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How to Play Xbox Games on Your Laptop

For when you’re traveling, or your roommate’s using the TV.

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If you’re an avid Xbox One player, being away from your console can be tough. That said, you can still play many of your favorite Xbox One titles without your Xbox One — after all, both are Windows devices.

Microsoft is currently working new "cloud gaming" capabilities through the Xbox Game Pass subscription. Currently, a subscription will allow you stream games to compatible Android devices, though reports indicate that Microsoft is working on expanding this capability to desktop web browsers as well as iOS.

In the meantime, there are technically two ways you can play Xbox One games on your laptop.

How to Stream Xbox Games on Your Laptop

As long as your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, meaning you’re in (or around) the same house, you can stream all your Xbox One games on your Windows 10 PC.

Streaming games to your PC is an ideal solution if somebody is occupying your TV. The downside is that you probably won’t be playing on a bigger screen. And you can only play if both devices are in close proximity; you can’t bring your PC on a work trip and expect to play your console games.

  1. Turn on your Xbox One. In the main menu screen, go to Settings > Preferences, and make sure the box that says “Allow game streaming to other devices” is checked.
  2. On your Windows 10 PC, launch the Xbox app. On the far left menu bar, there will be a Connect icon. Select it. Your Xbox One console should appear as an option. Select it, and you should be connected after a few seconds.
  3. The last thing to do is connect your Xbox One controller to your Windows 10 PC. Connect the controller through the PC’s USB port or by Bluetooth if the controller supports it.

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    How to Play Xbox Games, Anywhere

    Xbox Play Anywhere is an initiative launched in 2016 that enables Xbox to play select games on Windows 10 PCs with save data and other information carrying over. You’ll need to own the digital copy of the game you want to play. Unlike the streaming solution above, you won't need to be close to your Xbox for this to work; you'll be running the game directly on your PC, but without having to buy an additional copy. The downside is that your computer will have to be beefy enough to do the heavy lifting of running the actual game on its own.

    Xbox Play Anywhere works with any Play Anywhere title; the problem is that, at this moment, there aren’t a whole lot of Xbox Play Anywhere titles. Some of the most popular titles are Sea of Thieves, Gears 5, Subnautica and Forza Horizon 4.

    1. Make sure your Xbox One and PC are updated with the latest software. (The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is required on your PC.) It’s also worth noting that if you aren’t Xbox Live member, unfortunately you won’t be able to play Xbox Play Anywhere titles on your PC.
    2. On your Windows 10 PC, open the Xbox app and log into your Xbox Live/Microsoft account. From there you’ll see the list of your purchased Xbox Play Anywhere games that are ready to be downloaded. If you haven’t purchased the games yet, you can purchase them here as well. If you don’t see the game in the Xbox app, open the Windows Store, search for the game and download it.
    3. Make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi in order to install to the game and transfer your progress.

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