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Everything you need to know about Xbox Play Anywhere

If you watched any of Microsoft’s press conference at E3 — or if you took the time to watch any of the game trailers they debuted during the show — you might have seen the phrase “Xbox Play Anywhere” being thrown around quite often. Play Anywhere is a new initiative that promises to bring dozens of forthcoming Xbox One games to Windows 10. The program allows consumers to buy a game on either platform and receive the digital rights to play it on both their Xbox and their PC, at no extra cost.

Players who have purchased an Xbox Play Anywhere game and own both an Xbox One and a Windows 10 PC will also find that their saved game data will immediately  transfer between devices, ensuring smooth transitions back and forth between platforms. Given that today’s Xbox One is actually running a modified version of Windows 10 anyway, it’s not much of a reach for Microsoft.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Xbox Play Anywhere titles also feature cross-platform gameplay. Therefore, if you have an Xbox One — but no computer — and your friend has a PC running Windows 10 — but no Xbox — you can play together online if you’ve both bought a game that’s part of the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative.

An Xbox Live Gold subscription will not be required to take advantage of Play Anywhere, and Windows 10 gamers will not be required to purchase Gold in order to access online multiplayer features. The type of control input required to play a game on Windows 10 — i.e. an Xbox controller vs. a mouse and keyboard — will be up to the individual game developer. Some titles, like Forza Horizon 3, will allow players to choose the type of control input that they feel most comfortable with.

Keep in mind that only digitally purchased games qualify — that means game discs you buy won’t unlock cross-platform rights and will be restricted to whichever platform you buy the disc for. Game owners will also not be able to play the game on both platforms simultaneously. Purchasing a digital Play Anywhere title will automatically add the game to your list of available downloads on both Xbox One and Windows 10, as long as you’re logged in to the account used to buy the game.

Below, check out a full list of games that have been confirmed as Xbox Play Anywhere titles. Keep in mind that Xbox division head Phil Spencer has all but confirmed the next installment in the Halo franchise as a Play Anywhere title, but there has been no official announcement as of yet. For a full list of confirmed Xbox Play Anywhere titles and FAQ support, check out the official page here.

Ark: Survival Evolved Crackdown 3
Cuphead Forza Horizon 3
Gears of War 4 Halo Wars 2
Killer Instinct: Season 3 Phantom Dust
ReCore Scalebound
Scalebound Sea of Thieves
State of Decay 2 We Happy Few

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Nick Hastings
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick is a Portland native and a graduate of Saint Mary's College of California with a Bachelor's of Communication. Nick's…
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