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Microsoft is celebrating 20 years of Xbox, which means it’s a great time to step your game up with a subscription to Xbox Game Pass.
Between shipping delays and chip shortages, the holiday season already feels a little ominous for gamers, and while it’s not always easy to keep track of all the new video games, consoles, and other gaming gear, signing up for a video game subscription service might help ease some anxiety. To save you some time, we put together a beginner’s guide to Xbox Game Pass. From pricing to membership perks, and everything in between.
Xbox Game Pass Monthly Plans: Ultimate, PC, and Consoles
Whether you’re loyal to consoles or devoted to PC gaming, Xbox Game Pass offers up a little something for everyone. With Game Pass you’ll get to access countless games for your console, computer, smartphone, or tablet.
The Xbox Ultimate Game Pass is the best choice for diverse gaming. It’s $14.99 a month ($1 for the first month) for more than 100 high-quality games that can be played on a console, computer, or mobile device. You can also download games and play online or offline from your preferred gadget.
The subscription includes same-day access to new releases from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Games, exclusive member discounts, free in-game content, games in the cloud (to play on your smartphone), EA Play games, and Xbox Live Gold — which comes with multiplayer gaming, up to four games per month, and up to 50 percent off game purchases.
If your gaming is regulated to either PC or consoles, the cheaper Game Pass plans will likely suit your needs. The Xbox Game Pass plan for PC and consoles are $9.99 a month (the first month is just $1) for most of the same benefits as the Ultimate Game Pass package, but you won’t get as many exclusive discounts, and gaming options are regulated to a specific device.
Like the Ultimate Game Pass, the Xbox Game Pass for PC lets you play dozens of Xbox games, and EA Play games made exclusively for Windows PC. That means you’ll get to play “Halo Infinite” (out December 8), “Grand Theft Auto,” “Dicey Dungeons,” “Football Manager 2022,” “NHL ’94 Rewind,” and more games at no extra cost. The PC plan also comes with exclusive rewards and member-only content.
What Is Xbox All Access?
In addition to a trio of Xbox Game Pass plans to choose from, there’s also an Xbox All Access plan for $24.99 a month for 24 months. Besides two years of Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox All Access plan comes with an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console that you’re essentially paying for monthly for the duration of the membership. You can sign up for an Xbox All Access plan via Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop.
To stay connected from any location, download the Xbox Game Pass app and the Xbox app where you can explore the massive gaming library to discover new games and fan favorites, see what your friends are playing, and more. Both apps are compatible with Android and iOS.
Xbox Black Friday Deals:
Hoping to find an Xbox under the Christmas tree? If you’ve been patiently waiting for Xbox restocks, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner, but you might have to search around to get the best pricing (Xbox consoles won’t be marked down for the holidays but pricing could depend on the seller). Best Buy recently restocked the special-edition Xbox Halo-inspired console, and even though they sold out extremely fast, it’s doesn’t hurt to check back with Best Buy for additional Black Friday restocks.
On November 22, Walmart will begin selling Xbox Series X consoles for $499, while supplies last. If you’d rather start shopping now, refurbished consoles are another good option. You can find renewed Xbox consoles via GameStop, Walmart, Amazon, and other online retailers.
Xbox One S (Renewed)
This renewed Xbox One S lets you play over 1,300 games including the hottest franchises, over 200 exclusives, and more than 500 classics from Xbox 360 and the original Xbox. With Xbox One S, you can stream content from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, and other apps, and watch 4K Blu-ray movies. The Xbox One S is available at Amazon through the link above, and select Target locations.
Xbox One X 1TB Console with Wireless Controller (Renewed)
Immerse yourself in 4K gaming with the Xbox One X. This sleek console brings video games to life with 40 percent more power than other consoles. With the multifunctional Xbox One X you get to play video games, stream 4K video, and listen to music.
If there’s room in your budget for more Xbox merchandise, the 20th anniversary collection features special-edition gear such as the Xbox 20th Anniversary Hoodie ($59.99), the Xbox 20th Anniversary Timeline Tee ($27.99), or these Halo 20th Anniversary Playing Cards.
For more gaming-related shopping guides be sure to check out our lists of best gifts for gamers, best gaming chairs, and best gaming headphones.
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