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. The catch is that you’ll need a Windows 10 PC. (Sorry Mac owners!) There are technically two ways you can play Xbox One games on your Windows 10 PC. One is good for when you’re in the same household as the console; the other is good for travel. Here’s how to do both.
How to Stream Xbox Games on Your Laptop
First, there’s streaming. 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. To do this, you’ll need to own a digital copy of the game (not a physical disc).
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 you’re within striking distance of your console; you can’t bring your PC on a work trip and expect to play your console games.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
How to Play Xbox Games, Anywhere
Xbox Play Anywhere is an initiative launched in 2016 that enables Xbox owners to play console games anywhere on their Windows 10 PCs. You’ll need to own the digital copy of the game you want to play. And, because only one person can be signed into your Microsoft account at a time, you won’t be able to play on each device simultaneously (e.g., if you and a friend use the same Xbox Live account).
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. The most popular titles are Halo Wars 2, Gears of War 4, ReCore and Forza Horizon 3. For a full list of current and upcoming Xbox Play Anywhere titles, go here.
- 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.
- 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.
- You need to be connected to wi-fi in order to install to them game and transfer your progress. The last thing to do is connect your Xbox One controller to your Windows 10 PC. Connect the controller through your PC’s USB port.