Xbox's secret weapon now that the next-generation of gaming is in full swing is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Often referred to as the "Netflix for games," this subscription service lets members download and play any game that's part of the service across current and last-gen Xbox consoles, PC, and even Android.
The service continues to grow as new games are adding almost every week. Xbox is continuing to bolster of the value of the service with the addition of EA Play, Microsoft acquiring Bethesda, bonuses like Discord Nitro, and the launch of Xbox Series X and S.
Because of the service's size, it is challenging to parse exactly how Xbox Game Pass works and which version of the service you should go with. If that's the case for you, here's everything you need to know about the service, including the platforms you can access it on, how much it costs, the games that are available, and much more.
What are the different Xbox Game Pass subscription options?
There are three different versions of the Xbox Game Pass subscription for newcomers to choose from.
First, there's Xbox Game Pass for Console, which will only give you access to the subscription on platforms like Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X. Meanwhile, PC-only players will want to opt for Xbox Game Pass for PC, which comes with a slightly different catalog of games available on PC. While there's quite a bit of crossover between the two libraries, each does have some exclusive games.
Anyone who might want both of those in addition to some other bonuses should instead consider Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which comes bundled with Xbox Live Gold, all versions of Game Pass (including mobile), and bonus subscriptions for services like EA Play, Discord Nitro, Disney+, and more.
What platforms is Xbox Game Pass available on?
Xbox Game Pass for Console lets you download and play games on all versions of Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X. Then there's Xbox Game Pass for PC, which gives Windows 10 users access to tons of games, including some that are exclusive to PC like Crusader Kings 3.
Finally, the Xbox Game Pass app for Android has incorporated Microsoft's Project xCloud subscription service. This lets Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members play over 100 games on their phones via the cloud. All of these titles are pulled from Game Pass for Console or PC, and games like Minecraft Dungeons and Tell Me Why even features touchscreen controls tailored exclusively for mobile. Xbox will bring the service to iOS and smart TVs, but as of January 2021, xCloud is only on Android.
The biggest thing to consider here is that you don't need an Xbox console to use Xbox Game Pass when you can use PC or Android.
What are the Xbox Game Pass subscription prices?
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently costs $14.99 a month. It's expensive, but it does encompass all versions of Xbox Game Pass as well as EA Play, and trials for Discord Nitro, Disney+, and other subscription services. For anyone new to Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft is letting new subscribers get three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for just $1. If you are curious about Game Pass, that's cheap enough to at least try.
For those that know that they just want Game Pass for a particular platform, Game Pass for Console and PC are $9.99 individually.
What games are coming to Xbox Game Pass in January 2021?
Coming into the new year, Xbox's next-gen consoles do seem to be trailing the PS5. That said, their new consoles still have strong momentum, and lots of fantastic games are arriving on Xbox Game Pass this month. Outside of The Medium, which is the console's biggest exclusive yet, more titles from the Yakuza series arrive on the service and some solid Xbox One games like Injustice 2 are also getting added.
So far, we know of 11 games coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in January. Below, you can see the full list of games, the dates the will get added on, and which versions of Xbox Game Pass they will be available through:
- eFootball PES 2021 - January 7 for Console and Android
- Injustice 2 - January 7 for Console, PC, and Android.
- The Little Acre - January 7 for Console, PC, and Android
- Neoverse - January 14 for PC
- Torchlight 3 - January 14 for Console and Android
- What Remains of Edith Finch - January 14 for PC
- YIIK: A Postmodern RPG - January 14 for PC
- The Medium - January 28 for Console
- Yakuza 3 Remastered - January 28 for Console and PC
- Yakuza 4 Remastered - January 28 for Console and PC
- Yakuza 5 Remastered - January 28 for Console and PC
What games are leaving Xbox Game Pass in January 2021?
Even though tons of new games are coming to Xbox Game Pass over the course of January, some will also get removed. On January 15, a group of 4 games, including Tekken 7, get taken off the service:
- Tekken 7
- FTL: Faster Than Light
- My Friend Pedro
- Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
If you want to continue playing the games that are getting removed, you can buy them at a 20 percent discount before it leaves Xbox Game Pass. If you do so, your save data from when you played it as part of Xbox Game Pass will still carry over.
Is EA Play part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?
Microsoft confirmed in mid-September that EA Play would get added to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate sometime in 2020. It was added to the console and cloud versions of Game Pass on November 10, 2020, which is the day Xbox Series X and S will launch. The service will come to Xbox Game Pass for PC sometime this year.
From those days forward, many worthwhile EA games will be part of Xbox Game Pass. For a full list, click here, but some highlights include games from the Mass Effect, Dead Space, Dragon Age, Madden, FIFA, and Titanfall franchises.
Is Disney+ part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?
The Xbox Game Pass benefits aren't solely limited to games. As of November 2020, subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will not only get you services like Xbox Live Gold and EA Play, but other subscriptions like Discord Nitro and Funimation Premium Plus as well. A November 8 tweet from Xbox Game Pass turned heads though, as it suggested that Disney+ might become part of Xbox Game Pass soon.
The post in question features an image of The Mandolorian and Baby Yoda from Season 2 of the show and says "All we're gonna say is that we're not posting The Mandalorian and The Child for no reason." While this tweet seemed to just tease EA Play games like Jedi: Fallen Order and Battlefront 2, it turns out that Disney+ is actually coming to Xbox Game Pass.
On November 9, a trailer advertising the collaboration was released. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will now get a 30 day free trial of Disney+ as part of the subscription. Considering that the app will be available on Xbox Series X, this is a pretty good deal.
Check out the trailer for the collaboration below:
How do you cancel Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?
If you find that Xbox Game Pass isn't for you, canceling is an option. In order to cancel your Xbox Game Pass subscription, you'll have to go to Microsoft's account services page. It rounds up all of your Microsoft subscriptions, and after you click on the "Manage Subscription" link under Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you should clearly have the option to cancel it. It can also be renewed by simply buying it on the store page.