You should copy my Xbox / PC cloud gaming setup for maximum laziness
What if you could make gaming ... even lazier?
Gaming is seen as a pretty lazy hobby. Unless you're a Dance Dance Revolution esports pro — gaming is all about chilling on your sofa, reclining your gaming chair, grabbing some nachos, and blasting some enemy dudes. What if gaming could be even lazier, though?
Ever since the advent of Xbox Cloud Gaming and its cousins, I've been on a quest to develop the laziest gaming setup in the history of the universe. There are advanced civilizations in as-of-yet-undiscovered corners of the universe that have yet to discover a setup as lazy as mine.
Inspired by the advanced space-age tech of Wall-E, and approved by Xbox engineers**, this is my ultra-lazy maximum-chill cloud gaming setup.
**Disclaimer: Xbox engineers may or may not actually approve.
Gooseneck bed mount + tablet = win
My setup ultimately depends on a few key components. First, you'll need some kind of Xbox Cloud Gaming compatible device. For this setup, I am using an old iPad I had lying around, but really, any semi-decent tablet will suffice. Samsung tablets are the best tablets for Xbox Cloud Gaming. This is because you can get the special Galaxy Store version of Xbox Game Pass, which has some additional features not available on the Google Play version. The web version has similar features too, but you'll have to jump through a few hoops to set it up on iPad, thanks to Apple's anti-competitive app store practices. In any case, it's easy to set up, and you can grab it via xbox.com/play (opens in new tab).
The iPad uses a pinned web app from Safari, and once pinned, it behaves essentially like any native app anyway. You can use any Xbox controller via Bluetooth. And sure, Bluetooth isn't the best for latency, but for the vast majority of games it's hardly an issue. My internet here gives me around 300 MB down and 30 MB up, using my WiFi SSID in 5GHz mode for maximum throughput. Generally, Xbox Cloud Gaming and other services will degrade at 2.4GHz, so be sure to check your router settings to make sure you have split frequencies to guarantee you're on the right tier.
The next component is arguably the most important, and you can grab one on Amazon for around $20 dollars.
I use two Lamicall gooseneck tablet mounts for my phone and my iPad. This way I can keep tabs on Slack, Discord, and other social apps while rocking a cloud game in bed. I use Xbox Cloud Gaming, NVIDIA GeForce Now, and Steam Link interchangeably with this setup. The gooseneck configuration allows you to adjust the iPad based on how you feel like lying down. Roll around to your heart's content, and adjust at will.
These tablet mounts are great for mounting tablets and phones to your bed, provided they will fit (check the clamp sizes on Amazon before diving in). You can also use them at a desk for a bit of extra productivity screen real estate, or in the kitchen for hands-free recipe viewing. I will say that they don't last forever, though. The mechanism for moving them around does degrade over time, sadly. Through heavy use, I find that it takes about a year for these Lamicall mounts to wear out and break. I have yet to find a type of mount that offers the same level of flexibility alongside more durability. You can get telescopic arm mounts, but you lose some positional versatility as a trade-off.
Steam Deck bonus laziness
I also rock a Steam Deck upon occasion, and it's helped me avoid boredom in situations where cloud simply isn't possible. However, the Steam Deck is a thicc, chunky boy, and generally doesn't fit into these kinds of tablet stands.
I generally use Steam Link from my main gaming PC if I don't want to game at my desk for whatever reason, but there has been a few occasions where I grab the Steam Deck to play casual games and the like without needing to have the PC turned on. But man, gaming with the Steam Deck (or a Nintendo Switch for that matter) in bed can be wearing on the neck and spine, as you lean forward in an unnatural position. Can technology solve this problem? It turns out, yes it can!
These prism "reading" glasses allow you to read books, or play video games without burdening your neck. Slap them on, lie back, and you'll be gaming at a more comfortable angle. Sure, you might look a bit weird, but hey, it's a small price to pay for ergonomics.
Flammi Lazy Glasses ($15 at Amazon)
Maximize your laziness and bed gaming ergonomics with these 90-degree angle "reading" glasses. See your Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch from a more pleasant angle, making those late-night gaming sessions far comfier.
See at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Time to get lazy
Xbox Cloud Gaming has been billed as a solution for gaming while you're away from your TV. But for me, the reality is, Xbox Cloud Gaming is a solution for when my TV is taken over against my will. As the latency has improved over the years, it practically feels native these days where I live. A big beefy iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab screen gives us a glimpse at that handheld Xbox experience that we're likely never to get.
For those who have been dabbling with Xbox Cloud Gaming as part of their Xbox Game Pass subscription — I urge you, join me in the lazy revolution!
Windows Central Newsletter
Get the best of Windows Central in your inbox, every day!
Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!