How to Play Xbox Games on Your PC

An Xbox Controller being used for PC Gaming
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek
Here are your best options for playing Xbox games on your PC:

  • Get an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and install Xbox ports on your PC or stream Xbox games from the cloud
  • Stream from your Xbox console to your PC
  • Use an emulator

You can now play many Xbox games on your PC without owning an Xbox console. All you need is the Xbox app and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. You can also buy some Xbox apps that have been ported to PC—or try an emulator.

How to Play Xbox Games on PC

The most straightforward way to enjoy Xbox games on your PC is to get the Xbox app on your Windows computer. If you have a Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer, you’ll likely find it in the Start menu, as it comes preinstalled. However, if you don’t already have it, you can download the free Xbox app for your Windows PC from the official Xbox website. Keep in mind that this app does not work on versions of Windows older than Windows 10.

Next, you’ll need to get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This subscription is not free but it gives you access to hundreds of Xbox and PC games—including some of the console’s best titles. You can buy this subscription in the Xbox app or from the Game Pass Ultimate page on the Xbox website. After that, all you need to do is sign in to the Xbox app. As such, you can play Xbox games on your PC in two ways.

Firstly, you can download and play first-party Xbox games that have been ported to PC. You’ll find all the available titles in the Xbox app. Click “Store” and then click on the game you want to buy and download. Once the download is finished, you can open the game and begin playing on your PC right away.

Menu showing available games on the Xbox app.

Secondly, you can stream Xbox games from the cloud by clicking “Cloud Gaming.” This will stream Xbox games running on Microsoft’s servers, and you can play them on your PC—even if your PC doesn’t have much graphical horsepower. You will need an Xbox controller to play

Thirdly, you can stream games from your Xbox to your PC—provided you have both connected to the internet. In the same Xbox app shown above, if both your Xbox console and PC are connected to the internet, you’ll find an icon for your Xbox console in the top-left next to the notifications bell icon. It is called “Consoles” if you hover over it with your mouse.

Note: Unfortunately, this feature only works with Xbox One consoles and not newer Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S consoles. You can still stream games available in Cloud Gaming.

Click this icon and select your Xbox console from the dropdown menu. You then need to press the “X” button on your Xbox to confirm the connection. Once you do, your PC’s screen begins displaying what’s happening on your Xbox. You’re now in streaming mode! Connect your Xbox controller and you’re all set.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also has other great benefits—for example, it includes Xbox Live Gold.

How to Cancel Xbox Game Pass on PC

To cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription (or any of its variants), start by going to Microsoft’s Services & Subscription page. Once you log in, find the subscription that you want to cancel and click “Manage.” In the Manage menu, there is a heading called “Payment settings,” under which you’ll find the option to cancel your subscription.

Other Ways to Play Xbox Games on PC

Besides using the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, there are other ways to play Xbox titles on your PC. For example, you can use an emulator to play original Xbox and Xbox 360 games on your PC.

If you need a good emulator, check out Xemu for original Xbox games and Xenia for Xbox 360 games. Unfortunately, there aren’t any good emulators for Xbox One games yet.

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