Using Starfield Remote Play is surprisingly awesome


I’m about 27 hours into Starfield and nearing the end of the story. But I’m not ready for my first playthrough to end.

I’m starting to get some answers to the world’s curious questions, and now that I’m looking at the ending, I’m not sure I’m ready for the credits to roll (however, like any Bethesda Game Studios RPG, the game continues after the credits with faction questlines, side missions, and more). I could have had last night, but my wife and I decided to watch a movie: Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (The best in the series). I saw it but she didn’t, so I grabbed my Backbone controller for my iPhone 14 Pro Max and booted up Starfield to continue playing.

I should note that I’ve had the Starfield code for about a week, but the game launched yesterday for Premium or Constellation Edition owners or Game Pass users who paid the upgrade fee to unlock the Premium Edition. Otherwise, the standard version of Starfield and its regular Game Pass release will go live on Wednesday, September 6. I say all that with the fact that the Xbox Cloud Gaming version of Starfield isn’t live yet – I’m still playing my Starfield. Backbone and its rules through my Xbox Series X’s Remote Play feature.

I haven’t messed with the Xbox’s remote play stuff much. I really enjoy kicking back on the couch and playing games on my TV. And the few times I’ve tried remote play in the past it hasn’t been great. Loggy input and audio clipping previously made the experience feel impossible. But, my wife and I wanted to watch the movie and I didn’t want to stop playing Starfield, so I decided to give it a go. I have used my spine a few times and it feels great. It’s the most premium phone-based controller I’ve ever used and feels great to hold. Playing Persona 5 Royale and other games that don’t require fast input would be perfect for remote play, but I wasn’t sure a shooter RPG would be.

But alas, the pull of playing more Starfield booted it up for me and it was a perfect experience. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the Xbox’s Remote Play feature is as good as when I tried it a year ago, but I; I didn’t experience any input lag, the audio was great, and even though my iPhone has a significantly smaller screen than I’d like, it still got the job done. And two hours later, I was having a great time, I was playing Starfield on my TV a couple of hours earlier.

On top of that, Starfield is a great game for remote play. Because I purposely avoided the main route – I wanted to save those moments on the big screen – I spent my time remote-playing doing Starfield side quests, faction missions and various activities. My primary goal last night was to upgrade my ship to have more cargo, better shields and weapons, and a longer grav drive jump distance. Doing so involves mindless activities like selling goods after winning dogfights in space, looting chests and safes for credits, and completing side quests. Nothing was too intense game wise; I could quickly go back and forth between Starfield and the movie, and I didn’t mind having the audio in the game for less.

It’s a legitimately great experience, and it’s reshaped how I view Xbox’s Remote Play feature. It’s not as good as playing on TV – duh – but it works perfectly for what I want to, say, watch Father of the Bride Part II Or play Starfield, which isn’t on my couch. I don’t play Starfield through my spine for the main quest because I feel like most of the cinematic actions and moments call for the pomp and circumstance of my usual setup, but when I need to spend time grinding credits, completing activities or following up, upgrading my ship, or a singular background that makes my character look cool. The goal? I now have no problem doing it remotely.

I guess I’m writing all this to say that I’m now a believer in Xbox Remote Play. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

For more information on Starfield, read on Game Informers Check out the Starfield review and then our spoiler-free tips we wish we knew before starting the game. After that, read about why I think Starfield is more like a sci-fi theme park than an open-world adventure, and then watch the latest episode The Game Informer Show To hear our initial Starfield impressions.

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