(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has its own cloud gaming platform. Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, also often referred to as xCloud, offers more than 150 Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S games to be played on Android devices over a data connection and is easy to get started with.

Here's everything you need to know about the Xbox cloud games service, including what devices are compatible and all the available games.

What is Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

Still regularly dubbed xCloud as a nod to its old name "Project xCloud", Cloud Gaming is Microsoft's cloud gaming platform that is designed as a complementary service to its Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Series S games consoles. It's available in that form in 22 countries.

It has also recently launched in Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico as part of a preview period before being integrated into Games Pass Ultimate in those countries too.

It is a streaming service, in that all games are hosted on remote servers and live gameplay video is sent to a compatible device over the internet. In return, controller codes are sent in the other direction so, for all intents and purposes, it feels like you are playing a game loaded on the device itself.

It is not a new idea; PlayStation Now has been available on PS4 consoles for several years; Nvidia launched the full GeForce Now service in early 2020; and xCloud's major rival, Google's Stadia, launched in November 2019. However, Microsoft's service is not a separate offering - it is a no-cost addition to its existing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership scheme.

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Microsoft believes xCloud is one of the best cloud gaming services around because it utlises the firm's enormous network of data centres around the world. This ensures game requests can be served locally rather than across continents, potentially reducing latency by shortening the distance between the end user and the data centre.

Latency is the enemy of cloud gaming, often adding many milliseconds between button presses and actions performed on screen. And, while that doesn't sound like much, milliseconds are vital when it comes to gaming. Say you press the button to shoot an onrushing enemy, a few milliseconds of latency can be the difference between hitting them and not. Or, in a driving game such as Forza Horizon 4, the difference between successfully drifting around a corner or ending up wrapped around a tree.

Does that mean my Xbox One or other games console will be defunct in future?

Cloud Gaming is not designed to replace games consoles. Instead, it runs parallel to the company's machines, offering many of the same games and even allowing for save games to be picked up and continued no matter which device you use: mobile, console or even PC.

As it is available as part of the company's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership scheme, which also includes over 300 games to download to the Xbox One, 200 games for PC, Xbox Live Gold and EA Play, it is seen very much as an extension to Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S gaming.

Essentially, xCloud is an ideal way for you to carry-on your Xbox experience on a portable device, whether you are at home or out and about.

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When and where will I be able to use xCloud?

Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is available in 22 countries for Android devices exclusively. You need to download the Xbox Game Pass app from Google Play or the Samsung Galaxy Store. You can play cloud games through the app, plus wishlist and even download games to your Xbox One or Windows PC. A browser-based app is also coming to iOS, avoiding Apple's stringent App Store protocols.

Among the countries covered are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK and the US. You can see a full list of countries with Cloud Gaming support here.

It has also recently launch in Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico, in localised languages, but only as part of a preview programme for now. If successful, it could also expand into the full service enjoyed in other countries. Anyone in those regions can register to play the free trial here.

One of the games available on xCloud - Minecraft Dungeons - does feature touch controls, which could also be extended to other games in future. However, for now, you will also need a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller to play the rest of the titles. Xbox also recommends you acquire a phone mount for the controller, unless you are playing using a tablet.

The mount is reasonably inexpensive, however. We've found a pack of three of them for just £7.99 on Amazon.co.uk, for example.

How much does Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cost?

As the long version of its name suggests, Cloud Gaming is free to all those with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the all-you-can-eat digital download service for Xbox One and Windows 10, is £10.99 / $14.99 per month.

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What is Xbox Remote Play?

As well as Cloud Gaming, Xbox Remote Play is available. Using the same technology, gamers can use their own Xbox One or Series X/S consoles as a Cloud Gaming server and therefore stream their own games to a portable device.

PlayStation offers something similar in the form of PS4 and PS5 Remote Play, but Xbox Remote Play is different as you aren't restricted to having to be on the same home network, you can also stream over a mobile data connection.

You can find out more about it here.

xCloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games list

Here is the current list of all the available games on Cloud Gaming (as of 12 November 2020):

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Absolver
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • Astroneer
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battle Chasers: Nightwar
  • Battletoads
  • Black Desert
  • Blair Witch
  • Bleeding Edge
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  • Bridge Constructor Portal
  • Carrion
  • Carto
  • Celeste
  • Children of Morta
  • Cities Skylines
  • ClusterTruck
  • Crackdown 3
  • Crosscode
  • Darksiders Genesis
  • Darksiders III
  • DayZ
  • de Blob
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Dead Cells
  • Dead Island Definitive Edition
  • Death Squared
  • Deliver us the moon
  • Demon’s Tilt
  • Descenders
Bungie / Activision
  • Destiny 2
  • DiRT 4
  • Dishonored 2
  • Don’t Starve
  • Doom Eternal
  • Double Kick Heroes
  • Drake Hollow
  • Dungeon of the Endless
  • Enter The Gungeon
  • F1 2019
  • Fallout 76
  • Farming Simulator 17
  • Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour
  • For the King
  • Forager
Microsoft
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Forza Motorsport 7
  • Fractured Minds
  • Frostpunk: Console Edition
  • Gato Roboto
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Gears of War 4
  • Gears of War 5
  • Gears Tactics
  • Goat Simulator
  • Golf with Your Friends
  • Grounded
  • Guacamelee! 2
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Hello Neighbor
  • Hollow Knight
  • Hot Shot Racing
  • Human Fall Flat
  • Hyperdot
  • Hypnospace Outlaw
  • Ikenfell
  • Indivisible
  • Journey to the Savage Planet
  • Katana Zero
  • Killer Instinct DE
  • Kona
  • Levelhead
  • Lonely Mountains: Downhill
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of War
  • Minecraft: Dungeons
  • Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
  • Moonlighter
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Moving Out
  • Mudrunner
  • Munchkin: Quacked Quest
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
  • My Time At Portia
  • Neon Abyss
  • New Super Lucky’s Tale
  • NieR:Automata
  • Night Call
  • Night in the Woods
Hello Games
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Nowhere Prophet
  • Observation
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Oxenfree
  • Pathologic 2
  • Pikuniku
  • Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition
  • Planet Coaster: Console Edition
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  • ReCore: Definitive Edition
  • Remnant: From the Ashes
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Sea Salt
  • Secret Neighbor
  • Shadow Warrior 2
  • Slay the Spire
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Spiritfarer
Microsoft Studios
  • State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Stranger Things 3: The Game
  • Streets of Rage 4
  • Streets of Rogue
  • Subnautica
  • Surviving Mars
  • Tell Me Why Episode 1 – 3
  • Terraria
  • The Bard’s Tale IV: Directors Cut
  • The Bard’s Tale Remastered and Resnarkled
  • The Bard’s Tale Trilogy
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • The Escapists 2
  • The Gardens Between
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 4
  • The Long Dark
  • The Messenger
  • The Outer Worlds
  • The Surge 2
  • The Talos Principle
  • The Touryst
  • The Turing Test
  • The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (Episodes 1 - 5)
  • The Walking Dead: Michonne
  • The Walking Dead: Season Two
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
CD Projekt RED / The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • theHunter: Call of the Wild
  • Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service
  • Touhou Luna Nights
  • Tracks – The Train Set Game
  • Trailmakers
  • Train Sim World 2020
  • Two Point Hospital
  • Undermine
  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Vambrace: Cold Soul
  • Void Bastards
  • Wandersong
  • Warhammer Vermintide 2
  • Wasteland Remastered
  • Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
  • Wasteland 3
  • We Happy Few
  • West of Dead
  • Wizard of Legend
  • World War Z
  • Worms W.M.D
  • Xeno Crisis
  • Yakuza 0
  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2
Writing by Rik Henderson.