Besides listening to music and streaming videos, it’s possible to play video games in your car when you’re bored. Better yet, you can install video game consoles in your car to entertain your backseat passengers.
But what are your options if you want to play video games in your car? Let’s find out.
1. Use a Portable Video Game Console
The easiest way you can play video games in your car is by using a portable video game console. One of the best portable video game consoles you can buy in 2022 is the Nintendo Switch. What’s cool about the Nintendo Switch is that you can access so many exclusive games on the platform—and if your car’s infotainment system can support HDMI, you can connect the console to play it on the screen.
Other portable video game consoles that you can use in your car are Steam Deck, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita. However, if you’re using a portable video game console in your car, you have to install a charging system. Because most portable video game consoles are charged using USB cables, it would be a good idea to install a dedicated car charger and bring along a power bank.
Another cool way to play video games in your car is to use a standalone VR headset like the Oculus Quest 2. However, you need a lot of space to play virtual video games, and it wouldn’t be safe if you’re in a moving vehicle—even if the passenger is in the backseat. Because of that, a VR headset is better suited in an RV or a camper van, and only play VR video games that don’t require you to stand up.
2. Install Video Games on Your Dashboard Screen
If your car’s infotainment is compatible with Android Auto, you can play games on the platform. However, because Android Auto is designed to prevent you from getting distracted while driving, Google says you’re required to park your car to play video games.
But for you to play the video games, you need to launch the GameSnacks app on your Android Auto.
Alternatively, you can use voice control on Android to play mind-jogging games like Song Quiz, Jeopardy, and Trivia Crack which won’t get your eyes off the road while you’re driving.
But what if you’re using Apple CarPlay? At the moment, Apple CarPlay doesn’t integrate with video games to prevent distracted driving. Even so, someone on Reddit shared how to play Xbox video games using Apple Car.
To get started, you need to use a jailbroken iPhone—this can work if you’re using an old iPhone with iOS 11 to iOS 14 (here is how you can jailbreak it for free). Once you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, you need to install CarPlay Enable to use the Xbox app—if you’re subscribed to Game Pass Ultimate, you play Xbox video games on your car’s dashboard screen.
Another cool thing about the Xbox Game Pass is that you can use your Xbox controller to play video games in your car if you activate remote play. What’s more, if you don’t have an infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay, you can install an Android tablet on your car’s dashboard and subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to play the latest video games through the cloud.
Besides that, you can consider other PC game subscription services that would make it convenient to play video games in your car.
If you want to play video games offline, you can install a PlayStation or an Xbox in your car—the most ideal spot is in the backseat, so you don’t get distracted while driving. Anyway, how you install a video game console in your car is dependent on two things:
Car With Video Input
Some of the latest cars have backseat monitors with HDMI output and input. This means that it would be easier to connect your Xbox or PlayStation to the monitors without using adapters. However, you will still need a car power inverter to plug in your Xbox or PlayStation console—but some vehicles are designed with a built-in inverter.
Car Without Video Input
If your car doesn’t come with video input, you can install aftermarket headrest monitors with HDMI ports. We recommend headrest monitors that are packaged with mounting brackets for easier installation. Better yet, you can buy a tablet with HDMI ports, and fix it on a headrest mount.
Of course, you will also require a power inverter to hook up your video game console. On top of that, you need to install WiFi in your car to play video games online. If you want one of the fastest internet options, you should consider installing Starlink on your cars.
4. Buy a Car With Built-In Gaming Console
In a move to stay ahead of the competition, some automakers have designed their cars with in-built gaming consoles. For instance, Tesla Support says that pre-2018 Tesla Model S and Model X owners can purchase an infotainment upgrade with a powerful 10-teraflop processor—almost as good as the one in the PlayStation 5. In fact, Tesla’s infotainment system is powerful enough to handle high-graphic demanding video games like the Watcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077.
Other cars such as the latest Ford F-150 Lightning, Mercedes-AMG G 63, and S 560 Cabriolet are also designed with gaming rigs. Even the Polestar 2 that features Android Automotive that can play games like Forza Horizon 5 and Guardians of the Galaxy—but according to Motor Trend, you first need to install the Vivaldi browser.
There Are Different Ways to Play Video Games in Your Car
Playing video games in the car can be a fun way for your friends, family, or guests to entertain themselves on a road. You could also play video games in your car while you’re bored. However, you should avoid playing video games when you’re driving even if you’re on autopilot since it’s unsafe and illegal.
There are multiple ways you can start playing video games in your car. The most convenient option is to just get a portable console and a charger for it in your car. But if you’re after a premium experience, then consider getting the Xbox Game Pass to play video games on an Android tablet or your car’s infotainment system.
But if you don’t want your passengers to get interrupted by spotty internet connection, especially if you’re driving long distance, then it would make sense to install the standard PS5 or Xbox Series X in your car.