Is an EA Access on Xbox subscription worth the price?

You can subscribe to EA Access directly on your Xbox One, giving you a whole range of benefits for a low monthly or annual payment.

See EA Access at Amazon (opens in new tab)

What do you get with EA Access?

An EA Access subscription delivers a range of benefits, including the following:

  • 10 percent discount on all games, DLC packs, and in-game purchases.
  • 10-hour, one-week early access free trials to EA's first-party games, including Battlefield, Mass Effect, and FIFA.
  • Permanent access to dozens of games from EA's back catalog, including games from franchises such as Dead Space, Dragon Age, EA's various sports titles, and second-party games like Unravel.

How much does it cost?

EA Access is $4.99 a month, but it also comes in at $29.99 for yearly plans, a substantial discount that saves you almost $30.

Is EA Access for Xbox really worth it?

Ultimately, it depends on how much you spend on EA games, and how much you value its additional features.

The 10 percent discount will typically net you a $6 saving per big-budget "AAA" game, such as Battlefield 1 and FIFA. If you purchased enough games and DLC using EA's annual pass, the cost of entry would effectively pay for itself — presuming you would have purchased those items anyway.

But EA Access provides value in other ways. The exclusive trials could save you money simply by allowing you to test games extensively ahead of launch. It was thanks to EA's trial that the general lack of polish on Mass Effect: Andromeda was exposed early, ahead of any review embargos. These sorts of trials will help you make more informed purchase decisions, potentially saving you cash in the process. Mass Effect: Andromeda will be patched and polished extensively during the coming weeks and months, and it is already seeing discounts on Amazon due to the backlash.

EA Access's greatest feature is arguably its vault. EA provides permanent access to several big-name titles and DLC packs through its subscription, including games such as Dragon Age: Inquisition, the backward-compatible Xbox 360 Mass Effect trilogy, and older Battlefield games. EA seems to place games in the vault as soon as their initial sales burst fizzles out. Mirror's Edge Catalyst, for example, arrived in the Vault quite quickly after launch.

As someone who doesn't play EA's range of sports titles, instead of purchasing an annual subscription, sometimes I pick up a month here and there just to "rent" certain games and partake in certain trials. Some games, such as Mass Effect 2 and 3, are currently only available digitally as part of EA Access.

I still tend to prefer owning my games. EA says that it won't remove games from the vault once they're in there, but the terms of service state that EA retains the right to remove games with 30 days worth of notice. The company hasn't removed a game yet, but there's no reason to think it might not in the future.

Final thoughts

It simply depends on how much you stand to benefit from EA Access's services, whether or not it's worth it. If you purchase several EA titles per year, including micro-payments in games like FIFA and Battlefield 1, those 10 percent savings could essentially make the subscription pay for itself.

If you plan on placing your purchases carefully, EA's trials could also save you money, informing you whether or not to wait for a sale or subsequent patches. Plus, you can always purchase a single month.

See EA Access at Amazon (opens in new tab)

What do you think? Do you use EA Access? If so, is it worth the cost of entry?

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • It's got a pretty good selection of games there, especially with the Xbox 360 BC games included. I think you would easily get £20 worth of gaming out of it within a year and still not have played through everything. It has less choice but is much cheaper than the Xbox Game Pass - There would come a point where you've played most of the games you're interested in and they won't be releasing new ones quick enough to bother keeping it but I think for a lot of people it could easily take them a year or more to reach that point
  • The answer is yes, and I dislike the use of a question for the title due to the old law that any article with a question mark at the end of the title could be answered with "no". The subscription IS worth the price, for what you get, how much you pay is chump change and while one could argue that it isn't worth it for people who don't like EA games that's a moot point, you wouldn't say that a AAA game isn't worth $60 because some people don't like that type of game, it's still worth the standard price of a game.
  • I don't think it's that simple. It is subjective. It is worth it for you and you gave your reasons it may not be for others. The main thing for me is you don't own the game but only rent them. If someone often buy digital EA game then it may be worth it for him, not for someone who doesn't. Another thing that bothers me and I can't really support is what they are doing with "demo version" of games and also the way they are telling people to pay money or else you'll get a game late. Is it worth it for me? No.
    IMO, as an option it is still a good thing to have for XB gamers.
  • It kind of is that simple. The question wasn't is EA Access worth it for you (not you specifically, just stated as a question to the reader), it's is it worth it. And relative to other means of getting games it is a winner in that regard. Otherwise the entire article is a moot point, make a decision and justify that decision and it can't be wrong (in this regard). It's like if you go into a shop and you see a 2 litre bottle of coke for ten cents, even if you personally don't like soft drinks it can still be considered "worth" that amount of money. Long story short I really don't like article titles posed as questions and little sleep is causing me to argue this point.
  • EA Access being worth it or not remains subjective. There is no right or wrong answer, there is no definite answer. Relative to other means of getting games? How can we compare renting vs owning a product? Like the author said "Ultimately, it depends on how much you spend on EA games, and how much you value its additional features." and "It simply depends on how much you stand to benefit from EA Access's services, whether or not it's worth it.". The author gave basic information about the service and his opinion on it. He gave his opinion and reason why it could be worth for you or not. No need to argue. Looks like its worth it to you and some other guys think its worth it others don't. It's ok, just opinions... 
  • I think it's one of the better deals in gaming right now.
  • I think it's worth it. I've recouped a good amount of the $30 per year on Battlefield games and DLC.
  • Awesome simply awesome
  • The only EA game I play is FIFA, and that by itself makes it worth it. I don't buy a new FIFA every year at $80 (Canadian). I just wait a few months for it to be added to the vault, while I play the previous release already in the vault.
  • The problem with that is they are usually adding FIFA at the end of the European season and that's when the price is quite low. You can get it new for around 30 bucks or less. Even cheaper if you buy it used. And unlike EA access, you actually own the game. You could give it away to someone or sell it once you're done with the game.
  • Unless you buy digitally of course. But also Fifa games are worth about 90p once the next years game releases
  • Absolutely yes, I just paid my second year a month ago.  I used to buy FIFA every year at the end of the year for usual offers, but now I just wait extra months and I have a lot of extra games I did not have before.  With only the sport games it's worth it for me.  So all the rest I'm receiving is extra and I recommended it a lot.
  • I tried it out for 2 months and it wasn't that bad, it allowed me to try out games I would have never given a chance. I hate buying a game and it sucks and only able to get maybe half of what I paid. I figure if I can pay to rent games at red box for two days then I can do better and pay 4.99 for E.A. and enjoy a month of games.
  • If you're a more casual gamer who doesn't need everything brand new, the Vault is fantastic for a steady supply of quality games for really cheap. I put a lot of hours into Madden, NHL (I don't like watching hockey, but they're great games), and Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare, and there are a few others I definitely want to try out more like Unravel, Need for Speed, Mirror's Edge Catalyst. That's the key feature to me. It's like Netflix: not the newest content, but still pretty good content at a massive discount compared to buying them all. I've taken advantage of the trials a few times, too. I probably will max out Mass Effect Andromeda, just haven't had time yet. I maxed out DA:I and that sold me on it so I bought as soon as it went on sale. I used about half of the time for Star Wars Battlefront which was enough to find it boring. I maxed out NBA Live one year to bide my time before buying the new version of NBA 2K which is much better but Live did a couple interesting things differently.  I've rarely taken advantage of the 10% off. Dragon Age Inquisition and then again for the DLC, basically. 
  • I bought Unravel at full price and was happy with the purchase. It did end up in the vault a lot sooner than I expected. I have limited time to game these days so the vault is a good deal. Xbox Game Pass has more varied content but costs a lot more and I wouldn't get full value from that right now. EA Access for £20 a year I can easily justify though
  • I was the same I bought Unravel full price but I don't care that I did. EA Access hasn't stopped me from buying a game I'm really interested in at launch, but it's allowed me to play a lot of games I never would have thought to try before.
  • Same, I bought Batllefield 1 and was happy to as I knew I wanted it - Enjoyed getting the 10% off too
  • I believe it is underpriced for what it provides.
  • The only game I liked was DAI, the others weren't my cup of tea. So for me it was a definite no. On top of that, when my year was over I had to buy the game and add-ons again...
  • Wait you have to buy games every year on it, or do you mean you couldn't play it after you ended the subscription?
  • You can't play the games after your subscription ends.
  • Like the song said, Woth Worth Worth Worth Worth...
  • I think it's dependent on how much you actually game. Medium to a lot? Then probably.
  • Does it include The Sims? (Asking for a friend.)
  • No SIMS on XBox One. Maybe on PC. Ask @EAAccess via Twitter.
  • Yes.
  • I have it now for 3rd year I guess and is perfect for me. I only play single player (I have gold, but don't like multiplayer) and I haven't paid for battlefield after this got started. For 30 bucks it's worth just for one good game a year. I got mass effect 2 and 3 and it's worth 30 for me. Likewise I got to try those mirror edge games. NFS. And unravel. Plus soon enough Andromeda is gonna be on there and it will be worth $30 for next year.
  • It's worth it even if you don't buy their games currently. Because you may play something you love that you didn't know you would. And the selection is massive. Games are always added roughly 6 months from release. Expect Battlefield 1 to appear in June.