There are many great Xbox One games, but one thing holding them back is the inability to play outside the home network. Sure, some titles have cross-platform compatibility with PC, but that’s no match for the mobile streaming options PC and PlayStation 4 (PS4) gamers have enjoyed for some time.
That’s all changing, as Microsoft introduced Xbox Game Streaming for Android in 2019. Here’s how you can play your Xbox games remotely.
First, there are a few requirements:
- Be an Xbox Insider located within any country or region with an Xbox One console enrolled in an Xbox One Update Preview ring.
- 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 have Bluetooth).
- A high-speed data connection (10Mbps downlink and 4.75Mbps uplink).
- A Microsoft account with an Xbox profile.
Step 1: Install the Xbox Insider Hub
On your Xbox One, launch the Microsoft Store, search for the Xbox Insider Hub, and install it to your console. If you’re not already enrolled in the Xbox Insider program, you can join from within the app or enroll on your Windows computer.
Step 2: Get the necessary Android app set up
Install the Xbox Game Streaming app for Android, available on Google Play, on your phone or tablet. Once it’s installed, run the app and sign in to the same Microsoft Account you use with the Xbox Insider program. Tap the green Let’s Play! button when you’re ready.
Note: This app is home to both Xbox Game Streaming and Project xCloud. It should default to the Xbox Game Streaming landing page, but if you find yourself on the Project xCloud side of the app, log out and then log back in. In some cases, there’s a navigation button in the top left corner that can switch you back to the Xbox Game Streaming section.
Step 3: Set up your Xbox One
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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, select the Enable option displayed on your TV.
Note: Later on, you’ll see your Xbox console listed on the app’s main screen. However, if you want to connect an additional Xbox to the app, just swipe a finger left, and the Setup New Xbox button will appear again.
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 could actually pair a PS4 controller while setting up Project Cloud.
To start, tap the Pair Controller button within the Android app. If you’re pairing an Xbox controller, tap the appropriate button on the following screen. Otherwise, tap Different Controller for third-party controllers.
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On your Xbox controller, press the small pairing button located next to the USB port. Go back to your Android device and tap Next > Go To Device Settings. This opens your Android device’s Bluetooth settings. Tap the Xbox Wireless Controller entry on the list to pair.
Finally, the app acknowledges the paired controller and presents a Next button to tap.
Step 5: Start streaming from your Xbox One
With a controller paired to your Android device, you should now be able to begin console streaming. Select Start Console Stream or Connect, 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 everything is working properly. From here, you can play your Xbox One games on your Android device, though not first-gen Xbox and Xbox 360 backward-compatible titles — at least, not yet.
Tip: Don’t forget to power down your Xbox One as you normally would when you finish streaming.
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, make sure your Xbox has game streaming enabled. There are two avenues you need to take:
- Guide > System > Settings > Devices & Streaming > Console Streaming – Check the box next to Enable Console Streaming if it’s not already.
- Guide > System > Settings > Devices & Streaming > Device Connections – Under Xbox App, enable Allow Connections from Any Device or Only from Profiles Signed In on This Xbox. Next, under This Xbox, select Allow Game Streaming to Other Devices.
Second, 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. You can see your console’s current NAT type in use by navigating to Settings > General > Network Settings.
Your Xbox One also needs to be in the Instant-On mode in the Power settings. You can change this setting by navigating to Guide > Settings > General > Power Mode & Startup > Power Mode and selecting the Instant-On option on the Power Mode drop-down menu, as shown above.
Your Xbox Controller may need a firmware update (this happened to us). To get the update, open the Xbox Accessories app on your console by navigating to My Games & Apps > Apps.
With the app open, select the Three-Dot icon located under your controller. On the following screen, you’ll see an Update Now option if new firmware is available. Otherwise, you’ll see the current version.
Note: You cannot update an Xbox controller while it’s paired to your Android device.
Finally, if you’re experiencing lag when streaming your Xbox One to an Android device, try turning off the latter’s Wi-Fi component for a moment, switch it back on, and re-load the Xbox Streaming app. You’ll also see better performance if your Xbox One is wired to the network. Performance will vary when streaming your Xbox to an Android device accessing a mobile connection.