Here's How Touch Controls For Xbox Games Will Work On xCloud

As part of its cloud streaming xCloud service that will launch on September 15 on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for Android devices, Microsoft has detailed how touch controls will work on games coming to smartphones and tablets through the service.

In the latest Microsoft Game Stack stream, The Coalition senior gameplay producer Jarret Bradley revealed how the studio had built a custom layout for Gears 5.

“One of the challenges for us, right from the initial onset, was that there were no other games that we could look at with that touch control,” Bradley explained.

“As we started to dig into it, we realized that the best thing for us to do was to treat this as a different input device. Like we already support keyboard and mouse, controller, and we have customized controls and remapping. We have custom layouts for basically anything you can do in the game.”

The touch controls developed by The Coalition will allow players to engage in the regular Gears experience through these custom layouts, ranging from shooting to reloading, and even having control of vehicles. Gyro controls have also been implemented for action sequences, and the touchscreen controls will also dissolve during cinematic scenes.

“We’ve got compound layers that we’ve done where you can kind of push one button which brings up another view,” Bradley said.

“That’s how we’re doing our weapon changing thing so the D-pad isn’t always visible. What we’re trying to is pull a lot of the icons off the screen that we didn’t need and make kind of contextual layouts when we needed them.”

Microsoft is hoping that The Coalition’s efforts will inspire other studios to design their games with xCloud functionality in mind when they begin development.

A new line of “Designed for Xbox” mobile gaming controllers and accessories for xCloud were also announced this week, ranging from Razer Kishi controllers that can be snapped onto your smartphone, to cradles that can clip onto an Xbox controller and can be adjusted to hold your phone in place.

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