Playing offline, Xbox Live Gold requirement, and other things you didn’t know about Xbox Game Pass

By Sherif Saed, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 14:50 GMT

If you look beyond the announcement of the Xbox Game Pass, you’ll find some other crucial details.


Microsoft made a surprise announcement yesterday. The company revealed Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that offers unlimited access to games. Unlike PlayStation Now, these games are downloaded to your console and include modern titles, not just classics.

Unfortunately, the announcement left many questions unanswered. For some of these, we’re going to have to wait for the official launch this spring to find out for sure. For others, we need only look to the official site for more details.

The FAQ reiterates that new games will be added every month, and some will be removed. Although it repeatedly mentions 100 games being accessible, it doesn’t say whether that’s what we’re going to have each month.

An Xbox Live Gold subscription will not be required to join Xbox Game Pass, but you’ll obviously need it to play any of the included games online. Another important confirmation is about offline play, which the FAQ says we’ll be able to do for up to 30 days.

No limitations on the number of games were outlined. In fact, the page clearly states your hard drive space will be the only limiting factor, and advises those looking to download more to invest in an external storage device.

We also learn that you won’t be able to play a game once it gets removed from the rotation, unless you own it obviously. One other important distinction to make is that the 20% discount on full games and the 10% discount on DLC is only valid while the game is part of the Xbox Game Pass catalogue.

When your subscription runs out, the games will remain installed until you either purchase or delete them. Save files and achievement progress, however, will not be erased.

The site confirms that the service will be available in “at least 27 markets” at launch, but does not state what these are. Finally, Xbox Game Pass is not coming to Xbox 360, despite the list including Xbox 360 backwards compatible games, though these will be playable on Xbox One.

Xbox Game Pass is currently available in a limited fashion to Xbox Insiders, so expect more details to come out soon. Until then, the current proposition is very enticing for anyone not attached to disc games.

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