If you have the next generation Xbox Series X or S Seriesstill playing with your confidant Xbox One or established yourself as a powerful PC gaming rig, one of the best ways to make the most of your console is with one of Microsoft’s gaming subscriptions. There are three different subscriptions out there, and to help you find the right one for your needs, we’ve broken down the major differences between them below.
We’ve also rounded up some of the best deals available so you can register for less. We’ll keep updating this page as deals come and go, so be sure to check back often for the best prices available.
Gold vs. Game Pass vs. Ultimate
There are not one but three different services you can subscribe to to enhance your Xbox gaming experience, so which one should you get? It really depends on what kind of gamer you are. You can check our detailed breakdown of Game Pass vs. Live Gold herebut these are the major differences so that you can choose the plan that is right for you.
If you enjoy the frenzy of online gaming, a Gold membership is a must. To play almost any Xbox game online, whether it’s running and shooting in the latest competitive shooter or cutting down hordes of zombies with your friends on the other side of the country, you need to have a Xbox Live Gold member to do so – – besides that, last year, Free-to-play games like Fortnite and Warzone don’t need one anymore. Gold costs $10 a month, or you can sign up for a three-month subscription for $25 and save a few bucks a month.
If you want a single player experience, Game Pass is a great bargain. Signing up gives you access to more than 400 games from the Xbox catalog. There are tons of games available, from big titles like Batman: Arkham Knight and Back 4 Blood, to smaller charming indies like Hades and Firewatch. More classics from the Xbox 360 era like Mass Effect and Fallout: New Vegas.
There are two versions of this subscription, one for console users, and one for PC users, but they both cost $10 per month. The only big difference is that the PC plan includes an EA Play subscription, which adds a few more titles to your library, and provides some exclusive rewards and content for select EA games. There is also a ongoing promotion for PC subscription which allows new subscribers to get their first month for just $1.
Game Pass Ultimate
Game Pass Ultimate is the best of both worlds. At $15 per month, an Ultimate subscription bundles Gold and Game Pass for $5 less than it would cost to sign up separately. You get access to the entire Game Pass library on your console, PC and mobile device, as well as a Gold membership so you can play online too. You also get perks like exclusive offers and in-game content, and this includes an EA Play subscription. For all-around gamers who don’t want to compromise, this is your best bet. And new users who sign up today can get their first month for just $1.
Best subscription deals available today
Unlike similar subscriptions for PlayStation, there is no annual membership plan for Gold or Game Pass, which makes it a little more difficult to always find them at a good value. While deals direct from Xbox occasionally come up, they’re usually only for new subscribers. However, some retailers and third parties sometimes have digital code deals to help you save some money each month. Here are the best we found available today.
If you’re looking for the best possible value overall, this is the plan for you. Ultimate already saves you $5 a month by bundling a Gold and Game Pass membership, and this three-month subscription is on sale for $18 less than what you pay monthly. At $27 total, that brings the monthly cost to just $9, instead of the usual $15. Bargains on Ultimate subscriptions are pretty thin, so unless you’re a new subscriber, this is the best value you’ll find out there right now.
If you don’t want to commit to three months right away, there’s also a deal on a one-month subscription, which lets you sign up for just $4 and save you $11 compared to the regular price. This offer is not stackable, however, so it won’t apply if you have other active memberships on your Xbox account.
If you happen to be a new Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, Microsoft is offering an excellent deal right now. New subscribers get their first month for just $1, saving you $14 off the regular monthly cost. After the first month, your membership will revert to the usual $15 per month. Overall, this is the best deal you’ll find on any Xbox subscription, as long as you qualify for the discount.
If you’re looking for a lot of fuss, this is your best bet for a good value. This bundle from Best Buy costs $60 for an entire year, cutting the monthly cost in half to just $5.
You have received price alerts for Xbox Live Gold, 12 months: $60
If you’re not sure if you need or want a Gold subscription, this is a good chance to try it out for a while before you commit to a full year. CDKeys currently has a three-month Gold membership available for just $12, bringing the monthly cost down to just over $4 instead of $10. Just note that this deal appears exclusively to console users.