Here’s How Xbox Cloud Gaming Works on an iPhone

With a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, anyone may access Xbox Cloud Gaming on most devices, including iPhones and iPads. If you haven’t signed up for the service or had a chance to test it out for yourself, here’s what to anticipate from it.

You cannot use the Game Pass App to play

There isn’t a specific Game Pass app for playing games in the cloud because of Apple’s rigid App Store policies, which demand that each playable game be authorized internally. There is an Xbox Game Pass app that serves as a type of showroom, but when the time comes to play games, you must utilize Safari.

Thankfully, the experience isn’t compromised because web apps may be added to your iPhone or iPad’s home screen. Go to and sign in there to do this. To add the Xbox Cloud Gaming web app to your home screen, go to this page, hit the Share icon, and then select “Add to Home Screen.”

Now use the shortcut you just made to visit the service for a full-screen cloud gaming experience.

Some games are ideal, but others aren’t as good

To get the most out of cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, you need a fast, low-latency internet connection. That isn’t feasible for many gamers because of their location, their financial situation, and their use of shared connections. The best way to avoid this is to modify your expectations.

Even when the connection is less than great, certain games function effectively. These games tend to be more leisurely paced and don’t require lightning-fast reflexes or precise timing. Consider turn-based RPGs like Octopath Traveller, slower-paced strategy games like Crusader Kings III, or deck-building card games like Monster Train.

Games like competitively jerky first-person shooters Rainbow Six: Siege, beat ’em ups Injustice 2, or pixel-perfect platformers Infernax may not function properly. It’s often preferable to play something else because of the lag periods and technical difficulties that can occur when playing a game online.

Use touch controls or a controller

Connecting an Xbox or PlayStation controller is the ideal way to play games on your iPhone or iPad. If you’re playing on an iPhone, grab a controller clip to mount the device to the controller, and you’re ready to go.

Touch controls are an additional choice and are compatible with a surprising number of the service’s games. These are denoted by the touch symbol or are listed under “Play with Touch.” Many of these games have virtual analog sticks and face button overlays that mimic the control systems of mobile games.

According to a December 2021 Microsoft research, up to 30% of Xbox Cloud Gaming customers chose touch controls only for games like Hades, Minecraft Dungeons, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

Perhaps Remote Play Is Better

If you want to play games on your mobile device and you’re close to your console, using Remote Play with the Xbox app for iPhone and iPad may work better depending on your internet connection.

You’ll have fewer latency and internet delay concerns if your local network is up to pace. For optimal performance, make sure your mobile device is connected to the 5Ghz band, your Xbox is using a wired connection, and you aren’t sitting too distant from your network.

In this way, your iPhone or iPad serves as both a display and a hub for controller input while your Xbox streams directly to your device as if you were playing it with a TV.

Probable Worthless as a Standalone Game Pass Subscription

Even while Xbox Cloud Gaming is a pleasant extra, most people find it difficult to justify the $14.99 monthly subscription fee on its own. Yes, you’ll have access to a library of games to play and an easy way to access them, but for the vast majority of players, playing games directly on a device is preferable.

Instead of completely replacing native play, previewing Game Pass games before downloading them may be the best use for Xbox Cloud Gaming.


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