One of the best features of the Xbox app is the ability to remotely install games onto your Series X or Series S, even if the console is turned off. In fact, Xbox gamers can do this from two of Microsoft’s apps—the standard Xbox app and the Xbox Game Pass app.
Prepping Your Xbox Series X/S
There is one setting on your Xbox Series X or S that you’ll need to switch on in order to do anything remote with the console. This setting is called, quite fittingly, “Enable Remote Features,” and it will allow you to connect to your console via your phone.
To turn this on, go to your Xbox’s settings app and find the “Devices & Connections” menu. From there, find the “Remote Features” submenu. You will need to enter your six-digit passkey if you have the security feature enabled.
From this menu, you’ll see a description of the remote features, which include the ability to install new games, among other things. Press “X” on your controller with this option highlighted to turn it on. A checkmark will appear in the box when it’s enabled.
While you’re in this menu, go to the option on the side that says “Power Mode” and switch it to “Instant-On.” If this option isn’t enabled, remote features won’t work. This feature essentially lets your Xbox Series X or S function even if you’re not present to turn it on.
Remotely Download Games From the Xbox App
Within the app, go to your library via the bottom row of icons. (It looks like three books leaning against each other.) Then navigate to the “Games” tab.
You should have all your digitally purchased Xbox games listed here. If you have Xbox Game Pass, all of the games you have access to via that subscription will be listed here as well. Find the game you wish to install and tap on it.
This will take you to the game’s listing, where you should find a “Download” button.
Note: Some games may not have a “Download” button. Several Xbox 360 games, even those available with Xbox Game Pass, don’t have one in the Xbox app. For that, see the Xbox Game Pass app below.
Tap the “Download to Console” button on your game of choice, and the app will remind you that if you don’t have Xbox Game Pass, you may have to pay for the game. Tap the “Download” option in this pop-up message.
You won’t get much of a confirmation that the game is downloading, but when you turn your Xbox console on, you should find the game either already installed or in the queue, depending on how long it takes.
Note: The Xbox app might let you install games, but then still ask that you pay for them. You’ll know when you try to play the game.
Remotely Download Games From the Xbox Game Pass App
The Game Pass app gives you access to all of the games that are available with that subscription, which includes Xbox One and 360 games. As mentioned above, this app is a better option if you wish to install Xbox 360 games.
Tap the “Install to” button, and a menu will pop up asking which console you’d like to install the game on. Select your Series X or S and tap “Install to This Console.”
A new bar will pop up saying “Waiting for Console” under the “Install to” button. You can also find a list of Game Pass downloads by tapping the Library icon (three books leaning against each other) on the app’s home screen. It’ll show you a list of games waiting to be installed on the console.
Note: It may take a little time for the games to appear in your queue. If you want to download a game faster, try the Xbox app above. But eventually, it should appear there. When it starts to install, you’ll get a notification from the app. You’ll get a second notification when the game is finished installing and ready to play.