How to set up Xbox Game Streaming and play games on your phone

There are many great Xbox One games, but one thing that’s holding them back is the inability to play them away from home. Sure, some titles have cross-platform compatibility with PC, but that’s no match for the mobile streaming options PC and PS4 gamers have had for some time.

That’s all changing now, though, as Microsoft has introduced Xbox Game Streaming. Here’s how you can play your Xbox games remotely.

First, there are a few things you’re going to need:

  • Xbox Insider status (in US or UK currently) and enrollment in Alpha, Alpha-Skip-Ahead, Beta, Delta, or Omega rings
  • An Android device with Android 6.0 (or higher) and Bluetooth 4.0 (or higher)
  • A Bluetooth Xbox One Controller (the original Xbox One and Xbox Elite Wireless controllers don’t support Bluetooth)
  • A high-speed data connection (10Mbps down-link and 4.75Mbps up-link)

Step 1: Install the Xbox Insider Hub

On your Xbox One, launch the Microsoft Store to search for apps. Search for the Xbox Insider Hub, and install it to your console. If you’re not already enrolled in the Xbox Insider program, you’ll need to enroll. You can do this from within the app, or you can enroll on your Windows computer.

Step 2: Get the necessary Android app set up

You’ll need the Xbox Game Streaming app (available on Google Play). Install the app on your Android phone or tablet. Once installed, you’ll need to run the app and sign into the same Microsoft Account you’re using with Xbox Insider on your Xbox One. Once signed in, select “Let’s play!”

This app is home to both Xbox Game Streaming and Project xCloud. It should default to the Xbox Game Streaming landing page, but in the event you find yourself on the Project xCloud side of the app, there’s a navigation button in the top left of the screen that can switch you back to the Xbox Game Streaming section.

xbox game streaming how to set up
Mark Knapp/Digital Trends

Step 3: Set up your Xbox One

Make sure your Xbox One is powered on, connected to a TV, and connected to the internet. Then, from your Xbox Game Streaming app, select the Setup new Xbox button to begin. If all works out, you’ll see a prompt on your TV. Select the “Enable” option.

Troubleshooting

If you don’t see the prompt to enable Xbox Game Streaming on your TV, there are a few things you’ll need to double check. First, confirm you’re signed in using the same account on both the Xbox One and Xbox Game Streaming app.

Your home network will also need to have an Open or Moderate NAT type. You’ll need to check your router to confirm these settings. Microsoft has info on NAT types that may be helpful.

Your Xbox One also needs to be in the Instant-On mode in Power settings. You can change this setting by navigating to Settings > Power & startup > Power mode and selecting the Instant-On mode.

Your Xbox Controller may need a firmware update (this happened to us). To get the update, install the Xbox Accessories app on your console, open it, go into the settings of your controller within the app, select the Firmware version button, and then select Update now.

Pairing Xbox controller to Android phone
Mark Knapp/Digital Trends

Step 4: Connect your Xbox Controller to your phone or tablet

You’ll need to pair your controller with your Android device using Bluetooth (though we found we could actually pair a PS4 controller while setting up Project xCloud and still get it to work.) To start, open your device’s Bluetooth pairing settings, then press the small pairing button on your Xbox controller (located next to the USB port). Select the Xbox Wireless Controller on your device to pair.

xbox game streaming how to connect

Step 5: Start streaming from your Xbox One

With your controller paired to your Android device, you should now be able to begin console streaming. Return to the Xbox Game Streaming app and select Start Console Stream or Connect (which you see will vary depending on whether you’ve just set up console streaming).

After a short preparatory period, you’ll see your Xbox One’s display mirrored on your Android device. You don’t need to leave your TV running to continue once you’ve set everything up. From here, you’ll be able to play your Xbox One games on your Android device, though not Xbox and Xbox 360 backward-compatible just yet.

Tip: Don’t forget to power down your Xbox One as you normally would when you finish streaming.

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