Illustration for article titled How to Play on Xbox Cloud Streaming (and Why It's such a Big Deal)Image: Microsoft

After months of limited, invite-only, closed beta, Xbox Cloud Gaming is now publicly available. The service is technically still in beta, but is now included for all Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, which adds even more value to what is arguably still on offer the best service in the game.

The Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta supports devices with the latest version of Android, iOS / iPadOS, macOS or Windows 10. Microsoft is also planning to bring cloud streaming to Xbox One models in the future and will also support the upcoming Windows 11.

Xbox Cloud Streaming is a Big Deal: While there are many other cloud streaming gaming services out there like Stadia and Amazon, Xbox Cloud Streaming is the first time an established gaming company has had its own cloud-based streaming service on this scale brings to market. If it works well, it could mark a major turning point for Xbox – and gaming in general – when all you need is a smartphone, a stable internet connection, and Game Pass Ultimate to play the latest games like Halo Infinite.

Xbox Cloud Streaming has updated the cloud streaming infrastructure

Xbox Cloud Streaming has potential, but it takes the right technology if the service is to be as successful as Microsoft intends it to be. To do this, Microsoft has updated its streaming tech performance along with the extended beta availability. Games will now run on Xbox Series X hardware.

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Stream quality remains limited to 1080p resolution and 60 fps so you won’t get the 120 fps 4K gameplay that a real Xbox Series X can, but other tech improvements like ray tracing and (possibly) faster load times are now possible. Input latency and overall performance will vary depending on your internet connection, but you can stream over WiFi or mobile connections, including 5G if available.

Below we show existing Game Pass Ultimate subscribers how to set up Xbox Cloud Streaming on their preferred devices.

How to use Xbox Cloud Streaming

You will need a few things in order to access Xbox Cloud Streaming:

  • A Game Pass Ultimate subscription. For those who don’t already have a subscription, Microsoft is offering a special introductory price of USD 1 per month for the first three months. After that, the price goes up to $ 15 a month, but that’s still a reasonable price to pay for access to a rotating library of Xbox and PC games.
  • A supported device running the latest versions of Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, or Windows 10. You can find one on this page full list of supported devices.
  • A bluetooth or USB controller paired with your device. You can use an Xbox controller or a supported third-party option like Backbone or Razer Kishi for smartphones. (Some games also support touch controls, but using a real gamepad is much more convenient.)
  • A high-speed internet connection. Microsoft recommends using networks with a speed of at least 10 Mbps over 5 GHz WiFi.

After all, you need the right web browser. Each of the currently supported platforms access the service via the web, but browser support varies depending on the operating system.

Android:

iOS and iPadOS:

Mac OS:

  • safari
  • Edge
  • Other Chromium browsers (like Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, etc.)

Windows10:

  • chrome
  • Edge
  • Other Chromium browsers (Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, etc.)

Once you’ve paired a controller and installed the correct browser, just upload it xbox.com/en-US/play Sign in to your device with your Game Pass account, then select a game from your library. (Note: only some Game Pass games currently support cloud streaming. More titles will be added over time.)

Xbox Cloud Streaming also offers in-home streaming

Xbox Cloud Streaming is a great perk for Game Pass subscribers, but it’s not the only way to play Xbox games when you’re away from your TV. If you have an Xbox Series X / S or Xbox One, you can also stream directly from your console Android, iOS, or Windows 10 Devices connected to the same network.

[Gamespot]