Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan may be launching soon

Xbox Game Pass
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family is an upcoming tier of Microsoft's Game Pass service that will allow up to five accounts to enjoy the benefits of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
  • There's no official release date for the plan, but New Zealand users have spotted an ad for it on their Xbox Dashboard that suggests Microsoft could be launching it soon.
  • According to the ad, the plan will cost $39.95/month (this may be in New Zealand Dollars; if so, USD equivalent is expected to be about $25) and will give each attached account an individual gamertag, game history, achievements, and cloud saves. Each account will also be usable to play at the same time.
  • It's unclear if there are restrictions on which types of accounts you can add to your plan, but we know that they had to be registered in the same country as yours back when Microsoft was testing it in August 2022.

Microsoft confirmed that it's been testing a new Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan back in August 2022, but since then, the company hasn't given fans an official release date to look forward to. Based on a new advertisement that's been spotted, though, it looks like Microsoft could be gearing up to launch the new Game Pass tier soon.

On Twitter, Xbox player Jawmuncher shared a screenshot of an ad for the Game Pass Friends & Family plan that appeared on their console's homepage, with many New Zealand-based fans reporting that the advertisement is visible on their Xbox Dashboards as well. The ad states that the price of the plan will be $39.95/month, which may be in either NZD or USD; if this is the New Zealand Dollar price, the USD equivalent would be about $25. By subscribing, players will be able to share the full benefits of an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription with four other accounts (five total). That means full access to Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase five individual Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions.

Note that accounts outside of your home are eligible to be included in your Friends & Family plan, meaning that the tier will be an attractive option for both households and groups of long-distance friends and family members alike. It's possible your account will need to be registered in the same country as the ones you're sharing Game Pass with, but right now, it's unclear if that's the case or not. All we know is that it was when Microsoft was testing Game Pass Friends & Family in 2022.

See more

Each account attached to the plan can be used to play games at the same time, and each will also get individual gamertags, game history, achievements, and cloud saves. Essentially, it sounds like there are no restrictions here, which is great news for folks looking to get their buddies or loved ones into gaming with the new plan.

We haven't spotted the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan on our own Xbox systems, Xbox PC apps, or Microsoft's Xbox website, so it looks like it's not available yet and the ad that Jawmuncher spotted was erroneous. Still, this could be indicative of an imminent launch, so keep your eyes peeled if this plan interests you. Alternatively, there's always a regular Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription if you're gaming solo.

Notably, this news comes days after Microsoft killed off its amazing $1 Xbox Game Pass promo deal. This makes Friends & Family the only remaining way beyond limited-time discounts to get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate access for a reduced price per account. 

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.