If you‘re a football fan wondering how to get your hands on the latest Madden game without paying full price, you‘ve come to the right place. In this detailed guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about accessing Madden NFL 22 and the upcoming Madden 23 for free through EA‘s subscription services.
The Short Answer
Let‘s start with the quick answer to our title question – is Madden 22 free on EA? The short answer is yes…with some caveats. Madden NFL 22 is currently available at no additional cost for active EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.
However, the latest entry Madden 23 set to launch in August 2022 will not be immediately free with EA Play. Keep reading as we‘ll explain exactly when and how you can play both Madden 22 and Madden 23 for free through EA subscriptions.
What is EA Play?
For those unfamiliar, EA Play is a video game subscription service from Electronic Arts that offers special member benefits for EA titles like Madden, FIFA, Battlefield, and more.
There are two membership tiers available for EA Play:
- EA Play – $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year
- EA Play Pro – $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year (PC only)
With a standard EA Play membership, you get unlimited access to a vault of EA games (over 225 titles), exclusive member challenges and rewards, special member-only content, and discounts on EA digital purchases.
EA Play Pro includes all the same benefits as the base tier, but also provides full access to brand new EA releases like Madden before launch day. This allows hardcore players to dive into the latest Madden game up to a week early.
Breakdown of EA Play Member Benefits
Here‘s a quick breakdown of what‘s included with an EA Play membership relevant to Madden fans:
- Access to "The Play List" – The Play List is the vault of over 225 games you can play as much as you want. All older Madden titles get added here eventually.
- 10-Hour Trials – Play new Madden games for 10 hours before launch.
- Exclusive Challenges – Earn rewards by completing member-only challenges.
- 10% Discount – Get 10% off EA digital purchases including Madden points packs.
- Play First with EA Play Pro – Full early access to new Madden games (PC only).
Now let‘s get into the specifics on how this relates to Madden NFL 22 and Madden 23.
Is Madden 22 Free with EA Play?
Madden NFL 22 was released in August 2021 marking the 30th installment of the iconic football franchise. Initially upon launch, Madden 22 was not free or discounted for EA Play members.
However, EA Play provides early access to new games, and then makes them free months later by adding them to The Play List. True to form, Madden NFL 22 officially entered The Play List on February 17, 2022.
This means as of February 2022, Madden 22 is now available at no additional cost for all EA Play subscribers on Xbox and PlayStation. Both new and existing EA Play members can download the full Madden 22 game and play as much as they want as long as they remain an active subscriber.
So in summary, yes Madden 22 is currently free on EA Play until the next iteration Madden 23 launches later in 2022.
When Will Madden 23 Be Free on EA Play?
Madden NFL 23 has been officially announced and is slated for release in August 2022. It will bring new features and updates to the franchise.
Based on EA‘s history with the Madden series, we can predict that Madden 23 will be added to The Play List on EA Play approximately 6 months after launch.
That would put the expected Play List addition of Madden 23 around February 2023. Of course the actual date may vary, but this typically happens in January or February following the new game‘s debut.
So you‘ll need to wait about 6 months after Madden 23‘s release before it becomes free via EA Play. Let‘s look at some other ways to play Madden 23 through EA Play before that.
How to Play Madden 23 Early with EA Play
While you‘ll have to wait several months for Madden 23 to hit The Play List vault, EA Play does offer opportunities to play the new game earlier:
- 10-Hour Trial Access – For the past several years, EA Play members on Xbox and PlayStation get a 10-hour trial for newest Madden game about a week before release. Expect Madden 23 to have the same EA Play trial in August 2022. You‘ll be able to play the new game for 10 hours to get a head start before launch.
- Full Early Access (PC only) – EA Play Pro members on PC can get full pre-release access to Madden 23 up to a week before launch. However, EA Play Pro is only available on PC for $14.99/month. Console players are limited to the 10-hour trial mentioned above.
So while you can‘t play the entire new Madden game for free right away with standard EA Play, the 10-hour trial gives you a nice head start for only $4.99 a month.
Is Madden Free with Xbox Game Pass?
Now this is where things get even better for Xbox owners. EA Play is included with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership at no additional cost.
That means Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members get all the EA Play benefits for older games like Madden 22 without needing a separate EA Play subscription. However, keep in mind this Xbox perk does not provide early access to brand new titles like Madden 23.
The full early access remains a feature exclusive to EA Play Pro on PC only. But Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members do get the 10-hour trials of new Madden games before launch.
Breakdown of Free Madden Options
Let‘s summarize the different ways you can access Madden for free through EA:
- Madden 22 – Available now as part of The Play List for EA Play & Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members
- Madden 23 (10-hour trial) – Play 10 hours early with EA Play on Xbox/PlayStation or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (August 2022)
- Madden 23 (full early access) – Full pre-release access with EA Play Pro on PC only (August 2022)
- Madden 23 (full game after launch) – Available for free in The Play List approximately 6 months after launch (Expected February 2023)
No matter what tier of membership you have, EA Play provides avenues to play Madden each year without paying full price.
Is EA Play Worth It for Madden Fans?
EA Play gives you quite a lot of access to Madden for a reasonable $4.99 monthly fee. The 10-hour early access trials allow you to get a major head start with each new game at launch.
Plus you get full access to older Madden titles 6 months after launch to play year-round. Considering EA Play is the same cost as other streaming services like Netflix or Disney+, it can be great value if you play Madden regularly.
To quantify the potential savings:
- Madden 22 Standard Edition – $59.99
- EA Play 12 Month Membership – $29.99
With EA Play you‘re getting the full Madden 22 experience for $30 less than buying the game on its own. Plus you‘ll get early access to Madden 23 in August and full access in 2023.
For diehard Madden fans who buy every new game yearly, EA Play may not seem as valuable. But more casual players will likely appreciate the ability to play older Madden games at no extra cost.
To summarize this guide, here are some key tips to keep in mind:
- Madden 22 is free now with EA Play after entering The Play List in February 2022
- Expect Madden 23 in The Play List about 6 months after its August 2022 launch
- EA Play provides 10-hour trials of new Madden games before release
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes EA Play membership benefits
- Consider EA Play if you like playing older Madden games in addition to new releases
- Diehard fans may want EA Play Pro on PC for full early access to new Maddens
With the info provided above, you can decide if an EA Play membership is worthwhile for you to save money on Madden year after year. Feel free to refer back to this guide down the road when Madden 23 nears launch!