Xbox Game Pass lets you play tons of games for a monthly fee — here’s a full breakdown of plans and features – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Xbox Game Pass lets you play tons of games for a monthly fee — here’s a full breakdown of plans and features

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Xbox Game Pass lets you download tons of games for a monthly fee.

Microsoft

Since its introduction in 2017, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass has steadily grown into a Netflix-style subscription service that lets players download or stream more than 100 games.

Separate Xbox console and PC subscriptions are available starting at $10 a month, giving you access to a library of downloadable games on either platform. The top tier, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, even lets you stream games directly to your phone for $17 a month, removing the need for an expensive gaming PC, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S console entirely.

Console, PC, and Ultimate members can play the latest Xbox Studios games as soon as they’re released, a strategy that has helped recruit a reported 29 million subscribers and generate nearly $1 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2023. The same-day releases and sprawling library have made Game Pass a trend-setter for gaming subscriptions, leading companies like Sony to adapt with 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 of its plans cost. And if you’re looking for more Xbox coverage, check out our roundups of the best Xbox accessories and best Xbox headsets, as well as our Xbox Game Pass vs. PlayStation Plus comparison. 

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that gives members access to more than a hundred games on Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, or both. The service offers a mix of classic titles dating back to the original Xbox, along with 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, like High on Life and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, have also launched on Game Pass.

Game Pass PC members get access to EA Play as well, which features 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 need to upgrade their subscription to Game Pass Ultimate to get titles from EA Play.

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

What is Xbox Game Pass Core?

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

Xbox

Xbox Game Pass Core is a new entry-level Game Pass tier that launched on September 14. The new tier replaced Xbox Live Gold, which was a separate service previously needed to play Xbox games online.

On September 14, all Xbox Live Gold memberships were automatically converted to Xbox Game Pass Core. An Xbox Game Pass Core subscription costs $10 a month or $60 per year. Members get online multiplayer support along with a collection of about 25 Xbox Studios games. Subscribers also 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 every month that would remain playable so long as they maintained their subscription. Microsoft ended this “Free Games with Gold” program in September and replaced it with the new Game Pass Core library. Xbox Live Gold members who were converted to Xbox Game Pass Core can still get to keep any previously claimed Xbox One games as long as they remain subscribers. Xbox 360 games that were 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?

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

Microsoft

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the service’s premium tier. It includes membership to Xbox Game Pass on console and PC, and also allows users to stream certain games on their phone, a computer browser, and some smart TVs. That means you can play games from the Xbox Game Pass library even if you don’t own an Xbox console, gaming PC, or gaming laptop

For example, iPhone owners can use Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to stream Fortnite, even though it’s 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 every game that’s available on Xbox Game Pass supports streaming.

Support for online console multiplayer is included with Game Pass Ultimate as well. Members can also access games from the EA Play library on both console and PC.

In addition to special Microsoft Store discounts, Game Pass Ultimate subscribers get extra perks and offers from partner companies like Discord, Disney Plus, and Marvel Unlimited.

How much is Xbox Game Pass?

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

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

 

Xbox Game Pass Core

Xbox Game Pass for PC

Xbox Game Pass for console

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Price

$10/month, $60/year

$10/month

$11/month

$17/month

Downloadable game library

About 25 games for Xbox consoles only

More than 100 games for PC only

More than 100 games for Xbox consoles only

More than 100 games for console and PC

Xbox Studios same-day releases

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Streaming game library

No

No

No

Yes

Online multiplayer

Yes

Not Necessary

No

Yes

EA Play membership

No

PC only

No

Console and PC

Microsoft store discounts

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Free member perks for in-game DLC and partner offers

No

No

No

Yes

What games are included with Xbox Game Pass?

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

343 Industries

There are more than 100 games included with an 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 adding more games to the Core Collection two or three times a year.

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

Not every Xbox Game Pass title is available on both console and PC. Furthermore, only specific games will share progression between the PC and console versions. Similarly, only certain games allow online multiplayer between PC and Xbox consoles. When streaming on a phone or different device, players will stream the Xbox version of the game.

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

Xbox Studios games on Game Pass as of October 2023:

Minecraft franchiseHalo franchiseGears of War franchiseMicrosoft Flight SimulatorForza seriesDoom franchiseFallout franchiseThe Elder Scrolls franchiseAge of Empires franchiseHi-Fi RushRedfallGroundedPsychonauts 2Sea of ThievesState of Decay seriesBattletoadsBleeding EdgeOri and the Will of the WispsOri and the Blind ForestCrackdown series

Are there deals on Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass Core offers a 50% discount for 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 only offer month-to-month plans at the moment, but new subscribers can occasionally find a deal to get their first month or first three months for just $1. Gift cards offering three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can go on sale for as low as $30; a discount of $15, or nearly one free month.

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