Yes, you can play games remotely on your Xbox Series X or S console with a smartphone. Streaming works over a local network or the Internet, and is the perfect option when someone else wants to use the TV. Here̵
Set up remote play on your Xbox Series X or S
To play games remotely, you must first enable external functions on your console. To do this, you’ll need to use the Xbox’s powerful “Instant-On” feature, which dramatically speeds up console launch times.
To start, turn on your Xbox and press the Xbox button to open the guide. Select the ‘Profile and system’ tab and then select ‘Settings’. Navigate to Devices and Connections> Remote Functions and make sure the “Enable Remote Functions” check box is checked.
Under “Energy Mode”, turn on “Instant-On” if you haven’t already done so. Then select “Test Remote Play” and wait for the Xbox to do some self-checks to determine how well streaming games over the connection are working.
After this is done, you should see some information about how suitable your internet connection is for outdoor streaming. It also indicates whether your Xbox controller is up to date and whether the power settings are suitable for remote play.
Select ‘Enable Remote Play’ to finish. You should then see a message confirming everything is ready to use. If you ever want to disable Remote Play, simply return to this menu and uncheck the “Enable Remote Functions” option.
If you switch the power mode back to “Power Saving”, the Remote Play functions will also be disabled.
Configure the Xbox app and pair your controller
If you haven’t already, get the Xbox app for iPhone, iPad, or Android. Sign in with the same Xbox credentials you use on your console, then tap the “Library” tab. Tap ‘Consoles’ at the top of the screen.
If your console is already listed, you are good to go. If you haven’t set up the app yet, tap Set Up a Console. From here you can set up a new console or add an existing one. Simply follow the instructions to pair your console with your smartphone by typing the code on the screen.
Note: The Xbox Wireless Controller included with Series X and S is currently not supported by Apple devices. Microsoft has promised that support will come via a firmware update in the future. Until then, you can use other supported controllers such as an Xbox One controller or Sony DualShock 4.
Now you need to pair your controller with your smartphone under your Bluetooth settings. The process depends on your device, but generally just put your controller in discoverable mode and tap it when it appears below the list of available Bluetooth devices.
For testing purposes, we connected a DualShock 4 to an iPhone X, which worked right away. We were flying over the Xbox dashboard in no time with a PlayStation controller.
Launch games through the Xbox app
Launch the Xbox app and tap the console icon in the top right. In the panel that appears, tap “Remote play on this device” and wait for your smartphone to connect to your console.
When you see the dashboard, you are good to go. You can now use your Xbox as if you were sitting right in front of it, with your smartphone as an external display.
How well this all works depends entirely on the connection you are using. In our tests, sitting in the same room as the Xbox and wireless router provided a near-perfect streaming experience, with very little lag or visible video compression.
If you have performance issues, try switching to a faster 5 GHz wireless network if available. Using a wired Ethernet connection to your Xbox will also help.
Can you stream to Windows 10 or Mac?
As of the console’s release in late 2020, Microsoft has not yet announced support for streaming Series X or S games on Windows PCs or Macs. The old Xbox Console Companion app for Windows 10 Currently only works with Xbox One era consoles.
However, one eagle-eyed person shared this solution on Twitter. In theory, anyone with a new Apple Silicon Mac should be able to download and run the Xbox iPhone app on the Mac desktop and get the same functionality. However, we have not tested any of these methods, so your mileage may vary.
Remote play over a local connection is nice, but Microsoft also has Project xCloud, which lets you stream entire games with just an internet connection and a Game Pass subscription. That option also streams games from Microsoft’s servers instead of your Xbox console.
RELATED: What is Xbox Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud)?