The $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal is back — but there's a catch

Xbox Game Pass on a raining money background
(Image credit: Windows Central | Bing Image Creator)

What you need to know

  • Since the inception of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users have been able to 'trade up' their Xbox Live Gold and PC Game Pass subscriptions to Ultimate at a near 1:1 ratio using a $1 trial month of Game Pass Ultimate. 
  • Xbox ended the $1 trial month deal shortly before the recent price hike.
  • The deal for a trial month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at $1 has resurfaced, and it can once again be used as an upgrade path from Gold or PC Game Pass to Ultimate.
  • The conversion rate is no longer 1:1, instead it is now 3:2 and rounded up to the nearest day.

Gaming can be an expensive hobby with the initial costs of purchasing a console or a gaming PC compounded by the need to purchase games and additional subscriptions for access whenever necessary. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has been a well-received effort by Microsoft to rope more consumers into the Xbox ecosystem by lowering the barrier to entry, especially when bundled with the ever so budget friendly Xbox Series S. In an effort to bring more people into the Game Pass fold Xbox frequently offered a $1 deal.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: $10.99

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: was $10.99 now $1

The beloved $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal has returned, but the conversion rate for subscriptions has been changed slightly.

The $1 deal was the stuff of legends because it didn't just allow new users to try Game Pass for a month, it also allowed existing users to upgrade their current subscriptions for Xbox Live Gold and PC Game Pass to an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for just $1, and any time remaining on the existing subscription could be converted to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. 

Not only did the existing time convert, but it lost little if any of the time with a near 1:1 conversion rate. This allowed users to stock up on Xbox Live Gold when it was on sale, stacking as much as 3 years' worth of the subscription, and then pay just $1 more to convert it to 3 years of the much more expensive Game Pass Ultimate.

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Shortly before Xbox announced a price hike for Game Pass the $1 deal that so many had utilized was quietly discontinued. The price hike would not affect the length of time of existing paid subscriptions, but those who had not converted using the $1 deal were out of luck.

Thankfully the $1 deal has returned, so if you have not yet tried Xbox Game Pass Ultimate this is your chance to do so at a bit of a discount. If you have Xbox Live Gold or PC Game Pass and want to convert that subscription to Game Pass Ultimate you can do so, but the recent price hike will have an effect on how much time your current subscription will convert over. 

The deal no longer converts at a 1:1 rate, and instead now uses a 3:2 ratio with the final time rounding up by one day when necessary. If, for example, you have 90 days of Xbox Live Gold or PC Game Pass then you convert it for $1 you will have 60 days of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate time.

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.