Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS: Ultimate guide

Xbox Game Pass Ios With Xbox Controller Cropped
Xbox Game Pass Ios With Xbox Controller Cropped (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Xbox Game Pass, also known as Xbox Cloud Gaming or xCloud, has been on Android for a while now, but it's more recently come to iOS in the form of a beta that's open to everyone.

With this game streaming service, iOS users can 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 Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS?

Xbox Game Pass With Accessories (Image credit: Microsoft)

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 to use this service. You need a Microsoft account and an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

It has been on Android for a while, but Xbox Cloud Gaming for iOS is still in beta. Microsoft has been working to make improvements for iOS users over the past few months which include making a "more responsive gameplay experience".

How much does Xbox Cloud Gaming (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 Cloud Gaming (xCloud) fully launch on iOS?

Xbox Game Pass has already been on Android for a while now, and the iOS version is now in beta, along with the PC version. Access was invitation-only for several months, but then on June 28, 2021, Xbox announced that the iOS beta and PC versions of Xbox Game Pass are now live for everybody. All you need to do is sign up for an Xbox Game Pass subscription and sign-on, and you're good to play games on your iOS device, whether you want to use touch controls or use a Bluetooth controller.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS What are the requirements?

Apple Arcade game on iPad Air (Image credit: iMore)

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 Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS What app do I need?

You don't need a separate app to access Xbox Game Pass. Go to with Safari on your device (it won't work on Chrome or other browsers), and log in with your Microsoft account.

Accessing the app is free. However, you'll need to pay a subscription to actually access any of the games.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS What games are available?

There are currently over 100 games for players to access on Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud), 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.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS Do I need a controller?

Iphone Se In Razer Kishi Controller (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

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. These are especially useful when playing on a compatible iPad but also works with iPhones as well.

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 hand.

For more options, check out Microsoft's recommended controller list.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) on iOS vs. Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade on iPhone XS Max (Image credit: iMore)

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.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Xbox Game PassApple Arcade
AvailabilityBeta - Open to allOpen to all
Controller compatibilityYesYes

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 such as 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

Now that Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) is available to everyone on iOS devices there are so many more games at our fingertips. Jump in and see why people love having hundreds of games ready to play at any moment.

Carli Velocci
Gaming Lead, Copy Chief

Carli is the Gaming Editor across Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. Her last name also will remind you of a dinosaur. Follow her on Twitter or email her at