Windows 10 Store Games Now Support Offline Play

I welcome Microsoft’s latest renewed interest in PC gaming, glad to see their big Xbone games on PC, but it’s a shame they started so sloppily. Between requiring Windows 10, only selling on the janky Windows Store, capping framerates… it seemed so half-arsed. But they have slowly (too slowly) been buffing out problems, and recently fixed another big problem: Windows 10 games can now be played while offline. How could Microsoft have predicted that anyone would ever want to do that? Sheesh.

As Microsoft support explain, games from the Windows 10 Store can now run offline if you do a little prep work beforehand. It can be as simple as launching your games once while online to enable them offline forever.

If you’ve got several Windows 10 systems, it gets trickier. You’re only allowed one ‘designated offline device’, see, so you’ll need to pick one and enable that as The Chosen One before setting about launching everything. Oh, and you’re only allowed to change your designated offline device three times per year. Got to have faff somewhere, don’t they?

This change doesn’t mean every Windows 10 game will run offline — as with regular PC games, even singleplayer-y games may still require an Internet connection — but this at least means it’s not impossible. “Most games with a campaign mode will be playable offline,” Microsoft say, “but games with network co-op or multiplayer features will not work while you’re offline.”

I do hope more of the fancy Xbone games Microsoft are publishing will leave Windows 10 and/or the Windows Store. Quantum Break hit Windows 7 and Steam five months after debuting on Windows 10 in the Store and no other games have followed it since. I can’t imagine Microsoft would release games DRM-free any time soon but I would at least like to get them through Steam, a client which already has all my gamepals and which lets me install different games to different drives (preserving that SSD!).

[Update: It’s been pointed out to me that Windows 10 does support moving apps to different drives – after they’re installed. That’s handy, though I’m not surprised even that is faffy.]

This offline change happened at the end of October but I’m telling you now, okay. I’ve had a lot on, right?


  1. Yachmenev says:

    That there even is such a term as “designated offline device”, in the context of a paying customer wanting to play singleplayer games, is all kinds of wrong.

    • Ghostwise says:

      When I read that paragraph I had to double-check that it was RPS and not The Onion.

    • Amphetamine says:

      The initial reason for not being able to play offline could well be to do with Play Anywhere and cloudsaves, which are built into the Live ecosystem and break if you have a client running offline. Yes in an ideal world all this stuff should be presented to you as initial options that you can choose to opt into or not but hey it’s Microsoft so they’ll just do what they want to.

      • Yachmenev says:

        They do what they do, and I’m staying away from them.

        But it is interesting that stuff like this is not causing concerns anymore. I remember the time when RPS would explode at any DRM controls at all, but they seem much more timid now.

  2. LexW1 says:

    Seriously. What is this, 2005 or something? Do Microsoft want people to actively avoid the store? Because here’s a good way of doing it!

  3. Dale Winton says:

    Their store , their rules. I’d rather have these games and these restrictions that not having it at all

    • Alien426 says:

      We who have a spine will take a stance against things we don’t want. We may not like it, but we endure and hope the sign is seen.

      • Dale Winton says:

        I’d rather have gears of war and forza on PC with their DRM than not at all ,don’t know why that’s about having a spine or making a stand.

        • minijedimaster says:

          The rest of the world disagrees and is saying so with their wallets

          • Spongbo says:

            Well, if you buy the Xbox version, it’s essentially a “free” version to go with it, at this point. I installed FH3 the other day, but have been too scared to run it since then, in case it eats my cat.

        • Liege says:

          I won’t buy anything unless it’s on steam, No way is this going to entice me to buy anything from their windows store..

  4. galaxion says:

    I installed the Forza Horizon 3 demo the other night and it gave me the option to install on different drives.

  5. tslog says:

    It’s also believable that Micro$oft won’t go back on everything that they did well, when they establish the monopoly that they want.

  6. noxohimoy says:

    Sorry, but no.

    I already lost trust in Microsoft. Crash and burn. I will never touch Microsoft Store. You, Microrubble, have a conflict of interest between PC and Xbox. You already offended gamers by taking away graphic configurations. You disrespect us to the point of shamelessly spying, and replacing entire OS against our clearly expressed will.

    Just die. You are suffering.

    • Nauallis says:

      lol okay whatever. Go away, apple fanboy.

      • Palimpsest says:

        I despise Apple as much as the next discerning man but how does this comment make him an Apple fanboy?

    • Zamn10210 says:

      “Our clearly expressed will”

      Where ever do people get the idea that gamers are entitled?

      • Someoldguy says:

        I think he’s referring to the uncommon incidences of Windows 10 launching its upgrade and trashing your Win 7/8 system after you’d expressly told it not to. There are/were a bunch of people in the US suing over it. Screwing up your gaming for a few days is bad enough. Screwing over your business is another.

        I didn’t have that issue, but I’m having all kinds of hassle lately trying to stop Win 10 telemetry hogging 100% of disk i/o for several minutes every time I use the laptop, despite dialling all the feedback settings to minimum. It doesn’t put you in the frame of mind to trust that MS knows what is best and you should let them manage your machine without interference, or manage your game service exclusively through their store when there are better and more flexible stores available.

  7. charlesg says:

    I wonder sometimes if these guys ever use their own products.

  8. minijedimaster says:

    And the dozens of people who have used the MS Win10 Store rejoiced.

  9. malkav11 says:

    A wildly inadequate solution to a problem that didn’t need to exist in the first place.

  10. Kingseeker Camargo says:

    The RSS snippet already made this sound like the kind of stupidity a comedian wish they could dream of. And then the full article takes it to unbelievably new heights of retarded. GG, Microsoft, you outdo yourself at every step.