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:
Attention Beta #XboxInsiders! Today we're enabling Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking for Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requiring an Xbox Live Gold membership as we flight and test these service changes ahead of general availability.Attention Beta #XboxInsiders! Today we're enabling Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking for Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requiring an Xbox Live Gold membership as we flight and test these service changes ahead of general availability.— Xbox Insider (@xboxinsider) March 29, 2021March 29, 2021
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."
Best of all worlds
Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold in one
Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends. You also get access to EA Play.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
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.
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