[Explained] Can You Play Xbox One Games Without Installing?

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At times, you may have noticed your Xbox One has a very slow installation speed, which raises the question, can you play Xbox One games without installing it? Sadly, the answer is No. You can’t play Xbox One games straight from the disk.

While this could save you some precious disk space or give you the freedom of trying the game first before committing to go through the hassle, modern games are too big to run that way.

With that in mind, let’s see, why this method won’t work.

Can You Play Xbox One Games Without Installing

Why You Can’t Play Xbox Games Without Installing?

Simply put, irrespective of your console version, disk drivers are too slow to let you directly play from them. Modern titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II has an installation size of an astounding 121.21 GB. Typically, a single level in the game would contain 10-20 gigabytes of data.

A Blu-ray usually has a transfer rate of around 36 MB/s at 1x. Loading this much data at that speed can take minutes, which will affect the game’s performance and worsen your gaming experience. On the other hand, Xbox one’s in-built SATA III hard drive can load that same amount of data 20 times faster at 768 MB/s.

So, What Are My Options?

As we stated earlier, you cannot bypass the installation process altogether. but, there are other things you can do to make the whole thing less annoying.

For starters, stop buying offline or disk copies of your favorite titles. You may already be familiar with Xbox’s annoying online DRM system which requires you to insert the game disk every time you decide to play, even if the game’s installed.

Also, some established titles like Halo Infinite or Forza Horizon 5 don’t come with the full game on the disk, so you need to download them even if you already own the game disk.

A lot of games require you to go online and check for updates during installation, preventing you to play without the internet in the first place. So, a smarter decision would be to avoid buying game disks in the first place.

If you do decide to use disks, switch off your internet connection before installing any games, this prevents the game from downloading additional patches, updates, etc. thus making the installation process a whole lot faster.

Try Xbox One Game Pass

You may or may not have heard of cloud gaming. It’s a method that runs your games in remote servers and simply streams them to you via your console. It lets you access newer games without needing to upgrade your console. Also, it can save that precious disk space of yours. So how can you use the whole cloud gaming thing on your device?

Look for the Game Pass app on your Xbox one and open it. You’ll see a list of games and some of them with a cloud icon shown next to them. These are the games that you can play through the cloud and don’t require any installation.

Beware though. Because you need a really good internet connection or the experience might not be that pleasant. Also, this will set you back 14.99$ a month.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to install disk games on Xbox One?

Installing games from disk is easy and straightforward. Simply place your game disk into the slot, and the installation process will begin automatically.

Does the installation process require internet?

Most of the games don’t require you to have an internet connection for the installation process. Furthermore, being connected to the internet can make your installation process a lot slower.

How to play Xbox One games without a disk?

Purchase your game digitally from the Microsoft Store on your Xbox One. This way the game won’t ask you to enter the disk ever.

How to turn off the internet connection on my Xbox One?

Press the Start Button and navigate through the menu until you find Network. Select Go Offline from there. Alternatively, you can just unplug your ethernet cable or turn the router off.

Can I play Xbox One games without updating them?

After the Microsoft DRM update of February 2022, you can play most of the games offline without ever needing to update them. But the trick is to stop the game from checking for updates in the first place, by disabling the internet connection.


While direct insert and play still remain impossible to this day, you can opt for the Game Pass if you want hassle-free gaming without having to worry about your disk being filled. However, if you do buy disks, remember to install them offline, and don’t buy used ones, as they are often linked to the previously used device and won’t run anywhere else

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