If you are an Android user, then you might be aware of APK files which we download from the internet and sideload (aka install) on Android devices. If the app you are looking for is not available on Play Store (or in your region on Play Store), then sideloading APK files are the way to go.
XAPK files are something similar but are little bit more complex in nature. Unlike the regular APK files, you cannot simply install a APK file on your device. You would need an installer to do that.
What is XAPK file?
XAPK is a file format for packaging Android apps and games and any associated data for the said app/game into a single file.
Remember when you download and open a game, it starts downloading additional files before you can actually play them? Well, there is a reason for that. Instead of creating a one big APK file which contains the game and game data (the graphical assets and such), developers make the game as an APK file and the additional data as an OBB file. So, what happens is that when you download the game, it downloads the APK file and installs it on your device and when you open the game, the OBB file is downloaded to your device.
This is where XAPK files come into place. XAPK is a compression container file (sort of a zip file) that has both the APK and OBB (data) in the same single file.
How to Install XAPK file on Android?
XAPK files can be installed on any Android device but you would need an app to do that. Since XAPK file contain both APK and OBB data, Android on it own would not have any idea on how to handle this. That is why you are going to need an app that understands the XAPK files correctly and decompresses and install it on your device.
I am going to use an app called Split APKs Installer (SAI) for this purpose.
Step 1. Download and install Split APKs Installer (SAI) from Google Play Store.
Step 2. Have the XAPK file you want to install ready on your device.
Step 3. Open the SAI app on your phone. Go to the Settings section in the app and enable an option called ‘Use ZipFile API‘.
Step 4. Go back and tap on the ‘Install APKs‘ button at the bottom. Then, select the XAPK file which you want to install on your device.
Step 5. Wait for a while for the app to process your file. If this is the first time you are using SAI app to install a file, you will be asked to allow the app to install APK files. Follow the onscreen instructions and allow the same.
Step 6. Now, you will get the actual screen where you can install the APK file (which was bundled inside the XAPK file). Once the app installs, SAI will automatically take care of the associated data (which also is bundled inside the XAPK file) automatically. Once completed, you will get a prompt as below.