Xbox Game Pass Core: Price, details, and what you need to know

Xbox Game Pass Core hero image titles
(Image credit: Mirosoft)

Xbox Live Gold is soon to be no more, but that doesn't mean there isn't something very similar.

Microsoft is ending Xbox Live Gold and replacing it with Xbox Game Pass Core, but what does this really mean for most users? It's a big change in name, and one that naturally will introduce more than a few questions. We have everything you need to know about Xbox Game Pass Core right here. 

Xbox Game Pass Core: Price and details

Xbox Live Gold was a part of Xbox for decades. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Game Pass Core is billed as the "Evolution" of Xbox Live Gold, the latter of which was first introduced on the Original Xbox back in 2002. On the surface, a lot of things stay the same between the two, but there's one key difference.

Xbox Live Gold gave players access to online multiplayer and special discounts. it also gave players access to a couple of games every month, which were yours to keep for free in perpetuity if they were Original Xbox or Xbox 360 games, while for Xbox One games, they were available for as long as the player was subscribed to Xbox Live Gold. 

Xbox Game Pass Core gives players the same online multiplayer and discounts that they had access to before. Any games redeemed through the Games with Gold program are also yours to keep, with Original Xbox and 360 games being yours in perpetuity, while Xbox One games will be yours as long as you stay subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Core or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. 

There's no more monthly games however, with Games with Gold going away starting in September 2023. Instead, Xbox Game Pass Core subscribers will have access to 25 titles from Xbox Game Pass

There are now four different options for Xbox Game Pass. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Like Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass Core is available for $10 a month, or $60 per year. This fits right alongside regular Xbox Game Pass at $11 a month, PC Game Pass at $10 a month, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at $17 a month. 

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which previously bundled in Xbox Live Gold, will now bundle in Xbox Game Pass Core instead. None of the other features of any tier of the subscription are changing. 

Xbox Game Pass Core: What games are included?

A smaller selection of games are included with this 'Core' offering. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Xbox Game Pass Core will include a limited selection of 25 titles that are currently available in Xbox Game Pass. Naturally, the list is heavy on first-party games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks. Here's the games in Xbox Game Pass Core that we know about so far:

  • Among Us 
  • Descenders 
  • Dishonored 2 
  • DOOM Eternal 
  • Fable Anniversary 
  • Fallout 4 
  • Fallout 76 
  • Forza Horizon 4 
  • Gears 5  
  • Grounded 
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Human Fall Flat 
  • Ori & The Will of the Wisps 
  • Psychonauts 2 
  • State of Decay 2 
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

We'll be sure to update this list as more games become available, and new games will be added two or three times a year.

Per Microsoft, it's also possible that there will be slight differences in the list of games based on the region someone is in. This is fairly common with gaming subscriptions, and would previously happen from time to time with Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus. 

Xbox Game Pass Core: What happens to Xbox Live Gold subcribers?

All about the Core train. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Anyone currently subscribed to Xbox Live Gold when Xbox Game Pass Core launches will automatically be transferred into the new subscription. 

Xbox Game Pass Core is currently slated to roll out starting Sep. 14, 2023. We'll share any additional relevant information as it becomes available.

What does the future hold?

We'll have to wait and see what changes come as a result of further player feedback in the months ahead. This is a big chance, and while there's certainly a bit of sadness just in seeing the name "Xbox Live Gold" go away, Microsoft repackaging its ecosystem around Xbox Game Pass makes a lot of sense.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.