Xbox offers a wide selection of games that have free trials available, allowing you to preview titles across various genres before deciding to make a purchase. From major AAA releases to indie darlings, free trials give you a taste of gameplay, stories, and features you can expect in the full version. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about free game trials on Xbox consoles.
Overview of Free Game Trials on Xbox
Free trials for Xbox games typically allow you to play the first few hours or levels of a game, or provide a limited time of access such as a weekend. They give you a good feel for the gameplay experience and help you determine if it‘s something you‘d enjoy playing more of. Here are some key things to know about Xbox game free trials:
Duration – Trial periods range from 30 minutes up to 10 hours of playtime, depending on the game. Some may be time-limited such as 3 days of access.
Content – Trials usually include the full game, but some may limit access to certain modes. You get to experience core gameplay though.
Saving Progress – Your progress does carry over if you decide to purchase the full game later.
Xbox Live – You don‘t need an Xbox Live Gold subscription for most trials. Some online multiplayer trials require it.
Availability– Trials are available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and supported backwards compatible games.
Finding Trials – Check the Xbox Store listings, search for "free trial", or look for the trial tag on game covers.
Major Franchises with Free Trials
Many of Xbox‘s biggest franchises offer free trials so you can test the latest releases. Here are some top series with available trials:
Call of Duty – Blockbuster FPS franchise. Trials for Modern Warfare II, Vanguard, Black Ops Cold War.
FIFA – Leading soccer/football sim. Hour-long trials for FIFA 23 and FIFA 22.
Forza Horizon – Open world racing. Forza Horizon 5 has a demo available.
Battlefield – Epic online FPS war games. Battlefield 2042 and Battlefield 1 have trials.
Assassin‘s Creed – Action/stealth games set in historical eras. Can try Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla.
NBA 2K – Basketball simulation franchise. 2K23, 2K22 and 2K21 have limited time trials.
Hitman – Play as elite assassin Agent 47. Hitman 3 starter pack, Hitman 2 trial.
Watch Dogs – Hack the city in these open world action games. Try Watch Dogs Legion and Watch Dogs 2.
Far Cry – First person shooters set in exotic locations. Far Cry 6 and Far Cry New Dawn have demos.
So if you‘re interested in previewing the latest entry in an established gaming franchise, be sure to check out their Xbox store pages for possible free trials.
How to Find Free Game Trials on Xbox
There are a few helpful ways to locate and download game trials on your Xbox console:
Xbox Store – Browse the main Xbox store and look at listings for popular games. Many will have a "Free trial" button you can download if available.
Search for "free trial" – Pull up the Xbox store search bar and search for "free trial". This will display all games currently offering trials.
Gold member benefits – Xbox Live Gold subscribers get exclusive free access to full games for a limited time to trial. These are highlighted each month.
Demo tag – Some trial versions are labeled as "Demos" so you can search for or filter the game store by this demo tag.
Game covers – Check game art on the Xbox store. Trials will be marked with a badge that says "Free trial".
Xbox mobile app – Browse the Xbox store on your phone and remotely download trials to your console.
Full List of Games With Free Trials
Below is a full list of games across various genres that currently have free trials available on Xbox:
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Air Missions: HIND
- All-Star Fruit Racing
- Arkan: The Dog Adventurer
- Atlas (Game Preview)
- Azkend 2: The World Beneath
- Baseball Riot
- Battle Ages
- Battlefield 1
- Battlefield 2042
- Black Desert
- Bomber Crew
- Borderlands 3
- Bridge Constructor Portal
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
- Call of Duty: Vanguard
- Chess Ultra
- Chicken Police
- Crackdown 3
- Cricket 19
- DCL – The Game
- Dead Cells
- Dead Island Definitive Edition
- Death‘s Gambit
- Destroy All Humans!
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Dirt 5
- Donut County
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
- F1 2020
- F1 22
- Fallout 76
- Far Cry 5
- Far Cry New Dawn
- Farming Simulator 22
- FIFA 21
- FIFA 22
- FIFA 23
- Foosball – Table Soccer Game
- For Honor
- Forza Horizon 4
- Forza Horizon 5
- Gears 5
- Ghost Recon Breakpoint
- Golf With Your Friends
- Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
- Hitman 2
- Hitman 3
- Hunting Simulator 2
- Immortals Fenyx Rising
- It Takes Two
- Journey to the Savage Planet
- Just Dance 2022
- Knockout City
- Lawn Mowing Simulator
- Madden NFL 21
- Madden NFL 22
- Marvel‘s Avengers
- Mega Man Legacy Collection
- MotoGP 20
- MX vs ATV Alive
- MX vs ATV Supercross Encore
- NBA 2K21
- NBA 2K22
- NBA 2K23
- Need for Speed
- Need for Speed Heat
- Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered
- NHLTM 21
- Orphan of the Machine
- Overcooked! All You Can Eat
- PGA TOUR 2K21
- Praetorians – HD Remaster
- Project CARS 3
- Rabbids Invasion
- Raji: An Ancient Epic
- RBI Baseball 21
- RIDE 4
- Rocket Arena
- Rogue Lords
- Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
- Ruined King
- Samba de Amigo: Party Central
- Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection
- Sea of Solitude
- SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics
- Star Renegades
- Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania
- Tennis World Tour 2
- The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- The Falconeer
- The Medium
- The Quarry
- The Survivalists
- theHunter: Call of the Wild
- Tom Clancy‘s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
- Tom Clancy‘s Rainbow Six Extraction
- Totally Reliable Delivery Service
- Tour de France 2021
- Train Sim World 2
- Unto The End
- Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars
- Warface: Breakout
- Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
- Warhammer: Vermintide 2
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Watch Dogs 2
- WWE 2K Battlegrounds
- Zombie Army 4: Dead War
This covers many of the top free trials available, though new games are frequently added so be sure to keep an eye out for new offerings if nothing interests you currently.
Getting the Most Out of Your Free Trial
To fully take advantage of the limited time access offered in free game trials, here are some tips:
Read descriptions – Check what content and modes are available in the trial before downloading.
Clear hard drive space – Have enough free space so you can quickly install and start playing.
Limit other downloads – Pause any queued downloads so your internet bandwidth is fully allocated to the trial.
Explore varied gameplay – Don‘t just play one mode or level type, try out different aspects.
Test online multiplayer – If included in the trial, be sure to experience the online components.
Check achievements – View achievements to see if the game has things you‘d want to pursue.
Consider DLC – If you like the base game, research DLC options that may impact your purchase.
Taking steps to optimize your time with an Xbox free trial lets you determine if the full game is something you‘d enjoy investing more time into.
Xbox Game Pass and EA Play Free Trials
In addition to individual game free trials, Xbox also offers extended free trial periods for subscription services Xbox Game Pass and EA Play that grant access to hundreds of games.
Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass is a Netflix-style gaming subscription with over 100 downloadable games spanning Xbox exclusives, third party titles, and brand new releases. There are multiple free trial options available:
7 days for new users – Sign up for a 1-week free trial of Xbox Game Pass for new subscribers. Over 100 games available.
1 month for returning users – Previous Xbox Game Pass users can get their first month for just $1 after trial expires.
1 month with purchase – Buy a first party Xbox game digitally and redeem a free month of Game Pass.
Extended trials with Xbox Live Gold – Upgrade Gold membership to Game Pass Ultimate for $1 and get trial of up to 36 months.
EA Play gives you access to top games from Electronic Arts such as FIFA, Madden, Battlefield and more. These are the EA Play free trial options on Xbox:
10 hour trials – Play new release games like FIFA 23 for up to 10 hours. Progress saves if you buy.
Monthly trials – Get 1 month free trial of EA Play for new subscribers, then $4.99/month after.
EA Play Pro free trial – 7 day free trial of EA Play Pro subscription with early access benefits.
Key Tips for Free Trials
To maximize Xbox Game Pass and EA Play free trials:
Download and play as many games as you can during the trial period.
Prioritize playing new release or high cost games you otherwise wouldn‘t buy.
Set reminders to cancel subscriptions before getting charged if you don‘t want to continue.
Check for any DLC or microtransactions you may want to use during the trial.
Note down names of your favorite games you‘d want to purchase later.
The Benefits of Free Game Trials
Trying before you buy is extremely valuable in gaming. Some key advantages free trials for Xbox games offer include:
Test gameplay – Experience firsthand if the mechanics, controls and design are fun.
Judge story – Get a feel for the narrative style, characters, and whether the plot hooks you.
See graphics – Assess if the visuals and art direction appeal to you.
Hear the music – Determine if you enjoy the soundtrack and audio design.
Check performance – Evaluate technical aspects like frame rates and stability.
No risk – Try games risk-free without needing to make a purchase first.
Aid discovering new games – Try out lesser known indie games you otherwise may never play.
Multiplayer preview – See if online multiplayer gameplay is appealing and populated.
Getting hands-on time with games is extremely valuable. Free trials allow you to experience many Xbox games before pulling the trigger on a full purchase.
Finding Deals After Your Free Trial
If you play a game trial and decide it‘s something you‘d like to own, you can often find great deals on purchasing after your free access period ends. Some ways to save include:
Store discounts – Check the Xbox store for sales, Deals with Gold, Publisher sales events and more.
Price tracking sites – Use sites like Xbox Store Parser to be notified of price drops for wishlisted games.
DLC bundles – Buying game + DLC bundles can offer savings over standalone versions.
Used disc copies – You can find pre-owned physical copies of games for cheap prices. Digital prices tend to be higher.
Regional pricing – Set your Xbox region to other countries to get lower pricing when you buy.
Yearly sales – Big sales like Black Friday, holiday sales, and E3 often offer big gaming discounts.
Taking advantage of deals allows you to get the most value after previewing games for free first.
With their ability to let you preview titles risk-free before buying, Xbox game trials can help you discover great new games while avoiding purchases you may regret. Check the Xbox store often and try out trials for titles that catch your eye across various genres. And if you find a game you love, take advantage of discounts you can find after your trial ends. Enjoy exploring Xbox games for free and expanding your gaming horizons.