Game Pass Ultimate, 3 months: $28
Save $17 compared to the monthly plan
Xbox Live Gold, 3 months: $9
Save $21 compared to the monthly plan
Now that it’s finally easier to find the next-generation Xbox Series X in stock (now available at Microsoft and Walmart), you might be looking to dive into the vast world of Xbox games. And one of the cheapest ways to try tons of different titles is with one of Microsoft’s gaming subscriptions. However, there are three different memberships 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 this – – except free-to-play games like Fortnite and Warzone. 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 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.
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.
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.
Unless you’re a new subscriber, this CDKeys deal is the best value you’ll find on a Game Pass Ultimate subscription right now. Ultimate already saves you $5 a month by bundling a Gold and Game Pass membership, and this three-month subscription deal cuts your monthly costs down to just over $9 a month instead of the usual $15. These codes can be purchased by current or former Game Pass subscribers and can be stacked, so you can load your membership several months ahead of time at a lower cost.
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 a whole year, cutting the monthly cost in half to just $5.
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 now has a three-month Gold membership available for around $9, bringing the monthly cost down to $3 instead of the usual $10. Just note that this deal appears exclusively to console users.