Xbox Game Pass guide: Make the most of your sub on Xbox and PC

Xbox Game Pass is a great way to gain access to a lot of indie games at a low price. Here’s how to make the most of what you’re getting.

Xbox Game Pass, available both on Xbox consoles and PC, is a terrific deal. While its main draw is the many Xbox Game Studios games available on it, we think it’s also one of the best deals in indie games right now.

Jumping straight into Game Pass can be overwhelming, though. There’s a lot to see, so we’ve put together this guide you make the most of your sub when it comes to indie games.

Pick the right Game Pass plan

Game Pass comes in three flavours: Console, PC, and Ultimate. While Ultimate gets all the goodies, you may not quite need to get all the bells and whistles.

Xbox Game Pass plans screenshot

The Console subscription will work with Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles, and features the entire console Game Pass library. It does not include EA Play, Xbox Live Gold, or perks. The perks usually aren’t all that, unless you play a lot of different service games like Warframe, Apex Legends, and Sea of Thieves, and are keen on collecting cosmetics.

The PC subscription will work with PCs, via the Xbox app for Windows. It features the entire PC Game Pass library, and it does also include EA Play. You won’t get Xbox Live Gold, but you won’t need it if you only play on PC anyway. You will also not get the parks, however.

Finally, the Ultimate subscription is best suited to those who own both a PC and one or more Xbox consoles. This will grant you access to both the console and PC game libraries (on their respective systems), along with EA Play, Xbox Live Gold, and the perks.

Ultimate will also grant you access to the Cloud Streaming service that Microsoft is preparing for launch. With these, you’ll be able to stream games from the cloud directly to your phone or in any browser. Cloud Streaming is currently in beta and only available in certain territories.

Keep an eye on what’s coming and going

The Game Pass libraries are not static. New games hit the service throughout the month, and existing games may leave the service every fortnight.

Upcoming games and Leaving Soon games are usually announced together, or close to each other, twice every month. Look for the announcements on Xbox Wire and the Game Pass Twitter account every near the start of the month (usually from the 1st to 4th) and the middle of the month (usually the 14th to 17th).

Xbox Game Pass coming soon games

Games that are Leaving Soon will also be announced on Xbox Wire, usually in the same post, but you can also find them by looking for the ‘Leaving Soon’ section in your Xbox app.

A 15-day warning for Leaving Soon games may not be enough, especially for particularly long games. To anticipate what games might be leaving, check out this handy-dandy guide maintained by Reddit user u/ABattleVet.

The spreadsheet lists games that have been, are, and will be on the service, as well as using an algorithm to predict what games might be leaving the service soon (made possible because most games seem to be on the service for fixed intervals of 1 year, 2 years, and so on).

There’s indies on EA Play too!

It’s easy to think of EA Play as a subscription only for EA’s own games, but don’t fall for that. EA Play is its own full-fledged subscription, and it includes a wide range of indie games, some of which overlap with Game Pass’ own library.

EA Play on Game Pass library screenshot

EA Play even includes some games that were on Game Pass in past, but ended up leaving the service, such as For the King and Into the Breach.

Games on EA Play will not be displayed when you search for games in the Xbox app on PC, so be sure to install EA Desktop to check out what’s available there.

Buy to Keep

Finally, remember that if you really like an indie game on Game Pass, you can also buy it at a discount while your subscription is active. This way, you’ll be able to play the game even if it leaves the service later.

Microsoft Store screenshot

Do you have any more tips for using Game Pass? Let us know in the comments below!

Hungry for more indie games? Check out our guide on finding the most obscure indies.

This Article was written by: Rahul Shirke

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