Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

You don’t need an Xbox Series X to play Starfield. Here’s how

Starfield is the highest-profile Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S game since Halo Infinite, but the game isn’t locked to those two consoles. Thanks to cloud gaming and Microsoft’s more open-ended mentality of making its games available on a wide variety of platforms, you don’t have to own one of Microsoft’s current-gen systems or have the Xbox app installed on your PC.

No, it’s not on PS5 or Nintendo Switch, but if you want to play Starfield while it’s at the center of the video game industry zeitgeist, here are some places where it’s playable other than the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series X, and Xbox PC app.


Starfield's Steam page.
Tomas Franzese / Valve

The most obvious choice if you want to play Starfield elsewhere is to pick it up on Steam. While Microsoft does have a proprietary PC launcher of its own, Microsoft now consistently releases its own games through Valve’s launcher. Bethesda joined Xbox Game Studios in 2021 and has a long history of making its games available on Steam as well, so it’s not too surprising that Starfield is available on the platform.

Starfield already proving quite popular on the platform too, having peaked at 266,000 concurrent players, according to SteamDB at the time I’m writing this. If you’re looking for a way to play Starfield natively on the hardware you own without using a Microsoft platform or service, this is your best option. It’ll run on Steam Deck too, although that’s not the only way to experience Starfield on the go.

Xbox Game Pass app on Android

Starfield on the Xbox cloud gaming app.
Tomas Franzese / Microsoft

While Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, the Xbox PC app, and Steam are your primary options for playing Starfield natively, Microsoft’s heavy investment in cloud gaming means that there are plenty of other devices where it’s playable remotely. The primary place is through the Xbox Game Pass app on Android, which lets Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers play games from the cloud. After downloading this app, players can find Starfield on it and play as long as a Bluetooth-compatible controller is connected. 

Get a solid mobile controller like a Backbone One or Razer Kishi V2 or a dedicated cloud gaming device like the Logitech G Cloud Handheld and install this app, and you’ll have an easy way to play Starfield via Xbox Cloud Gaming, even if you’re not at home or don’t own an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. This app isn’t the only place where you can utilize Xbox Cloud Gaming to try Starfield, though.

Web browser

Starfield playable through web browser.
Tomas Franzese

Apple doesn’t let cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass onto its App Store. That said, iOS and Mac owners who also have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription can still play Starfield via a web browser. All you have to do is go to Xbox’s play site and sign into your Microsoft account, and then you can stream Starfield through the cloud like Android users would.

Keep in mind that the quality of your cloud game streaming is dependent entirely on the quality of your internet connection, so double-check your Wi-Fi or ethernet setup before playing Starfield this way. This method also works on Windows web browsers. That said, Windows users are better off playing the game natively through Steam or the Xbox app, the latter of which also provides a more stable Xbox Cloud Gaming connection than a web browser. 

Nvidia GeForce Now

Veronica asking if you're ready to change your life in Starfield.
Bethesda Softworks

As part of a commitment made during Microsoft’s process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, first-party Microsoft games will become compatible with Nvidia GeForce Now. GeForce Now is a cloud gaming service that allows players to stream supported games they own on PC over the cloud.

Nvidia claims that Starfield will run at up to a 4K resolution and 120 frames-per-second GeForce Now for ultimate members, making it one of the best cloud gaming options if you’re most concerned about stream quality. 

Samsung Gaming Hub

A still from Samsung's commercial about Starfield being playable via Samsung Gaming Hub.

If you don’t want to play Starfield on a small phone screen or at your computer, check if you own a Samsung TV, monitor, or Freestyle 2nd Gen Projector that supports Samsung Gaming Hub. Xbox Cloud Gaming is part of the Samsung Gaming Hub that functions not too dissimilarly from the Android App. All you have to do is boot up the Xbox app, sign into your Microsoft account with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and connect a Bluetooth controller; after that, you can easily play Starfield on your TV via the cloud.

This is the best option if you don’t own any Microsoft consoles and prefer to play video games on a TV. This only works if you own one of the many supported Samsung devices from 2020 onwards, though. If you don’t, it’s best to try one of these old methods … or maybe dig out an old console. 

Xbox One

An Xbox One X console.

While Starfield has been heavily billed as an Xbox Series X/S exclusive — and Microsoft certainly wants people to upgrade their console for it — the game is playable on Xbox One. Xbox Cloud Gaming is supported across the Xbox One and Xbox Series family of devices, and while its most common use is for people to play cloud-supported games while they’re installing, it also means that every cloud-support Xbox Series X/S exclusive on Xbox Game Pass is technically playable on Xbox One.

Navigate to the Xbox Store on your console, find Starfield, and choose to boot it up like you would with any other cloud-supporting Xbox One game. Doing so will replicate the experience of playing Starfield on an Xbox console, even if it’s not technically running natively. If nothing else, it should now be clear that there are quite a few ways to play Starfield, even if you aren’t using an Xbox Series X or S.

Editors' Recommendations

Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
You can get a month of Xbox Game Pass for $1 right now
A tv shows the new Xbox Game Pass that comes to Samsung Gaming Hub soon.

If you aren't currently signed up for Xbox Game Pass, you can currently get your first month for $1. The deal only applies to Game Pass Ultimate and its PC version, though, as the console-only version is still at its full price.

Early in the Xbox Game Pass era, Microsoft would offer $1 onboarding deals for the service. The trick helped the company build a massive user base early on, but it has moved away from that cheap deal in recent years as the service has become a household name with gamers. It's finally available again for anyone who's been waiting for a reason to subscribe, though it's not as eye-popping a deal as it once was.

Read more
Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct: how to watch and what to expect
xbox june showcases announced starfield direct hero image 37faabd65d647fb77b68

The Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct Double Feature are shaping up to be the most important video game showcases to watch this month. Across these two back-to-back showcases today, Microsoft will give us a comprehensive look at what's coming to PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox Game Pass from its first-party studios and then finally give us the deep dive into Starfield that we've been waiting for since it was announced in 2018.
Because Sony has already held its PlayStation Showcase and Nintendo hasn't revealed any plans for a Nintendo Direct this month, it looks like this will be the big first-party showcase of June. With the presentation happening later today, we're laying out how you can watch the Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct Double Feature and explaining what you can expect from it. 
When is the Xbox Games Showcase

The Xbox Games Showcase will begin at 10 a.m. PT today, June 11. Microsoft has not said how long the Xbox Games Showcase will be this year, but previous presentations have typically been between an hour and an hour-and-a-half long. 
When is the Starfield Direct
Microsoft has stated that the Starfield Direct will begin "immediately following the Xbox Games Showcase." Because we don't know how long the Xbox Games Showcase is, though, we don't know exactly when this portion of the livestream will begin. We also don't know quite how long the Starfield Direct will last. To be safe, we recommend you set aside two or three hours to watch the Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct Double Feature. 
How to watch the Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct
Microsoft is promoting and live-streaming this pair of showcases across most of its gaming-focused social media platforms. As such, you can tune into the shows on Xbox's official YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook pages as well as Bethesda's YouTube and Twitch channels. Deaf fans can even experience the show thanks to a version of the show on YouTube with audio descriptions and stream on the XboxASL Twitch page.

Read more
Xbox Games Showcase can succeed where the PlayStation Showcase struggled
Senua stares ahead wearing war paint.

If there’s one video game presentation happening over the next week that has the most to prove, it’s the Xbox Games Showcase. Despite a strong start to the year with Hi-Fi Rush and a solid Developer Direct showcase, Microsoft’s gaming branch has floundered in recent months because of struggles with its acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the rocky launch of Redfall. With the Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct Double Feature, Microsoft must reconfirm its commitment to gaming and to releasing high-quality first-party exclusives.

That said, Xbox is in an excellent position to do just that because of Sony’s underwhelming May showcase. As the first major gaming presentation of the summer, Sony had the chance to “win” the whole game reveal season early with its PlayStation Showcase. Ultimately, that live stream proved disappointing because of its focus on CGI reveal trailers and live service games.

Read more