Curious about just what Xbox Play Anywhere is all about? Let's explain.

Formally announced at E3 2016, Xbox Play Anywhere will properly launch on September 12 with its first exclusive title, ReCore. The idea behind the feature is pretty straight forward, but there are a few details which need taking into consideration.

With that, let's try and break down and answer some of the key question you may have.

What is Xbox Play Anywhere?

Put simply, you buy a game once and play it either on the PC or Xbox One with synchronized progress between the two. To play on the PC you must have Windows 10.

Will all new Xbox games support Xbox Play Anywhere?

No. It can be enabled by any developer, but it's their decision ultimately whether or not to go down this path.

Which games will support Xbox Play Anywhere?

Here are the initially announced titles to support Xbox Play Anywhere:

  • Ark: Survival Evolved
  • Crackdown 3
  • Cuphead
  • Everspace
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Gears of War 4
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Killer Instinct
  • Phantom Dust
  • ReCore
  • Scalebound
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Slime Rancher
  • The Culling
  • We Happy Few

How does Xbox Play Anywhere work?

Xbox Play Anywhere will associate your Xbox Live account to the ownership of supported games. Then, when signed in with the same account on the other platform you will be able to download the game from your ready to install list and jump right in. Your game save data will be shared between the two using Xbox Live.

Does Xbox Play Anywhere work with physical copies?

No, it does not. As described to us by Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft's Xbox marketing chief:

It is specific to digital because we have to be able to associate your account with the product. When you purchase ReCore digitally in the Windows 10 Store on Xbox One, that game will be tied to your account. When you go between multiple devices, we'll be able to say "this is your game, this is your game library." We're only able to do that digitally today.

If you want to take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere you need to have a digital copy of the game. Either by purchasing directly from the Xbox Store on your console or by using a download voucher from your favorite retailer.

What sort of PC do I need for Xbox Play Anywhere?

Playing games on PC has traditionally been a taxing affair and Play Anywhere titles will be no different. Unlike Xbox One Streaming, you're actually playing the game on your desktop or laptop and will need sufficient hardware to be able to do so.

Since you're not paying extra for the Windows 10 copy you're not worse off, but you should make a point of checking the PC hardware requirements in the Store before downloading.

Will there be more Xbox Play Anywhere games?

Undoubtedly. Hopefully third-party developers will get in on the act, too, but supported games will be announced by Microsoft as and when they appear.

Does this mean I can play multiplayer with my friends on Xbox or PC if I'm on the other?

Not necessarily, but it's absolutely possible. Games like Halo Wars 2, for example, have already announced cross-platform multiplayer. Again it will be down to the developers, and there will be some games you probably wouldn't want to play on Xbox against PC players!

Do I have to use a controller with Xbox Play Anywhere games?

Not at all. On the Xbox One (right now) controller is your only option, but on PC you'll be able to use keyboard and mouse or a controller so long as support is built in.

Do I get double achievements by playing on PC and Xbox?

Just as your game save data is shared between the two, so are your achievements.

Hopefully that covers off some of the basics you might be looking for answers to, but if you've got more be sure to drop them in the comments below. If we can answer them we'll add to the list!