So what separates Game Pass PC and Game Pass for console? And what on earth is Game Pass Ultimate? How much do they all cost? Take a look at our full guide to Xbox’s complicated subscription service.
So what is the Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription available to Xbox and PC gamers, with separate rewards to Xbox Live Gold. It’s available in three options, Xbox Game Pass PC, Xbox Game Pass console, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Quite obviously, the PC version gets you access to most of the Game Pass rewards, but only for PC. Similarly, the same can be said about the console version, which is only available on Xbox consoles. They are both lower in price than the Ultimate subscription, though, and don’t have all the same benefits, making it a little confusing. We’re here to help, taking a look at all the differences.
Xbox Game Pass PC
Game Pass Library
Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service allowing access to a library of over 100 games that are free to play with any current Game Pass. Unlike Games with Gold, these games will only be playable all the time you have a valid subscription, or if you purchase the full game. If you suspend your Game Pass, while you won’t be able to play the game, your progress will be saved, so you can pick up where you left off if you purchase the game or restart your subscription. Also, if you do decide to purchase the full game, you will likely find that you will be offered it at a discounted price with your subscription.
Games are added and removed from Game Pass regularly, but some popular titles at the moment include Marvel Avengers, Scarlet Nexus and the Halo: Master Chief Collection. The Game Pass library now includes iconic Bethesda games, as well, after Microsoft’s acquisition of the publisher in early 2021, and access to some titles on release day.
Being the whole point of the Xbox Game Pass, the Game Pass library is included in Game Pass PC, Game Pass console and Game Pass Ultimate.
Day One titles
Select games will be available to play on Game Pass for free on their day of release, meaning you don’t have to wait until everyone else has long completed the game to get in on the action. Mostly, these will be Xbox exclusives and Bethesda titles, but you will also find a few indies and blockbusters alike hitting the Game Pass on day one.
The next titles coming to Game Pass PC on day one are Forza Horizon 5, coming November 9th; and Halo Infinite on December 8th, 2021. Back 4 Blood is currently available to play with an Xbox Game Pass, having also been released onto the library on day one.
As an add-on feature of the Game Pass library, day one titles are also available for both the PC and console version of Game Pass.
Giving you even more for your money, an EA Play subscription will also be included for free with your Xbox Game Pass PC. On top of the already extensive Game Pass Library, this will give you access to EA’s online library of games, including the likes of Star Wars Squadrons and It Takes Two.
Your EA Play subscription also gets you access to some in-game Member benefits for your favorite EA games. This includes the likes of exclusive cosmetic items, bonus XP and in-game event invites.
Xbox Live Gold
Unlike the Game Pass Ultimate, the PC version does not come with Live Gold included. This is because it’s not needed for PC-only gaming, though, so you’re not missing out on anything.
How much does Xbox Game Pass PC cost?
Xbox Game Pass for PC costs $9.99/£7.99/€9.99 per month. If you are a first-time subscriber, you can currently test out the Game Pass for $1/£1/€1, but you will be automatically charged the full amount at the end of your first month.
Is Xbox Game Pass PC for me?
Xbox Game Pass PC is for anyone wanting to play games from the library of Game Pass and EA titles on PC, and do not play on an Xbox console. If you have both an Xbox console and a PC and game across both, you should instead consider an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Check out our extensive guide for more on what the Ultimate subscription offers.
Xbox Game Pass console
Xbox Game Pass console is the most basic Game Pass subscription. In contrast to Xbox Game Pass PC, of course the console version is only worth considering if you play solely on an Xbox console, and not on PC. However, there are other considerations which mean you might be better of with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, even if you don’t play on PC.
Xbox Live Gold
Firstly, and most crucially, Xbox Live Gold is not included in an Xbox Game Pass console subscription. What this means is that you will not have access to online gameplay on anything other than free-to-play titles. If you exclusively play free-to-play games like Fortnite, Apex Legends and Rocket League, and/or offline, single-player titles, then you may only need Xbox Game Pass for console. This includes titles in the Game Pass library, meaning you will be limiting the number of games in the catalogue that you will actually be able to try.
You also won’t get access to the free monthly Games with Gold. However, since these are unknown and only revealed month-to-month, it’s not necessarily worth the extra cost for an Ultimate subscription in case you are not interested in any of the games offered. Games with Gold should be considered a bonus, rather than a reason for owning Xbox Live Gold.
If you do play online, multiplayer titles like GTA V or Battlefield 2042, you will need Xbox Live Gold. As the combined cost of an Xbox Live Gold and an Xbox Game Pass console
Subscription is greater than that of an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and has less benefits, you’ll most likely want to take a look at our guide to the Ultimate Game Pass, and consider that your best option.
You also won’t get access to EA Play with the Xbox Game Pass for console. Much like Games with Gold, though, you should consider whether you will definitely utilise this benefit before considering paying more for the privilege. Once again, just consider it as a bonus, unless you particularly want an EA Play subscription, or you already have one.
How much does Xbox Game Pass console cost?
Xbox Game Pass console, despite being the most basic Game Pass option, costs $9.99/£7.99/€9.99 per month. At just $5/£3/€3 less than the Game Pass Ultimate, it is definitely worth considering whether the extra benefits might be worth the extra cost.
If you are a first-time subscriber, you can currently test out the Game Pass for $1/£1/€1, but you will be automatically charged the full amount at the end of your first month.
So is Xbox Game Pass console for me?
In summary, Xbox Game Pass console is only for you if you exclusively play offline titles or free-to-play games, and don’t require access to Xbox Live Gold. It may be a good option for children.
Alternatively, if you just really like to keep all of your monthly subscriptions separate, then by all means get Gold and Game Pass separately, but beware you’ll be paying more than you have to and missing out on additional benefits.
How to cancel Xbox Game Pass PC and console
If you want to cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription, you simply need to log in to your Microsoft account on your PC/mobile device browser.
- Log in to your Microsoft account
- Navigate to Subscriptions and Services tab
- Locate Xbox Game Pass PC/Xbox Game Pass console, and click Manage
- Click Cancel Subscription
Turn off recurring billing
You can turn off automatic billing within your Microsoft account as well. If you are contemplating canceling your subscription, or want to see how you feel on a monthly basis, follow the same steps as canceling your account. However, instead of Cancel Subscription, click Turn off recurring billing, which should be just underneath. This does mean that you will need to remember to manually activate your subscription every month you want it.
If this option is not available, this likely means you already have recurring billing turned off.
Resubscribe to Xbox Game Pass
If you have canceled your subscription and wish to reactivate it, there is a very simple way of doing this within your Microsoft account as well.
- Log in to Microsoft account
- Navigate to Subscriptions and Services tab
- Locate list of Canceled subscriptions
- Find Xbox Game Pass PC/console
- Click Resubscribe