Love video games? Xbox Game Pass is your ticket to unlimited access to more than 100 Xbox games. The service launched this past June, offering gamers a huge selection of titles for one low monthly subscription fee. Think of it like a Netflix-style subscription service for video games.
What can I play on Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass offers a large selection of games from major studios like 2K Games, SEGA, Capcom, and Bandai Namco. It also, of course, includes major titles published by Microsoft Studios themselves. Currently the selection of 100+ Xbox games features heavy-hitters like the first four Gears of Wars, Halo 5: Guardians, and Sunset Overdrive.
It’s not just older Microsoft games that are available though. In January, Microsoft announced a huge, exciting expansion to the Xbox Game Pass service. Going forward, the service will include all new, exclusive Xbox games published by Microsoft at launch. That means upcoming blockbusters like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 can be yours to play with Game Pass. Talk about great value.
Xbox Game Pass also features older Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade games to further bolster its value. That means you get two generations of gaming all in one subscription service. What’s better? Some of those games are actually classic compilations of 8-bit and 16-bit titles, like Pac-Man, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage. This really is the ultimate service for gamers.
One thing to keep in mind—Xbox Game Pass isn’t the same as purchasing the games outright. A handful of games rotate in and out of the service each month, so if you want permanent ownership you’ll need to purchase games like you normally would. There’s no need to worry though as Xbox gives plenty of notice when any changes are made, and discounts are offered if you decide to buy the game while it’s in the Game Pass library.
Xbox Game Pass Subscription
Currently, Xbox Game Pass is only available on Xbox One consoles. It’s easy to find the service—simply go to the Xbox Games Store located on last tab of the Xbox One dashboard. There you’ll find Xbox Game Pass and can browse through the library, which currently stands at around 125 games.
In order to access the service you’ll need an Xbox Game Pass subscription card, available on BestBuy.ca. I also recommend getting an Xbox Live Gold membership, as you’ll need that to play the online portions of the games. Xbox Live Gold subscriptions currently come in 3-Month, 6-Month, and 12-Month duration.
Xbox also offers a 14-day free trial of Game Pass if want to try before you buy.
Titles coming to Xbox Game Pass soon
As mentioned, the big news is all future exclusive Xbox games will be coming to Game Pass. Here’s a look at what you can expect:
Sea of Thieves
Rare’s upcoming pirate game Sea of Thieves is really making waves. This persistent online multiplayer game lets you form a crew of four to explore the high seas, search for treasure, and engage in thrilling naval combat. The recent Sea of Thieves betas immediately shot to the #1 most-watched on Twitch, just to put this game’s popularity in perspective. To celebrate the game’s launch, Microsoft has this super cool Sea of Thieves Wireless Controller, which might be the best designed I’ve ever seen.
State of Decay 2
Coming May 22 is Xbox’s new survival game, State of Decay 2. This sequel to the hit 2013 game features an open world environment and cooperative gameplay. You’ll need to scavenge for resources, build a base, and grow a community all while fending off hordes of zombies. The original was incredibly fun so I expect good things from the follow-up!
Another huge game coming soon to Xbox Game Pass is Crackdown 3. This is the third outing for Microsoft’s futuristic action-adventure franchise and will feature an all-new story. The most exciting aspect of this game is the Azure-powered destruction that will be featured in the multiplayer mode. Entire buildings will crumble with incredible realism in this explosive, action-packed mode. Plus Crackdown 3 features Terry Crews—it doesn’t get much better than that!
Game Pass Essentials
Want to get the most out of your Xbox Game Pass experience? Here are a few essentials I recommend having:
Xbox One Wireless Controller
Let’s start with the obvious: an Xbox One Wireless Controller. Xbox’s standard controller is one of the best on the market—and I usually keep two or three around the house. Not only will you want additional controllers for local multiplayer games, but it’s always good to have a spare handy. Xbox has controllers in a variety of colours, so you can pick one that fits your personal style!
Xbox One Play & Charge Kit
You can power your Xbox Wireless Controllers with AA batteries, but the Play & Charge Kit is a better solution. With it you’ll be fully powered to game for hours, and it saves on money over time. Plus since it’s a reusable battery it’s better for the environment, now that’s win-win! What’s really convenient is you can charge your controller while you play, meaning you won’t miss a second of the action.
Xbox One Chat Headset
Many games on Xbox Game Pass have online features you can play with friends. Party chat is therefore essential and I recommend using the official Xbox One Chat Headset. This comfortable, quality headset will give you crystal clear audio every time. Whether it’s banding together for Sea of Thieves or getting competitive with Halo 5, you’ll appreciate having this headset for communicating.
Are you a current Xbox Game Pass subscriber? Thinking of subscribing? Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the service!