After spending some time in beta as xCloud, Microsoft has finally released Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming on Android. This allows you to play a wide range of Xbox titles on your smartphone and you don’t even need a console or PC to do it. Making it an excellent entry point to the game.
As long as you have an Android smartphone or tablet, a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and a decent internet connection, you’ll be able to enjoy everything Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming has to offer.
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In this article, we explain how to get Xbox Game Pass up and running on your Android device.
What are the minimum specs for Xbox Game Pass on Android
The list of essentials for streaming Game Pass to your phone is pretty short. Here’s what you need:
- A compatible mobile device: Android version 6.0 or later, Bluetooth version 4.0+
- A Bluetooth compatible Xbox wireless controller (optional controller support but recommended)
- 5GHz Wi-Fi or mobile data connection 10Mbps download speed (also works on 2.4Ghz)
- The Xbox Game Pass app
If you are not sure which version of Android you are using, go to Settings> About phone> About software . Devices running Android 6.0 or later will be able to play cloud-based games on Game Pass.
Most modern smartphones will use Bluetooth version 4.0 or later as standard, but you can double check if you want to be sure. Again, go to Settings> Apps .
From here you’ll want to find Bluetooth (you may need to press the three-button ellipsis and select Show System Apps to see it), then scroll down to see the version you’re using.
How to connect a controller to your Android
Some games will allow you to use touch controls to play, but to get the full experience, you’ll need to connect the pad of your choice via Bluetooth.
The official Xbox One and Xbox Series S / X pads work flawlessly, but there are plenty of unofficial alternatives available that will do the same job.
To connect an official Xbox controller, you’ll first need to make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is turned on and it’s looking for. To do this, go to Settings> Connections> Bluetooth , then turn it on.
Next, turn on the pad, then press and hold the connect button on the top of the pad until the light on the front starts flashing. The two should automatically connect.
If you typically use the pad with an Xbox One or Xbox Series S / X console, you may find that it automatically turns on on the console as well, so keep an eye on it.
Also, a controller holder is highly recommended, but not essential, as they will make everything much more comfortable to hold during longer sessions.
How to download Game Pass and play Xbox games on your phone
The first thing you may notice is that there are two different Game Pass apps on the Google Play Store. The one with the white background is the beta (pictured below, right), and that’s what you could use before the official Game Pass stream release.
Download the one with the green background (pictured below, left) as this will give you the most stable experience.
After signing up for Game Pass Ultimate, log into the app and log in using that email address. You will now have full access to everything the service has to offer.
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The Home Page allows you to switch between the three distinct areas: Cloud, Console and PC. Both the console and the PC allow you to browse what’s available and perform remote installation on your registered devices, while the cloud is where you can play directly.
While scrolling the app will suggest a lot to play, you can also scroll to the bottom of the Cloud tab and view an AZ list. When you’ve chosen a game, click Play and the app will connect to Microsoft’s servers before loading everything.
It’s also incredibly easy to go back to a game you’ve already played. Go to Jump Back In in the Home menu , tap on the title of your choice and it will load immediately.
Download: Xbox Game Pass for Android (Free)
Things to consider before installing Xbox Game Pass on Android
Streaming via Game Pass isn’t a perfect way to enjoy games at the moment, and your experience is based on several factors.
Device issues to be aware of
While the service itself may not use the full power of your phone, the “always on” factor while gaming can ruin battery life.
If you don’t want to be tied to an outlet, which defeats the idea of playing games on your phone in the first place, it might be worth looking for a power bank to get through longer sessions.
Just like with console or PC gaming, higher screen refresh rates can mean the difference between stealing victory and savoring defeat. A 60 Hz screen refreshes in 16.6 ms, while a 120 Hz screen refreshes in just 8.4 ms.
Screen size can also make a big difference – everything will be much easier to see on the 6.9-inch screen of a Samsung S20 Ultra than the small 2.45-inch Unihertz Jelly Pro display.
Connection problems you may encounter
Some routers automatically switch 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz devices from time to time. If you find that your connection is regularly lagging or jerking while gaming, it might be worth seeing if you can only connect on 5GHz.
Note that some routers combine 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels into one. So, you may need to manually enter the router settings, split the channels and rename them, in order to connect to 5GHz.
Even on the best connections in the world, however, the nature of streaming means that some games stutter no matter what you do. Something like Forza or the Gears of War series, both of which require quick reactions from the player, will struggle over a slower strategy title like Two Point Hospital or Wasteland 3.
It is currently not possible to download titles for offline play and there is no plan to add this feature. If you were hoping to take some Xbox games on a long trip or in flight, you are unfortunately out of luck.
Time to play Xbox games on Android
That’s all! You are good to go with Game Pass on your Android device. Setup is simple, and as long as your device is up to par, you’ll be running games in no time. Now all you have to do is go and explore the games available on Xbox Game Pass.