The Quick Guide to Cloud Gaming With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

What to know about Microsoft's game streaming platform

Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly Project xCloud) is a service you can access if you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Xbox Cloud Gaming is Microsoft's mobile video game streaming service. Here's everything you could possibly want to know about the streaming platform and how you can use it.

How Does Cloud Gaming With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Work?

An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription ($14.99 per month) includes access to the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform, which lets you play your favorite console games on a Windows 10 PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device using a browser (Microsoft Edge, Chrome, or Safari).

All the games on the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform are hosted on remote servers that you access from your device. You stream the gaming content to your device, which means you don't have to own an Xbox system. All you need is a compatible internet-connected device and a Wi-Fi or data connection fast enough to stream the game.

The Xbox Cloud Gaming platform hosts more than 100 games. You can use Bluetooth controllers or controllers connected via USB.

If you’re using Xbox Cloud Gaming on an iPhone or iPad, you’ll access the service through Safari and control games with touch controls (where available) or an iOS-compatible controller. For iOS devices, Microsoft recommends the Backbone One for iOS Xbox controller and the Razer Kishi Universal Gaming Controller for iOS. Both of these controllers retail for $99, and as a bonus, you’ll get a complimentary three-month trial subscription for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. 

Xbox's Cloud Gaming platform is similar to Nvidia's GeForce Now service and Amazon Luna. Both services also allow players to play high-end games while on the move through smartphones and tablets. However, with thousands of data centers at its disposal, Microsoft's service avoids the speed and latency issues that have plagued some services in recent times.

In June 2021, Microsoft bolstered the Xbox Cloud Gaming platform, powering it with custom Xbox Series X hardware; streaming is set at 1080p at up to 60 frames per second if your internet connection is up to the job.

How Do I Use Cloud Gaming With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

To start playing Xbox games on your compatible device (Android, iOS, and Windows 10), you'll need to download the Xbox Game Pass app. For Android, download and install the Xbox Game Pass app on your Android mobile device. If you have an iOS device, download and install the Xbox Game Pass app for iOS. For a Windows 10 PC, get the Xbox Game Pass for PC.

When you launch the app, sign in with your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate credentials, or create a new account to browse games.

Do I Need an Xbox Game Console? 

The point of cloud gaming with Xbox Cloud Gaming and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription is that anyone can stream games directly from the cloud, even if they don't own an Xbox console. If you do have an Xbox game console, however, your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription does give you access to games for your console, as well.

What Games Are Available? 

Xbox Cloud Gaming with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription launched with more than 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games, including major hits like Crackdown 3, Destiny 2, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and Halo 5. There's also Outriders, Doom, MLB The Show 21, Minecraft Dungeons, Bug Fables, Immortal Realms, Limbo, Gang Beasts, and many more.

Users have unlimited access to the entire library of games, and data is saved in the cloud, so you can play across all of your compatible devices.

Are There Any Downsides to Cloud Gaming With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

A strong internet connection is required to stream Xbox games. If you live somewhere with a poor internet connection, or if you are restricted in how much data you can use each month, a mobile game streaming service might not be a great idea. You may be limited in what you can accomplish, or you could be charged a lot more by your ISP compared to simply buying an Xbox console. 

There may also be issues with lag, as the system is dependent on your internet connection. In particular, when playing against other players, there might be some slowdown issues that could affect playability.

You can't play Xbox Game Pass games offline. Your device must be connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data at all times. 

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