Xbox Game Pass is a popular subscription service from Microsoft that gives you unlimited access to over 100 high-quality games for one monthly fee. With new titles added regularly, it‘s an excellent way to enjoy tons of games on Xbox consoles, PC and mobile devices without breaking the bank.
Normally, Game Pass costs $9.99 per month. But fortunately, there are several legit ways to get Game Pass for free or at a big discount in 2023. Here‘s a detailed guide on how to access this superb game library without paying full price.
Take Advantage of Introductory Offers
The easiest way to get started with Game Pass for free is to take advantage of Microsoft‘s introductory offers for new subscribers:
First Month for $1 – New Game Pass members can get their first month of access for only $1. Just remember to cancel before the month ends to avoid being charged full price.
1-3 Months Free – Occasionally, Microsoft runs promotions where new subscribers can get their first 1-3 months of Game Pass completely free. Keep an eye out for these limited-time deals.
Free with New Xbox – When you buy a new Xbox console, you may be eligible for up to 24 months of free Game Pass Ultimate. An amazing way to access tons of games at no extra cost when you purchase a new system.
Earn Rewards Points
Microsoft has a Rewards program that lets you earn points by using Bing, shopping at the Microsoft Store and more. You can then redeem these points for free Xbox gift cards and Game Pass access.
Here are the steps to earn points for Game Pass:
Sign up for Microsoft Rewards
Complete activities like Bing searches and quizzes to earn points
Redeem points for 1-3 months of free Game Pass access
This a simple way to get Game Pass at no cost if you‘re willing to put in a little time and effort.
Game Share with Friends
Thanks to Xbox‘s game sharing feature, you can split the cost of Game Pass with a friend or family member.
Here‘s how it works:
- Your friend sets your Xbox as their "Home" console
- You set their Xbox as your "Home" console
- You can now share each other‘s digital games and subscriptions
- Each person pays for their own Game Pass to enable sharing
This allows you to essentially get Game Pass for half the regular price by sharing one subscription between two consoles.
Activate the $1 Upgrade Offer
If you currently have Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass for console, you can upgrade to Game Pass Ultimate for just $1 for your first month.
To get this deal:
- Make sure you don‘t have an active Game Pass Ultimate subscription already
- Have an active Gold or Game Pass for console subscription
- Go to the Game Pass upgrade page and select the $1 deal
- Accept the conversion of your remaining Gold/Game Pass months to Game Pass Ultimate
This essentially lets you maximize your existing subscription value and gets you Game Pass Ultimate at a huge discount for the first month.
Look for Free Trial Codes Online
Occasionally, free 1-month Game Pass trial codes are given away on sites like Reddit, Twitter, and deal forums. With some searching online, you may be able to find a free code to redeem and get a month of Game Pass without paying.
The availability of these codes is limited, but it‘s worth keeping an eye out for giveaways and promotions where trial codes are posted. Using them quickly is key before they expire or are claimed by others.
Enable Home Xbox Game Sharing
With Microsoft‘s home Xbox sharing feature, you can set someone else‘s Xbox as your "home" device to share their Game Pass subscription.
To do this:
- A friend or family member sets your Xbox as their home device
- You can now use their Game Pass Ultimate subscription at no extra cost
- They keep paying for their subscription and you get free access
This lets you share a buddy‘s Game Pass sub without having to pay anything. It does require you to trust each other to not mess with the home console settings though.
Try Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta
Microsoft‘s Project xCloud streaming technology is currently available as a beta for Game Pass Ultimate members. This lets you play over 100 cloud-based Xbox games on mobile devices and browsers without needing a console.
The xCloud beta is free for anyone to try out by signing up on the Xbox site. It‘s a great way to experience Game Pass games on the go without having to pay anything. You do need a compatible Bluetooth controller though.
Smart Upgrade and Billing Tips
Here are some tips to maximize savings when using the Game Pass deals:
- Disable auto-renewal as soon as you sign up to avoid surprise charges
- Upgrade Gold to Game Pass Ultimate right before your Gold expires
- Buy discounted Gold codes online to get cheaper Game Pass access
- Cancel and resubscribe periodically to re-claim 1 month for $1 deal
Pros and Cons of Xbox Game Pass
Here‘s a quick rundown of the pros and cons to consider about Game Pass:
- Play 100+ games for one low monthly price
- Includes brand new Microsoft exclusives on day one
- Available on Xbox, PC and mobile (via cloud)
- Offers special discounts on game purchases
- Tons of deals to get free or cheap access
- Monthly cost if you can‘t use the free deals
- Games rotate in/out each month
- Doesn‘t include some newer third-party games
- Requires stable internet connection for many features
Overall, Game Pass provides incredible value for gamers looking to play a variety of titles without breaking the bank. The various free access offers make it easy to try out on the cheap.
Game Pass Tiers and Pricing
Here‘s a quick comparison of the Game Pass subscription tiers:
|Game Pass for Console
|100+ Xbox console games
|Game Pass for PC
|100+ Windows PC games
|Game Pass Ultimate
|Console + PC games, xCloud, Xbox Live Gold
Game Pass for console and Game Pass for PC give you access to each platform‘s library separately. Game Pass Ultimate bundles everything together at a discounted rate.
Massive and Expanding Library
The Game Pass catalog covers a wide variety of genres and franchises. It includes:
- Major Xbox exclusives like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza
- Big third-party games such as Elden Ring, FIFA, and NBA 2K
- Popular indies like Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, and Undertale
- Classic franchises like Fallout, DOOM, and Elder Scrolls
New games get added every month, while some older ones do get rotated out. But the library size and quality is tough to beat for the price.
Available on Multiple Devices
Game Pass grants access across Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, and Android/iOS devices via cloud gaming. You can switch between screens and continue playing on the go. Xbox first-party titles support cross-saves across platforms too.
So in summary, if you want to enjoy a Netflix-style library of games for a low monthly fee, Game Pass is a superb service to try out. With the various free access promotions, it‘s easy and cheap to get started playing Xbox games on console, PC or your phone. Keep an eye out for deals, enable sharing, or redeem rewards to get months of Game Pass without having to pay a thing.