Xbox Smart Delivery is a Microsoft-led initiative launching alongside the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in 2020.
With Xbox continuing to support multiple devices as it enters a new generation of consoles, the Smart Delivery system is designed to assure owners the games they own will follow along with them - and will run the best they can.
There has only been a small selection of Smart Delivery games confirmed by Microsoft so far, though you can expect more to be announced around the launch of the system.
On this page:
What is Xbox Smart Delivery and how does the Smart Delivery system work?
To quote Microsoft, Smart Delivery allows you to "play the best version of the games you own for your console, across generations".
What this means is - whether you own an Xbox One, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X, if it's Smart Delivery supported, the same game will work across all three - and will have a version specific to that console to run at its best.
For example, if you own a version of a Smart Delivery game on Xbox One, when you buy an Xbox Series S or Series X, it'll come with console-specific improvements at no extra cost.
Furthermore, you don't have to do anything for Smart Delivery to work - the console will figure out which version you need and install it automatically.
This is similar, but ultimately different, to standard Xbox backwards compatibility. Though Microsoft is aiming to support every Xbox One game on Xbox Series X, with every game benefiting from the improved hardware (from potentially higher framerates and resolutions to faster load times) Smart Delivery titles will have versions specific to each platform, making the most out of that hardware.
Xbox Smart Delivery physical support and other things you should know about the system
As well as the above explainer, here are other things to know about how Xbox Smart Delivery works:
- Xbox Smart Delivery works across both digital and physical versions of supported games. For a physical version, in some (if not likely all) cases you'll need an internet connection to download the console-specific version when you insert the disc, especially since some Smart Delivery titles (such as Gears 5 and Destiny 2) are available ahead of Xbox Series X launch.
- For newer Smart Delivery titles, it should confirm support on the box art, showing it'll work across multiple Xbox consoles.
- Whether you are getting a physical or digital Xbox Smart Delivery game, only the version for that platform you are playing on will be downloaded, saving on hard drive space.
- Game saves and Achievements will carry over between platforms, so you can continue your progress right where you left off. (Gears 5, a game released in late 2019, was mentioned as an example of a game you can play now and receive Day 1 Xbox Series X improvements through Smart Delivery.)
- Select games on Xbox Game Pass will also support Smart Delivery - you don't need to purchase the game separately for the system to work.
- Smart Delivery works 'backwards', too - if you buy a game on Xbox Series X that's Smart Delivery supported and still own an Xbox One (to use, say, in a spare room), you'll be able to play that game there with a version specific to that console.
- While those improvements are entirely dependant on the developer and will differ from game-to-game, all near future first-party Xbox Game Studios titles coming to both Xbox One and Xbox Series X, such as Halo Infinite, will also be "optimised" for the next gen console.
- Xbox Smart Delivery game upgrades will be free, and it's reported Microsoft is discouraging developers from charging from cross-gen upgrades through Smart Delivery or other means, according to VGC - so even if a game doesn't opt for Smart Delivery specifically, it's likely you won't be charged for any next-gen upgrades if an Xbox Series X version is also available.
Confirmed Xbox Smart Delivery titles at a glance
Here is, in brief, a list of confirmed Xbox Smart Delivery games:
Here is, in brief, a list of confirmed Xbox Smart Delivery games.
Smart Delivery games available on Xbox Series X / S's launch:
- Assassins Creed Valhalla
- Borderlands 3
- Bright Memory 1.0
- Cuisine Royale
- Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass)
- DIRT 5
- The Falconeer
- Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Game Pass)
- Gears 5 (Xbox Game Pass)
- Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass)
- Grounded (Xbox Game Pass)
- King Oddball
- Manifold Garden
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Game Pass)
- Planet Coaster
- Sea of Thieves
- Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass)
- The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass)
- War Thunder
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Yes, Your Grace
Smart Delivery games available following Xbox Series X / S's launch:
- Call of the Sea
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Destiny 2
- Far Cry 6
- Halo Infinite
- Marvel's Avengers
- Metal: Hellslinger
- Puyo Puyo Tetris 2
- Sea of Thieves
- Second Extinction
- Tell Me Why
- The Outer Worlds
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Interested in learning more about Microsoft's next-gen plans? Here is everything we know about Xbox Series S vs X, the full set of confirmed Xbox Series X specs and features and the console design, size, dimensions and ports, the Xbox Series controller and confirmed Xbox Series games, including those which support Xbox Smart Delivery. The Xbox Series line of consoles will also support the ongoing library of Xbox Game Pass games. When you're ready, you can make a Xbox Series pre-order.
Xbox Smart Delivery titles in detail, from dates to trailers
Here is more detailed view of every confirmed Xbox Smart Delivery game so far:
Borderlands 3 - The Xbox Series X and PS5 versions will support saves from the previous generation - as well as offering 60fps and 4K performance in single player and the addition of four-player local split-screen co-op.
Bright Memory 1.0 - You can play the original first-person action game developed by FYQD-Studio ahead of Bright Memory Infinite on Xbox Series X / S's launch.
Cuisine Royale - The free-to-play battle royale game from Darkflow Software "with realistic weaponry, mystic traps and demonic rituals" will have an Xbox Series X / S version at launch.
Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass) - A next-gen version with improved visuals, 4K and 60 FPS performance will be coming to next-gen consoles as a free upgrade.
The Falconeer - Described as "the birdiest game ever" in our hands-on, this will have an Xbox Series X / S version at launch.
Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass) - Coming to console after launching in PC in mid-2020, this features 4K and 60 frames per second performance. Here's a look at the PC tech by Digital Foundry as a taste of what might be possible.
King Oddball This physics-puzzle adventure with over 120 levels will have an Xbox Series X / S version at launch.
Maneater - The open-water, action shark game will offer 4K and 60 FPS and ray-tracing support as part of a free upgrade at the launch of next-gen systems.
Manifold Garden - This multiplatform space and physics puzzle game will have an Xbox Series X / S version at launch.
Planet Coaster - Frontier is releasing Planet Coaster on next-gen consoles as well as PS4 and Xbox One when the park simulation game releases in late 2020.
Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass) - Enhance's Tetris Effect (which was Eurogamer's Game of 2018) introduces new co-op and competitive online modes, and will be launching as an Xbox console exclusive on Xbox One and Series X, as well as PC, in 2020, before to other platforms (including PS4) in summer 2021.
The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass) - After arriving on Xbox One and PC in August, this voxelised adventure has an Xbox Series X / S version on the system's debut.
War Thunder - This free-to-play combat game will have an Xbox Series X / S version at launch.
WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship - Developed by Kylotonn, this will be coming to next-gen consoles after debuting on PS4, Xbox One and PC in September.
Yes, Your Grace - This kingdom management role-playing game was released on Xbox One in June 2020 and will have an Xbox Series version at launch.
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 - Coming to Xbox One, Series X and Switch on December 8th (as well as PS4, PS5 before the end of 2020, and PC in 2021), the Puyo Puyo Tetris sequel will support Smart Delivery on Xbox consoles.
Forza Horizon 4 - The Xbox Series X optimised version launches 2020, complete with 4K and 60 frames per second performance and improved load times. Here's a look at the PC tech by Digital Foundry as a taste of what might be possible:
Gears Tactics - Coming to console after a launch on PC in mid-2020, this features 4K and 60 frames per second performance. Here's a look at the PC tech by Digital Foundry as a taste of what might be possible:
Sea of Thieves - Launching holiday 2020, Rare's multiplayer pirate adventure will take advantage of Xbox Series X hardware. Here's a look at the PC tech by Digital Foundry as a taste of what might be possible:
Ori and the Will of the Wisps - This will boast 4K visuals and a 120 frame rate on Xbox Series X when it launches in late 2020:
Tell Me Why - Life is Strange studio Dontnod's Xbox and PC exclusive episodic adventure series - which debuts on August 27th, followed by Chapters on September 3rd and September 10th - will have Xbox Series X enhancements.
Outer Worlds - The 2019 Obsidian Entertainment role-playing game, due to receive its first story expansion Peril on Gorgon in September, will also receive Xbox Series X enhancements:
Grounded - From first-party studio Obsidian Entertainment comes a multiplayer adventure debuting in Xbox Game preview on July 28th, and will be later optimised for Xbox Series X:
Far Cry 6 - Coming to current, next-gen consoles and PC on February 18th, 2021, this open-world sequel features Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian's Giancarlo Esposito as its antagonist Anton Castillo, a brutal dictator who rules over the game's Cuban-influenced setting.
Watch Dogs: Legion - Launching first on current-gen consoles and PC on October 29th, there will be a next-gen version when new consoles arrive.
Marvel's Avengers - Following the release of the Square Enix adventure on PS4 and Xbox One on September 4th, there will be a free next-gen upgrade, which includes the transfer of game progress and same-generation crossplay. There will also be a number of performance improvements, including "extremely fast load times, boosted resolution and fidelity, improved texturing and armour destruction, ray tracing, and more", according to Square Enix.
Halo Infinite was announced alongside (what was then called) Project Scarlett during E3 2019, offering up a cutscene-heavy trailer. There a few other details aside from it being a "spiritual reboot" - but it will be a cross-generation title, launching also on PC and Xbox One, and will be available in 2020.
Cyberpunk 2077 - Due out in November, there will be a patch at launch with light next gen improvements, followed by a more substantial one later to make better use of the enhanced hardware. For Xbox One owners, an Xbox Series X version for free "when available" as part of the same purchase.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla - The latest entry in Ubisoft's long-running series, which is teased to reshape the series' brand of RPG storytelling. This is also another non-Microsoft 'Smart Delivery' game, giving you a Series X version with an Xbox One version purchase.
Destiny 2 - The free-to-play shooter from Bungie will support 60FPS and 4K when it releases on next-gen consoles. Purchases from the Xbox One version will carry over to the Xbox Series X version for free, and it'll be possible to play with Xbox One players with intergenerational crossplay. No date for the Xbox Series X version has been set. Until then, the new expansion, Beyond Light, launches in November:
Dirt 5 - the latest in the long-running rally driving series from Codemasters, and will have Smart Delivery support with the Xbox One version , and up to 120FPS support on Xbox Series X:
Scarlet Nexus - A Japanese action game developed by Bandai Namco, with Smart Delivery support with the Xbox One version:
Chorus - A story driven, single-player space shooter published by Deep Silver. With Smart Delivery with the Xbox One version and ray tracing support on Xbox Series X, it's dated for 2021:
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is a sequel to a fan-favourite published by Paradox. It offers Smart Delivery support with the Xbox One version:
Yakuza - Like a Dragon - This is an Xbox Series X launch title, also coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 with Smart Delivery support.
The Ascent - This co-op supported shooter from Curve Digital will have Smart Delivery support with the Xbox One version:
Call of the Sea - A first-person adventure mystery published by Raw Fury, this is coming to Xbox One with Smart Delivery support in 2020, and will be available on Xbox Game Pass.
Gears 5 will have a number of Xbox Series X upgrades available on the system's launch, available free as part of Microsoft's Smart Delivery initiative. "The developers worked with Epic Games in getting UE4 operating on Series X, then simply upped all of the internal quality presets to the equivalent of PC's ultra, adding improved contact shadows and UE4's brand-new (software-based) ray traced screen-space global illumination," wrote Digital Foundry in a report on the upgrade.
Second Extinction - A three-player co-op shooter in a world overrun by mutated dinosaurs, offering Smart Delivery support with the Xbox One version:
Metal: Hellsinger - Developers by The Outsiders (the studio co-founded by former Battlefield 3 lead designer and Payday 2 director David Goldfarb), Metal: Hellsinger is a rhythm FPS that's coming to PC, Xbox One, PS4, and next-gen consoles in 2021.
It's very likely more Xbox Smart Delivery games will be announced in the coming weeks and months, including those from first-party studios.