How Xbox Game Pass works on Xbox One

Xbox One S

Xbox One S and Xbox wireless controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

The release of Xbox Game Pass is a huge deal for both Microsoft and Xbox gamers. Along with EA Access, it's a serious differentiator between Xbox and the competition and will help players discover new games without committing to a cost.

Xbox Game Pass complete list of available games

Unlike Sony's subscription service, PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass allows you to download and install the games locally on your console, so you won't have to stream them from the cloud. It'll also offer a mix of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games, an extra dose of awesome.

We fired it up to take a quick look.

Upon first getting started with Xbox Game Pass, all users are being offered a free 14-day trial to test out the service. To get going you'll need to manually enroll for the trial, which can be found by searching "Xbox Game Pass" in the Xbox Store. After setting up Xbox Game Pass, the subscription will be set to automatically renew unless canceled before the two-week period is up.

There's nothing to download and after completing the brief steps, you'll be ready to start gaming. Xbox Game Pass then shows up as an active membership under "My Games & apps," next to services such as Xbox Live Gold and EA Access.

As of right now, 112 titles are available via Xbox Game Pass, spanning both Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatibility. Going forward this catalog is set to continually change, with new titles arriving and leaving the service over time. The current catalog offers a range of genres, including both triple-A and indie games.

Installing games is very much like the EA Access model, except there's no dedicated app to see what's included. Game Pass is, as you'd expect, integrated directly into the Xbox Store. However, by navigating to the Xbox Game Pass section of the Store, you can sort titles based on some predefined categories.

Once you find a game you want to play, there's an install button as a part of the Store, or the option to buy a copy permanently attached to your account. Naturally, Game Pass games expire if you stop your subscription.

Overall, Xbox Game Pass in an interesting addition to the Xbox One's line-up and should be enticing for those new to the platform. Although a majority of the included games are relatively old, the sheer number titles mean there's potentially huge value behind this package.

What do you think of Xbox Game Pass? Are you planning to purchase your own subscription? Make sure to let us know in the comments!

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. 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 steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at