Microsoft is finally testing dual-screen support with Xbox Game Pass on Surface Duo

Xbox Game Pass Surface Duo Gears
Xbox Game Pass Surface Duo Gears (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Game Pass beta now supports spanning on Surface Duo.
  • Gears 5 has a dedicated control scheme for when using the Duo in gamepad mode.

Microsoft has rolled out an update to the Xbox Game Pass Beta app that adds support for dual-screen devices like the Surface Duo. Games with dedicated touchscreen controls (like Minecraft Dungeons)are supported, and it brings to life the dream of having a portable Xbox console in your pocket.

On Surface Duo, spanning the app when a game with touch controls is running will place the game itself on the top display and the controls in the bottom display, turning the Surface Duo into a makeshift gamepad. Developers are able to tailor the on-screen controls specifically for their game, so some games might feature different touchscreen buttons or layouts.

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The ergonomics really make playing games on Surface Duo feel right, as your fingers don'get it the way of the actual game. Some games even support motion controls with the Surface Duo's built in gyro. For example, when playing Gears 5, you can look around the environment by physically moving your device around.

Microsoft teased this kind of functionality when it first unveiled the Surface Duo back in 2019, but it unfortunately wasn't ready at launch. It's great to see that the feature is now available as part of the Xbox Game Pass Beta app. Hopefully it rolls out to the main Game Pass app soon. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads