Gone are the days when snake or pinball were the only games available on mobile devices. Now you can play almost anything on your mobile. Subscription services like Apple Arcade and even Xbox Game Pass are now available on iOS, making mobile gaming more accessible than ever to Apple owners.
But which subscription service should you get for your iOS device? Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass both have their strengths and weaknesses. We’re going to go over them all here to help you choose the best subscription service for you. Let’s start the iOS gaming war.
What is the difference between Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass?
Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass are subscription services that give you access to a vast library of games for a monthly fee. At first glance, they may seem more or less alike, but they both serve very different purposes.
Apple’s video game subscription service, Apple Arcade, offers a huge selection of mobile titles that can be played offline, so you can take your favorite games with you wherever you go. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for iOS, on the other hand, is a cloud gaming service that requires a stable internet connection to experience the best performance that won’t cost you an arm and a leg for mobile data. .
What games do Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass offer?
Perhaps the biggest difference between Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the games they offer.
Apple Arcade Library
Apple Arcade has a massive library of over 180 mobile games that continues to grow as more games are added to the service. This library contains not only popular mobile games from the App Store but also several exclusive titles that are only playable on Apple Arcade.
Apple works directly with developers to create exclusive games for its subscription service. This is a big advantage for Apple Arcade, as players will have to subscribe to the service to gain access to incredible games like Fantasy from the creators of Final Fantasy.
Apple Arcade also promises that its games are completely free of ads or microtransactions, both extremely annoying issues that often plague mobile games. While Xbox Game Pass Ultimate doesn’t contain ads, some games on the service still contain micro-transactions.
Although there are many tips and tricks for removing ads from mobile games on your iPhone and iPad, it’s refreshing to pick up and play the game without jumping through hoops to get an enjoyable and seamless experience.
While Apple Arcade has an incredible library of popular and exclusive mobile games, they are still mobile games at the end of the day. Often it’s these quick pick-up and play experiences that are missing a lot of the intense gameplay of a completely fleshed-out RPG.
While there are exceptions to the rule and wonderful games like Oceanhorn 2 are playable on Apple Arcade, most of the available titles lack the power or performance of games on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Library
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Beef focuses on a rotating library of AAA titles. These games are available via the cloud on iOS but you can also play them on PC or any other Xbox console you have.
This means you can start playing a game like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on your PC, then continue playing the same save file on your iPhone while on the bus or train.
Since the library of games on Game Pass isn’t dedicated to mobile games, they usually have a more fleshed out and robust experience than games on Apple Arcade.
However, since the games available on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate are optimized for console or PC, they are not necessarily compatible with mobile devices. You can access and play them from the cloud, but you can’t actually download them to your mobile device. And since Xbox Game Pass offers a rotating library, one day your favorite game may leave the service, and take all your progress with it.
You can buy games through Xbox Game Pass, but you need a console to download them if you want to buy them, which doesn’t help if your mobile device is the only one you have.
Which subscription service performs better on iOS?
Games from Apple Arcade are made for mobile gaming. So most of the time, Apple Arcade works great on mobile. Of course, it is variable. Older iOS devices may not play games as well as newer ones, but for the most part, gaming on Apple Arcade is a smooth and stable experience.
Mobile gaming is all about portability. Apple Arcade games are downloaded directly to the device itself, which means you don’t have to worry about external influences like your Internet connection affecting your gameplay. It gives Apple Arcade a one-up in terms of portability.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers more powerful games that older mobile devices may struggle to play without dropping frames. However, for the most part, the service runs very well on iOS. These issues will only be noticeable when playing competitive games online.
Since Xbox Game Pass Ultimate requires internet to access the cloud, its performance may vary depending on the strength of the connection available.
What is the price difference between Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?
Apple Arcade is $4.99 per month. It’s a lot cheaper than Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which will cost you $14.99 per month. But when you consider the offer, both subscription services are great value for money.
$4.99 is about the price of a regular mobile game, so as long as you play more than one game a month, it’s worth it. And Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers full-priced AAA titles that can top out at more than $70. This allows gamers to try out full-price exclusive games without feeling guilty for spending $70 on a game they might not like.
Apple Arcade or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?
Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on iOS are both incredible subscription services that are well worth their investment. At the end of the day, it really just depends on what you are looking for in your gaming experience.
If you are an avid gamer and want to play the latest games for consoles and PC, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the subscription service for you. But if you’re looking for a quick and easy gaming fix to make your train ride work, Apple Arcade is the way to go.
Either way, you’re more than likely to be happy with whatever subscription service you choose.
What’s next for mobile gaming?
The world of mobile gaming is growing rapidly. With subscription services like Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offering bigger and better mobile games, we’re excited for what’s next!
As it stands, whether you went for Apple Arcade or Xbox Game Pass, make sure you have the right accessories for the best mobile gaming experience.