[GUIDE] : xCloud on Chromebook: Here’s How to Play Xbox Game Pass Console on PC
In the preview phase for some time now, xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud-gaming service, has recently taken on a new dimension as the firm has confirmed its upcoming arrival on mobile devices. Indeed, from September 15, if you have an Android smartphone or tablet and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can enjoy your favorite games wherever you are!
If playing via a phone or tablet is already possible, know that you can now also enjoy the xCloud application directly via your Chromebook and thus have an experience on a larger screen.
How to play via xCloud on Chromebook?
To play from your Chromebook, you need to make sure you have the right app. Indeed, recently, the xCloud service has been integrated directly into the Xbox Game Pass application. Still in the beta phase, you may encounter some issues.
- 1. Connect your Xbox controller to your Chromebook
In order to be able to play via xCloud, you must first connect a compatible Bluetooth controller. So you can use an Xbox One controller as well as a PS4 controller to enjoy your favorite games. To find out which controllers are compatible and how to connect them to a device, visit our guide to connect your Xbox controller to the phone.
- 2. Download the Xbox Game Pass app
In the Google Play Store search bar on your Chromebook, search for the Xbox Game Pass app. If you can’t find it, you can download it by clicking here from your Chromebook. The update of the application is available and now offers to play via the cloud.
- 3. Sign in to your Xbox account
Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed in to your controller, launch the Xbox Game Pass (Beta) app and sign in to your Xbox account. As a reminder, the xCloud service is included in the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. If you have not yet subscribed, you can purchase an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription from our partner who offers excellent rates, currently under € 24 for 3 months instead of € 44.99. Once in the app, simply select the “Cloud” tab to start playing.
xCloud on Chromebook, and one day on Windows 10 PC?
You now know that it is possible to play the Xbox Game Pass console catalog on a computer. This possibility is only offered thanks to the Android operating system of a computer and therefore allows you to play hundreds of Xbox console games on the screen of a Chromebook.
For now, this is the only way to play your Xbox Game Pass console games on a computer since there is no Windows 10 PC application to do so. Only Xbox Game Pass PC is accessible on a Windows 10 PC, with its own game catalog. Whether Microsoft will open up its service more in the future remains to be seen.
Don’t tell your kids they can play Xbox games on their Chromebooks
Right now, the most comfortable and convenient way to enjoy Microsoft’s new Xbox cloud gaming is on… a Chromebook ?!
On September 15, Microsoft officially unveiled cloud gaming for Android phones and tablets, as an add-on to its Xbox Game Pass app. Cloud gaming, formerly known as Project xCloud, had been in testing for months, designed as a mobile option that allows gamers to sneak a bit of Sea of Thieves during downtime waiting for a bus or a plane.
Part of the appeal of Xbox cloud gaming was its convenience. Another was the fact that cloud gaming runs remotely on Microsoft’s servers, allowing the relatively anemic processors found in phones and tablets to run a powerful and prominent game. But wait – we are in the middle of a pandemic and many of us are stuck in our homes. Why squint at a small phone when a PC and its big screen could be used instead? Since Microsoft has yet to release a cloud gaming app for Windows 10 PCs, cloud gaming runs on an Android app and Android apps run on some Chromebooks. Bingo!
So, at the moment, the best Xbox cloud gaming PC is, yes, a Chromebook. Don’t tell your kids, or they’ll never stop “doing their homework” in their room.
What you’ll need to play Xbox Cloud on a Chromebook
Here’s what cloud gaming on a Chromebook means: Games powered by Microsoft’s Xbox cloud gaming service run on a remote server and stream to your device, just like Netflix. Not all of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass game suites are available to play via the cloud, but a good number are.
Any input you make through a controller or keyboard is sent back over the internet, introducing even the slightest r **** d or lag into the gameplay. The upside is that since Microsoft’s servers do all the work, you don’t have to spend time or bandwidth downloading the game, and it loads just as quickly as if it was already on your computer. apparatus. Microsoft assumes you’ll be using a phone for cloud gaming, but using your own wired or wireless network instead. The quality of this network will matter; if your Netflix streaming already stops and stutters, cloud gaming is not for you.
Here’s what you’ll need to enable cloud gaming on a Chromebook. First off, you’ll need a modern Chromebook that’s capable of running Android apps. If your Chromebook was made in or after 2016, chances are Android apps are enabled. (If you’re not sure, Google maintains a list of Chromebooks that can run Android apps.)
Second, you will need a Microsoft account and a subscription to its Game Pass Ultimate membership. Game Pass Ultimate costs $ 15 per month, but there is an “approved” trick to getting three years’ worth for just a few dollars, and that’s before you start using Microsoft Rewards to let it pay for itself. You can also remotely play games from a physical Xbox console on your network, which Microsoft calls Remote Play. Remote reading is free.
You will need a dedicated controller, which you can connect via Bluetooth or a cable. (Although you can choose from a list of controllers at the bottom of this article, I usually use an older wired Xbox 360 controller, as our wireless Xbox controllers are often used by my kids.)
Finally, cloud gaming also requires Microsoft’s Game Pass app for Android, which is why you’ll need a Chromebook that can run Android apps. (Apple has, for now, blocked Game Pass for iOS, which we think is ridiculous.) Remote Play uses the Xbox (Beta) app. Downloading the Game Pass app for Android and installing it should be a snap. You will need to sign in with your Microsoft account and enter your password.
What it looks like to play cloud games on a Chromebook
We used the four-year-old HP Chromebook 13 as a test bed, powered by what was, even then, an anemic Core m3. When you load the Game Pass app, you’re presented with a choice of games, with a slim navigation bar that lets you choose from cloud, console, or PC as your platform. (You can also remotely install a game on your PC from here.)
When you select a cloud game, there is a pause while the server loads and configures your game remotely. When it launches, you’ll see everything you see in the game as it loads on a PC or Xbox, but in a much more user-friendly format on your Chromebook. You can even play on an external screen.
I have tried a few games: Forza Horizon 4; Dead cells, and Sea of Thieves, among others. Immediately I noticed that playing was just a lot more comfortable, ergonomically, then squinting at a small phone screen – like I did in my lab last October.
There’s no getting around it – there was slight network latency on my end… which didn’t make much of a difference? Dead Cells is a roguelike 2D sidecroller, quite dependent on precise timing and quick reflexes. As a result, I found myself adopting different tactics, sometimes spamming attacks rather than trying to refine each enemy. With Forza, I unconsciously found myself factoring in how little r **** d there was in terms of turning. And with Sea of Thieves, a rather laid-back first-person adventure game, I didn’t notice the lag at all. Of course, the type of game matters; It’s pretty obvious why games like After the Party, whose plot is driven largely by text-based conversations, and Wasteland 3, a turn-based RPG, have been included in the cloud gaming portfolio.
Games like Forza also showed some drop in visual quality – again, probably most noticeable when projected onto the Chromebook’s larger screen and at high speeds. Sea of Thieves, however, looked as good as I can remember. (If you want to do a direct comparison, you’ll have to sign out of your Xbox, then go to the Xbox Cloud Gaming Experience – you can’t play simultaneously.) Frame rates, however, were a bit choppy. , and (to an estimate) hovered around 30 fps or slightly lower.
I will say Google’s Chrome OS didn’t particularly help the experience. My Chromebook rebooted hard every now and then after taking a screenshot, for example. The way Chrome OS works on the HP Chromebook 14 means you don’t select a resolution like Windows; you zoom in and out at higher and lower resolutions, up to 3200 × 1800 pixels. I didn’t really notice a problem with this on the built-in display, but the lack of manual resolution adjustment confined gaming to a small corner of a connected 4K display. I can’t say if Chrome OS was responsible for this, although Chrome OS itself performed as you would expect, filling the entire 4K screen. Finally, Chrome OS tried to force audio output through my monitor’s disabled speakers, rather than the Chromebook’s.
Conclusion: an unexpected bonus for Chromebooks
Any PC elite running at 90 fps on a 1440p display will be cloud gaming, and rightly so. But for someone who’s used to tweaking and fiddling with resolution and visual settings on a “regular” PC, cloud gaming isn’t bad at all. And that’s basically the point: there isn’t a way for someone who only has a regular PC on a day-to-day basis to enjoy the best of what Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate has to offer, because it doesn’t. There is no comparable Windows 10 application yet. Until it does, the choice is yours: squint your phone or use a Chromebook.
We know you haven’t bought a Chromebook as a gaming PC. But surprise! Most Chromebooks run on Android, some on Linux, and most will now be able to play Xbox games. This is a great bonus for a device that most people have simply chosen to help their children with their homework.
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