I have developed a simple game on UE5, and I want to test this on my Xbox Series S. Ideally, I would be able to have a beta version on my Xbox that updated when I edited it on my computer.

Apparently you can use something called Dev mode to do it. Does anyone know how I use this to test my games?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I remember trying this a long time ago but with applications, I believe there is a developer mode you can enable on Xbox somehow, that allows you to import custom apps and games. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pow
    Commented Jan 31 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


Yes, I believe that you'll need Developer Mode if you want to test your game directly. Below is a summary of Microsoft's documentation on Developer Mode.

Installing Developer Mode

  • Activate Developer Mode on your retail Xbox console
  • Start your Xbox console.
  • Search for and install the Xbox Dev Mode app from the Microsoft Store.
    • This Reddit thread mentions there may be two different apps (I was unable to verify this myself) and that you want the one with a green icon called "Xbox Dev Mode" and not the one with a black icon called "Dev Mode Activation".
  • Launch the app from the Store page.
  • Note the code displayed in the Xbox Dev Mode app.
  • Register an app developer account in Partner Center. This is also the first step towards publishing your game.
  • Sign in to Partner Center with your valid, current Partner Center app developer account. If you don't see multiple options in the left hand navigation pane, or don't see the Create a new app option in the Overview section, the following steps and activation links will not work; make sure you fully registered your app developer account from the previous step.
  • Go to partner.microsoft.com/xboxconfig/devices.
  • Enter the activation code displayed in the Xbox Dev Mode app. You have a limited number of activations associated with your account. After Developer Mode has been activated, Partner Center will indicate you have used one of the activations associated with your account.
  • Click Agree and activate. This will cause the page to reload, and you will see your device populate in the table. Terms for the Xbox Developer Mode Activation Program agreement can be found at Xbox Developer Mode Activation Program.
  • After you’ve entered your activation code, your console will display a progress screen for the activation process.
  • After activation has completed, open the Xbox Dev Mode app and click Switch and restart to go to Developer Mode. Note that this will take longer than usual.

The prior material was almost exclusively taken from Microsoft's documentation. The information below (accessing the portal & installing apps) was taken from the previously linked Reddit thread.

Accessing the XBox Device Portal:

Developer Mode maintains its own settings, so if you did any network setup in Retail Mode (wifi, etc), you need to repeat that setup again for Developer Mode. You can do this by pressing the Home Button and entering the Settings App.

Back at the Developer Mode home screen, look at the Test Accounts window in the top right. If you do not see your email there, then you need to add it. Choose the Add existing button, and sign in with the same account you used for your Microsoft Partner Account.

After adding your account, make sure the box next to your email is checked in the Test Accounts window as well.

Next, in the Remote Access window in the bottom right, choose the Remote Access Settings button.

Make sure Enable Xbox Device Portal and Require authentication to remotely access this console from the web or PC tools are both checked.

Underneath the Authentication section, click the Set username and password button.

Create another username and password to access this device from your PC. It's separate from your account, so you can make it anything you want, just make sure to remember it.

Once you have entered a username and password for remote access, click the Close button to go back to the home screen.

You can now access the XBox Device Portal. Displayed in the Remote Access window is a URL for your specific to your Xbox. On your PC, type that URL into a web browser and hit Enter.

A page warning about your connection not being secure may appear. Go ahead and ignore it and proceed anyway. You may need to click an Advanced button to see the option to continue/proceed.

A small window to enter a username and password should appear. Enter the same username and password you used in the Remote Access Settings earlier. After entering the information, you should now be at the XBox Device Portal for your XBox. If you bookmark this page for convenience, you may need to remove #home from the end of the URL for the bookmark to work properly.

Installing Developer Mode Apps from the XBox Device Portal:

When entering the Xbox Device portal for the first time, you will be on the Home tab. In the list on the left hand side, click on the Settings tab.

Scroll down and activate the Preferences drop down menu.

Make sure that both Allow connections from the Xbox App and Treat UWP apps as games by default are checked. If prompted, click the Restart button in the pop up to restart your XBox with the settings changes.

Once your XBox has restarted and is back at the Developer Mode Home Screen, on your PC at the XBox Device Portal, click the Home tab and refresh the page. Now you can start installing UWP apps.

Under where it says My games & apps, click the Add button.

Drag and drop your UWP game or app into the box, then hit the Next button.

Drag and drop any dependencies that the game or app requires to run into the box. If multiple dependencies are needed, then drag and drop one at a time until all are listed in the window. Then hit the Start button to push the game/app to your XBox console.

Once it has finished installing, it should appear under the Games and apps on your XBox Developer Mode Home Screen. From there you can launch and play them like you do in Retail Mode.


In Developer Mode, you cannot play retail games or run retail apps. You can use Dev Home to switch between Retail Mode and Developer Mode:

  • To switch to Retail Mode, open Dev Home. Under Quick Actions, select Leave Dev Mode. This will restart your console in Retail Mode.
  • Caution (from previously linked Reddit thread): You may see a pop up with an option to "uninstall all side loaded apps/games". If you do not uncheck this your Developer Mode apps & games will be uninstalled. Various Retro Arch guides suggest using Safe-Exit instead to avoid accidentally erasing your installs.
  • Do not run the Xbox Dev Mode app on any Xbox development hardware acquired through an Xbox managed program (for example, ID@Xbox). If you're a managed partner, you can get more information on activating development hardware here.
  • \$\begingroup\$ TYSM, do you know how I would run my game on the Xbox after doing this? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 1 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably, but it's not first hand knowledge. Since I can't verify it myself & it's not official documentation, I hesitated to include it. I'll edit that info in when I get a chance (probably yet today). \$\endgroup\$
    – Pikalek
    Commented Feb 1 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you this is exactly what I wanted \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 2 at 16:12

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