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If you have an Xbox, chances are you have contemplated the choice of a Xbox Live Gold vs. Xbox Game Pass membership for yourself. Whereas Xbox Live Gold provides access to online play on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, and provides a monthly selection of free games and special discounts, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives you a Netflix-style library of hundreds of games you can play across Xbox, PC and Android. This includes all of the perks of Xbox Live Gold plus first-party Microsoft releases as soon as they come out. Learn more about whether Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass is best for your budget and gaming habits and where you can buy a membership for cheap.
What’s Included in Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live Gold is a premium subscription service for Xbox users that provides access to online multiplayer, free games, and discounts on game purchases. The service was launched in 2002, and since then, it has become an essential component of the Xbox gaming experience. With Xbox Live Gold, players can connect and play with other gamers from around the world, access exclusive content, and receive special discounts on game purchases.
Xbox Live Gold is available on both Xbox consoles and Windows 10 PCs, allowing players to enjoy their games across multiple devices. The subscription is available in three options, including one-month, three-month, and twelve-month plans. Players can purchase Xbox Live Gold through the Xbox Store or from retailers that sell Xbox gift cards. Additionally, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers receive Xbox Live Gold as part of their subscription.
One of the most significant benefits of Xbox Live Gold is access to online multiplayer. With the subscription, players can connect and play with other gamers from around the world. Online multiplayer adds a new dimension to gaming, allowing players to compete and cooperate with others in real-time. Xbox Live Gold supports multiplayer on both Xbox consoles and Windows 10 PCs, giving players the freedom to choose how they want to play.
Another benefit of Xbox Live Gold is free games. Every month, Microsoft offers a selection of free games to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. These games are available for download and play during the month they are offered. Once downloaded, players can keep the games in their library as long as they maintain an active Xbox Live Gold subscription. The free games selection includes a mix of indie and AAA titles, giving players a diverse selection of games to try out.
In addition to free games, Xbox Live Gold subscribers receive special discounts on game purchases. These discounts can range from 10% to 75% off the regular price, allowing players to save money on their favorite games. Xbox Live Gold members also get early access to select game sales, giving them the opportunity to purchase games at a discounted price before they are available to the general public.
What’s Included in Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft recently sweetened the deal of Xbox Live by upgrading Game Pass by offering every game it published to be available on the service on day one of its release. This includes games from its latest acquisition, ZeniMax Media, which includes such popular series as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, Dishonored and Prey. Outriders from Square Enix and Sony’s upcoming MLB: The Show 21 are two of the latest third-party games to hit Game Pass on their release day, too.
Game Pass Ultimate also delivers access to Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly known as xCloud), which streams certain titles to Android devices using a Bluetooth controller or touch controls. (Microsoft is also working on a browser-based version that will offer compatibility with Windows PCs and Apple devices — see below for more.)
The most significant benefit of Xbox Game Pass is access to a large library of games. With over 100 games available, Xbox Game Pass subscribers can choose from a diverse selection of titles across multiple genres. The library includes new releases as well as classic titles, making it an excellent option for players who want to try out a variety of games.
The game library is regularly updated with new titles, ensuring that there is always something new to play. New releases are typically added to the library on their release date, giving Xbox Game Pass subscribers access to the latest games as soon as they are available. The game library includes titles from popular franchises like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza, as well as indie games and classic titles.
In addition to access to a large library of games, Xbox Game Pass subscribers also receive exclusive discounts on game purchases. These discounts can range from 10% to 20% off the regular price, allowing players to save money on their favorite games. Xbox Game Pass members also get early access to select game sales, giving them the opportunity to purchase games at a discounted price before they are available to the general public.
Xbox Game Pass PC provides access to a library of games that are optimized for PC gameplay. The PC library includes new releases as well as classic titles, ensuring that there is always something new to play. Xbox Game Pass PC subscribers can download and play any game in the library for as long as they maintain an active subscription.
Xbox Game Pass PC also provides exclusive discounts on game purchases, similar to the console version of the service. These discounts can range from 10% to 20% off the regular price, allowing PC gamers to save money on their favorite games.
Xbox Cloud Gaming
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers also have access to Xbox Cloud Gaming. Xbox Cloud Gaming allows players to stream games from the Xbox Game Pass library to their compatible devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops. With Xbox Cloud Gaming, players can play their favorite games on the go, without the need for a console or high-powered PC.
Xbox Cloud Gaming requires a stable internet connection and a compatible device. The service supports Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
Xbox Live Gold vs Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass are two of Microsoft’s most popular gaming services. While both provide access to games and multiplayer gaming, they differ in many ways
The most significant difference between Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass is game access. Xbox Game Pass provides access to a vast library of games, including new releases, while Xbox Live Gold only provides free games every month. Xbox Game Pass offers over 100 games that subscribers can download and play on their Xbox console or PC.
In contrast, Xbox Live Gold only provides four free games every month that players can download and keep. The games are usually older titles and not new releases. While it’s great to get free games every month, it’s not comparable to the massive library of games offered by Xbox Game Pass.
Both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass provide access to multiplayer gaming. However, Xbox Live Gold is necessary to play online with friends and family. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes Xbox Live Gold, so players can enjoy both services.
If you are primarily interested in multiplayer gaming, Xbox Live Gold is the better option. However, if you want access to a massive library of games and new releases, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the way to go.
Price is another factor to consider when choosing between Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. Xbox Live Gold is cheaper than Xbox Game Pass, costing $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year. Xbox Game Pass has two tiers: the standard plan that costs $9.99 per month, and the Ultimate plan that includes Xbox Live Gold and costs $14.99 per month.
If you’re on a tight budget, Xbox Live Gold is the better option. However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra for access to a vast library of games and new releases, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is worth the investment.
Both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass offer exclusive discounts on game purchases. However, Xbox Live Gold provides more significant discounts than Xbox Game Pass.
Xbox Live Gold members can save up to 50% on selected games, while Xbox Game Pass subscribers can save up to 20% on game purchases. If you’re a frequent game buyer, Xbox Live Gold is the better option for saving money on game purchases.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Who it’s for
For just a few extra bucks per month at $14.99, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gets you all of the perks of Xbox Live Gold — and a whole lot more. The highest tier of Microsoft’s gaming subscription service, Game Pass Ultimate, provides access to hundreds of games that you can play on Xbox, PC and even your Android phone via cloud streaming.
Xbox Game Pass’ massive game library includes all Xbox Game Studios releases on the same day they hit shelves, meaning subscribers automatically get titles like Gears 5, Minecraft Dungeons and the upcoming Halo Infinite without having to shell out an extra $60 a pop. That’s not to mention the troves of big-name third-party titles on Game Pass — including Doom Eternal, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and Destiny 2 — as well as a huge collection of compelling indie titles like Donut County and Among Us.
In addition to access to a large library of games, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers also receive exclusive discounts on game purchases. These discounts can range from 10% to 20% off the regular price, allowing players to save money on their favorite games.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers receive Xbox Live Gold as part of their subscription. Xbox Live Gold provides access to online multiplayer, free games, and discounts on game purchases. With Xbox Live Gold, players can connect and play with other gamers from around the world and access exclusive content.
If any of those games are of interest to you, subscribing to Game Pass Ultimate could save you a ton of money that you’d otherwise spend buying them a la carte. And if you also play games on PC or want the ability to stream your Xbox games to your Android phone while on the go, Ultimate is a no-brainer.
The Bottom Line
Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate both have their pros and cons. If you’re the type of player that just wants to be able to play Madden or Grand Theft Auto online on their Xbox and doesn’t care about having access to a huge, Netflix-style game library, you’re better off with the cheaper Gold subscription. If you want the absolute most for your money, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will get you all of the benefits of Gold in addition to hundreds of games you can play across your Xbox, PC and Android device. Ultimately, the choice between Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold comes down to individual preferences and gaming habits.
Where to Buy Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Membership on a Budget
Instead of paying retail price for Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass, get your subscription from Electronic First for cheap! Right now, you can get a 1 month Xbox Live Gold membership for $9.67 (53% off) or a 1 month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership for just $12.99 (38% off) only at Electronic First!
Aside from Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, there are other in-demand online games available for purchase. Electronicfirst.com is a fantastic website that offers a wide selection of games at competitive prices. You can find games for Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, and PC, as well as digital codes for in-game purchases and subscriptions. Electronicfirst also has an excellent blog where you can stay up-to-date on the latest gaming news and read reviews of new releases.
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