How does Xbox Game Pass work?

Microsoft's Xbox Live Game Pass provides you with a large library games to play each month for a single subscription fee.

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Microsoft has announced the launch of Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that offers a large library of Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles on an effective on-demand basis. It’s an additional service to its existing paid Xbox Live Gold subscription tier targeted specifically at players who want a large library of games to play without the associated ownership costs.

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How much will Xbox Game Pass cost?

Microsoft has set the pricing of Xbox Live Game Pass at $9.99 per month. There’s no sign at this stage of an annual subscription package, but then the idea is that you’d subscribe for as long as you felt the service offered you genuine value. If you’re an Xbox Live Gold subscriber the service is available to you now with a 14 day trial. If you’re not an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, it will launch on 1 June 2017.

How many games will Xbox Game Pass offer?

Microsoft’s hype for Xbox Game Pass is that it offers “over 100” games to play, but at launch it only just squeaks past that limit, with 34 Xbox One titles and 71 backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles to play. Here’s the full rundown of launch titles:

Title Platform
#IDARB Xbox One
Blood Bowl 2 Xbox One
Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons Xbox One
D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die Xbox One
Defense Grid 2 Xbox One
DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition Xbox One
Farming Simulator 15 Xbox One
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Xbox One
Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One
Halo: Spartan Assault Xbox One
Knight Squad Xbox One
Layers of Fear Xbox One
Lumo Xbox One
Mad Max Xbox One
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Xbox One
Mega Man Legacy Collection Xbox One
NBA 2K16 Xbox One
OlliOlli Xbox One
Pumped BMX + Xbox One
Resident Evil 0 Xbox One
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected Xbox One
ScreamRide Xbox One
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Xbox One
Strider Xbox One
Sunset Overdrive Xbox One
Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings Xbox One
Super Time Force Xbox One
Terraria Xbox One
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Xbox One
The Golf Club Xbox One
The Swapper Xbox One
WWE 2K16 Xbox One
A Kingdom for Keflings Xbox 360
A World of Keflings Xbox 360
Age of Booty Xbox 360
Banjo Kazooie: N n B Xbox 360
Banjo-Kazooie Xbox 360
Banjo-Tooie Xbox 360
BC – Rearmed 2 Xbox 360
BioShock Xbox 360
BioShock 2 Xbox 360
BioShock Infinite Xbox 360
Borderlands Xbox 360
Bound by Flame Xbox 360
Braid Xbox 360
CastleStorm Xbox 360
Comic Jumper Xbox 360
Comix Zone Xbox 360
de Blob 2 Xbox 360
Defense Grid Xbox 360
DIG DUG Xbox 360
Double Dragon Neon Xbox 360
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara Xbox 360
Fable III Xbox 360
Final Fight: DblImpact Xbox 360
FLOCK! Xbox 360
Galaga Legions DX Xbox 360
Gears of War Xbox 360
Gears of War 2 Xbox 360
Gears of War 3 Xbox 360
Gears of War: Judgment Xbox 360
GRID 2 Xbox 360
Hexic 2 Xbox 360
Iron Brigade Xbox 360
Jetpac Refuelled Xbox 360
Joe Danger 2: The Movie Xbox 360
Joe Danger Special Edition Xbox 360
Joy Ride Turbo Xbox 360
Kameo Xbox 360
KOF98UM Xbox 360
LEGO Batman Xbox 360
Metal Slug 3 Xbox 360
Monday Night Combat Xbox 360
Ms. Splosion Man Xbox 360
MX vs ATV Reflex Xbox 360
N+ Xbox 360
OF: Dragon Rising Xbox 360
PAC-MAN CE DX+ Xbox 360
Perfect Dark Zero Xbox 360
Sacred 3 Xbox 360
Sam&Max Beyond Time… Xbox 360
Sam&Max Save the World Xbox 360
Samurai Shodown II Xbox 360
Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co. Xbox 360
Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe Xbox 360
Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World Xbox 360
Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage Xbox 360
Spelunky Xbox 360
Splosion Man Xbox 360
Stacking Xbox 360
The Maw Xbox 360
Toy Soldiers Xbox 360
Toy Soldiers: Cold War Xbox 360
Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown Xbox 360
Viva Piñata Xbox 360
Viva Piñata: TIP Xbox 360
XCOM: Enemy Within Xbox 360

Is Xbox Game Pass compatible with Xbox 360?

While Xbox Game Pass features Xbox 360 titles as part of the overall backwards compatibility feature of the Xbox One, it’s not a service available on the Xbox 360 console itself.

So is this just Netflix for Xbox owners?

Not quite. While both services trade on a large library of on-demand entertainment content, the key difference is that Netflix streams content on demand in an effectively “live” fashion.
Xbox Game Pass gives you access to games, but in order to play them you’ve got to fully download each title.

That does have an obvious impact on how quickly you’ll be able to play games, because you’ll have to wait for them to fully download and install, and you’ll need the space to store them and bandwidth to get them down to your Xbox One as well. The upside there is that an installed Xbox Game Pass game will, by definition, be free of any buffering issues, because all the code will be local.

Will Microsoft offer any discounts for Xbox Game Pass owners?

If you choose to buy an Xbox One game title that is in the Game Pass library at the time you buy it through the Xbox One store, Microsoft will cut 20% off the purchase price, plus 10% off any DLC or other in-game consumable, such as in-game currency. These discounts apply only to Xbox One titles, and not Xbox 360 backwards compatible titles or its DLC.

Will Microsoft add newer titles to Xbox Game Pass?

Microsoft hasn’t announced which newer titles will come to the service, but it’s definitely on the cards. Microsoft’s own site for Xbox Game Pass notes that

The Xbox Game Pass catalogue will change and evolve over time. In addition to titles entering the catalogue every month, titles may also leave the catalogue over time as well. Length of participation in Xbox Game Pass will vary on a game-to-game basis. Any time a game is scheduled to leave the catalogue, we will make sure that information is available on your Xbox and on”

What’s the difference between Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold?

Ever since the original Xbox, Microsoft has offered an online subscription service in the form of Xbox Live. That’s the service that you need to subscribe to in order to play Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles in online multiplayer, and if you want to use those features of Xbox Game Pass games, you’ll also need an Xbox Live Gold subscription as well. If you are an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, there’s no specific discount on Xbox Game Pass.

Xbox Live Gold offers its own free games offering, Games With Gold, and like Games with Gold, if you cease your Xbox Game Pass subscription, your access to that library of games will cease, although you will keep any gamerscore you’ve accrued. If you resubscribe down the track and the game in question is still available, you should also be able to use game saves and any purchased DLC at that time.

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28 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KevinOctober 5, 2019

    I have an Xbox live gold pass. How do I use it to get Mario kart

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BrianOctober 8, 2019Staff

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for reaching out to us here. The Mario Kart series is exclusive to Nintendo consoles, so you won’t be able to play it on any Xbox or PlayStation consoles. You’ll need to have a Nintendo Switch console with a copy of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game, as well as be subscribed to a Nintendo Switch Online if you want to play with other gamers over the internet.

      That being said, this week Nintendo launched Mario Kart Tour, a mobile version of the series available on the Apple store and Google Play store. It won’t be the same experience as playing the console version, but it could be an alternative to get your Mario Kart fix without buying a new console.

      Hope this helps,

  2. Default Gravatar
    JayApril 16, 2019

    Can you suggest game to go on the xbox game pass list?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 17, 2019Staff

      Hi Jay,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Finder is a comparison website and does not provide specific product recommendations. You may need to contact XBox customer support to inquire if this is something that is allowed.


  3. Default Gravatar
    LouDecember 23, 2018

    Is the Game Pass subscription tied to the console or the Microsoft account? For example, if I subscribe to Game Pass on my account on my Xbox One S, can my sons use their profiles to access the Game Pass as well?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Lou,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      The Game Pass subscription is tied to your Microsoft account. For this reason, you can access your games from any compatible console as long as you are using the same account. Your kids can use your game pass subscription as long as you are using the same account.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  4. Default Gravatar
    MikeDecember 17, 2018

    Do I have to download the games on game pass or I can just play them without downloading them?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseDecember 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      You cannot stream the games so you really need to download them in order to play them. Once downloaded, you will have complete access to a game as long as you continue to pay the monthly Xbox Game Pass fee.

      I hope this helps.


  5. Default Gravatar
    RuthNovember 25, 2018

    I am a parent of a teen. If I was to buy the Xbox game pass for my son; Will there be Mature games offered for him to play without restriction? Or if some of the rated Teen games are not yet acceptable to us, Is there a way to block, a particular game?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoNovember 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Please see instructions below:

      Press the Xbox button to open the guide, and then go to System > Settings > Account > Family.
      Select the child account you want to update, and then select Access to content. (By default, your child’s restrictions will be set to the age associated with their Microsoft account.)

      Hope this helps!


  6. Default Gravatar
    MaddAquarius217October 22, 2018

    So does the Game Pass allow the new Xbox One games to be Free for members or do they only come at a discount?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 22, 2018

      Hi there,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service from Microsoft for use with its Xbox One games console. It is like “Netflix for video games”, the Xbox Game Pass allows users access to a list of games from a range of publishers for a single monthly subscription price. Technically, the games are not free because you are paying for the monthly subscription to play these games. If you would like to own a game, you can purchase games in the catalog at a 20% discount, and any related add-on content for those games at a 10% discount.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)


  7. Default Gravatar
    PaulSeptember 20, 2018

    Does the game pass function on Xbox 360?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseSeptember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      If the game is an Xbox 360 title, it will be back-compatible and must be used on Xbox One however it cannot be downloaded to a player’s Xbox 360 console unless the player chooses to purchase it.

      I hope this information helps.


  8. Default Gravatar
    LeonAugust 28, 2018

    I’m the only account that has gamepass can my other accounts use it too

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloAugust 29, 2018

      Hi Leon,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      I’m sorry but the EULA/TOS of Game Pass prohibits you from sharing your account. You will have to purchase another subscription if you would like to use it in another account.


  9. Default Gravatar
    JohnAugust 21, 2018

    right now is the $2 for two months deal, upon cancellation of game pass after the 2 months, will I be charged any cancellation fees?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesAugust 22, 2018Staff

      Hi John,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      There is no cancellation fee if you cancel the subscription before the deadline. But you can’t cancel an Xbox subscription if it’s past due or suspended. You must pay the past due balance before you can cancel or turn off auto renewal. Hope this helps!


  10. Default Gravatar
    TrentJune 13, 2018

    If I get the game pass get games then stop my subscription will I lose the games

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloJune 14, 2018

      Hi Trent,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Games are available to play, in full, for as long as you’re a paying subscriber. If you cancel your subscription, you lose access to said games. If you choose to reinstate your membership, your games will be restored.


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