Like many Xbox users, I had never really paid attention to the Remote Play feature on PC, Android, and iOS until recently. In the past I’ve used it occasionally for things like taking screenshots of pre-release games for reviews, or just casually checking out apps like Microsoft Rewards on my work PC, and while that has still worked great for me, never really thought of using it to play games.
I had also been a little put off by my experiences with Xbox Cloud Gaming. Don’t get me wrong, I love xCloud when I’m in a good place to play it, but I happen to live in a place where the maximum download speed we can get is 10-15 Mbps, and that’s nowhere near good enough to play to Xbox Cloud Gaming reliably. The connection constantly stutters, the image is all broken and pixelated, and it’s just pointless trying to play it that way.
Remote Play, on the other hand, has a major advantage over Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is that it works on your local network. In other words, you don’t need a great connection to stream your console to your PC or phone, as long as they’re both on the same network. That means you can sit at the desk like me and play Xbox on a monitor, or sit in bed on a lazy Sunday and play on your phone, with almost no connection issues and no input lag – that’s at least my experience so far.
I can totally understand the argument that Remote Play is essentially useless for some people if they’re using it on the same network as their Xbox, but it could also be hugely beneficial in some homes. A family member hogs the TV? Stream your Xbox to your phone and play with an xCloud controller like the 8BitDo SN30 Pro or the Nacon MG-X Pro, or just connect your Xbox Wireless Controller and create a makeshift stand for your phone somewhere.
Even if you have a great internet connection at home and Xbox Cloud Gaming is your go-to method for playing games on your Android or iOS device, remember that Remote Play gives you access to your entire library of games (apart from older backward compatible titles), rather than just the hundreds of Xbox Game Pass titles that are streamed via xCloud. You can play Ring of Elden or Lego Star Wars to your heart’s content!
My personal situation is very different from most, but I can say with certainty that Remote Play is changing the way I enjoy Xbox in my own home these days, and it’s so nice to be able to sit on any device in my home (and potentially even outside of the house!) and access my games however I want, whether on my Xbox Series X itself, my work computer at the office, my phone in the bedroom or wherever I feel like tackling a few more quests and scoring a few more goals. I haven’t tried Remote Play yet on my travels, so maybe that’s another story for another time…
What have your experiences with Xbox Remote Play been so far? Let us know in the comments below.