Microsoft will allow Windows users to download PC games from the Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass for PC to any folder they choose with no restrictions. This will allow PC gamers to open the games folders and modify them as they please. Windows users can also move games to any folder or drive that they choose.
According to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, the changes are part an Xbox app update for Windows currently being tested internally. The Xbox app update will address the major problem of installing games via Xbox Game Pass for PC. Players would encounter issues with the Microsoft Store and restricted WindowsApps folders, as well as the inability to control exactly where the games were installed.
Microsoft supported mods in certain titles previously in the Microsoft Store. Now, more games can support mods by opening the folder access to them without the need for players to enable it in their games.
Microsoft Store has always restricted access to the location of games using Windows-based folder permissions. This makes it difficult to move or backup games. If you need to reinstall Windows, and install games to another drive, this can be a problem.
Other PC game launchers, such as Steam and Battle.net, allow users to back up games and then restore or verify them. Microsoft's latest Xbox app update offers the ability to repair and verify files. This will likely be used for backing up games. You can also browse files and change drives to find them.
Microsoft confirmed that it had tested the updated Xbox app internally and was more open to downloading PC games from the Microsoft Store.
Jason Beaumont, Xbox's partner director of experiences, said that "With fantastic PC games such as Age of Empires IV and Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Halo Infinite, and Halo Infinite, on day one with Game Pass," he added. We'll keep you updated as new features are added.
Microsoft is currently testing the Xbox app update internally, but has not yet released details about these new features. The updated app should be available soon, especially as Microsoft prepares to launch Halo Infinite multiplayer for free on December 8th.