Galaxy Z Flip 4 Preorder Quest 2: Still the Best Student Internet Discounts Best 55-Inch TV Galaxy Z Fold 4 Preorder Nintendo Switch OLED Review Foldable iPhone? 41% Off 43-Inch Amazon Fire TV
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept

Apple Arcade: Get It for Free, Best Games to Play and More

We'll tell you everything you need to know about Apple's mobile gaming service before you subscribe.

An iPad showing the Apple Arcade screen
Apple Arcade is a $5-a-month mobile gaming subscription service. We'll break down everything you need to know before signing up.
Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Apple joined the mobile gaming world in 2019 with the release of Apple Arcade. The tech giant's gaming subscription service gives customers access to hundreds of games to play across the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and Apple TV devices for $5 (£5, AU$8) a month or $50 annually. 

Apple Arcade's catalog is curated for users to easily browse instead of trying to navigate the App Store's thousands of games and apps. Apple said that's part of why it created Arcade, which it calls the world's first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and living room.

Here's everything you need to know about Apple Arcade: 

Can I get Apple Arcade for free?

Yes, first-time subscribers get a one-month free trial. The offer stands for three months after you activate your device. If you have an Apple One free trial, Apple Arcade (if you chose that as part of your bundle) will also have a free trial. If you recently purchased a new device, you can redeem a three-month free trial of the service. The offer is valid for 93 days after setting up your new device. 

After your free trial, Apple Arcade costs $5 for unlimited access to its game selection. The subscription fee covers every game and update that Apple Arcade releases -- even if it's already available in the App Store. You also don't have to worry about in-app purchases. 

What games can I play on Apple Arcade?

Apple Arcade houses hundreds of games and continues to expand its offerings. The platform also overhauled its landing page last April to better categorize its games into Arcade Originals, Timeless Classics and App Store Greats.

The subscription service spans genres like action, adventure, strategy, puzzle, RPG and more. Check out our more specific game genre lists:

When does Apple Arcade add new games?

Apple Arcade adds new games, as well as updates to current games every week. CNET frequently updates our "coming soon" article so you can keep tabs on what's coming out next.

Does Apple Arcade ever remove games? 

The service recently added a Leaving Arcade Soon category. Currently, no exit dates are listed in the section, but subscribers will still have time to play these titles. According to Apple's support page, if you download a game before it leaves Arcade, you can play the game for at least two weeks after. After that time, if you try to launch the downloaded game, you'll receive a No Longer Available message.  

Which devices can I use to play Apple Arcade games?

You can play Apple Arcade games on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Macs and Apple TV devices. You can find the Apple Arcade tab in the App Store. Just click the little joystick icon to get started.

Does Apple Arcade work with third-party controllers? 

Yes, Apple Arcade offers support for third-party controllers like the PlayStation DualShock 4 for more varied gameplay.

A person holds an Xbox One controller while playing Shinsekai Into the Depths

Playing Shinsekai Into the Depths with an Xbox One controller. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Can I share my Apple Arcade subscription? 

Yes, you can share your Arcade subscription with up to six family members in your Family Sharing Group.

Does Apple Arcade offer any parental controls, screen time monitors or privacy protection?

A majority of Apple Arcade's games are family-friendly, but you can always check the individual game's age rating or search under the Family category. 

Various Disney characters run forward in Disney Melee Mania

While Apple Arcade has a solid selection of games for kids, most of the titles on the service are family friendly. 

Apple

As far as screen time monitors, you can adjust this in your device settings. Simply open the Settings app and tap Screen Time. From there you can customize your device generally, or more specifically for games. To focus on Apple Arcade games, tap App Limits > Add Limit > Games. From there, just choose which games you want to set time limits on. Tap Next, set the time limit and tap Add. Whoever is playing will get a notification five minutes before the cutoff time. 

And your privacy is safe on Apple Arcade. Before you download a game on Apple Arcade, you can scroll down to App Privacy to see the developer's privacy policy and any data that might be collected when you play. For example, Sneaky Sasquatch says it might collect usage data, but it's not connected to your identity. 

Apple says Apple Arcade games can't collect any data about you and can't track information about how you play the game without your consent. Look for individual permissions that give you control over what personal information you share with whom.

Is Apple Arcade worth it? 

That's ultimately up to you to decide. If you're more of a console gamer and enjoy games like Call of Duty, Apple Arcade might not be for you. If you enjoy a more casual experience, or want the most mobile gaming bang for your buck, Apple Arcade is definitely worth checking out. 

 CNET included Apple Arcade among its Editors' Choice Award winners in 2021. For the price of one console game per year, subscribers get access to a suite of diverse titles new and old that are consistently updated. Games can be downloaded and played offline as well. The value increased for me when Apple began providing titles that were already available in the App Store with new content, as well as no ads or in-app purchases. 

The service has also started adding bigger titles and more social games, which was on our wish list at launch. 

Players on the court in NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition

Since launch, Apple Arcade has added larger titles like NBA 2K21 and NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition to its catalog. 

Apple

How do I cancel Apple Arcade?

To cancel your subscription on iPhone or iPad, follow these steps: 

1. Open the App Store.
2. Tap the profile icon, and enter your Apple ID if requested.
3. Tap Manage Subscriptions.
4. Tap Apple Arcade.
5. Tap Cancel Free Trial or Cancel Subscription.
6. Confirm cancellation. 

To cancel on Mac, follow these steps:

1. Open the App Store app.
2. Click on your profile icon.
3. Click View Information.
4. Click Manage.
5. Click Apple Arcade in the active subscriptions list.
6. Choose Cancel Free Trial or Cancel Subscription.
7.
Confirm selection.

To cancel on Apple TV, follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings app on the Apple TV.
2. Select Users and Accounts and choose your account.
3. Enter your Apple ID password.
4. Select Apple Arcade.
5. Choose either Cancel Free Trial or Cancel Subscription.
6. Confirm your selection.

Cliff Colby contributed to this article. 

Now playing: Watch this: Apple Unveils iPhone SE With 5G, iPad Air With M1 Chip
1:36