Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Apple Arcade: The Complete Guide


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple in September 2019 launched a new subscription gaming service, Apple Arcade, allowing App Store users to pay one monthly fee to get access to dozens of games that have no in-app purchases or additional costs. This guide features everything you need to know about Apple Arcade.

What is Apple Arcade?

Apple Arcade is Apple's premium subscription gaming service that lets users download and play included games for one monthly fee with no added costs.

What's Apple Arcade cost?

At its September media event, Apple announced that Apple Arcade is priced at $4.99 per month with a one-month free trial available to test it out. Apple also has a one-year subscription option available for $49.99 per year, a savings of $9.89 over the monthly price.

Is Family Sharing included?

Yes. A single $4.99 Apple Arcade subscription lets up to six family members access games. You just need to set up Family Sharing, which requires all family members to have the same credit card associated with their Apple IDs.

What games are included?

Apple teamed up with both indie developers and big-name gaming companies to create "new and exclusive" games for the Apple Arcade service. All the content that is released through Apple Arcade is freshly created for Apple Arcade, so it doesn't include existing iOS games.

Apple worked with Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, LEGO, Mistwalker Corporation, SEGA, Snowman, ustwo games and a bunch of other developers for Apple Arcade games.

At launch, there were over 50 games on Apple Arcade, but Apple has been steadily adding new titles on a regular basis, so there are now over a hundred games to play.

Where can I find Apple Arcade games?

Apple added an Apple Arcade tab to the App Store where you can find all of the games included in the Apple Arcade service. Apple's App Store editors highlights different titles, make suggestions for you, and help you find new games to play.

Are there ads?

Nope. Apple Arcade is a play all you want subscription service with no additional in-app purchases or costs to unlock content. Since there are no ads, there's also no ad tracking, so user privacy is protected. All future upgrades and content additions are also included in the subscription price.

Will Apple Arcade games be able to be purchased separately?

No. Apple Arcade games are available in the iOS App Store only through Apple Arcade and cannot be purchased individually without an Apple Arcade subscription. Some of these games are also available on consoles, however.

Can Apple Arcade games be played offline?

Yep. Apple lets you download these games and play them even without an LTE or WiFi connection. Apple Arcade games are downloaded just like any other game in the App Store, just through the Apple Arcade tab.

What devices can Apple Arcade games be played on?

Apple Arcade games will work on the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Macs. The games are supported by Made for iPhone game controllers along with PS4 and Xbox controllers. Apple built controller support into tvOS 13, iOS 13, and iPadOS 13.

Because multiple platforms are supported, you can start a game on one device and then swap over to another without losing your place. So if you want to play a title on Mac and then take it on the go on your iPhone, you can do so.

What countries is Apple Arcade available in?

Apple Arcade is available in more than 150 countries. Basically, any country with an App Store available has access to Apple Arcade titles.

When did Apple Arcade launch?

Apple Arcade officially launched on September 19 alongside iOS 13, but ahead of that date, the service became available for those running the iOS 13 and 13.1 betas.

Free Trial

Apple offers a free one month trial to test out Apple Arcade before paying for a subscription. It's worth noting that if the trial is canceled before the one month expiration date is up, it will end immediately on the date of cancelation. That means if you want to try it for the maximum amount of time without paying, you should wait until the end of the trial to cancel.

Hands-On With Apple Arcade

We tested out Apple Arcade, so if you want to get a little taste of what it's like before signing up, make sure to check out our video.

Guide Feedback

See something we left out of our Apple Arcade guide or have a question not answered here? Let us know in the comments or Send us an email here.

Article Link: Apple Arcade: The Complete Guide
Last edited:


macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
Not for the upcoming iPod? I’d figured this is what had resurrected it.


Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
Isn't every second you spend in every game being tracked to determine payment sharing?

Probably, but it's not being shared with third-party companies or used for ad tracking, according to Apple. Not sure how revenue sharing for the Arcade service works yet.


macrumors 68030
Mar 4, 2007
This is an interesting idea that could enable mobile gaming to reach the potential that died so long ago. Funding models made mobile gaming a joke due to IAP currencies and quickly abandoned premium titles.
Apple Arcade addresses both of these problems by making all games “premium” with a funding model that encourages extended support post launch.
The questions will come around how this is curated.

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
$9.99 is my guess. Add it to the stack.
Boy... $120/yr for 100 unproven games written from the ground up.


macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2015
I cannot wait for this.
$9.99 is my guess. Add it to the stack.
Boy... $120/yr for 100 unproven games written from the ground up.
If you don’t like it, don’t get it. Apple isn’t forcing you to get it.


macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
Apple is subsidizing many of these games and contributing to the development costs to create them.

No wonder so many of those developers on the video during the presentation were saying things like “we’d never have been able to develop this without Apple Arcade”.

I think I like the idea of game studios being able to go above and beyond due to subsidized assistance.


macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
None of the titles mentioned here are worth my time. I've thought Arcade would be the cloud game streaming service like Google Stadia, GeForce Now...etc? This is stupid.

Just because it’s something you don’t see value in doesn’t mean it’s stupid.

I have zero need or desire for the services you mentioned, but I can see how others might.

The Arcade concept, though, I especially with Apple funding some of the development effort of those games, is something I can definitely see myself taking advantage of.

Not stupid, just not for you.


macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2014
Although there’s plenty of people that this will appeal to, there’s another plenty that this is useless to. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. News+ will probably fail, TV+ looks nothing like a “Netflix killer” at all. That said, out of all of the services announced, Arcade is the only one I can see surviving. If priced right.


macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
Cloud? There is no such thing. The thing you call "cloud" is just someone else's computer...

Yes, since it is a little bit expensive to upgrade hardware every two years to play newest titles (and the price of hardware keeps climbing), I can as well borrow someone else's computer. For a small fee, of course. :)


macrumors 68000
Dec 17, 2010
Sacramento, CA
Ill tell you what I know so far....i'm not interested at all and never will be. I have NO real interest in anything they pushed in yesterdays crap fest..
  • Like
Reactions: nvmls


Apr 29, 2009
Silicon Valley, CA
Wake me up when there are $60 AAA games that can compete with console games.

Yeah who needs indie games when you can just buy more "AAA" titles like Fallout76, Anthem, yet another CoD skin, Farcry, (ALL of which were terribly received) or one of the various $100+ editions of whatever "AAA" title is about to come out that includes all the missing story you get dinged for above that $60 in the form of DLC?


macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2015
Cambridge UK
The post apocalypse game looked interesting but not worth a years subscription at god knows what Apple price they pull out of thin air.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.