Xbox Smart Delivery: What it is and what games are compatible

Inventory is scarce, but the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles can upgrade games you've already bought for the Xbox One to play better on your new hardware.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
2 min read
Xbox Series X controller

The new, slightly different, Xbox controller.


Since launching back in November,  Microsoft's  new $500 (£450, AU$749) Xbox Series X and $300 (£250, AU$499) Xbox Series S consoles have been almost impossible for gamers to find. (CNET is keeping an eye on the status of several retailers' inventories here).

With the next-gen console's faster loading times, backward compatibility and Quick Resume, it's no surprise that they're flying off the shelves. In addition, Microsoft's new consoles come with Smart Delivery, a feature that gives you the latest version of a game you've already bought for your new console, and also ensures that you won't lose progress in your game when moving between console generations. 

Here's everything you need to know about Xbox Smart Delivery, and how it will work on your console. 

Read more: Walmart doesn't want bots to snag your new PS5 or Xbox Series X

What is Xbox Smart Delivery?

Smart Delivery lets you buy a game for the Xbox One, with a Series X or S copy automatically included. If you upgrade your console later, Microsoft feeds the console the appropriate version of the game. Smart Delivery essentially means that you'll always be playing the latest, best-quality version of the game, and you only have to buy it once. The feature might seem old hat to PC gamers who've long been able to play remastered versions of games automatically patched in via Steam. 

To use Smart Delivery, you'll need the new Xbox Series X or S console, and the game must be compatible.

Read more: Sony PS5 vs. Microsoft Xbox Series X: Game on for holiday 2020


The Xbox Series X.


Which games use Xbox Smart Delivery?

Microsoft said it will use Smart Delivery on all exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles optimized for the Xbox Series X and S, including Halo Infinite. Most recently, the company said it will automatically give players the Series X or S version for supported titles being downloaded to the new system at no extra charge once the updated game is available.

Xbox Smart Delivery is also compatible with Xbox Game Pass games, like Gears 5 , as well. Game Pass is Microsoft's $10-a-month game subscription service that unlocks access to over 100 games. Microsoft often has sales and specials on the Game Pass as well.

Read more: Best Xbox One games for 2020

Here are the Smart Delivery-enabled games that we know about so far, including titles spotted by Eurogamer

  • Assassins Creed Valhalla
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bright Memory 1.0
  • Call of the Sea
  • Chorus
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Cuisine Royale
  • Dead by Daylight 
  • Destiny 2
  • DIRT 5
  • The Falconeer
  • Far Cry 6
  • Forza Horizon 4 
  • Gears 5
  • Gears Tactics 
  • Grounded
  • Halo Infinite
  • King Oddball
  • Maneater
  • Manifold Garden
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Metal: Hellslinger
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Outer Worlds
  • Planet Coaster
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris 2
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Second Extinction
  • Tell Me Why
  • Tetris Effect: Connected
  • The Touryst 
  • Vampire: The Masquerade- Bloodlines 2
  • War Thunder
  • Watch Dogs: Legion
  • WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • Yes, Your Grace

For more, check out Xbox Series S review: The console making next-gen gaming more affordable and Accessorize your Xbox Series X or Series S with these gaming add-ons.