Xbox Game Pass for Console vs. PC vs. Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass for Console vs. PC vs. Ultimate

Can't decide which Xbox Game Pass to get? This guide breaks down each plan and helps you to decide.

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service that gives you unlimited access to download and play games on your Xbox One or PC.

You can think of it as Netflix for gaming, but the only caveat is that you only get access to a select number of games. At the time of this writing, Microsoft is advertising over 500 high-quality titles. However, new games will continue to be added regularly, and you even get exclusive discounts.

What’s the difference between Xbox Game Pass for Ultimate vs. Console vs. PC?

Unlimited access to Xbox and PC gamesUnlimited access to Xbox gamesUnlimited access to PC games
Xbox Game Studios titles the same day as releaseXbox Game Studios titles the same day as releaseXbox Game Studios titles the same day as release
Exclusive member discounts and dealsExclusive member discounts and dealsExclusive member discounts and deals
Xbox Live Gold (includes Deals with Gold, Games with Gold, console multiplayer)
Electronic Arts titles, exclusive rewards, and member-only content
Free Perks including in-game content and partner offers
Play games on your Android mobile phone and tablet from the cloud (Beta)
EA Play access

Can I keep the games available on Xbox Game Pass?

No. You can only play the games as long as you pay the subscription.

While the unlimited access to the game library for a low-cost subscription makes sense, the only problem is that you will never own a copy of the games you play. Once you stop paying, you will no longer have access to the games unless you get the Ultimate plan and take advantage of the Games with Gold program through Xbox Live.

What Xbox Game Pass should you get?

Whether you play games on Xbox One or PC, the Xbox Game Pass for Console and the Xbox Game Pass for PC offer the same benefits, but for its corresponding platform. The subscription choice here is obvious depending on the platform you use for gaming.

However, the best choice is actually the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. While the plan for Xbox One and PC offers unlimited access to games, you still need to pay for an Xbox Live Gold membership for multiplayer online gaming.

For instance, if you get an Xbox Game Pass for Console and an Xbox Live Gold membership separately, you will end up paying $19.98/month. You could spend a yearly subscription to Xbox Live to save half of the price and bring the price down to around $15, but you will still need to maintain two subscriptions.

If you get the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you will be paying $14.99/month, but you’ll have access to games on Xbox One as well as on your PC, and you will be getting an Xbox Live Gold membership in one package. The plan also offers access to the Microsoft Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which allows you to stream and play games from the cloud on Android and tablet devices.

Even further, the Ultimate tier includes some additional perks, such as access to Gears 5 Ultimate Edition four days before then in console and PC, the Ultimate Edition Character Pack, and 30 days of Boost.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].