Apple Arcade is Apple‘s gaming subscription service that gives you access to over 200 exclusive games across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV for one low monthly price of $4.99. While that‘s not a huge amount, it can add up over time. Fortunately, there are a few ways to try out Apple Arcade for free or get it included with other Apple services. Here‘s an in-depth look at how to get Apple Arcade for free.
Get a Free Trial with a New Device
The easiest way to try Apple Arcade for free is to take advantage of the one month free trial that comes with every new Apple device purchase. Here‘s how it works:
- When you set up a new iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV, you‘ll be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID.
- Open the App Store and go to the Arcade tab.
- Tap "Try it Free" or "Get 3 Months Free" to start your free trial.
You‘ll get full access to all the games in Apple Arcade for one month. The offer is valid for 3 months after activating your device, so you have some time to claim it.
One important caveat – you can only get the free trial once per Apple ID. So if you already used it on a previous device, you won‘t be eligible again.
What devices qualify for the free trial?
The one month Apple Arcade trial works with the purchase of any of these new Apple devices:
- iPod Touch
- Apple TV
As long as you activate the device with your Apple ID and redeem the offer within 3 months, you‘ll qualify for the free trial.
Use the Apple One Free Trial
Apple One is a bundle subscription that includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and iCloud storage for one price. The Individual plan is $14.95/month and the Family plan is $19.95/month.
If you sign up for the one month free trial of Apple One, Apple Arcade will be included in the bundle. So you can access all the games for free during that period.
To get the Apple One free trial:
- Open the App Store on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
- Tap your profile picture at the top right.
- Select "Subscriptions".
- Choose the Apple One free trial and follow the prompts.
Once again this only works once per Apple ID. But it‘s a good way to try out both Apple Music and Apple Arcade together.
Share with Family
Apple Arcade and Apple One support Family Sharing. This allows you to share subscriptions with up to 5 other family members.
So if you have a family member who already pays for Apple Arcade or Apple One, you can get access to it for free by joining their family group.
To set up Family Sharing:
- Go to Settings > [your name] > Set Up Family Sharing on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap "Add Family Member" and enter their Apple ID.
- Once they approve, you‘ll have access to any subscriptions they‘re paying for.
This can save you having to pay for your own Apple Arcade subscription. Just make sure the family organizer has auto-renewal turned on for the services you want to share.
Claim it Free with a Cellular Plan
Some wireless carriers offer Apple Arcade as a free perk with select unlimited data plans. For example:
- Verizon includes Apple Arcade in their Play More Unlimited and Get More Unlimited plans.
- T-Mobile offers it with their Magenta MAX plan.
- AT&T recently added it to their Unlimited Elite wireless plan.
So if you already have one of these plans from your carrier, Apple Arcade should be included for free. Just make sure to claim the perk or activate a subscription through your carrier‘s app or website.
The inclusion varies between carriers, so check your plan details to confirm Apple Arcade is actually free before assuming it is. But it‘s a nice extra value if you‘re already paying for an unlimited data plan.
Use Free Promo Codes
Every so often, Apple partners with companies to offer free Apple Arcade promo codes. These give you a set number of free months to try out the service.
For example, in the past Air India offered 6 free months of Apple Arcade to their airline passengers. And select Jackson Hewitt tax offices gave away $100 App Store & iTunes promo codes that included 3 free months.
There‘s no guarantee more of these types of promos will happen. But it‘s worth keeping an eye out around major Apple events or product launches. Or with companies that partner closely with Apple.
You may luck out and find a promotion that gives you free access for a limited time. Just search "[company name] + Apple Arcade promo code" online to find any active deals.
Sign up with a New Apple ID
Since every Apple ID is only eligible for one free trial, creating an extra account is one way around that limitation.
You can sign up for a brand new Apple ID and use it just for redeeming the Apple Arcade free trial on a device. It‘s a bit of a hassle maintaining two accounts, but will let you get another free month.
Also, you can use this new ID to take advantage of any other Apple free trials like Apple Music, Apple TV+, News+, etc. Just remember to cancel the subscriptions before you get charged on that account.
And make sure to use a real email and payment method in case you forget to unsubscribe later.
Use Apple Arcade on macOS for Free
One little known fact is that Apple Arcade is available for free on macOS, even without a subscription. You can download and play a selection of Apple Arcade games at no cost.
To access the free games on Mac:
- Open the App Store on your Mac.
- Click the Arcade tab.
- Look for games marked "Play For Free", such as Skate City, Solitaire, Mini Metro, etc.
- Download and enjoy those titles for free on your Mac.
You won‘t get the full 200+ game library without a paid membership. But it‘s a nice way to sample some Apple Arcade games on your Mac totally free.
Is Apple Arcade Worth it for Free?
Trying Apple Arcade through one of these free methods lets you check out the service without commitment. But is the subscription worth paying for once your trial is over? Here are a few pros and cons to consider:
Pros of Apple Arcade:
- Huge library of high-quality exclusive games
- No ads or in-app purchases
- Play across Apple devices
- Family Sharing support
- New games added frequently
- Some classic App Store titles included
Cons of Apple Arcade:
- Monthly/annual cost
- No Android version
- iOS focused gameplay
- Lacks AAA console game ports
- Limited game genres
Casual iOS gamers will probably find the most value from a paid Apple Arcade membership. The service gives you tons of premium mobile games for one low monthly price. More hardcore gamers may be disappointed by the lack of AAA titles though.
If you only play sporadically on iPhone or iPad, it’s harder to justify the ongoing subscription cost. But frequent gaming on Apple devices makes the unlimited access and expanding library of Apple Arcade worth the $5 monthly fee for most users.
Get Apple TV+ for Free
Along with Apple Arcade, Apple‘s streaming video service Apple TV+ is another popular subscription. Here are some of the best ways to get Apple TV+ at no cost:
Buy an Apple Device
Also like Apple Arcade, purchasing a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac entitles you to 3 months free of Apple TV+. Just remember to claim the offer within 90 days of activating your device.
Use the Apple One Free Trial
Signing up for a one month free trial of Apple One also gets you access to Apple TV+ as part of the bundle. It‘s a good way to try both services free for 30 days.
Check for Verizon Free Promotion
Verizon frequently offers 1 year free of Apple TV+ for new or existing wireless customers. Check their latest deals to see if you qualify.
Use the 7-Day Free Trial
New subscribers can get one week free of Apple TV+ directly from Apple. Downside is it‘s a shorter trial than the above options.
Share with Family
Like Apple Arcade, you can share an Apple TV+ subscription with family at no extra cost to you. Great way to avoid paying but still watch all their original shows.
For more details, check out our full guide on how to get Apple TV+ for free.
Get Apple Music Free for 6 Months
Apple Music is another popular service for iOS users. Here are some effective ways to get Apple Music free for an extended time:
Students get Apple Music free for 6 months when signing up with their university email address. Just head to Apple Music‘s student membership page to claim it.
New Apple Music subscribers normally get 3 months free. But right now they have a special 6 month extended trial for new users.
As mentioned already, signing up for the Apple One bundle free trial includes access to Apple Music for one month.
Sharing an Apple Music family plan with someone else also lets you enjoy it for free.
Occasional Apple Music promo codes pop up from various companies. Keep an eye out for special deals.
In summary, Apple Music has lots of opportunities for free listening well beyond the standard 3 month trial. Take advantage of the 6 month student deal or extended new subscriber offer to get half a year free or more.
How to Cancel Apple Subscriptions
Once your free trial or shared access period ends, Apple will automatically start charging you monthly for any active subscriptions. To avoid unwanted charges, you need to actively cancel the services before that happens.
Here‘s how to cancel Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV+ or any other Apple subscription:
- Open the App Store and tap your profile icon.
- Tap "Subscriptions" to see your active subscriptions.
- Tap the subscription you want to cancel.
- Select "Cancel Free Trial" or "Cancel Subscription" and confirm.
- Click the App Store icon in your Dock.
- Click your name at the bottom left.
- Click "Manage" next to Subscriptions.
- Click Edit next to the subscription you want to cancel.
- Click Cancel Subscription.
You can always re-subscribe later if you change your mind. But be sure to turn off auto-renewal to avoid being charged after any free trials end.
Getting Apple Arcade for free is totally possible for a limited time via:
- The 1 month free trial with new Apple device purchases
- Apple One free trial
- Family Sharing
- Free cell plan perks
- Promo codes
- Making a new Apple ID
Take advantage of these opportunities to sample Apple Arcade risk-free. But carefully consider if an ongoing paid membership is worth the $4.99 monthly cost once your free access expires.
We hope these tips help you try out Apple‘s gaming service without having to pay anything initially. Enjoy unlimited gaming on all your Apple screens. Just don‘t forget to cancel before the charges kick in if you don‘t want to keep the subscription long term.