Can You Use The Microsoft Surface Pro For Gaming? [Does It Work?]

A resurgence in interest in powerful portable gaming has been sparked by the release of the Nintendo Switch and Steamdeck by Valve.

Even while the Surface Pro wasn’t designed specifically to fulfill this need, it may be a more direct rival than you realize.

Can you play games on a Microsoft Surface Pro?

It is possible to play video games on a Microsoft Surface Pro. It is a laptop that takes the appearance of a tablet and is available in a wide range of various component configurations. Each of these versions is capable of running popular games like Minecraft and Roblox. The i5 and above versions can perform more taxing games even when the settings are turned down.

It is essential to keep in mind that the Surface Pro series of products are not intended to serve as a gaming platform.

Because of the way the components and operating system are designed, it just so happens to be conceivable.

For games like CS: GO, Diablo III, League of Legends, Valiant, and others like them, you can probably get away with a decent 30–60 frames per second at the low quality if you make a few little adjustments to the settings of the games you wish to play.

Sadly, even the most recent iterations of the Surface Pro lack the processing power necessary to run triple-A titles like “Elden Ring” or virtual reality gaming experiences.

Even still, this is a significant amount of additional power extracted from such a little device.

The Surface Pro is capable of running an almost uncountable amount of Steam’s games, all of which are in pristine condition.

The gameplay of puzzle games and platformers should be faultless.

It’s also a good idea to look at older games and MMOs that still have active server populations.

If that isn’t good enough for you, I was able to get Overwatch to run at a medium setting of fifty frames per second.

What games can be played on a Microsoft Surface Pro?

Whether you are inquiring if games can be played on the Surface Pro, you are probably referring to the most recent model, the Surface Pro 8.

This model is equipped with quad-core Intel CPUs from the 11th generation.

The i3 model is capable of running even the most fundamental games, such as Roblox and Minecraft.

The i5 and i7 versions are the ones that can handle the more demanding gaming.

The i5 model is powerful enough to run games like Diablo III, Torchlight, and Path of Exiles, as well as meet the needs of the vast majority of mid-tier games.

If there are no modifications made, the frame rate will most likely range between 30-42.

You always have the option to change the settings to get better performance.

The i7 variant is capable of playing significantly heavier games such as Call of Duty Warzone, although at a lower frame rate of 33 frames per second.

The Surface Pro 8 is equipped with a Thunderbolt 4 connector, which is where things start to get interesting.

This indicates that you can connect an external GPU to boost the performance of your gaming experience.

Naturally, the additional performance will be determined by the GPU that is installed in the external graphics processing unit (eGPU) dock.

If you pair the Surface Pro 8 with a beefy graphics card like the RTX 2070 or 3070, you’ll have a tablet that comes about as near to desktop gaming as you can go on a tablet.

Keep in mind that if you utilize an external graphics processing unit (eGPU), you will almost certainly also need the usage of an external display.

The i5 and i7 versions are capable of playing games such as:

The Wiccan/Witcher

CyberPunk 2077

Valiant \sElden Halo Insurgency Ring Gears 5 Ring Gears 5

Rust \sOverWatch

The Call of Duty: Warzone video game

Even without an external graphics processor, the Core i5 and i7 variants are capable of playing games like:

Civilization 6

The Sims 4: Champion Edition

The League of Legends (LOL)

OverWatch \sTerraria


This is not an exhaustive list of all that the Surface Pro 8 is capable of doing.

This is just meant to give you an idea of the kinds of games that the device is capable of running at medium or low settings.

When used in a concentrated posture, the Surface Pro 8 tablet has the potential to rapidly get warm to the touch.

Playing games with demanding physics or visuals might cause the internal components to overheat much more quickly. This can happen when you push the device to its limits.

Because of the heat, performance may become erratic, and the system may even crash.

Microsoft has designed a cooling system that keeps the Surface Pro 8 cool to the touch, but it is still a computer. 

Although it was created to swiftly disperse and manage heat, there is no guarantee that it will work perfectly every time.

Maintaining performance for an extended period may prevent the cooling system from operating as intended.

Because of this limitation, Microsoft has said that the Surface Pro 8 is not intended for use as a gaming device.

That, in addition to the absence of a specialized graphics card located within.

Can I use Microsoft Surface Pro to play Xbox games?

Through the use of an Xbox software called GamePass, Microsoft has made it possible for practically any internet-connected device to play Xbox games provided that the device has a reliable internet connection.

Both an application and a subscription service, GamePass provides users with access to a vast library of downloadable games that can be played on either the Xbox One or the personal computer.

In addition to this, the majority of these games may be streamed to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as well as desktops with lower system requirements.

Microsoft has developed a network of servers to support the Xbox virtual machines. These servers enable players to stream the most recent Xbox games on any screen that has an internet connection.

To make matters even more convenient, the Surface Pro 8 is capable of using games that have integrated touchscreen controls into their design.

If this is not sufficient, you may also link an Xbox One controller by using the Bluetooth functionality that it has.

Although GamePass does not feature every game that can be played on Xbox, it does have a library including hundreds of different games.

Microsoft has guaranteed that all games published by Microsoft Studios will be accessible through download or streaming on Day One of the GamePass service.

This has resulted in the production of games such as Sea of Thieves, Halo: Infinite, and Gears 5 thus far.

The ever-expanding roster of studios that Microsoft has been buying contributes to the ever-increasing quality of GamePass.

Using the Xbox software that comes preloaded on your Surface Pro 8, you can also stream games straight from your Xbox to your Surface Pro 8 if you happen to possess an Xbox One, Series S, or Series X console.

Signing in with the same Xbox profile you use for your console is all that is required.

After that, you’ll be able to stream content from your Xbox to your Surface Pro 8 display.

Can I use an Xbox controller with my Microsoft Surface Pro?

However, whereas most PC gamers are obsessed with using a mouse and keyboard, I enjoy playing video games using controllers.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be relieved to learn that your Xbox or PlayStation controller can be paired with your Surface Pro 8 and used to play games.

Both of the controllers are equipped with a Bluetooth connection feature that makes it simple to connect to almost anything else.

I would suggest using an Xbox One controller with the Surface Pro 8, as well as any other Windows device.

It offers improved built-in driver support in comparison to PlayStation controllers.

To link your controller with your Surface Pro 8, you will need to put the controller in the pairing mode on its own.

For Xbox One controllers:

  • To power on the controller, you need to first press and hold the Xbox button.
  • Maintain pressure on the pairing button located on the top of the controller until the indicator light on the Xbox button begins to blink slowly.
  • You will need to go to the Start Menu on your Surface Pro 8 at this time.
  • To access the Settings menu, click the gear symbol that is located next to the word Settings.
  • After that, choose “Devices” from the menu.
  • Simply choose the “Bluetooth” option. Choose the “Add Bluetooth Device” option from the drop-down menu.
  • Locate the Xbox One controller in the list of devices that are accessible, and then click on it to begin the connection process.
  • Simply saying that is sufficient.

It ought should now be possible for you to use your Xbox controller to browse your Surface Pro 8 display.

PC games and Game Pass will instantly detect your controller if you use either service.

That leaves nothing for you to do than engage in the game.

There is no need to re-learn the controls or make any other adjustments each time you wish to play.

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