EA Access: What it is, and why you need it on your Xbox One

Having initially been available with just four titles, EA Access (opens in new tab) has grown in size and popularity and it's now at a point where it's a must have product for any Xbox One owner.

The benefits to having it far outweigh the cost of paying for it, and better yet, it's only available on the Xbox One. But if you're not familiar, let's run through everything you need to know.

What is EA Access?

EA Access

The easiest way to think of EA Access is that it is to EA's games as Groove is to music. It's a subscription based service that for a monthly or yearly fee gives you access to a number of benefits. There are outlined below:

  • Free access to a number of full EA games for Xbox One from the vault
  • Free access to a selection of full Xbox 360 backwards compatible titles from the vault
  • 10% discount on purchasing new EA games from the Xbox Store
  • Early access trials to a number of new EA titles

Recent examples included early access to play Unravel and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, regardless of whether you'd actually pre-ordered the game. EA Access essentially allows you to try before you buy.

The full games can be downloaded and installed to your console to play for as long as you continue to subscribe to the service.

What games are available?

Battlefield: Hardline

As of the time of writing there are 19 full Xbox One titles and two Xbox 360 titles to play for free in the EA Access Vault. These are:

  • Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour
  • Battlefield: Hardline
  • Battlefield 4
  • Fifa 16
  • Fifa 15
  • Fifa 14
  • Madden 16
  • Madden 15
  • Madden 25
  • NHL 16
  • NHL 15
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Titanfall
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
  • UFC
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • NBA Live 16 (From May 25 2016)
  • NBA Live 15
  • Peggle 2
  • Dead Space (Xbox 360)
  • Plants vs Zombies (Xbox 360)

EA has been adding titles fairly regularly, and it's expected that Mass Effect for Xbox 360 will be in there soon as well.

Forthcoming titles including Mirror's Edge: Catalyst and Battlefield 1 will have early access trials for EA Access members.

How much does it cost?

In the U.S. a monthly subscription costs $4.99, or £3.99 a month in the UK. If you want to pay up for a full year in one go it'll cost you $29.99 or £19.99.

You can subscribe directly through your Xbox One console or on Xbox.com using your Xbox Live account and the credit card attached to it. If you pay monthly it'll just keep rolling over until you cancel your subscription.

You can also buy prepaid codes from some retailers to redeem on the console if you so wish. The prices are the same as paying digitally.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Why you need it

EA Access

Simply put, because you get everything above. Unless literally none of the games appeal to you at all, there's value to be had from it. The best value comes from buying a 12-month subscription in one go, but even if you pay monthly you're not spending more than the price of a new game over the course of the year.

The difference is that you have 21 games to play for that money, with a list that will only keep growing. If you like to get into things early, or just enjoy the yearly sports titles but aren't bothered about being a day one customer, then EA Access is for you. At some point FIFA 17, Madden 17 and NHL 17 will get added to the vault — as long as you're happy to wait a while.

It's an innovative service, and one which has led to a similar program from EA on the PC called Origin Access. On the console it's exclusive to Xbox One and it's something you should definitely have to get the best from the console.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine

  • "only available on the Xbox One"
    About that. Although watered down a lot because a lot of the sports games don't come out on PC. You can also get EA Access on PC.
  • Scroll down: "has led to a similar program from EA on the PC called Origin Access." Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'd love it if they would bundle these services.  If something like $45 a year got me both that would be incredible.
  • Right you are. My bad. Honestly I got bored and didn't read the whole thing.
    It's a great service. I like the idea of subscription based gaming. Something like netflix but with games. Points to EA.
  • Pretty sure there's a line in the post that talks about that.
  • It is a truly amazing service with great value
  • "As long as you're happy to wait a while." That's the problem for the games like FIFA 17, they really do have a limited shelf life for most people and we only want to play them when the season is fresh. I like this Vault idea though.
  • Thats why they give subs a discount
  • The addition of Rory brought the first game I really wanted to play. Nothing else they had added got my attention. I will get it soon, probably after I finish the DOOM campaign. I might play a few of the others, but EA generally doesn't publish much I would care about. I think Madden 15 (which I kept for about a month) is the only EA title I have bought for consoles in about 5 years.
  • If I have this but don't have Xbox live subscription then I wont be able to play FIFA 16 online?
  • Nope (You won't be able to).
  • Best value in the video game industry, it amazes me so many people with Xbox One's don't have it/dont know what it is. Great article
  • Yeah, EA Access is one of the best bargains available. For basketball, I want to play the current season, but for that it's a lot better to go to 2K than Live anyway. I have given extended play time to old versions of Madden and NHL when they come out here, though, and I'm quite fine with that since I don't actually follow the sports very closely. Dragon Age is my favourite game so far on Xbox One. Peggle 2 is a great puzzle game. Plants vs Zombies is a lot of fun and I played that a lot more than I would have imagined - never would have bought it, but may as well have tried it since it was in the Vault. Used up trials on a few other games like Star Wars Battlefront; 10 hours is a pretty great amount of free trial time. I'm definitely getting $30 a year out of this.
  • I love EA Access, it was a genius idea.
  • Yep, none of the games listed appeal to me at all, and the one that does I already own. Still a pass for me.
  • If you don't like sports games, this isn't very compelling as it's likely (but not certian) that you already have the non-sports games on the list.
  • Time for me to invest in a 4TB or more hard drive for my Xbox One. Knowing is half the battle.....the other half is paying up, getting the storage and all your EA Games are belong to us!
  • Don't worry guys battlefront is coming next for sure.. Looking forward to it
  • Love it, but could do with more backwards compatibility games.
  • Didn't even think about it, bought it as soon as I set up my xbone. Just too awesome to pass on.
  • ooops. nevermind!
  • Codes are also available on MS store.
    As nice as it is they could resurrect some 360/xbla titles to fill their library or remaster ps1 exclusives that sony rejected for psn. Sadly nothing I want on there that I hadn't already bought
  • Here is something that is very interesting, and potentially game changing for EA Access.  Apparently other publishers are interested in getting their games put on the service.  http://www.dualshockers.com/2016/05/17/ea-other-publishers-want-to-inclu...