How to try Microsoft's Project xCloud preview on your iPhone or iPad

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Microsoft is expanding Project xCloud to iOS, by launching a limited beta or preview of the service through Apple’s TestFlight service.

Project xCloud is, therefore, now one of the only cloud game streaming services available to iOS users, as Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now are not yet fully out for Apple devices. While there is Valve’s Steam Link app, which mostly streams games from your home PC, as well as services like Remotr and Rainway, these aren’t cloud-based game streaming services with a catalogue of titles.

What is the Project xCloud for iOS beta?

Microsoft’s new beta allows a select pool of iPhone and iPad users to test the Project xCloud service. However, to comply with App Store policies, Microsoft said its “preview experience on iOS may look and feel different for those who have been testing on Android”. Apple’s policy limitations weren’t disclosed, though Microsoft confirmed only one game is available.

The preview is also exclusively for Project xCloud. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Streaming feature, which streams games from an Xbox console, is not included in the Project xCloud for iOS preview.

Who can test the beta?

Microsoft said it’s inviting 10,000 testers to try the Project xCloud preview for iPhone and iPad. It is only available in the US, UK, and Canada.

Requirements:

  1. A Microsoft account associated with your Xbox gamertag.
  2. An iPhone or iPad running iOS 13.0 or greater (must support Bluetooth version 4.0).
  3. A Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller.
  4. Access to a Wi-Fi (5Ghz) or data connection (must support 10Mbps-down bandwidth).
  5. Optional: A third-party controller mount for phone-based gamers.

Those who are accepted into the beta may not be able to participate for the full duration. “For testing purposes, we may need to cycle through registrants in order to best utilize the available testing audience,” Microsoft explained.

How to join the beta

You need to receive an invite to the Project xCloud for iOS beta. This will appear in your email inbox. To be eligible to get this invite, first register through this Microsoft link and select “iOS” as your device. If you’ve already done this, but for Android, you need to do it again for iOS.

For iOS users not already registered in the Android preview:

  1. Open this Project xCloud link.
  2. Register for the Project xCloud (Preview).
  3. Select iOS through the “Mobile Device Make” dropdown menu.
  4. You might then receive an email from TestFlight for Xbox Game Streaming (Preview).
  5. Open this email from your iOS device. It contains a link to download TestFlight.
  6. Follow the TestFlight installation steps.
  7. From the TestFlight app, install the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app.
  8. Sign-in to the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app with your Microsoft Store account.

For those iOS users already registered in the Android preview:

  1. Open this Project xCloud link.
  2. Update your registration for the Project xCloud (Preview).
  3. Select iOS through the “Mobile Device Make” dropdown menu.
  4. This does not impact your Android registration. You can still play on those devices.
  5. You might then receive an email from TestFlight for Xbox Game Streaming (Preview).
  6. Open this email from your iOS device. It contains a link to download TestFlight.
  7. Follow the TestFlight installation steps.
  8. From the TestFlight app, install the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app.
  9. Sign-in to the Xbox Game Streaming (Preview) app with your Microsoft Store account.

Which games can you play in the beta?

Currently, only Halo: The Master Chief Collection is available as part of the Project xCloud for iOS preview.

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