What apps can play music while playing games?

Listening to music while gaming can provide various benefits for players. Music can help set the mood and make games more immersive. Upbeat, energetic music can boost motivation and excitement during gameplay. Slower, calmer music may promote focus and concentration. Music also blocks out distractions from the real world, allowing players to get fully absorbed in the game. Some research suggests music may even enhance gaming performance by syncing actions to the beat. Overall, listening to music while gaming can make the experience more engaging and enjoyable for many players.


Spotify is a popular music streaming service that offers a free ad-supported tier as well as paid premium subscriptions without ads. In March 2019, Spotify launched a new feature called Gaming Mode which allows users to play music in the background while gaming on their PlayStation 4 or Xbox One [1].

Gaming Mode detects when a user is playing a video game and automatically lowers the volume of songs so gameplay and game audio are not interrupted. The music volume reduces by up to 15% while loud gameplay sound effects like explosions will cause the music to duck even further. When gameplay audio becomes quieter, the music volume gradually increases again [1].

This allows gamers to enjoy a seamless audio experience without having to manually adjust music volume or pause songs while gaming. Gaming Mode is available for Spotify Premium users on PS4 and Xbox One through the Spotify app.

Apple Music

Apple Music is integrated directly into iOS and offers seamless music playback while gaming on iPhone and iPad. To use Apple Music while gaming:

First, open the Music app and select a playlist, album or song to listen to. Then open your game app and start playing. The music will continue playing in the background.

You can access playback controls by swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen to bring up the control center. Here you can pause/play or skip tracks without leaving your game.

Apple Music also has a dedicated gaming mode that avoids interruptions while gaming. Enable it in Settings > Music > Audio and set “Audio” to “Playing via…” This prevents notification sounds from interrupting your music.

One limitation is you can’t listen to Apple Music and in-game music simultaneously. The in-game audio will be muted while listening to Apple Music. But for most games, Apple Music provides a seamless background listening experience.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music is a popular music streaming service from Google that allows users to listen to music in the background while gaming. Some key features of YouTube Music for background gaming audio include:

YouTube Music has a built-in feature that allows the music to keep playing when switching apps or locking the phone screen (1). This makes it easy to start playing music on YouTube Music and then open up a game and have the audio continue in the background.

There are dedicated gaming playlists on YouTube Music that provide copyright free background music perfect for gaming sessions (2). These playlists have music designed to enhance the gaming experience without being distracting.

YouTube Music works across platforms, allowing users to access the same playlists and songs on their gaming PC, console, or mobile device. The music can keep playing across devices (3).

The service offers personalized playlists and recommendations for gaming-focused background music based on a user’s listening history and preferences. It can suggest music fitting for high-action FPS games or more chilled out RPGs.

YouTube Music has a large catalog of music, including video game soundtracks and gaming remixes. This allows gamers to listen to music from their favorite games while playing.

With a YouTube Music subscription, users can download songs, playlists, and albums to listen offline while gaming. Downloads can save mobile data usage.


(1) https://support.google.com/youtubemusic/answer/6308116?hl=en

(2) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLya__OBTLMkONuQDu0kHDCrml2xuEINSi

(3) https://support.google.com/youtubemusic/answer/6313519?hl=en

Amazon Music

The Amazon Music app allows you to play music in the background while gaming on both Android and iOS devices (Amazon Music). Some key features that make Amazon Music ideal for gaming include:

Hands-Free Listening – You can ask Alexa to play music hands-free so you don’t have to stop your game.

Downloads for Offline Playback – Download albums, playlists and stations to your phone to listen without an internet connection.

Integrates with Twitch – Streamers can play Amazon Music in the background of their Twitch streams.

Song Lyrics – View real-time lyrics for songs to sing along while you game.

Curated Gaming Playlists – Choose from gaming-themed playlists curated by Amazon Music editors.

Overall, the Amazon Music app provides a seamless background music experience for gamers with features tailored for hands-free listening and streaming.


SoundCloud is a popular music streaming platform that launched in 2007. It allows users to upload, record, promote, and share audio content. One of the unique aspects of SoundCloud is its focus on emerging and independent artists. It provides a way for musicians to share their music and build an audience.

In terms of using SoundCloud while gaming, there are a couple options. The SoundCloud mobile app or SoundCloud Go+ subscription allow you to listen to music in the background while using other apps. So you can start playing music on SoundCloud, then open up your game app and the audio will continue. This works well for casual gameplay that doesn’t require as much concentration.

For more immeresive gameplay that demands focus, SoundCloud may not be the best option. The audio playback is designed to continue in the background rather than dynamically adjust volume based on the game. So the music may be distracting or override important in-game sounds. But for more casual gaming, SoundCloud can provide a seamless soundtrack.


Tidal has become a popular music streaming option for gamers who want to listen to music while gaming. The service offers a dedicated Gaming section with curated playlists and moods designed for gaming. Tidal also allows you to play music in the background on mobile while gaming on your phone.

Some key features that make Tidal a top choice include:

  • Ability to play music in the background on mobile while gaming
  • Specialized gaming playlists and moods curated by Tidal
  • Lossless HiFi sound quality for an immersive gaming audio experience
  • “Audio Mode” that optimizes the audio for gaming
  • Syncs across devices so you can start playing on desktop and continue on mobile

Tidal users on Reddit and other forums report having success using Tidal to play background music while gaming on various platforms. The service seems especially seamless for iPhone users. Tidal’s focus on high quality audio also makes it a popular choice for gamers who want an immersive music backdrop to their games.


Pandora is a popular music streaming service that allows users to listen to personalized radio stations based on songs, artists, or genres they like (1). Pandora can be used to play music in the background while gaming on mobile devices. The key is to start playing music on Pandora first, before launching your game. Once Pandora is already streaming music, opening a game will not interrupt it.

However, some users have reported issues with Pandora cutting out or being overridden by game sounds (2). This is likely due to how certain games are programmed – they may pause background audio or mute it when game audio needs to play. Games heavy on sound effects and music may interrupt streaming more frequently.

Pandora has addressed this limitation and recommends enjoying their Ultimate Gaming station for background music that won’t clash with game audio (3). This station features mainly melodic electronic music without lyrics that complements gaming without becoming distracting.


In summary, here are some of the top options for listening to music while gaming:

Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services and works great for background music on Xbox and PlayStation consoles. It has a huge music library and you can control playback through the Spotify app on your phone (Source).

Apple Music also integrates well for background audio on Xbox and PlayStation. It has over 90 million songs and playlists to choose from (Source).

YouTube Music allows you to play audio in the background while gaming. It has a library of official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio (Source).

Other top options include Pandora, Amazon Music, and Tidal. All of these streaming services can provide background music to enhance your gaming experience.


Cramer, L. (2021). The 19 Best Music Apps to Use While Gaming. The Gamer. https://www.thegamer.com/best-music-apps-use-while-gaming/

Edwards, J. (2022). The best apps for listening to music while gaming on Windows, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, iOS or Android. Windows Central. https://www.windowscentral.com/best-apps-listening-music-while-gaming

Gach, E. (2020). The Best Ways To Listen To Music While Playing Games. Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/the-best-ways-to-listen-to-music-while-playing-games-1845064453

Leack, J. (2022). Best Music Apps to Use While Gaming. Pro Game Guides. https://progameguides.com/lists/best-music-apps-to-use-while-gaming/

Tan, H. (2021). 13 Best Music Apps To Use While Gaming. Gaming Feature. https://gamingfeature.com/best-music-apps-to-use-while-gaming/

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