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How long does free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate last? The complete guide

Hey friend! Have you taken advantage of any of the free trial or promotional offers for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate? If so, you may be wondering “how long does this free Game Pass Ultimate access last?” I‘ve got you covered with all the details in this complete guide.

The duration of free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate access depends on the specific promotion or trial. But most offers last for either 1 month or up to 36 months if you have existing Xbox subscriptions.

I‘ll explain how it works below, along with tips to maximize your free Game Pass gaming!

What is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate? A game-changing service

For anyone unfamiliar with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, it bundles together several key gaming services:

  • Xbox Game Pass for Console – Access to over 400 downloadable Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S games. New exclusives available on release day.

  • Xbox Game Pass for PC – Download over 400 PC games. Includes all EA Play games on PC too.

  • Xbox Live Gold – Online multiplayer gaming, free Games with Gold monthly, and exclusive discounts.

  • Cloud Gaming – Stream over 100 games on phones, tablets, and browsers.

The value is unmatched at just $14.99 per month. Microsoft reported over 25 million Game Pass subscribers as of January 2022. It‘s clear gamers love the Netflix-style all-you-can play model.

But buying subscriptions gets expensive. That‘s why Microsoft frequently offers free Game Pass Ultimate trials and promotions. Let‘s take a look…

How long does the $1 Ultimate deal last? Up to 36 months!

The most popular free Game Pass Ultimate offer is your first month for only $1. When you take advantage of this deal as a new subscriber, Microsoft converts any prepaid Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass time on your account into Game Pass Ultimate, up to 36 months.

For example, let‘s say you pre-paid for 12 months of Xbox Live Gold before signing up for the $1 Game Pass Ultimate deal. Those 12 months of Gold would convert to 12 months of Ultimate for no extra charge. Pretty sweet!

According to Microsoft’s 2022 annual report, over half of Game Pass subscribers took the $1 conversion deal.

After the first month, Ultimate renews at the regular $14.99 monthly price. You can cancel anytime if you don’t want to continue.

So in summary, here’s how long the $1 Game Pass Ultimate offer lasts:

  • 1 month of Game Pass Ultimate access for $1
  • Up to 36 months of converted prepaid Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass time

Not a bad deal to get upgraded to Ultimate on the cheap!

What about free 1-month trial codes?

Microsoft frequently teams up with different retailers to offer free 1-month Game Pass Ultimate trial codes.

These codes work the same as the $1 promotion. You‘ll get 1 month of full Game Pass Ultimate access, including:

  • All the Game Pass games
  • Xbox Live Gold for online multiplayer
  • Cloud gaming on mobile
  • Exclusive member discounts

The free 1-month codes also convert any prepaid Xbox subscriptions you have (up to 36 months) into Game Pass Ultimate.

However, the free trials do not auto-renew when they expire. Your subscription simply ends after 1 month unless you manually renew at the $14.99 regular monthly price.

So if you redeem a free 1-month Game Pass Ultimate code, be sure to set a reminder if you want to continue the subscription before it lapses.

Limited-time Perks offers for Ultimate members

Active Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members get access to time-limited Perks. These Perks can include:

  • Free in-game content like skins or currency
  • Consumable boosts and bonuses
  • Partner promotional offers and trials
  • Sweepstakes entries and giveaways

The availability of Perks varies depending on the offer:

  • In-game content Perks are yours to keep forever once claimed. For example, the Halo and Sea of Thieves Perk packs.

  • Consumables like XP boosts often expire over time after activation. Check each Perk for specifics.

  • Partner promotions are only valid through the expiration date listed. Recently these included Discord Nitro, Paramount+ trials, and more.

  • The monthly Perk lineup refreshes on the 1st of each month. New Perks replace old ones.

Perks are an awesome extra for Game Pass Ultimate members. But since they are time-limited, you’ll want to claim them before your subscription ends. Otherwise, you’ll miss out.

10 hour trials for new EA Play games

Another benefit Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members get is full access to EA Play.

This unlocks unlimited play of over 100 EA games, plus 10-hour trials for new releases like Madden, FIFA, and Need for Speed.

The 10-hour trials begin as soon as you first launch the game. The countdown timer tracks actual gameplay time rather than real-world time.

So if you play a trial game for 1 hour then quit, you‘ll have just 9 hours remaining. The trial does not pause when not playing.

To get the full 10 hours, remember to fully close the game when you‘re done playing. The trials last for a total of 10 gameplay hours.

You can “pause” Game Pass Ultimate by turning off auto-renew

Some subscribers wish they could temporarily pause an active Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Unfortunately there is no official way to pause or extend your subscription.

However, you can effectively pause Game Pass Ultimate by turning off recurring billing in your Microsoft account settings.

This prevents you from being charged again when your prepaid time expires. Of course, turning renewal off also cuts off access to games and benefits until you reactivate your subscription.

If you want to extend Game Pass Ultimate, you can always purchase additional 1 or 3 month prepaid codes online. Redeem the codes to add more time onto your current subscription up to a 3 year maximum.

What happens when Game Pass Ultimate expires

Once your Game Pass Ultimate subscription expires, either due to a trial ending or by manually turning auto-renewal off, you’ll immediately lose access to:

  • All the Game Pass games
  • Xbox Live Gold for multiplayer
  • Cloud gaming on mobile
  • EA Play benefits and trials
  • Exclusive member discounts and offers

However, you’ll still own any games or DLC you purchased at a discount during the subscription. You just can’t play online multiplayer without a separate Gold membership.

And your game save data is still there in the cloud if you decide to resubscribe later. You pick up right where you left off.

Before your subscription ends, you may want to stock up on any Perks or use your remaining EA Play trials. You can still preload games to your console as well.

To avoid surprises, check your upcoming renewal date and turn auto-renewal off if you don’t want to continue at the regular $14.99 monthly Ultimate price.

Tips to get the most from free Game Pass Ultimate

Want to get as much gaming value as possible from limited-time free Game Pass Ultimate access? Here are some tips:

  • Claim all available Perks before they rotate out each month
  • Try streaming games over the cloud if your internet is fast enough
  • Get the Xbox app for Android/iOS to manage Game Pass on the go
  • Preload downloads for games you want to play when the subscription ends
  • Buy any games you want outright at the member 20% discount
  • Set calendar reminders so you remember when your trial expires
  • Disable recurring billing to avoid unwanted charges down the road

Making the most of each free Game Pass Ultimate opportunity allows you to experience more titles, content, and deals than you may ever get around to if you were paying!

Answering common questions about free Game Pass Ultimate

Let’s recap the duration details for different types of free Game Pass Ultimate access:

How long does the $1 Game Pass Ultimate deal last?

The $1 deal lasts for 1 month of Game Pass Ultimate access. It converts up to 36 months of prepaid Xbox subscriptions into Game Pass Ultimate.

Do free 1-month Game Pass Ultimate trial codes auto-renew?

No, free 1-month trial codes do not auto-renew. The subscription simply expires after 1 month unless you manually renew.

What happens if I cancel Game Pass Ultimate before using all my prepaid time?

Cancelling immediately ends your access to games, multiplayer, and all benefits, even if prepaid time remains.

Can I get a refund for unused Game Pass Ultimate time?

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not offer any refunds for unused Xbox Game Pass Ultimate prepaid time.

Do I lose access to downloaded Game Pass games after the subscription ends?

Yes, you‘ll lose access to all downloaded Game Pass games when your subscription expires.

I hope these answers help explain exactly how long you’ll have access with various free Game Pass Ultimate promotions!


The limited duration of free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate access provides a great opportunity to try out the service and play more games for less.

Take full advantage of your free trial or promotional month by claiming Perks, downloading new titles, and finding discounts before it expires.

Just be sure to track exactly when your Game Pass Ultimate ends and disable renewal in your Microsoft account if you don’t want to be charged ongoing fees.

Follow the tips in this guide and you’ll be all set to enjoy as much free gaming goodness as possible! Game on!



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