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Free-to-play games are one step closer to not needing Xbox Live Gold

Fortnite (Image credit: Epic Games)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Beta Insiders can now play free-to-play multiplayer games without an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
  • Microsoft promised that it would remove the paywall for free-to-play games back in January.
  • Microsoft began testing the removal of the paywall with Xbox Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings last week.

Microsoft appears to be working through its testing for free-to-play games not requiring a subscription rather quickly. Just last week, Microsoft started testing the ability to play free-to-play multiplayer games without an Xbox Live Gold subscription with Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead Insiders. Now, the same ability is available for Xbox Beta Insiders.

Without the requirement of an Xbox Live Gold subscription, Xbox Beta Insiders can now play multiplayer free-to-play games and look for Groups and Party Chats.

The Xbox Insider Twitter account announced the news:

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Microsoft first announced that Xbox Live Gold wouldn't be required for free-to-play multiplayer games back in January. At the time, Microsoft explained that the change would come "as soon as possible in the coming months."

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

  • I have the Game Pass Ultimate so it doesn't really apply to me. I do feel they need to go a step further. Their direct competitor is the Playstation and they don't require a paid subscription to any multiplayer game. It seems like Microsoft is a bit tone deaf about this. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I don't play multiplayer games in general so I'm kind of in the dark about this in general.
  • You're incorrect, PS + is required to play paid games mutiplayer (GTA online for instance). Microsoft is now in parity with Sony here. I do agree they should go a step further though. Allow multiplayer, but none of the gold features.
  • But free-to-play needs connexion.
    A good thing for this type of game.