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How to Play XBOX Games on Smartphone

Play XBOX Games on Smartphone

Many years after Sony introduced Remote Play with its PlayStation 4, Microsoft is now catching up with its own streaming service. Sure, Windows 10 PC owners could stream their Xbox One console over the local network. But unlike PlayStation 4 owners, they couldn’t stream their games anywhere else, not even to Grandma’s house.

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That’s all changed. Microsoft now provides two methods of streaming your Xbox One games to a mobile device: Directly from the console at any location, not just at home, and from Microsoft’s cloud. Now here’s the kicker: Remote Play outside the home network is only available on iOS and Android. Cloud-based gaming is only available on Android.

In this guide, we split all the Xbox game streaming goodness into two sections.

Stream from your Xbox

With the latest updates to the operating system and Xbox app, Microsoft has really simplified the method of streaming games to your mobile device. The settings are minimal at best, so there is less tinkering and more playing.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Android 6.0 or newer
  2. iOS 13 or newer
  3. Bluetooth 4.0 and newer
  4. 7Mbps to 10Mbps internet connection
  5. 5GHz wireless connection (2.4GHz support not optimized)
  6. Xbox app (Apple) (Google)
  7. Xbox One console (duh)
  8. Xbox controller
  9. Get the console ready

These instructions assume you already have an Xbox One registered to your account and ready to stream.

  • Step 1: Press the Xbox button on the controller.
  • Step 2: Select Profile & System.
  • Step 3: Select Settings.
  • Step 4: Select Devices & Connections
  • Step 5: Select Remote Features.
  • Step 6: Check the box next to Remote Features.
  • Step 7: Select Instant-On listed under Power Mode.

On mobile – Pair a controller

These instructions are based on pure Android 10 (shown above) and iOS 14. These steps may vary on Samsung Galaxy and other Android phones.

  • Step 1: Open Settings.
  • Step 2: Tap Connected Devices (Android) or Bluetooth (iOS).
  • Step 3: Press and hold the Xbox controller’s Pair button, found between the triggers, until the Xbox button flashes.
  • Step 4: On the phone, tap Pair a New Device (Android only).
  • Step 5: Tap on the Xbox controller listed on your phone.
  • Step 6: Tap Pair on the pop-up screen to confirm the connection (Android only).

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On Mobile – Play your games

These instructions assume you already have an Xbox One and it’s registered to your account. The Xbox app now includes a Set Up a Console tool, but it’s only for setting up a new console, so ignore it.

  • Step 1: Open the Xbox app.
  • Step 2: Sign in to the same Microsoft Account used to access your Xbox One console.
  • Step 3: Tap the My Library icon. It resembles a stack of books.
  • Step 4: Tap Consoles.
  • Step 5: Tap the Xbox One console registered to your account.
  • Step 6: Tap the Remote Play on This Device option on the pop-up menu.
  • Alternatively, you can tap the console button on the home screen (shown above) to access and stream from your Xbox One.

Note: The Set Up a Console button is used for just that — it’s not specific to game streaming. It’s a convenient way to get the console ready via a mobile device rather than having to fumble with a controller.

Stream from the cloud

This service only works if you subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate, which costs $15 per month.

With this plan, you can not only stream your purchased Xbox games but more than 100 games in the current Game Pass library. You cannot stream these games from the cloud using the Xbox app — this service requires the Xbox Games Pass app.

Microsoft still lists this service as a beta, so expect some issues for now.

Note: You are not required to install these games on your Xbox One console.

  • Step 1: Open the Xbox Game Pass app.
  • Step 2: Sign in to the same Microsoft Account used to access your Xbox One console.
  • Step 3: Tap the Cloud tab.
  • Step 4: Tap the green Play button on any game you own or from the Game Pass library.


Here are several common questions and problems associated with game streaming. Is Remote Play available in my region? Microsoft provides a list of countries and regions on its website. Keep checking back if yours isn’t listed.Does Remote Play support backward-compatible games? No, as of October 2020. I can’t pair the controller

Your Xbox Controller may need a firmware update. To get the update, open the Xbox Accessories app on your console by navigating to My Games & Apps > Apps.

With the app open, select the three-dot icon located under your controller. On the following screen, you’ll see an Update Now option if new firmware is available. Otherwise, you’ll see the current version.If you’re still having issues, you can use a wired connection with Android.

Note: You cannot update an Xbox controller while it’s paired to your Android device.

I’m having connectivity issues

Your home network needs to have an Open or Moderate NAT type. Check your router to confirm these settings. Microsoft has info on NAT types that may be helpful. You can see your console’s current NAT type in use by navigating to Settings > General > Network Settings.

If you’re experiencing lag when streaming the Xbox One to a mobile device, try turning off the latter’s Wi-Fi component for a moment, switch it back on, and re-load the Xbox app. You’ll also see better performance if your Xbox One is wired to the network. The performance will vary when streaming your Xbox to an Android device accessing a mobile connection.

Here are a few suggestions from Microsoft:

  • Don’t connect your mobile device to a Wi-Fi extender.
  • Don’t use a VPN.
  • Don’t cast to a second screen (Chromecast, Apple TV).
  • Use a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection.
  • Turn off Detect Suspicious Networks and Wi-Fi Power Savings Mode on Android.
  • Clear the app cache on Android.
  • Enable High Performance Mode on your device, if available.
  • The Xbox app doesn’t show my console

With the Xbox app open, tap My Library followed by Consoles. Pull down on the page to refresh and see if the console appears.

I can’t play on a cellular connection

Access to cellular data may be switched off. On Android, follow Settings > Apps & Notifications and select the Game Pass or Xbox app. After that, make sure the Background Data toggle is on (blue).

In iOS, open Settings, tap the Game Pass or Xbox app, and make sure the Cellular Data toggle is on (green).

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