Xbox Game Pass: Price, plans, games, and how to sign up

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Screenshot of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate logo overlaid on image of "Halo" video game characters.
Xbox Game Pass lets you download tons of games for a monthly fee.

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 a rotating library of more than 450 games.

Separate Xbox console and PC plans 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 or select Samsung displays and Fire TV devices for $17 a month. This removes 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 secure more than 34 million subscribers. The same-day releases and sprawling library have made Game Pass a trendsetter for gaming subscriptions, leading Sony to launch a competing platform called PlayStation Plus. You can learn more about how both services stack up in our Xbox Game Pass vs. PlayStation Plus comparison.

If you’re on the fence about Xbox Game Pass, we’ve got you covered with a full breakdown of plans, pricing, and features. And if you’re looking for more Xbox coverage, check out our roundups of the best Xbox accessories and best Xbox headsets.

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 Halo franchise — are available with Game Pass the same day they’re released in stores. Several popular indie titles and online multiplayer games, like Lies of P and Payday 3, 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 Dead Space Remake, Madden, Star Wars Battlefront II, 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?

Promotional image for Xbox Game Pass Core that features side-by-side art from different games included with a membership.
Xbox Game Pass Core replaced Xbox Live Gold and serves as the new entry-level Game Pass plan.

Xbox Game Pass Core is the entry-level Game Pass tier that launched in September 2023. Xbox Game Pass Core replaced Xbox Live Gold, which was a separate service previously needed to play Xbox games online.

An Xbox Game Pass Core subscription costs $10 a month or $60 a 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.

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 with a list of games available on Xbox Game Pass Streaming and a person playing on a mobile device.
Game Pass Ultimate supports cloud streaming on mobile devices, Samsung TVs, and some Fire TV sticks.

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, certain Samsung smart TVs, and select Fire TV sticks. 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, members with a compatible Samsung TV or Fire TV Stick can stream games to their display without any other hardware. You just need to download the Xbox app on your device, pair a wireless controller, and you’re good to go. However, not every game that’s available on Xbox Game Pass supports cloud streaming.

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

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 range from $10 to $17 a month, depending on which of the four plans you choose. For a limited time, Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate both offer a 14-day trial period for $1 before renewing at the regular price.

Here’s a 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






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





Streaming game library





Online multiplayer


Not Necessary



EA Play membership


PC only


Console and PC

Microsoft store discounts





Free member perks for in-game DLC and partner offers





What games are included with Xbox Game Pass?

A still from Starfield Xbox of a character standing on and looking at mountainous terrain.
Starfield is one of the biggest Xbox exclusives on Game Pass.

An Xbox Game Pass Console, PC, or Ultimate membership includes more than 100 games. 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, 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.

Are there deals on Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass plans are often sold at a slight discount from various retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. Right now, a 12-month Xbox Game Pass Core membership is available for $60, which is 50% less than you’d pay if you signed up on a month-to-month basis. In the past, we’ve also seen gift cards offering three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for as low as $30, a discount of $15, or nearly one free month.

The only other notable Xbox Game Pass promo we’re seeing right now is a 14-day trial of Game Pass PC or Ultimate for $1.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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