must cancel or subscribe for $4.99 per month.

For that price, up to six people in a single Family Sharing group can access the service; all ad-free. No word on whether larger groups will be allowed, but since the subscription is tied to Family Sharing groups, and they're limited to six people, it seems unlikely. All Apple Arcade games have all features available and don't require in-app purchases to add features or unlock options and levels.

How Do You Subscribe to Apple Arcade?

When Apple Arcade becomes available on a device, it will appear as a new tab in that device's App Store app. Tap the tab and follow the onscreen instructions to sign up for Apple Arcade. The cost of the subscription will be billed to the credit or debit card you have on file in your Apple ID.

When Is Apple Arcade Available?

Apple Arcade became available in over 150 countries and regions on the following dates:

  • On iPhone and iPod touch: Sept. 19, 2019.
  • On iPad and Apple TV: Sept. 30, 2019.
  • On Mac: Oct. 2019.
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