Xbox Cloud Gaming is a great feature that comes at no extra cost to those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Allows you to play a wide selection of Xbox Game Pass titles anywhere; on your smartphone, tablet, computer, and even Xbox. If you’re considering Xbox Game Pass versus Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, then Xbox Cloud Gaming certainly speaks in favor of the latter.
Good news for those of you wanting to try Xbox Cloud Gaming for the first time. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions stand a good chance of getting a discount during the 2022 Black Friday sale period. The biggest online retailers are likely to drop the cost of a monthly subscription as part of their Xbox Black Friday deals, so be sure to bookmark our hubs to get the best first offers.
Formerly known as Project xCloud, Xbox Cloud Gaming access has only a few barriers to entry to overcome. To play games, you must subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier, have a good internet connection, and have a supported device. If you meet all of these criteria, you can get started without needing an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console, or even an Xbox Wireless Controller.
If you’re interested in the benefits that Xbox Cloud Gaming can offer you, we’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know about the cloud-based service. We’ll also explain why this is a feature you definitely shouldn’t sleep on, especially since it can be accessed via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on the latest Xbox consoles at no extra cost.
There are more than a few reasons why you should definitely try Xbox Cloud Gaming as it can be a worthwhile alternative to simply downloading games to your console or buying one of the best gaming PCs out there. First, saved data transfers seamlessly between platforms, which means once you start playing via the cloud, you’ll be able to continue playing right where you left off.
Are you giving your console to a sibling or loved one? If your game is powered by Xbox Cloud Gaming, it’s instantly available so you can resume on another device without losing your progress.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Xbox Cloud Gaming, its requirements, and the benefits and features it can provide over a more traditional console.
Xbox Cloud Gaming: Get to the point
- What is this? The Xbox cloud gaming platform that can be played on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, mobile devices and PC.
- when is it coming out? Now
- How much does it cost? $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 per month, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cost
Xbox Cloud Gaming: What You’ll Need
As mentioned above, access to Xbox Cloud Gaming requires an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription first. At $14.99/£10.99 per month, it’s a bit more expensive than the basic subscription tier, but the extra cost pays off by giving you access to Xbox Cloud Gaming as well as PC Game Pass.
You will also need a device that supports Xbox Cloud Gaming. These include both Android and iOS smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 or iPhone 13. But Xbox Cloud Gaming will also run on tablets such as the iPad, iPad Pro 11 and Microsoft’s own Surface Go devices. For smartphones and tablets, you also need the Xbox Game Pass app, which allows you to access supported games and stream with just a few taps.
A short list of supported devices can be found on the page Xbox website (opens in a new tab). But overall, if you have a modern iOS or Android laptop, smartphone, or tablet, you should be able to play games through Xbox Cloud Gaming. Xbox Cloud Gaming titles can also be played on your PC via the desktop app or your favorite web browser, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox.
During the Meta Connect 2022 event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Mark Zuckerberg to confirm that Xbox Cloud Gaming will be coming to Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro (formerly Project Cambria). Unfortunately, these games remain a flat screen experience, you can’t suddenly jump into VR mode for Forza Horizon 5. As such, the platform is slowly expanding to new horizons and you can plug in an Xbox controller. It also means Meta Quest can beat PSVR 2 for one simple reason.
Don’t have a supported mobile device? Don’t worry because you can also play cloud games directly from your Xbox Series X/S console. Although in this case we suggest just downloading the games you want as you will be able to play beyond the limitations of Xbox Cloud Gaming such as not being able to stream in 4K resolution.
Touch controls are supported on devices with touchscreens, but you can also use controllers connected via USB or wirelessly via Bluetooth, including the Xbox Wireless Controller, Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller, and even Sony’s Dualshock 4.
Microsoft also recommends a high-speed internet connection for optimal gaming experience when using Xbox Cloud Gaming. You’ll need a speed of at least 20Mbps and a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection to start entry-level cloud gaming. Of course, faster speeds will give you a more solid connection to your streaming game, which will reduce lag and reduce quirks like screen tearing and occasional blank screens.
Xbox Cloud Gaming: Streaming Quality and Performance
Streaming via Xbox Cloud Gaming means you can instantly play supported games on the device of your choice, without having to download the game to your device’s storage. This immediate delivery is of course not without cost.
To maintain consistent performance, Xbox Cloud Gaming streams at 1080p up to 60fps. This means you won’t be able to stream games at the higher resolution of 1440p or 4K, but the 1080p resolution is more than usable on the smaller screens you’ll likely be using for Xbox cloud gaming, be it a smartphone or tablet screen. While capping at 1080p makes streaming Xbox Cloud Gaming more manageable with your bandwidth, you’ll still need a fast connection for a consistent experience.
Fortunately, if you meet the smooth streaming criteria, you’ll find that games played via Xbox Cloud Gaming offer sharper visuals and significantly better load times than the same games played on a previous generation Xbox One console. In particular, loading times are comparable to the extremely fast Xbox Series X/S SSDs.
Xbox Cloud Gaming: What Can I Play?
With Xbox Cloud Gaming, you’ll be able to play the huge variety of games available in the Xbox Game Pass library. Not every game on the service can be streamed, but using the app you’ll have access to a dedicated “Cloud” subsection that lists all the games you can play via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
The range of titles available to play via Xbox Cloud Gaming is also quite wide. From big-budget first-party titles like Forza Horizon 5, Gears Tactics and Halo Infinite to some of the best indie games 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 in Xbox Cloud Games. 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 you have a supported controller connected to your device.
Xbox Cloud Gaming: Final Thoughts
Xbox Cloud Gaming provides a very solid alternative to downloading games to storage. It is one of the best game streaming platforms available today, especially when compared to 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 makes up for in connection stability, fast load times, and a wide range of supported devices and controller configurations. Another advantage is that you don’t need to own the best Xbox to fully enjoy cloud gaming. This means that even Xbox Series S specs can enjoy cloud gaming equal to Xbox Series X.
There are, of course, some significant barriers to entry, such as having to subscribe to the relatively expensive Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, as well as having a fairly fast internet connection, but if you meet the criteria, Xbox Cloud Gaming could be your go-to to enjoy the best Xbox Game Pass games, regardless whether you are at home or away.