Much like Steam and the Epic Games Store, the Xbox PC app will soon let folks install games in any folder of their choosing. Xbox insiders (i.e. people who've signed up to test new features) will be able to pick a default drive and folder for game installs.
The Microsoft Store hosts both games users can buy individually and Xbox Game Pass titles. Until now, all apps and games have shared a single install location. It's not uncommon for PC gamers to have more than one storage drive. They might use one as a boot drive and for day-to-day apps, and a solid state drive for games. So, after this update rolls out more broadly, installing games on a secondary drive should be a cinch.
Insiders "will also find that downloads of those games have improved over time, so it's even easier and faster to get to your next game," Jason Beaumont, Xbox's partner director of experiences, said in a video discussing the updates. What's more, players of many Xbox Game Pass titles will soon have access to local files, so they'll be able to install mods and move files. The Xbox app will show whether a game is moddable.
A Steam update released in September made it straightforward for players to move an installed game and all of its files to another drive. The process is a little more convoluted for games installed from Epic's store, but it's still possible. These are welcome moves, as they give players more choice over how to manage their games, and it's good to see Microsoft offering folks more flexibility too.
Elsewhere, the Xbox PC app now has a cloud gaming tab, giving Game Pass Ultimate subscribers a quick way to find cloud-enabled console games. Beaumont added that Microsoft is continuing to improve the app's performance, including "making it more reliable to download and play your games." The team's also trying to make it easier for developers to add features like cross-saves and achievements.