April 17, 2024

Price, Plans, Games, and How to Sign Up

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Since its introduction in 2017, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass has steadily grown into a Netflix-style subscription service that allows players to download or stream more than 100 games. Following the Xbox Game Pass price hike in July, current memberships range from $10 to $17 per month, depending on the plan you choose.

Separate subscriptions for Xbox and PC consoles are available, giving you access to a library of downloadable games on either platform. The highest tier, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, even lets you stream games directly to your phone, completely eliminating the need for an expensive gaming PC, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S console.

Console, PC, and Ultimate members can play the latest Xbox Studios games as soon as they’re released, a strategy that helped recruit and generate a reported 29 million subscribers $1 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2023. Same-day releases and a sprawling library make Game Pass a trend-setter for gaming subscriptions, leaving companies like Sony to match competing platforms like PlayStation Plus.

To help you get started with the service, we’ve broken down how Xbox Game Pass works and how much each plan costs. And be sure to check out our full Xbox Game Pass vs. PlayStation Plus comparison for details on how the two services stack up.

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that gives members access to over a hundred games on Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, or both. The service offers a mix of classic titles dating back to the original Xbox, as well as new releases. Games rotate in and out of the library on a regular basis.

New first-party games from Microsoft – like Starfield, Forza Motorsport, and the Gears of War franchise – are available with Game Pass the same day they’re released in stores. Several popular indie titles and online multiplayer games, such as High on Life and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, have also launched on Game Pass.

PC Game Pass members also get access to EA Play, featuring more downloadable games and trials from popular publisher Electronic Arts. That means you can play games like Star Wars Battlefront II, Madden, Battlefield 2042, and It Takes Two with your Game Pass subscription. Console members must upgrade their subscription to Game Pass Ultimate to receive titles from EA Play.

Xbox Game Pass also offers members special discounts in Microsoft’s digital store. You can sign up for the service through Microsoft’s website.

What is Xbox Game Pass Core?

Promotional image for Xbox Game Pass Core that features side-by-side art from various games included with membership.

Xbox Game Pass Core replaces Xbox Live Gold and serves as a new entry-level Game Pass plan.

Xbox



Xbox Game Pass Core is a new entry-level Game Pass series set to launch on September 14th. The new series will replace Xbox Live Gold, a separate service that was previously required to play Xbox games online.

On September 14, all Xbox Live Gold memberships will automatically convert to Xbox Game Pass Core. An Xbox Game Pass Core subscription will cost $10 per month, or $60 per year, which is the same price as Xbox Live Gold. Members will get online multiplayer support along with a collection of around 25 Xbox Studios games. Subscribers will have access to the same discounts as other Game Pass members in the Microsoft Store.

In the past, Xbox Live Gold members could claim free games each month that would remain playable as long as they maintained their subscription. Microsoft will end this “Free Games with Gold” program in September and replace it with the new Game Pass Core library. Xbox Live Gold members who convert to Xbox Game Pass Core will still get to keep any previously claimed Xbox One games as long as they remain subscribers. Xbox 360 games claimed in the past will remain free to play even without a Game Pass subscription.

Xbox Game Pass Core members can upgrade their subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at any time; the number of days remaining on your subscription will be converted based on the price difference.

What is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

A side-by-side image of a list of games available on Xbox Game Pass Streaming while playing on a mobile device.

Game Pass Ultimate supports cloud streaming on mobile devices and Samsung TVs.

Microsoft



Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the main tier of the service. Includes Xbox Game Pass membership on console and PC, and allows users to stream certain games on their phone, PC browser, and some smart TVs. That means you can play games from the Xbox Game Pass library even if you don’t have an Xbox console, gaming PC or gaming laptop.

For example, iPhone owners can use Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to stream Fortnite, although it is no longer available in Apple’s App Store. Members with a compatible Samsung TV can even stream games to their display without any other hardware. However, not all games available on Xbox Game Pass support streaming.

Game Pass Ultimate also includes support for online console multiplayer. Members can access games from the EA Play library on both console and PC.

In addition to special Microsoft Store discounts, Game Pass Ultimate subscribers receive additional benefits and offers from partner companies such as Discord, Disney Plus, and Marvel Unlimited.

How much is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass prices currently range from $10 to $17 per month, depending on the four plans you choose.

Here’s a full breakdown of Xbox Game Pass plans and prices:

* Xbox Game Pass Core launches on September 14.

What games are included with Xbox Game Pass?

A character from Halo Infinite.

Popular franchises, like Halo, are included with Game Pass membership.

343 Industries



More than 100 games are included with Xbox Game Pass Console, PC, or ultimate membership. Xbox Game Pass Core members, however, only get access to a library of about 25 games; Microsoft says they will continue to add more games to the Core Collection two or three times a year.

Games are usually available for at least a year, although some titles are rotated after a shorter period. Games from Microsoft’s Xbox Studios, like Halo and Forza, are permanent fixtures.

Not all Xbox Game Pass titles are available on console and PC. Additionally, only certain games will share progress between the PC and console versions. Likewise, only certain games allow online multiplayer between PC and Xbox consoles. When streaming on a phone or other device, players will stream the Xbox version of the game.

You can check out the full list of Xbox Game Pass games on the Xbox official websiteand we’ve included some of the most popular franchises you’ll find below.

Xbox Studios games on Game Pass from July 2023:

Are there deals on Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass Core offers a 50% discount on annual subscriptions; a one-year membership costs $60 and can be upgraded at any time to a higher tier of Xbox Game Pass.

Xbox Game Pass, Game Pass Ultimate, and PC Game Pass currently only offer month-to-month plans, but new subscribers can occasionally get a deal to get their first month or three months for $1 only. Gift cards offering three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can be sold for as low as $30; $15 off, or almost a month free.

Right now, Amazon is selling three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $40, 11% discount, and three months of Game Pass PC for $2419% discount.

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