Playing in the App Store is often disappointing. While there are some hidden gems, they are abundant in games that are free to download but full of in-app purchases, banner ads, hard wait times, and other nonsense, hard to find.

If you've played any of these, you know the vast majority have lost what every game should be – fun.

But Apple Arcade wants to change that. The gaming subscription gives you access to an extensive list of games on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac for a monthly fee.

Let's examine Apple Arcade and everything you need to get started.

Subscribe to Apple Arcade

The most important step before starting Apple Arcade is to make sure you have the latest software on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac.

On iPhone, iPad, and Mac, go to the App Store app and select the arcade Tab. There is a special Apple Arcade icon on the Apple TV home screen.

You will then receive a free 30-day trial offer. Sign in with your Apple ID and password to accept. After the trial period, the Arcade subscription will automatically renew for $ 4.99 per month.

If you use the Family Sharing option, up to six family members can also access Apple Arcade without purchasing their own subscription.

To cancel Apple Arcade subscription, go to Settings> (your name)> Subscriptions on your iPhone or iPad. Choose Apple ArcadeThen scroll down and select Cancel subscription.

Apple Arcade is also available for all Apple One bundles.

Related: Apple One Explains: What Is It And How Much Does It Cost?

Download games on Apple Arcade

Once you're ready to play, just go back to the arcade App Store tab.

The design should look familiar to anyone who has browsed the App Store before. Apple offers many games in different categories – such as: action, adventure, and family– to make it easier to find something you want to play.

Scroll to the bottom of the section and select to see everything that's available in Apple Arcade Show all games.

On each individual game page, you can read more about the title, watch a promotional video, check the age rating and confirm that you can use a controller. To download a game, select Receive.

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Like any other app, the game appears on your device and is ready to play. Apple includes all updates for the games as long as you have a subscription. Plus, all Apple Arcade games have no in-app purchases or ads, and you can play without an internet connection.

Start Apple Arcade with these four games

When you dive into Apple Arcade, you'll likely ask the same question you would ask any new subscription service, "Where do I start?"

Here are four high quality titles available on any device that showcase some of the best Apple Arcade has to offer.

1. Beyond a steel sky

Beyond a Steel Sky continues the story of the cyberpunk classic Beneath a Steel Sky from 1994. You play as Robert Foster after kidnappers kidnap his child in an attack. In search of his home, explore the world of Union City, a mega-city in a post-apocalyptic world.

In the adventure, the dynamic world will react and you can even undermine it by your actions. With a mixture of intelligent puzzles, humor and cyberpunk thrills, a beautiful comic art style from legendary artist Dave Gibbons underlines the game.

Download: Beyond a steely sky on Apple Arcade

2. The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail is a classic that generations of gamers have enjoyed. And popular developer Gameloft has given the legendary game a modern twist. If you've never heard of the game, you'll be leading a group of travelers on their way from Missouri to Oregon in the 19th century. As you can imagine, the process is fraught with trials and difficulties including starvation, broken limbs, and even the dreaded dysentery.

And on Apple Arcade, the game brings some of the familiar twists and turns with new events. There are 12 playable journeys with a nostalgic art style and an original soundtrack. After playing, you can even learn about actual people and locations on the trail in an interactive diary.

Download: The Oregon Trail on Apple Arcade

3. Ruled: Beyond

The popular card reading series goes in Reigns: Beyond into space. With over 1,400 maps and a nearly limitless number of options, you'll be trying to lead your intergalactic indie rock band to stardom. You will travel to different planets rocking, recruiting new band members and trying to make a name for yourself across the galaxy.

But while trying to make a name for yourself, you need to manage the ship's resources and make the right decisions.

Download: Also rules on Apple Arcade

4. Crossy Road Castle

Crossy Road Castle pokes fun at the original breakout hit and wreaks havoc in multiplayer. Instead of a busy road, up to four players try to climb as high as possible in different castles. While you can play alone, it is possible to connect other players on one or more devices where the game is available.

In the family-friendly game, the levels are procedurally generated so that you experience a new adventure every time. And just like the original, there are fun items to collect like different characters and hats to wear.

Download: Crossy Road Castle on Apple Arcade

Playing Apple Arcade with a controller

Given the multitude of different games available for Apple Arcade, dedicated games should definitely consider purchasing a physical controller.

The main benefit is that your controller works on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac and allows for a more consistent gaming experience no matter where you play. In most cases, using a controller gives better split-second control for fast track.

Most of the Apple arcade games support a controller. To confirm this, just search for Controller supported Tag on the game page before downloading.

Many games on Apple TV require a controller. Before downloading, be sure to search for Controller required Text on the game information page.

There may already be a controller lying around that can be used for Apple Arcade games. The service supports controllers of two popular console game systems.

Microsoft offers the Xbox One Wireless Controller for convenience with a textured handle in the triggers, bumpers, and the rear case. A pair of AA batteries can be used for up to 40 hours before needing to be turned off. You can also purchase an optional battery for the Bluetooth controller.

When you're done with an Apple Arcade game session, you can also use the controller with Windows 10 PCs and Android phones along with an Xbox game console. There are a number of color options to choose from.

For PlayStation fans, the DualSense Wireless Controller has a built-in rechargeable battery that you can refresh with the included USB-C cable.

The controller also has a built-in microphone and speaker, as well as a 3.5 mm jack for connecting a headset. You can also use it with the PlayStation 5.

Apple Arcade titles also support any MFi controller. For more information, see Connect a game controller to your iPad or iPhone.

Keep playing with Apple Arcade

Whether you're a pro or a newbie on an Apple device, Apple Arcade has something for everyone. And no matter which game you choose, you will definitely have fun.

If you're looking for even more gaming action, then you should check out some of the other great games on Apple Arcade.

The 5 best games for Apple Arcade

Here are the best games on Apple Arcade that make the gaming subscription service worth the price.

Continue reading

About the author

Brent Dirks
(178 articles published)

Brent was born and raised in sunny west Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA in Journalism. He has been writing about technology for over 5 years and enjoys everything Apple, accessories, and security related.

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By Brent Dirks

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