Xbox Game Pass explained

Could the Xbox Game Pass be your new favourite way to game? We’ve got all the info you need to figure that out.

04 Apr 2019

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service used with your Xbox One games console. All you have to do is pay a monthly subscription and you get unlimited access to an impressive catalogue of games.

You can download and play heavy hitters like Halo 4: Guardians or Sunset Overdrive as well as some of the best Xbox 360 titles (thanks to a handy feature called backwards compatibility). Microsoft adds new games every month, so if you can’t find your favourite in their 100-strong list, it might just be around the corner.

What’s more, the Game Pass allows you to download and play new games (like Crackdown 3) the day they’re released – at no extra cost.

How do I get Xbox Game Pass?

All you have to do to get the Xbox Game Pass is sign up for a subscription. It’s available from a variety of retailers, but you can also sign up straight from your console. Just go to the Xbox Store, search for Game Pass and follow the online prompts.

Once you’re subscribed, you’ll see a Game Pass tab in the console dashboard, provided you’ve updated the operating system (OS). You can use this tab to find and download games without going to the Store every time. If you haven’t updated your OS, you can find your Game Pass in the Recently Added channel.

How does Xbox Game Pass work?

Xbox Game Pass works in a similar way to the EA Access subscription service, as well as PlayStation Now (more on that later). You pay a regular monthly fee and in return, get guaranteed access to a large, constantly-updated library of games. As well as games from Microsoft Studios, the Game Pass offers picks from a wide range of publishers including Namco, Capcom, WB Games and SEGA.

Visit your Game Pass tab or the Recently Added channel to view the catalogue of games available. Choose the game you want to play and wait for it to download. The full game will download directly to your console’s hard drive which means you won’t have to deal with the lag and decrease in video quality that can result when streaming games. Once the game is downloaded, you can play offline for up to 30 days. After 30 days, you’ll need to reconnect the game to an internet connection, verifying you have an active subscription in the process.

Marcus from Gears of War 4

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Is there a limit to how many games I can download?

No, if you have an active Game Pass subscription, there’s no limit to how many games you can download. What’s more, the Game Pass could mean you’re eligible for discounts when purchasing downloadable content (DLC) for Game Pass titles.

Does it replace Xbox Live Games with Gold?

The Xbox Game Pass is a completely separate service to the Xbox Live Games with Gold membership and isn’t designed to replace it. In fact, if you want to use online multiplayer for any of the titles you download using your Game Pass, you’ll need to purchase a separate Xbox Live Games with Gold membership. Some games will also require an Xbox Live Gold membership before you can download them to your console.

How much is Xbox Game Pass?

You can get a free, 14-day trial of the Xbox Game Pass, after which you’ll need to set up a monthly payment. 

Canon in Sea of Thieves

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What are some of its best features?

If you love to jump on the newest games as soon as they’re released, the Game Pass gives you immediate access to the biggest titles. Simply pre-install the game so that it’s ready to play the minute it is officially released.

The inclusion of a back catalogue encompassing Xbox 360 and 2001 Xbox titles is also a great feature.  

Is Xbox Game Pass available in my country?

The Xbox Game Pass is currently available in the following countries, with more to come:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, United Arab Emirates and United States.

How do I cancel my Xbox Game Pass?

You can cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription online or via your console. To do so online:    

  1. Go to [Cancel a Microsoft Subscription]
  2. Either choose [Cancel immediately] if you want to stop paying and lose immediate access or choose [Stop automatic renewal] if you want to stop paying but continue playing until your subscription expires.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to completion.

To cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription via your console:

  1. Go to [Settings] > [Account] > [Subscriptions]
  2. Choose [Game Pass], then press [A] on your controller.
  3. Under [Payment and billing], select [Cancel Subscription] and follow the instructions.

Can I still play the games if I cancel my Xbox Game Pass?

No, if you cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription, you’ll lose access to any games you downloaded while you were subscribed. Games are available to play, in full, only if you continue to pay for the service. If you want to continue playing a game, you’ll need to purchase it separately.

Is there a similar service for PlayStation?

If you have a PlayStation, the closest similar service is the PlayStation Now. PlayStation Now is a subscription-based streaming service that allows you access to a selection of PlayStation 2, 3 and PlayStation 4 titles through a PlayStation 4 console. Of course, since you’ll be streaming the games instead of downloading them your console, you’ll need a good internet connection.


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