Streaming. Possibly the future of all media in general, certainly the future of gaming (although by some metrics it’s technically the present).

Undeniably, being able to browse a catalog and pick whatever interests you that day is a whole lot of convenience, something that Netflix realized long ago and the rest of us mortals is just trying to keep up.

Xbox Game Pass

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With that knowledge, publishers attempted to replicate this xbox game pass explained phenomenon by creating special, subscription-based services that offer analogous benefits. The one we’re discussing today is Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and it will have understandably many similarities to the PlayStation service.

What is Xbox Game Pass?

In short: it’s game on demand for Xbox. When you activate your subscription (which comes in 1-, 3- or 6-month packages) you get access to a catalogue of games.

This includes exclusives as well as some backwards-compatible Xbox and Xbox 360 titles, from many different publishers, not just Microsoft. You can download and play any of the games in the catalogue provided you have enough space on your console.

There is no limit to how many games you can play and they will be playable for as long as you have them downloaded and they remain a part of the catalogue.

New games are being added consistently and some are infrequently removed and the catalogue now sits at over 230 games (for meta reasons, the hope is they’ll reach 360 and then 420).

Beyond that, the Game Pass provides the user with a flat 20% discount on all games available in the catalogue. Notably, this includes games from publishers other than Microsoft, but ONLY games currently in catalogue and ONLY for as long as they remain a part of it. All purchased games become permanently yours and will stay with you even if they leave the catalogue.


It’s a relatively simple affair, so I’ll now get to frequently asked questions that might going through your head now.

No. For that, you’ll need Xbox Live Gold, a special service that enables online multiplayer on your console. Also of note, the Game Pass tracks your games whether you’re online or offline, so if it doesn’t register you logging in for 30 days, it will become disabled. So you know, you can’t just go offline with a downloaded game and keep playing.

All sorts, honestly. From shooters to RPGs, the service has something for anyone. As mentioned, this also includes backwards-compatible games, so there might be one you either didn’t get to experience with the previous generation and one you’re particularly interested in.

You can see the full list here:
No. Such feature is tied to Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Game Pass only provides you with the ability to browse, download and play games on your console, there’re no freebies here.

Yes! The process requires some determination, but it’s possible. First, the person who wishes to do the sharing must log into a different console, activate the Game Pass, make the console their home console via settings, and log out. Game Pass will now be accessible by all other users of that console.

This can be done in reverse afterwards to enable two-way sharing of games. It can technically be done with more than two consoles, but it’s unadvisable.
You’ll be unable to access the catalogue or play any downloaded games until you refresh your subscription. Note that it also means you won’t have access to the discount, so you won’t be able to quickly purchase the specific game you might be interested in cheap. At least not directly via the Xbox store..
It depends on your plan and region. As mentioned, there are 1-, 3-, and 6-month plans available, with varying prices. You can find resellers on our Marketplace and it’s likely going to be cheaper than buying subscription directly from Microsoft. After the subscription expires, you can technically purchase a new plan and continue playing, but remember that unless you still have the specific game downloaded to your machine you may lose all your progress.
No. Not yet anyway. Plans for this feature are in the making, but for now Microsoft is behind the curve on this one and you can’t play Xbox-exclusive games on your PC. Then again, there are only a few, very specific games this even applies to, the overwhelming majority of games available in the Game Pass are already available on PC. Not necessarily through an on-demand service, of course, but they are.
Yes! Absolutely free 14 days trail is available, provided you remember to cancel your subscription on time. Alternatively, you can actually buy a 14 or 30 days trial period for very, very cheap (much cheaper than buying a recent release, in fact) and not have to bother to cancel your subscription. So you CAN take it for a spin for free and make sure that it’s something you like.


This concludes our in-depth explanation of the Xbox Game Pass service and all its features. If there’s something we missed, perhaps a burning question not letting you sleep at night that we failed to include, feel free to comment, we’ll be sure to look into it!