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How to use Microsoft Project xCloud: invitations, settings, more



Project xCloud is Microsoft's approach to streaming cloud games. The platform is set to offer users a complete gaming experience without the need for powerful gaming hardware at home, although it may be a front-and-center feature of Xbox Scarlett.

The service runs games on the hardware at Microsoft Azure data centers, and that is all streamed to users' devices, whether they are TVs, smartphones or something else. Although we expect a 2020 launch of Project xCloud, Microsoft has already started a trial period. So if you want to try Project xCloud, you need the following.

Project xCloud requirements

The short list

  • An invitation (and location in the US or UK)
  • An Xbox with Bluetooth Wireless controller (this does not include the original Xbox One and Xbox Elite) controllers)
  • An Android device (6.0 and higher with Bluetooth 4.0 or higher)
  • A fast internet connection (Microsoft suggests 5 GHz wifi or mobile data of more than 1
    0 Mbps)
  • The Xbox Game Streaming app [19659010] Unfortunately, the first thing you need is an invitation. Currently, the example of Project xCloud is only available by invitation. It can take several months to receive an invitation, so if you have not signed up yet, go to the registration page and sign up. Once you receive an email with an invitation to the preview, you can continue trying it out.

      An Android phone and Xbox controller
    Project xCloud requirements Mark Knapp / Digital Trends [19659014] In addition to an invitation, you need a mobile device with Android 6.0 or higher. This can be an Android smartphone or tablet, as long as it supports a Bluetooth connection to connect to the Xbox controller. The device also needs a fast internet connection, where more than 10 Mbps is ideal. Whether that is 5 GHz wifi or a mobile data connection is up to you – maybe you can use mobile 5G.

    Although Microsoft says that Project xCloud requires an Xbox controller with Bluetooth, we have found that that was not entirely true. That might be the easiest way, but in addition to an Xbox One S controller and an Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 controller, we were able to connect a Sony DualShock 4 controller and use it with the service. A USB controller may work, while the Xbox Game Streaming app even suggests one when it does not detect a Bluetooth controller.

    How to play with Project xCloud

    Once you have received your invitation to preview Project xCloud, you need the Xbox Game Streaming app, which you can find on Google Play. Download and install it on your phone.

      Xbox Wireless Controller pairing button
    Mark Knapp / Digital Trends

    You must also pair the Bluetooth controller you have chosen with your telephone. For a Bluetooth-compatible Xbox controller, this means that you must hold the pairing button at the charging port until the Xbox logo on the front of the controller starts flashing.

      Pairing an Xbox controller with an Android phone
    Mark Knapp / Digital Trends

    Then select your Xbox controller from the list of available devices with your Android device in Bluetooth pairing mode (this varies by device) .

    Once your controller is connected, you can start in the app. Start the Xbox Game Streaming app and log in to your Microsoft account. If you have multiple Microsoft accounts, use the account for which you have received an invitation to Project xCloud.

    If the app launches you on the Xbox Game Streaming page, you need to press the menu button at the top left of the screen and select "Switch to Project xCloud"

    Once on the Project xCloud page, you are ready to go. You can select any of the games on that page and play them as if you were just playing them on an Xbox.

      Project xCloud executed on Android phone
    Mark Knapp / Digital Trends

    If you want to have fun streaming, you really have to make sure you have a stable, fast internet connection. We feel the need to emphasize this because we have seen how terrible it can be without one. The images can smear, the audio becomes choppy and latency appears on a level that makes hardcore gamers have nightmares.

    Our cloud gaming guide can help you better understand what Project xCloud and other similar services are all about and why they need that fast internet connection.

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