Forget that Xbox streaming dongle — Game Pass is coming to Fire TV Sticks

An image of an Xbox controller and Xbox Game Pass
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While the rumored Xbox Keystone dongle was canceled last year, Microsoft is now giving gamers the next best thing through a new partnership with Amazon.

As part of this collaboration, you’ll soon be able to play the best Xbox Series X games on your TV without a console. If you have a Fire TV Stick 4K Max or a Fire TV Stick 4K plugged into the back of your TV, you’ll be able to play the latest Xbox games via the cloud.

In addition to a newer Fire TV Stick, you’ll also need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for this to work along with a Bluetooth-enabled wireless controller. Though you can use a standard Xbox controller, many of the best PC game controllers also work on Amazon’s Fire TV since it’s based on Android.

Xbox games on Amazon Fire TV will be available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in 25 countries at launch, though more countries could be added down the line. Likewise, while the initial launch will be limited to the Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Fire TV Stick 4K, the Xbox app could come to other Fire TV devices down the line as well as Amazon’s own Fire TV Omni lineup.

Striking a deal with Amazon to bring Xbox games to Fire TV makes a great deal of sense, especially given the success of Prime Video’s recent Fallout TV series. With Game Pass Ultimate, you can play all of the latest Fallout games including Fallout 76 and Fallout 4.

How to play Xbox games on your Fire TV Stick

Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2nd gen) plugged into HDMI port on television

(Image credit: Kelly Woo/Tom's Guide)

To get started playing Xbox games on your Fire TV, you first need to download and install the Xbox app on your Fire TV device. From there, you then have to sign in with your Microsoft account if you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber.

In order to play games, you’ll need to connect a Bluetooth-enabled wireless controller. According to a press release from Microsoft, the Xbox Wireless Controller, Xbox Adaptive Controller, Playstation DualSense and the DualShock 4 are all compatible with the Xbox app right out of the box.

If you want a steady frame rate and a lag free experience though, you might also want to consider upgrading to one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems if you don’t already have one. There are plenty of great mesh routers to choose from on our list but if you already have other Amazon devices in addition to your Fire TV Stick, you may want to go with one of Amazon’s own eero routers. 

The eero 6+ is a good affordable option at $299 for a three-pack while the eero Pro 6E makes more sense if you have devices that can take advantage of Wi-Fi 6E’s faster 6 Ghz band. There’s also the Wi-Fi 7-powered eero Max 7 for those who want a futureproof home network but keep in mind that Amazon has yet to release a Fire TV Stick that supports the latest wireless standard. I’m sure one is currently in development or will be available soon though. Also, since Prime Day is right around the corner, all of these eero mesh routers will likely see steep discounts like they did last year.

Being able to play all of the latest Xbox games from your Fire TV isn’t just convenient, it’s also a lot cheaper than upgrading to the Xbox Series S or even the Xbox Series X. However, if your internet speeds aren’t fast enough, it still might be worth going with a proper Xbox console instead.

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Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.