One of the coolest gaming experiences on iPhone and iPad is Xbox Cloud Gaming. However, thanks to a bit of beef between Apple and Microsoft, playing Xbox's plethora of Game Pass titles isn't as easy as it sadly could have been. However, if you know where to look, you can enjoy an almost seamless gaming experience playing titles like Halo, Minecraft, and many more.
Requirements for Xbox Cloud Gaming
First things first, you need to have both an Xbox account as well as an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership in order to get started with Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud). Additionally, streaming these games will only work as well as your internet, so it's best if you've got a stable connection.
Microsoft recommends a 5Ghz Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection with a 10 Mbps download speed. Lastly, make sure you're using a compatible iPhone or iPad that features iOS 14.4 or above. They are as follows:
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 Mini
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPad Air (3rd Gen)
- iPad Air (4th Gen)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd Gen)
- iPad mini (5th Gen)
- iPad (8th Gen)
- iPad (9th Gen)
How to set up Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS
- Open Safari and head to xbox.com/play (opens in new tab). Note that you can stream through the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browser, but it works best in Safari — plus it creates an app icon on your home screen.
- Sign in to the Microsoft account linked to your Xbox Game Pass.
- At the bottom of the screen, tap the share button and select Add to Home Screen.
- Find the app on your Home Screen and sign in again.
That's all there is to it. Now you can play that enormous library of Xbox Game Pass games. Some of them offer touch screen controls, but others will require you to have a compatible controller like an Xbox controller or PlayStation controller.
Welcome to the cloud
Gaming on iOS doesn't have to be limited to Apple Arcade; there are countless games to discover on Microsoft's streaming service so spend plenty of time checking out both old and newer titles. Best of all, this way you don't need to purchase an expensive console in order to play these games. Or, if you already have an Xbox console, you'll be able to play certain games on the couch or on the go.
More games than you could play
Play hundreds if not thousands of new and retro games on your iPhone or iPad using Xbox Game Pass.
Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.
- Stephen WarwickNews Editor
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