Xbox 360 was released back in 2005 and offered compatibility until 2016. It is a powerful console that competed with PlayStation 2 and 3 in terms of game titles and performance. It features several Xbox exclusive titles like Halo and Ace Combat 6. Moreover, you can also choose from a huge library of playable titles from the Microsoft Store and game stores. However, sometimes you just want the games to run better, just like your PC games. You can choose to play Xbox 360 discs using either the Xenia emulator or Windows 10 stream feature. In this tutorial, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to play Xbox 360 games on pc with a disc?
Method 1: Windows 10 Stream Feature:
Microsoft announced compatibility for xbox 360 and Xbox one games in their recent Windows 10 update. However, you will still need an xbox 360 console to run the games, but the video will be streamed directly to your PC. You don’t need a powerful gaming rig to stream Xbox games as the hardware support is provided by xbox 360.
Windows 10 Xbox stream requirements:
Processor: A multi-core processor with at least 1.5 GHz (Intel Core i3 or higher)
RAM: At least 4 GB (2400 MHz recommended).
GPU: Intel HD 4000 series or better.
802.11.n WIFI connection.
Xbox 360 or Xbox one console with controllers.
OS: Windows 10 latest update 2021.
The game disc.
- Windows 10 comes pre-installed with the Xbox Game bar or Xbox companion app.
- Open the Xbox companion app on your Windows 10 PC and navigate to the connect tab.
- Make sure that both the PC and Xbox console are connected to the same router through ethernet or WIFI connection.
- You will have a list of all the available devices; refresh a couple of times if you can’t find your console in the list.
- Put the game disc in your Xbox console and select connect on the PC (Stream catch button).
- If the game is compatible with the Xbox game bar, your streaming will start. Otherwise, continue reading the article.
- You can also choose to play the games downloaded in your Xbox console if you don’t have the disc.
- Use the Xbox controller to navigate through your game library and select any game that you want to stream.
- Xbox Game bar is a powerful software that allows you to stream directly on your PC and even record your gameplay.
If you plan to capture the gameplay, you can adjust the video and audio quality settings from the Xbox PC application by going to the settings.
Method 2: Xenia Emulator:
The PC hardware had evolved greatly since the first Xbox 360 release back in 2005. The 16 years of evolution have made PC hardware powerful enough to run both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games even better than the console itself. You need the Xenia emulator if you own a powerful gaming PC and want to run Xbox 360 games with even better graphics. It is a simplistic yet powerful emulator that can run almost every Xbox 360 title without any problem. However, you need to have a system that supports these titles.
Xenia System Requirements:
- OS: Windows 10 x64 (latest version)
- GPU: 4GB VRAM
- AMD Vega 56 or better.
- GTX 980 Ti or later
- CPU: 4th generation or later
- Intel Core i5 6500 or higher
- AMD Ryzen 1500x or higher
- Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019
- RAM: 6GB or more
- Storage: Depends on the games
Input: You need either an Xbox controller or X360CE to simulate an Xbox controller. You can play the games with your keyboard, but the gameplay will become fairly difficult.
Step-by-Step: How to use Xenia Emulator:
If your gaming PC matches the above requirements, you are good to go. Make sure that your PC has a dedicated Nvidia or AMD graphics card. Otherwise, Intel HD graphics provide 2-3 FPS at the most. Moreover, if you want even better performance, then upgrade your PC. People with 1660 or better GPUs will not get the maximum performance because the emulator is not yet optimized for such powerful hardware.
- Download the latest version of Xenia from the official website here.
- You can choose from the Xenia master version for optimum settings.
- The Xenia Canary version is for developers and game testing. However, some titles run better in the Canary version. So, you should download both builds.
- Turn off Windows defender and extract the Xenia emulator files in a new folder.
- Create a new text file in the Xenia folder and rename it as “portable.” This text file will store your saved games and prevent data loss.
- Open the Xenia app and close it immediately after it generates the config file.
- You can edit the config file to match your system hardware.
- The License_mask = n determines your mode of play, where n=0 means Xbox 360 games and n=1 means Xbox Live games.
Preparing your Game:
Xenia currently doesn’t support direct run from disc drives. Therefore, you have to either download ripped game copies from the internet or rip your own games on a USB drive.
- Plug your USB drive into the PC and format it with FAT 32 settings.
- Turn on your Xbox 360 console and navigate to settings.
- Ensure that the USB drive is detected by going to the storage settings.
- Disable auto-play settings and set the startup settings to Xbox Dashboard.
- Go back to the main screen and insert your game disc in the console.
- Select the Play game button on the top left corner and select the install button. Choose the USB drive as your game installation directory and wait for the game to finish the installation.
How to play Xbox 360 Games on Pc with a Disc with Xenia?
- Connect the Xbox controller with the PC.
- Insert the USB with the ripped game and open it.
- Extract and open the Xenia Canary build and close it once it finishes setting up.
- Copy the Content folder from the USB drive into the Xenia folder and overwrite the content folder (paste it).
- Open the Xenia Config file and change License_mask = 0 to 1.
- Run Xenia Canary and select open from the files tab.
- Navigate to the content folder, open it and the folder inside (rename for future reference), and open the folder with a larger size than the others.
- Open the file inside the folder to launch your game.
Xbox 360 has been around for over 16 years but playing your childhood games always brings back memories. The best way to enhance your gameplay is to run Xbox games directly on your gaming PC. I hope this tutorial was clear enough for you to understand how to play Xbox 360 games on pc with a disc.