Playing games on your phone has been possible for many years, but advances in streaming technology now mean you can play Xbox games directly from your smartphone.

In this guide, we will show you how to play Xbox games on your phone, for both iPhone and Android devices. You don’t need the fastest phone to stream games, but if you are thinking of starting to play games on your smartphone, check out our range of affordable contract and refurbished phones from brands including Samsung and Apple.

What you’ll need

This is what you will need to play games from your phone:

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iPhone with iOS version 10 or higher
Android phone with Android version 6 or higher
Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S console (if using Remote Play)
Xbox controller
Xbox app
Internet connection

Xbox Remote Play

The first way to play Xbox games on your phone is via Xbox Remote Play. This enables you to stream the games from your Xbox console onto your mobile device or PC. Remote Play is the best option for users who don’t have an Xbox Games Pass subscription.

It is recommended to have a fast Internet connection when you stream games to your phone; a slow connection speed could result in lag and latency issues.

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To set up your Xbox console for Remote Play, you need to:

Press the Xbox menu button
Go to Profile and System > Settings > Devices and Connections > Remote Features
Search for Power Mode and select Instant On

You will now need to pair your phone with an Xbox controller:

Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth setting
Press and hold the controller’s Pair button for 3 seconds
From your phone, search for the Xbox controller in the list of pairable devices
Select the controller to pair with your phone

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Now that you are set up and paired, download the Xbox app from the iOS or Google Play store. Once downloaded, log into your Microsoft account in the app and select My Library > Consoles; your Xbox console should be visible from this screen. Select your console and you are ready to remote play.

Stream from xCloud

You don’t need to own an Xbox console to play games on your phone. With an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can stream games from the cloud to your mobile device, with no need for additional hardware except a controller.

iPhones and Apple devices are not currently supported on Xbox Game Pass.

To start playing games via xCloud, you will need an Xbox Games Pass Ultimate subscription, which will provide access to the library of games available to stream. Once you are in the Game Pass app, you can select from the games available to stream via the Cloud tab.

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Follow the same steps outlined previously to connect your phone to the Xbox controller.

One of the benefits of streaming Xbox games to your phone is that you don’t need a premium device because your Internet connection does the heavy lifting. Take a look at our guide to the best budget smartphones and find an affordable device to start gaming with.