How to Play Xbox Games Without an Xbox?

edited May 31 in Gaming

Since the release of the game-changing Xbox in 2001, the video game console has given gamers worldwide millions of hours of good times. Four generations of Xbox have followed: Xbox 360 in 2005, Xbox One in 2013, and Xbox Series X, and Series S in 2020. The popularity of Microsoft Gaming’s console continues to soar, and conveniently, Xbox X|S consoles are compatible with Xbox One games and backward compatible games from the earlier consoles.

For some gamers, 24/7 access to an Xbox video game console, or when you most need it is simply not an option. Perhaps your brother hogs the family Xbox, or maybe you want to continue your Xbox game adventures during your train ride to work? Other users may not have the budget, or the space for another video game console, but still wonder “Can I play Xbox games on PC?” Well, the good news is that it is possible to play Xbox exclusive games without an Xbox. Read on to discover the software and services that can help you to play Xbox games on PC, Mac and even how to play xbox games on your phone and tablet.

Can you play your Xbox games on PC?

Yes, there are a few different approaches you can take if you want to play Xbox games on your PC. Here's an article dedicated to the topic if you want to take a deep dive. First, we’ll provide a quick overview of the three methods to get those groovy Xbox games onto your PC, before dealing with the details later on!  

  • Firstly, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers subscribers unlimited access to over 100 games on PC as well as Xbox, and includes cloud gaming streaming support.
  • Next, Xbox Remote Play gives you the flexibility to play games installed on your Xbox console on any compatible PC, Android, or iOS device.
  • Buy any Xbox Play Anywhere video game and you can play it on both Xbox and Windows 10/11 at no extra cost. This option also lets you pick up where you left off on another Xbox or PC, saving your gaming achievements as you go.

1. Game Pass Ultimate 

This video game subscription service from Microsoft is, as the name suggests, the ultimate way to play hundreds of top-quality Xbox games across the devices that you already have. Game Pass Ultimate has the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, as well as an EA Play membership, all for a wallet-friendly monthly subscription. With Game Pass Ultimate, you can both download and stream Xbox games on your PC, Mac, phone, tablet, Chromebook, or select Samsung smart TV models. What’s more, Xbox Game Studios titles are available to play on the day of release, along with discounted add-ons, partner offers and member discounts.

The Game Pass Ultimate catalog features all of the best Xbox games, from early classics like Halo: Combat Evolved (2001) to brand new titles including Far Cry 6 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Cloud gaming offers gamers instant access to a huge catalog of games, many of which are optimized for select Android devices (Android OS 6.0 and later) as well as iPhones (iPhone iOS 14.4 and later). PC users need to ensure that their devices have Windows 10/11, version 19H1 or higher, while MacBook users require MacOS 14.1.2 and later.

Cloud gaming, while offering the flexibility to play endless games without worrying about filling up your storage, does not currently support local multiplayer. When it comes to cloud gaming with Game Pass Ultimate, players will require a few extra tools to play on their existing devices. These include an Xbox Bluetooth-enabled controller, or other supported controller as well as the Xbox Game Pass app and a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network connection, or Ethernet connection. 

2. Xbox Remote Play

Play remotely from your Xbox console with Xbox Remote Play. Titles from across the Xbox Game Pass catalog can be conveniently played on compatible devices, after downloading onto your Xbox. This is the fastest, simplest way to play Xbox games on your phone or Chromebook without an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Remote Play lets you play Xbox games on your PC, Android or iOS device, but you will still need an Xbox One or later console. The device requirements are similar to Game Pass Ultimate, and users will also need a compatible Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth, as keyboard, mouse and touch options are currently not supported for Remote Play. Note that you’ll need at least 4.75 Mbps upload speed, ideally 9 Mbps to get the most from Remote Play. What’s more, a 2.4 GHz network is the bare minimum, while a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection is preferred. Even better, plug your Xbox into an Ethernet cable!

Simply download the Xbox app, and it will guide you through setup, making sure that your network, console and controller are all ready for Xbox Remote Play. Android and iOS users should note that backward compatible titles from Xbox 360 and original Xbox are currently unavailable on Remote Play.

3. Xbox Play Anywhere

For Xbox enthusiasts who require the flexibility to play anywhere without losing time, or in-game progress, Xbox Play Anywhere is a good choice. Forget about monthly subscriptions, Play Anywhere gives you the freedom to choose the games you want to play, and play them on both Xbox and PC, and stay synced. This option is ideal for families where everyone wants to play on the Xbox!

Play Anywhere digital titles provide gamers with the flexibility of being able to play the same game on their Xbox and on Windows 10/11 PCs, while saving progress. After the initial game purchase, games can be played interchangeably on both Xbox and PC, while saves, add-ons and achievements are all kept up to date, letting you get on with your gaming journey without hindrance or delay.  

The takeaway

We hope that you have enjoyed this article on playing Xbox games without an Xbox. Each of the options we have covered offer different benefits to gamers. For players who don’t have an Xbox console but require a comprehensive, download/stream service where they can play the best Xbox games, a Game Pass Ultimate subscription is the way forward. Remote Play is a great option for gamers on the move who want to hook their phones and tablets up to their Xbox console at home, or who require a simple, subscription-free means to play Xbox games on other devices. Finally, Xbox Play Anywhere lets you jump between Xbox and PC, without sacrificing your gaming progress. Whatever option you choose, enjoy!

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Edmund is an English copywriter based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He is a widely published writer and translator with two decades of experience in the field of bridging linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English.



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