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What is Game Pass Ultimate: Here’s everything you need to know

Here's how the Xbox Series X|S consoles might win the battle against Sony.

Imagine you didn’t have to buy games for your Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S or Xbox One consoles or even your PC. What if instead you paid a flat monthly subscription rate to access and play over 100 top games at your leisure without paying any additional fees? That’s the concept behind Microsoft’s Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate services.

However, it’s much more than simply playing games. Game Pass gives you access to additional services, benefits and rewards that you can use over the entire Xbox ecosystem.

How much does Game Pass cost?

There are two versions of Game Pass. The Game Pass basic plan for either Xbox or PC costs $9.99 per month. The Game Pass Ultimate, which includes both PC and Xbox in the one purchase, is $14.99 per month.

Game Pass Ultimate is also included in Xbox All Access, where you can upgrade to a next-gen console for a monthly fee. The Xbox Series X costs $34.99 per month and the Series S costs $29.99 per month — both for 24 months.

Is there a Game Pass free trial?

There isn’t a completely free trial. But for PC or Game Pass Ultimate, you can get your first month for just $1 and you can cancel at any time. As of October 2020, the $1 deal is not available for Game Pass basic on Xbox only.

So if you’re planning to add this to your PC or want to try Game Pass Ultimate, you can test it out for next to nothing and see if it’s right for you.

What games are available on Game Pass?

Microsoft is always adding new games to Game Pass and occasionally rotating some titles off the service. Think of it like Netflix for your video games, where you have access to over 100 titles to binge-play all night.

As of October 2020, the latest games to be added to Game Pass Ultimate include:

  • Doom Eternal — added October 1st, 2020
  • Brutal Legend — added October 8th, 2020
  • Forza Motorsport 7 — added October 8th, 2020
  • Ikenfell — added October 8th, 2020
  • Katana Zero — added October 15th, 2020
  • Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition — added October 15th, 2020
  • ScourgeBringer — added October 21st, 2020
  • Cricket 19 — added October 22nd, 2020
  • Supraland — added October 22nd, 2020
  • Rainbow Six Siege — added October 22nd, 2020
  • Gonner2 — added October 22nd, 2020
  • Grim Fandango Remastered — added October 29th, 2020
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered — added October 29th, 2020
  • Full Throttle Remastered — added October 29th, 2020
  • Carto — added October 27th, 2020
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s — added October 29th, 2020
  • Unruly Heroes — added October 29th, 2020
  • Celeste — added November 5th, 2020
  • Deep Rock Galactic — added November 5th, 2020
  • Eastshade — added November 5th, 2020
  • Knights and Bikes — added November 5th, 2020
  • Ark: Survival Evolved: Explorer’s Edition — added November 17th, 2020

Where to buy Xbox Series X

Game Pass vs. Game Pass Ultimate

So, what do you get for the extra $5 per month it costs to upgrade to Game Pass Ultimate? A heck of a lot of extra value! Namely, you get Xbox Live Gold, which normally costs $9.99 per month alone. Xbox Live Gold gets you access to three free games a month, exclusive deals and — most importantly — online multiplayer.

Here’s a comparison of the features offered by Game Pass vs. Game Pass Ultimate.

FeatureGame Pass UltimateGame Pass PCGame Pass XBox
Access to hundreds of Xbox gamesYesNoYes
Access to hundreds of PC gamesYesYesNo
Free first-party games on launch dayYesYesYes
Online multiplayerYesYesYes
EA PlayYesYesNo
Xbox Live GoldYesNoNo
Exclusive DealsYesYesYes
Exclusive PerksYesNoNo
Xbox Game Pass Mobile AppYesYesYes

What does EA Play bring to Xbox Game Pass?

One of the big announcements about the Xbox Series X|S consoles was the addition of EA Play, for free, to the Game Pass Ultimate and Game Pass PC services. EA Play is a like-minded service to Game Pass but is targeted to massive third-party publisher EA’s roster of titles. As an EA Play member, you get the following:

  • Free access to over 40 EA games, including franchises like Battlefield, Anthem, Mass Effect, FIFA, Need for Speed, Star Wars: Battlefront and UFC
  • 10-hour trials of the latest releases and upcoming games
  • Exclusive in-game challenges and rewards
  • Member-only content

Usually EA Play costs $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year. However, it comes at no extra cost in Game Pass.

Where to buy Xbox Series S

Is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate worth it?

Absolutely. In fact, given the amount of content and the scale of the benefits, we’d consider it a must-own service for Xbox gamers.

We’d go one step further and say it could also be a deciding factor for many consumers in what console to choose. Currently, Sony doesn’t have a like-for-like competing service.

Is Game Pass Ultimate coming to Xbox Series X?

Yes! In fact, it’s arguably the biggest selling point for the console when compared against the PlayStation 5.

What formats is Game Pass compatible with?

You only have to purchase Game Pass Ultimate once, but you can access it through all the devices in the Xbox ecosystem. This includes the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles as well as all the devices in the Xbox One family. Xbox games available on PC can be played on your computer through your Game Pass Ultimate subscription too.

You can also log in to Game Pass via your mobile. While Microsoft’s cloud gaming is still in its beta phase, you can play over 100 games on your Android mobile or tablet.

Xbox Game Pass vs. Xbox Live Gold

At first glance, these two services may seem very similar. They both offer free games and member discounts. However, Xbox Live Gold also unlocks online multiplayer on the Xbox consoles.

As a result, if you only want online multiplayer, stick with Xbox Live Gold and get three free titles a month as selected by Microsoft through Games with Gold. However, if you want a library of over one hundred titles, including all new first-party games on the day of launch, you need Game Pass.

However, the best option is to get Game Pass Ultimate. It combines both services into one and also adds in the additional bonuses we’ve already mentioned.

Does Game Pass cancel Gold?

It depends on which plan you get. Buying the Game Pass basic plan does not cancel your Gold subscription. However, if you buy Game Pass Ultimate, your existing Gold subscription is automatically upgraded to the new service. As such, Game Pass Ultimate replaces Xbox Live Gold on your console.

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