(Pocket-lint) - Xbox Cloud Gaming is now officially available on iPhone and iPad.
And, while it uses the Safari browser, you can add an app icon to your homescreen so you can have a fullscreen, non-URL experience with a single tap each time.
Here's how to set it up and what you need.
How to run Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on iOS and iPadOS
Xbox Cloud Gaming offers more than 100 games to stream over an internet connection at up to 1080p 60fps (while in its current beta mode).
It is available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, so you'll need to get that first (if you haven't already). It costs £10.99 / $14.99 per month and also includes over 300 games for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, 200 games for Windows PCs, all the games available on EA Play, Xbox Live Gold for online play, and exclusive discounts and offers.
Once subscribed, you need to follow the instructions below to get Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate running and installed on your iPhone or iPad (see the list of compatible devices below).
1. Open the Safari browser and head to xbox.com/play. Note: while Xbox Cloud Gaming works through the Chrome browser too (and Microsoft Edge) it works best in Safari and you need to use it to create an app icon for your homescreen.
2. Tap on "Sign In" and log into your Microsoft account associated with Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox Cloud Gaming (beta) homescreen will appear. Look at the bottom of the screen and tap on the share button (the box with an up arrow in it).
3. Scroll down to "Add to Home Screen", tap on it and a pop-up will appear with a Cloud Gaming icon and URL address. Tap on "Add" in the top-right corner.
4. You will now have a new app icon on your homescreen titled "Cloud Gaming". Tap on that and you will be asked to sign in again. The full Xbox Cloud Gaming service will now be available and you only need to open that app icon everytime you want to play in future. Note: while the app icon will appear on your homescreen, it won't be available in your iPhone's App Library as it's not strictly an actual app.
How to connect an Xbox Wireless Controller to iPhone or iPad
You can play a fair few Cloud Gaming titles using an on-screen keypad, but that's not ideal and the vast majority of games do not support it.
Instead, you really will need a Bluetooth gamepad of some description. You can get a compatible Razer Kishi pad that fits your iPhone to make it more like a Nintendo Switch. However, if you have an Xbox Wireless Controller lying around (even last generation) you can use one of those instead.
You might also want to invest in a game clip for your handset.
To connect an Xbox One/Series X/S to your iPhone, first press and hold the small pairing button at the top of the controller until the Xbox logo starts to flash quickly.
Head to your iPhone or iPad's Bluetooth settings in the main Settings app. You should see Xbox Wireless Controller pop up in additional devices. Tap on it and it should connect - the light on the controller will stop flashing and stay lit.
Xbox Cloud Gaming compatible iOS and iPadOS devices list
While Xbox Cloud Gaming might work on older iPhones and iPads, Microsoft will only guarantee the following:
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPad Air (3rd Gen)
- iPad Air (4th Gen)
- iPad Pro 11 2nd Gen
- iPad Mini 5th Gen
- iPad 8th Gen