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How to get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate early

Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is Microsoft's all-new program that combines its two major Xbox digital services into one; Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold. Many are subscribers of both and have been asking for a single subscription to cover the pair, and Microsoft is going to deliver sometime later in 2019.

However, if you're in the Xbox Insider Program, you may be able to enroll right now and give it a whirl. Here's what you need to know.

Who can get Xbox Live Ultimate right now?

Eventually, anyone will be able to buy a subscription to Xbox Live Ultimate. Right now, however, it's only open to select members of the Xbox Insider Program.

More specifically, it's only currently open to members of the "Alpha" and "Skip Ahead" rings of the Xbox Insider Program. There's a chance Microsoft could expand this as we get closer to launch, but right now if you're not in one of those two rings, you can't get in on the testing of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

How to enroll in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Game Pass Ultimate

If you meet the right criteria, here's how to enroll in the testing of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

  1. On your Xbox One, open the Xbox Insider Hub application.
  2. In the menu, select Insider content.
  3. Choose the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate program.
  4. Press Join.

How much does Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cost?

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will cost $15 a month when it launches, but during the testing phase, this is greatly reduced to just $1/£1 per month. Better still, if you already have prepaid Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass applied to your account, Microsoft will honor this with free Game Pass Ultimate membership.

From the FAQ:

"As an Insider benefit, when you join Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to give feedback, we will apply any prepaid time you have on Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass or both toward Xbox Game Pass Ultimate up to a maximum of 36-months.For example, if you have 3-months of Xbox Live Gold and 3-months of Xbox Game Pass already in your account and join Ultimate as an Insider, you will be charged $1 for your first month. For subsequent months we will apply 6-months toward your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (up to a maximum of 36-months).

You manage Xbox Game Pass Ultimate from the console in the same way as any other subscriptions, and once you've enrolled in the testing program you'll see immediately when your next payment of $1/£1 will be taken.

You don't need to cancel your current Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass subscriptions either, these are automatically terminated once you join Ultimate.

You can also cancel Ultimate at any time during the testing phase.

In the meantime, those not enrolled in the Xbox Insider Program can purchase standard Xbox Game Pass today.

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.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

8 Comments
  • Is it just me, or does it seem like $15 a month for both isn't any cheaper than $10 and $5 for the services separately? In fact, since you can easily find 12-month Xbox Live Gold cards for around $40, you actually end up spending more with the Ultimate pass.
  • Here's the math there (excluding taxes): Separate: $119.88 + $59.99 (annual of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live) = $179.87
    Together: $14.99 * 12 = $179.88. You lost a penny ;)
  • I think it's a convenient factor it's annoying to mange two subs when they could easily be just one.
  • I agree. I get Live at good discounts and picked up Game Pass at almost 1/2 off around the holidays
  • And don't forget that you'll most likely be able to do the same thing with Ultimate.
  • This is what I am hoping for!
  • Don't know how everyone is missing this:
    Xbox Live = $10/month
    GamePass = $10/month If you pay monthly, you're saving $5 per month, which is 25%.
  • It's cheaper for people who live in other countries due to exchange rate for me it's $ 8.00 per month cheaper