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 one monthly subscription price, gamers get unlimited access to a selection of exclusive games that can only be found within Apple Arcade. For the service, 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 boasts with over 180 games and more games are added over time. Some of the titles available include:

  • ChuChu Rocket! Universe, a puzzle game from Sega.
  • Fantasian, a hit roleplaying adventure
  • Frogger in Toy Town, a new version of Frogger from Konami.
  • NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition, a basketball game.
  • Oregon Trail, an updated version of the classic, historical adventure simulation.
  • 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?

New games are added to Apple Arcade weekly. The games in Apple Arcade are a mix of exclusives created specifically for the service—these games are not available in other streaming services or to buy from other stores—and remastered versions of existing games. Those games are tweaked specifically for play on Apple Arcade, but versions of them are available elsewhere.

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. This means that if you start playing a game on your iPhone on your ride home, you can stop and then, when you're at home, pick up where you left off on your Apple TV, iPad, or Mac.

You can also download games and play them offline, 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 support game controllers, but some do. All Games have onscreen controls and support for the Apple TV Siri Remote as a controller. Games with a controller icon on the product page support third-party controllers. Supported controllers include PlayStation Dual Shock 4 controllers, Xbox Wireless Controllers for Xbox One, Xbox Series S or X, 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. Since the subscription is tied to Family Sharing groups, and they're limited to six people, it seems unlikely that Apple will allow larger groups.

All Apple Arcade games have all features available and don't require in-app purchases to add features or unlock options and levels.

Apple Arcade is also included in the Apple One services subscription bundle.

How Do You Subscribe to Apple Arcade?

If your device supports Apple Arcade, 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 Did Apple Arcade Become 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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