Xbox Game Pass: A SuperParent Guide

Everything you need to know about Xbox's game subscription service.

Xbox Game Pass is Xbox’s game subscription service, which gives subscribers unlimited access to over 100 video games for a single monthly price.

Here’s everything you need to know about Xbox Game Pass.

How does Xbox Game Pass work?

Xbox Game Pass gives subscribers the ability to play over 100 video games as often as they like without purchasing the games themselves. There are three subscription plans to choose from, with each one giving subscribers access to different benefits (we’ll go over the plans in a bit).

The Xbox Game Pass catalog is regularly updated with new games for subscribers to play, though games may also be removed from the service after some time. Xbox will announce when new games are added, as well as when games are going away, so subscribers can prepare.

In addition to offering older titles (including some backwards-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games), Xbox Game Pass is often updated with new games that are added to the service on the same day they’re released in stores. Specifically, subscribers can play new games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks, as well as games from other companies, on the day they’re released.

What are the three different subscription plans?

Xbox Game Pass subscribers can choose from three different plans: Console, PC, and Ultimate.

The Console plan costs $9.99 per month. It gives subscribers the ability to play over 100 video games from the Xbox Game Pass catalog on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. Subscribers to the Console plan will also receive access to “discounts and deals” in the Microsoft Store. The PC plan also costs $9.99 per month, though subscribers can purchase their first month for $1.

The PC plan gives subscribers the ability to play over 100 games on PC, instead of an Xbox console. PC plan subscribers also receive access to “discounts and deals” in the Microsoft Store. Finally, the PC plan includes access to EA Play, a game subscription service from Electronic Arts. An EA Play subscription costs $4.99, but it’s included at no additional cost in the Xbox Game Pass PC plan. You can learn more about EA Play in our guide to the service.

Finally, the Ultimate plan costs $14.99 per month (subscribers can purchase their first month for $1). Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives subscribers the ability to play over 100 games on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC. Subscribers can also stream games to their PC, smartphones, and tablets through cloud streaming. Like the other two plans, the Ultimate plan gives subscribers access to “discounts and deals” in the Microsoft Store. Plus, Ultimate subscribers may receive “in-game content and partner offers” at no additional cost. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes access to EA Play.

Lastly, the Ultimate plan includes an Xbox Live Gold subscription, which is required to play most (but not all) online multiplayer games on Xbox consoles. An Xbox Live Gold membership costs $9.99 per month, but it’s included at no additional cost in the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan. An Xbox Live Gold subscription comes with additional benefits as well. You can learn more about Xbox Live Gold in our guide.

Is there anything else parents need to know about Xbox Game Pass?

The Xbox Game Pass catalog contains many games that are rated M for Mature by the ESRB, meaning they aren’t appropriate for kids. You can view the full Xbox Game Pass catalog right here.

In addition, keep in mind that cloud streaming video games may quickly use a large amount of data if you’re on a limited data plan.

Finally, while cloud streaming through Xbox Game Pass is currently only available through PC, smartphones, and tablets, it will be added to Xbox consoles in the future. You can learn more about the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta on Xbox’s website.