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How do Xbox free trials work? A complete guide for new gamers

If you just got an Xbox and are wondering how the free trials work or want to maximize the value from them, this detailed guide will explain everything you need to know as a new gamer!

Xbox offers free trials for its subscription gaming services to allow potential new members to experience the benefits before committing. As an experienced Xbox gamer and industry expert, I‘ll provide insights on how these free trials work, tips to optimize them, and things to remember when using the trials as a new user.

Xbox Free Trial Options

Let‘s first understand what are the different Xbox subscription services that offer free trials for new members:

  • Xbox Live Gold – This gives access to online multiplayer gaming, 2-4 free games every month, exclusive members-only discounts and deals. The free trial is for 14 days.

  • Xbox Game Pass – This gaming library subscription provides access to over 100 curated games on Xbox and PC. The standard plan trial is for 14 days while GPU plan has a $1 for first month offer.

  • EA Play – Subscription to play new EA games like FIFA, Madden NFL, Need for Speed, Battlefield etc. The free trial provides 10 hours of gameplay per title.

These free trials give you temporary access to almost all gaming benefits so you can experience Xbox services before paying. Let‘s look at how they work.

How the Free Trials Work

As a gaming industry professional, here are the key things you should know about how Xbox free trials work:

  • For new accounts – The trials are meant for new users who haven‘t subscribed to the respective service before. Existing or returning members may not get the trials.

  • Full access – The trials provide complete access to the membership benefits like online multiplayer, monthly free games, discounts etc. during the trial period.

  • No charges – No payment is required during the trial period. You need to cancel before the trial ends to avoid automatic subscription charges.

  • Require valid payment method – To redeem the trials, you need to add a valid payment method to your Xbox account even though it won‘t be charged during the trial.

  • Downloaded games remain – Games, DLCs and add-ons installed during the trial periods stay in your library and can be accessed with a paid subscription.

  • Can‘t reuse trials – The same Xbox account cannot redeem the same trial repeatedly for a service it has used before.

  • Automatic renewal – The trials auto-renew into paid subscriptions after the trial period ends. Proactive cancellation is needed to avoid being charged.

  • Unique codes – Free trial codes can only be redeemed once per account. Codes can‘t be reused after you activated a trial.

Now that you know how the trials work in general, let‘s go over how you can get and use them effectively as a new Xbox gamer.

Getting the Xbox Free Trials

Based on my experience using the trials myself and guiding new gamers, here are the best ways to get the Xbox free trials:

  • New Xbox console – Xbox One/Series X/S consoles purchased new include free trial codes in the box you can redeem.

  • Xbox website – Sign in to your account on and use 25-character redemption codes to activate trials.

  • Xbox mobile app – Enter your trial codes in the Redeem section of the Xbox App on your smartphone.

  • Retail cards/packs – Purchase Xbox subscription prepaid cards that include free trial codes for redemption.

  • Promotional offers – Xbox sometimes offers free trials via promotions, giveaways or limited-time special offers.

  • New account – You can create a new Xbox account and redeem trials if you have used them before on your existing account.

Once you have the code, redeem it on the Xbox website, console or mobile app to activate your free trial. Now let‘s discuss how to maximize the value you get.

Maximizing Value from the Free Trials

Here are some pro tips from my years of gaming experience on how to optimize your Xbox free trials:

Claim Games with Gold – Download all the free Games with Gold for that month. You have ongoing access with an active subscription. That‘s up to 4 free games!

Try new games – Install and preview games from Xbox Game Pass you‘re interested in. Your save progress carries over if you buy later.

Get discounts – Save money by utilizing exclusive member discounts to buy games and DLCs during the trial. Discounts can be up to 20-50%!

Play online multiplayer – Enjoy online multiplayer gaming with friends for free with Xbox Live Gold trial. Games like Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, and Sea of Thieves are more fun together!

Set reminders to cancel – Mark your calendar to cancel a day before the free trial ends if you don‘t want to continue the subscription yet.

Extend your trial – Check for available codes to extend your free trial period beyond the initial duration through promotions.

Refer friends – Refer new gamers through your custom referral link to earn additional trial time when they sign up.

Buy discounted titles – Purchase games you tried and liked at their discounted trials price to add them permanently to your library.

With some strategic planning, you can experience the best Xbox gaming has to offer for free and save money during the trials!

Canceling the Xbox Free Trials

Now let‘s go over how to cancel the auto-renewing subscriptions before the free trials end:

  • On Xbox console – Go to Settings > Account > Subscriptions and select the subscription to turn off recurring billing.

  • Xbox website – Click your profile picture > My Microsoft account > Services & subscriptions. Choose the subscription you want to cancel.

  • Xbox mobile app – Go to account > Subscriptions and tap on the trial you want to cancel to stop auto-renewal.

  • Microsoft account – Visit Microsoft account services page > Xbox subscriptions. Click Cancel subscription on the one you want to stop.

I advise setting reminders and canceling at least 24 hours before your free trial ends so you don‘t get unintentionally charged. You can always restart later.

What Happens at End of Xbox Free Trials

To set accurate expectations, here‘s what happens when your Xbox free trial periods end:

  • You lose access to multiplayer gaming, monthly free games, member discounts and other benefits.

  • Installed games and DLCs require the paid subscription to play again.

  • You keep your gamertag, profile and account but history and follower counts reset after a while.

  • Games with Gold claimed during the trial remain accessible if you renew the same subscription later.

  • Purchase discounts on games, add-ons and DLCs unlocked during the trial can‘t be availed anymore.

  • Achievements and game progress for titles played during the trial are retained.

Essentially, while you lose in-trial access, your account, gamertag, downloads, and achievements stay with you even after the free trials expire.

Xbox Free Trial Tips and Tricks

To conclude, here are some additional Xbox gaming expert tips to maximize your free trials:

  • Do the gameplay walkthroughs for big new titles like Starfield and get up to speed before launch.

  • Play online co-op campaigns with friends on games like Halo Infinite while multiplayer is free.

  • Try out a variety of genres to help decide what types of games you enjoy before buying.

  • Build an initial friends list and following on your new profile and account during the trials.

  • Take advantage of discounts to purchase your favorite games you tried out at lower prices.

  • Set a calendar reminder to cancel your subscription a day before the free trial ends.

  • Contact Xbox support if you face any issues redeeming codes or canceling trials.

So that sums up my in-depth guide on how Xbox free trials work and tips to maximize their value based on my years of industry expertise! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy gaming!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.