Xbox Live Gold has always been the paid subscription for Xbox gaming, providing full access to Microsoft's gaming network with a range of exclusive benefits. That includes access to online multiplayer, various social features, free games, and discounts on the regular. But Xbox Live Gold isn't for everyone and coupled with some big changes to Xbox Live's free tier, you may consider canceling your membership.
How to disable auto-renew for Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live Gold has long been necessary for the best Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S experience, unlocking features like online multiplayer, Party Chat, and access to the "Games with Gold" free games program. But network-wide Xbox Live Gold changes, introduced in April 2021, lift the requirement for a subscription with many staple features. Free-to-play games like Fortnite no longer require the Xbox Live Gold for multiplayer, while other once Gold-exclusive features like Party Chat and Looking For Group (LFG) opened to all free users.
Existing paid Xbox Live Gold subscribers who stick to a handful of free-to-play games may opt to drop the service. By canceling your Xbox Live Gold subscription, understand that you'll be losing access to all your previous benefits of the service. In the future, multiplayer for most games and other Xbox Live Gold services will be inaccessible, including access to free titles previously obtained via Games with Gold.
- Navigate to account.microsoft.com/services.
- Sign into your Microsoft account.
Navigate to the Xbox Live Gold subsection of the page.
- Click Manage.
- Choose Turn off auto-renew.
- Select Confirm cancellation.
Upon completing the steps, your Xbox Live Gold subscription will no longer renew going forward. Your existing Xbox Live Gold membership will continue until the current paid period passes, meaning all benefits are still usable in the meantime.
Is Xbox Live Gold worth it after 2021 changes?
Microsoft just dropped some significant changes to Xbox Live Gold, opening multiplayer to all users for free-to-play games and unbinding other social features from the paid subscription. It allows any Xbox owner to play many of the most popular Xbox games online, including Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex, without forking out for additional charges.
Xbox Live Gold remains essential for most Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S owners, with the majority of multiplayer experiences still tied up in the membership. The change is directed towards those who exclusively play from the few dozen free-to-play games, especially suited to those frequenting today's top battle royale titles. The move has also detached Party Chat and Looking for Group (LFG) services from Xbox Live Gold, now freely available to all Xbox users.
Whether Xbox Live Gold is still worthwhile depends on your playing habits and whether you regularly play titles online outside the free-to-play offering. Many of the most popular games on the platform, like Call of Duty and FIFA, still require an active membership to access multiplayer features. Xbox Live Gold also retains other exclusive benefits like the Games with Gold program and member-only discounts.
How to save on Xbox Live Gold
For those undecided about whether canceling Xbox Live Gold is best, consider saving through third-party retailers. Many storefronts serve up regular discounts and cuts on redeemable codes for monthly and annual memberships. We've rounded up our favorite stops to buy Xbox Live Gold below.
Xbox accessories you'll love
Every one of these quality accessories is guaranteed to enhance your Xbox experience.
PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox One ($20 at Amazon)
PowerA's take on the Xbox One controller is an attractive pickup for budget-conscious gamers that nails all the basics.
Talon PDP Xbox media remote ($20 at Amazon)
The Talon PDP Xbox media remote is great for watching shows on your console.
Xbox One S vertical stand ($10 at Amazon)
Stand your console upright with this accessory.
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