Xbox Game Pass, also known as Xbox Cloud Gaming or xCloud, just recently came to iOS in the form of an invitation-only beta. It's been available on Android for a while now, so we're very happy to see it come to Apple devices.
With this game streaming service, iOS users will be able to start or continue playing Xbox games without needing a console or computer. Players can even stop playing a certain game on their console or computer and then continue playing on their iPhones and vice versa. Here's everything you need to know about it.
What is Xbox Game Pass? (xCloud) on iOS?
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a game streaming service package that includes Xbox Game Pass, which gives you access to a big library of Xbox and PC titles, and Xbox Live Gold. More importantly, it gives you access to Xbox Cloud Gaming, which allows you to start playing certain Xbox games on other devices, like your iPhone or iPad. The best part about it is that it lets you continue a game you were playing on your Xbox from your iOS device and vice versa. You don't need an Xbox in order to use this service. It's currently available in 22 countries.
How much does Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) on iOS cost?
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs $14.99 per month. However, you can get cheaper plans if you want to opt in for just PC games ($9.99 per month) or just console games (also $9.99 per month). It's worth getting the Ultimate deal for just a few bucks more per month since it also gets you Xbox Live Gold, which lets you play online games, and EA Play, which grants you access to a huge EA catalog for free.
Since Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) on iOS is still in beta, we can't directly confirm it'll cost the same as it does right now, but we can assume it will.
When will Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) fully launch on iOS?
Xbox Game Pass has already been on Android for a while now, but the iOS version is only in beta, with access being invitation-only. It's currently unclear when Xbox will close the beta and open the full service. The Xbox website states:
"We are early on in our multi-year journey to bring Xbox games to mobile devices from the cloud. As we embark in this first stage, we are launching as a beta to continue to receive gamers' feedback and build the features that will provide the best gaming experience."
It will likely be a while before the service becomes available to all. We'll keep our ears to the ground and will update when more gets revealed.
Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) on iOS What are the requirements?
All iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) that want to use Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) will need to have iOS 12.0 or later. The app takes up 98.2 MB, so make sure you have enough room on your device before downloading.
Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) on iOS What app do I need?
You'll need to download the Xbox Game Pass app from the App Store in order to use it. Downloading the app is free, however, you'll need to pay a subscription in order to actually access any of the games.
Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) on iOS What games are available?
There are currently over 100 games for players to access including big hits like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Gears 5, NieR:Automata, Ori and the Blind Forest, and more. If you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and get EA Play, you'll also be able to play games like The Sims 4, Star Wars Squadrons, Jedi Fallen Order, and more. It's possible that some games available on Android won't be available on iOS and vice versa. We'll update when we learn more.
Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) on iOS Do I need a controller?
Yes, you'll want to use an external controller since only a few games currently feature touch controls. Microsoft recommends players use an Xbox Wireless Controller when playing games on Xbox Game Pass (xCloud). PS4 controllers work as well since Microsoft wants this service to be available to a wide audience.
There are also iPhone controllers that basically turn your iPhone into a Switch with convenient buttons and joysticks on either side of the screen. My favorite is the Razer Kishi, which fits a wide range of phones, can easily be uninstalled, and feels great in my hands.
For more options, check out Microsoft's recommended controller list.
Make your mobile games even easier to play on the go with this controller that attaches to your iPhone. It works with several different iPhones of different sizes and kind of makes your phone look like a Nintendo Switch. Just make sure you purchase the iOS version and not the Android one.
Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) on iOS vs Apple Arcade
If you're not familiar with Microsoft's service, you might be wondering how Xbox Game Pass is different from Apple Arcade. While there are some similarities, there are also plenty of differences.
|Xbox Game Pass||Apple Arcade|
|Availability||Beta (by Invitation only)||Open to all|
Both services offer over 100 quality games to keep you entertained for hours. Apple Arcade can be accessed from the App Store whereas Xbox Game Pass is a separate app. There's a bit of a price difference between the two services, but that's because Apple Arcade tends to have more casual games or traditional games like Cozy Grove while Xbox Game Pass gives you access to more complex games like you'd find on a console or computer. By the way, you can look at our full list of Apple Arcade games to see what's available.
If you're trying to decide between the two services, you'll need to determine what kind of experience you're looking for on your phone to know which service is a better fit for you.
More games are coming to iOS
We can't wait for Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) to be available to everyone on iOS devices. It will definitely make it easier to play some of our favorite games.
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