XCloudSource: Windows Central

Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off of Project xCloud, its ambitious game streaming platform that brings console-quality games to your mobile device, and rebranded it to Xbox Cloud Gaming underneath the expanding Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service. Alongside its official launch to the public, however, was the addition of a new feature that could make Xbox Cloud Gaming the go-to game streaming choice for any player — full touch controls without the need for controller accessories or game clips.

I went hands-on with Minecraft Dungeons and touch controls and discovered that Microsoft didn't throw a half-baked measure onto their budding platform, but carefully designed a customizable control scheme that makes Minecraft Dungeons completely playable and enjoyable when you're on the go. This alone skyrocketed Minecraft Dungeons to the top of our list of best games to play with Xbox Cloud Gaming.

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Minecraft Dungeons is the only game with touch controls at the moment, but we put together a list of five games (and their respective genres) we believe need touch controls on Xbox Cloud Gaming sooner rather than later.

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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PC's, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Forza Horizon 4 and other racing games

Forza Horizon 4Source: Xbox Game Studios

Racing games often feature gorgeous controls, relatively simple controls, and typically don't require the lowest, closest-to-instant levels of latency that some other genres do. Out of all the racing games available on Xbox, and on Xbox Cloud Gaming, few are as high quality and as beloved as Forza Horizon 4, which would make the perfect candidate for touch controls. Other games like Dirt 4, F1 2019, or any other racing game could benefit from dropping the controller requirement.

The only potential issue here is that haptic feedback can be important for the feel and response of a good racing game, but the majority of mobile devices nowadays should have decent haptics. As long as Playground Games and Microsoft put in the attention to detail that Minecraft Dungeons clearly got, Forza Horizon 4 could once again become a poster child for Microsoft, except this time for touch controls and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Wasteland 3 and other turn-based RPGs

Wasteland 3Source: InXile Entertainment

The biggest weakness of touch controls is also the biggest weakness of Xbox Cloud Gaming (or any game streaming) as a whole. Latency is always present, however tiny, and can negatively affect your performance in fast-paced, precision, or competitive games like Halo. On the other side of this, however, are turn-based games like Wasteland 3, which trade speed for strategy, engaging RPG elements, and layers upon layers of game. Titles like Wasteland 3, Age of Wonders: Planetfall, or other turn-based strategy games could benefit greatly from touch controls.

The biggest obstacle is formatting the menus to make sense on a mobile screen, but Minecraft Dungeons showed that this is possible. Plenty of the best mobile games take inspiration for turn-based games with staggered, considered gameplay mechanics because touch controls can be imprecise under pressure. We want to see every turn-based game adapt these controls, but Wasteland 3 is an easy one, as it's a first-party Microsoft title.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps and other platformers

Ori and the Will of the Wisps at the Game AwardsSource: Xbox Game Studios

Platformers like Ori and the Will of the Wisps share some similarities with racing games like Forza Horizon 4, in that they're typically beautiful, feature easy-to-grasp controls, and don't need the same kind of precision necessary in games like Halo and Call of Duty (although it's still helpful). Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the most breathtakingly gorgeous games to every come out, and would be right at home on mobile devices through Xbox Cloud Gaming.

While platformers can require high levels of precision and can feature complicated combinations of jumping, dashing, and other movements, high quality touch controls can give players the control they need to emerge victorious, as has been shown in mobile ports like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Untitled Goose Game and other casual games

Untitled Goose Game - an ID@Xbox titleSource: House House

Casual games may not generate as much hype as huge franchies like Call of Duty or Madden, but they can still draw in players for hours at a time. Games in this category include titles like Untitled Goose Game, which has players wander a charming world as a goose, sowing chaos wherever you waddle. Casual games like this are perfect for touch controls since they typically feature slower gameplay mechanics, and encourage exploration and progressing on your own time.

Even better, casual games are usually built with short bursts in mind, designed so that you can pick them up and play for as long as you want, then set them down without fear of losing progress when you return. This is perfect for on-the-go gaming, when we may not have the time to invest in a more serious, time-consuming game.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales and other card games

ThronebreakerSource: CD Projekt RED

Card games are a relatively rare breed these days, but can still enrapture players for hours at a time in the quest to build the perfect deck or tackle a challenging opponent. As the release of card games like Hearthstone on mobile devices has proven, these kinds of games work very well with touch controls. Because of this, there's absolutely no excuse that incredible games like Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales and Slay the Spire shouldn't support touch controls with Xbox Cloud Gaming.

In the case of these games, having on-screen controls would hardly ever be necessary, instead just optimizing in-game menus and UI for touch input, along with having key buttons to open necessary menus. Of course, this may require a little bit more work than simply adding on-screen controls, but I'm certain long-time players of these games and even newcomers would adore seeing touch controls be integrated properly into card games through Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Limitless potential, with the right games

Xbox Cloud Gaming has already shown its potential, especially when paired with paired with one of the best Xbox Cloud Gaming accessories, but Minecraft Dungeons also shows that touch controls are completely viable for tons of previously-console and PC exclusive games like Forza Horizon 4, Wasteland 3, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Of course, the games listed on this list aren't the only games we feel should offer touch controls, but they would be a great start from Microsoft and the respective game developers.

One day, possibly not too distant in the future, players will be able to play hundreds of high quality games through Xbox Game Pass on their PC, console, or phone, using a mouse and keyboard, controller, or even just their hands. Never before have we had so much flexibility with gaming.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

All your gaming needs, in one subscription

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PC's, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

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