While some bet on his death, the Xbox Live Gold subscription remains one of the pillars of Microsoft’s video game services. But it has evolved a lot in two decades of existence, especially in recent months. Prices, advantages, multiplayer, we tell you everything about what has changed lately.
Within a few months, Microsoft remodeled its services associated with Xbox consoles. The Xbox Live Gold subscription has notably undergone some changes. The historic service is now making progress with new companions, in this case the Xbox Game Pass, the success of which is growing. The Live Gold formula therefore had to evolve to take this reality and the competition into account.
The most important change in recent months concerns free multiplayer for free-to-play games. This is also the case for the functionality Xbox Party Chat which no longer requires a subscription. The integration of the Live Gold subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is another major development.
Xbox Live Gold: what is it?
Xbox Live Gold is a paid subscription service for owners of an Xbox console. It is accessible on the Xbox Live network which was renamed Xbox Network in early 2021. The latter refers to everything related to the online part of Xbox. It is therefore not to be confused with the Live Gold subscription which is a network service, similar in many respects to the PlayStation Plus subscription at Sony.
The beginnings of Xbox Live Gold date back to November 15, 2002 in the United States, a year to the day after the launch of the original Xbox console. It has since remained an essential service for accessing the multiplayer part of Xbox games, until the major evolution concerning free-to-play games like Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone. But Live Gold isn’t just about multiplayer.
What are the benefits of Xbox Live Gold Membership?
Needless to say, Xbox Live Gold has lost some of its appeal with Microsoft’s policy change. Corn it remains essential to access the multiplayer of paid games. And that is a decisive advantage which, moreover, is not the only one. Here are the benefits for subscribers:
- The best of competitive and cooperative online multiplayer on console
- Free games every month (Xbox Games With Gold)
- Good deals and exclusive discounts on the Microsoft Sore.
Competitive and cooperative online multiplayer : You get access to the multiplayer mode of all the big popular online games on the Xbox Series X and Series S, the Xbox One (S and X) and even on the Xbox 360.
Xbox Games With Gold : each month, subscribers are entitled to 4 games that they can recover for free or at least at no additional cost thanks to their subscription. Two of these games are for the Xbox 360 platform, but you can access them on newer Xbox consoles through the magic of backwards compatibility.
Good deals and exclusive discounts on the Microsoft Sore : thanks to the Live Gold subscription, you can enjoy exclusive discounts (up to 50%) on the store. These reductions are applicable on games (Xbox Series X, Xbox One and Xbox 360), as well as on extensions and consumables.
Xbox Free Play Days
This is another benefit that Xbox Live Gold subscribers enjoy. The Xbox Free Play Days give you the opportunity to play a selection of games for free only on weekends. So this is another opportunity to play games without buying them, as long as you have a Live Gold subscription (or Game Pass Ultimate). All points earned during these games are kept in case you hang on and decide to buy the game at the end of the free period.
Xbox Live Gold price: how much does it cost?
Xbox Live Gold membership is available from €6.99 for one month. While it was also possible to subscribe to a semi-annual and annual subscription, Microsoft has recently stopped offering them on its Store. We therefore only have two options left: one month at €6.99 and 3 month subscription at €19.99. It’s cheaper over the whole three months, but you only save about €1 over the quarter.
Finally, note that it is always possible to buy codes for 6-month and 12-month subscriptions on online sales sites. Excluding promotion, they are offered at the recommended prices of €30 and €60 respectively. Microsoft had announced plans to raise Xbox Live Gold subscription prices in early 2021, but eventually backed out.
Game Pass Ultimate is worth more than Gold
As we mentioned at the start of the article, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes the Live Gold subscription. For €6 more, or €12.99 per month, this service offers you many more advantages. It’s also a way to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, while enjoying a more complete service. Note that it is also possible to convert your Xbox Live Gold subscription to Xbox Game Pass.
- Go to more than 400 games on Xbox, PC and smartphone
- The catalog changes every month
- Play Xbox Game Studios titles as soon as they’re released (e.g. Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5)
- Exclusive member-only discounts
- Go to Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly Project xCloud)
- Xbox Live Gold
- Access to EA Play at no extra cost, entitling you to a selection of the best EA games on both console and PC.
Is it still a good idea to get an Xbox Live Gold subscription?
In view of all the above, it is entirely legitimate to wonder about the advisability of an Xbox Live Gold subscription. The service has certainly evolved a lot, but not in the direction that reinforces its raison d’être. Quite the contrary. But make no mistake: Xbox Live Gold remains unavoidable in the sense that it is essential to play online with paid games. And there are many whose multiplayer component brings people together.
If you do not play online at all, this service will not be very useful to you.. Same if you play multiplayer, but only on free-to-play games like Fortnite and Warzone. A simple Xbox Network subscription (free) will allow you to compete against players from all over the world, but also to benefit from other essential features, namely connecting your console to the Internet and downloading games from the Microsoft Store.
For those who play multiplayer on paid titles, on the other hand, the right question to ask is not whether it is useful to subscribe to Live Gold, but rather whether to take it alone or via the Game Pass Ultimate Subscription. To be frank, this service is well worth its price given the advantages it offers. For 6 € more, you don’t have to think long.
Xbox Games With Gold: the games offered in 2022
Each month, Xbox Live Gold subscribers are entitled to 4 free downloadable games. Two games for Xbox One and Series X/S platforms and two more for Xbox 360. With backwards compatibility, Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S owners can access the bundle of games offered each month .
- The Knights of Baphomet 5 February 1-28 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- Aerial Knight’s Never Yield : from February 16 to March 15 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- Hydrophobia : from February 1 to 15 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- band of bugs : from February 16 to 28 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S.
- NeuroVoider : from January 1 to 31 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- Aground : from January 16 to February 15 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- Radiant Silver Gun : from January 1 to 15 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- Space Invaders Infinity Gene : from January 16 to 31 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S.