How to Play Xbox Games on Your Laptop

Scott Daly

a person playing a video game on a laptop

Playing Xbox games on a laptop is a great way for gamers to enjoy their favorite titles without being tethered to a console. This can be done through cloud gaming, streaming, or Xbox Play Anywhere. To get started, you’ll need a Windows 10 (or later) laptop with an up-to-date operating system and a reliable internet connection. To stream games to your laptop, simply enable remote play in the Xbox console settings and use the Xbox app on your Windows device. For games that support it, Xbox Play Anywhere allows you to buy a game once and play it on both your Xbox console and Windows PC without any additional cost.

Bring Your Xbox Games to Your Laptop

If you want to extend your Xbox gaming experience beyond your console, you can play many of your favorite games right on your laptop. Here’s how:

Method 1: Xbox Play Anywhere

  • What You Need: A compatible Xbox Play Anywhere game (check for the logo) and a Windows 10/11 laptop.
  • How it Works: Buy the supported game on the Xbox store or through your console, and you’ll instantly be able to download and play it on your laptop. Your progress will even sync between devices!

Method 2: Xbox Cloud Gaming

  • Requirements: An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, a laptop with decent internet, and a compatible controller.
  • The Perks: Stream a huge selection of Xbox games directly on your laptop without downloading them. It’s like Netflix for Xbox games!

Method 3: Xbox Remote Play

  • What’s Needed: An Xbox console (Series X/S or One), your laptop, and both devices connected to the same strong network.
  • How to Stream: Download the Xbox app on your laptop. Use the app to connect to your console and start streaming your Xbox screen directly on your laptop.

Comparing the Methods

FeatureXbox Play AnywhereXbox Cloud Gaming (Beta)Xbox Remote Play
Game SelectionLimited to supported titles.Larger selection with Game Pass Ultimate.Stream all your installed Xbox games.
Setup DifficultyEasyEasyModerate
RequirementsCompatible game ownership.Game Pass Ultimate subscription.Xbox Console on same network.
CostCost of games.Included with Game Pass Ultimate.Free, assuming you own an Xbox.

Note: Xbox Cloud Gaming, while still in beta, provides the widest selection and easiest setup if you have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

Key Takeaways

  • Players can stream Xbox games to their laptop through various methods.
  • A Windows 10 or later system and strong internet are needed.
  • Xbox Play Anywhere provides cross-platform play for supported games.

Setting Up Your Laptop for Xbox Games

Playing Xbox games on a laptop requires a few steps to enable remote streaming, install the necessary applications, and connect an Xbox controller. This process ensures you can enjoy Xbox games on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 laptop.

Enabling Remote Features

On your Xbox, navigate to Settings > Device & connections > Remote features. Here, you need to select Enable remote features to test remote play. This test ensures your internet connection is strong enough for a good experience.

Installing Necessary Applications

To stream Xbox games, the Xbox app is essential. Open the Microsoft Store on your Windows laptop, search for the Xbox app, and click Download. Once downloaded, launch the app and sign in with your Microsoft account.

Connecting Your Xbox Controller

A wireless Xbox controller can connect via Bluetooth to your laptop. For this, hold the pairing button on the controller until the Xbox button flashes. On your laptop, select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices. Click Add Bluetooth or other device and choose your controller. For a wired connection, use a USB cable to connect the controller directly to your laptop.