Skip to main content

Microsoft enables game gifting for PC users

A few months ago, Microsoft enabled digital game gifting for Xbox One. You could purchase everything from an add-on to Xbox Live Gold and give it to someone as a present. Many PC users also wanted to do the same so today, Microsoft is expanding the service to include just that.

The company issued the following statement (opens in new tab) about the expansion.

Today, we're excited to announce that we have expanded digital gifting to include PC games and PC downloadable game content... Further, all Xbox One games are now eligible for digital gifting.

You have to do the following to start gifting games.

  • Head over to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10, Xbox One, or online, and navigate to the product.
  • Select "Buy as Gift" and enter the email address of the recipient. On Xbox One you can choose a Gamertag.
  • The recipient will receive a code for the product along with instructions on how to redeem it.

Many PC games are available for gifting today and all games should be available for gifting by May 11.

However, there are a few rules to keep in mind.

  • Gift purchasers can only buy two discounted products – and a total of ten discounted products – every fourteen days.
  • There are no limits for gift purchases made at full price.
  • Gifting of Xbox 360 and Xbox original games isn't allowed.
  • Gifts can only be redeemed in the country or region they were purchased.

It's great to see that Microsoft listened to consumers and gave them this long-requested feature. Hopefully this trend will continue in the future.

Keep an eye on for all the latest in Xbox and Windows 10 gaming, accessories, news, and reviews!

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Typical MS, one step forward, two steps back. The first 2 rules already seemed stupid and limited.
  • Why do the first 2 steps seem limiting and unnecessary? Edit: oops sorry misread your comment. Thought you said steps and not rules
  • I actually meant this rules - Gift purchasers can only buy two discounted products – and a total of ten discounted products – every fourteen days. - Gifting of Xbox 360 and Xbox original games isn't allowed.
  • u obviously have no clue why those rules are applied. so your nagging seems useless.
  • So is your comment.
  • @ISO_117
    The usual damage control that you do. You come back hard on anyone who criticise MS.
    ofc ZERO argument in your post (as usual).
    So tell us why are these 2 rules there?
  • The discounted purchase limit rule: Key resellers. Gifting purchases are just key purchases. They're not tied to the person you're gifting them to in any way. So a key reseller could buy hundreds or thousands of keys at a discounted price, sit on them for a week until the Microsoft sale is over, and then resell them for a price in between MSRP and the sale price. Microsoft obviously doesn't want resellers abusing this. 360/OG Purchases: Surely you've realized by now that 360 games aren't fully converged into the modern store, right? It's obvious if you try to buy one, as it sends you through the old 360 experience. OG games are the same, because they're using the old backwards compatibility stuff from 360 to sell them. If gifting is a feature of the modern store infrastructure, and 360/OG games are not yet on the modern store infrastructure, then how would they be able to gift them?
  • the the first one is just to prevent chaos
    if there's a big games sale.
    you can gift two a day a discount
    that 5 days straight of gifting if you were doing it everyday
    To hit the 10 total at discount
    but those sales usually last 30 days
    so being able to get 20 or more is still doable.
  • Why limit it to only 2 per day though? If I want to gift games to a family member or friends, I can only give them 2 per day and a max of 10 games for 14 days which seems severely limited.
  • well it only applies to discounted game.
    if it's really that problematic for you could send email out with Xbox gift card
    the limit have a genuine person
  • I envy anyone who feels bounded by these rules. It would be awsome to know someone slowly falling in depression by the end of a full calendar year because of not being able to gift more than 26 games that are discounted, and will have to gift the rest of the 86356 gifted games from the full price ones. Not that there are this many games all together in the Store for XBox One. Also how are these steps backward? When were you able to do this without the listed two limitations?
  • that's easy it's to prevent abuse of the system you have 3 types of discounts your normal weekly discounts, Xbl gold discounts, and game pass discounts. the last two are only for subscribers. so the rules are to prevent someone from buying games at a super discount and reselling them for a higher price. if you gift using an email then the receiving party gets a digital code not just added to their library. Not to mention almost every company has a limit on purchases for discounts its to make it fair for everyone.
  • I agree with the first one, it seems odd that you can't do unlimited discounted gift purchases, as it's no different one person buying twenty copies as opposed to 20 people buying one copy, I guess you could argue that someone could stockpile points from rewards or something, but that's a part of the system they have in place, and should instead maybe look at limiting the number of purchases using points. If that is an issue. The second point could be due to the way the store handles backwards compatible games, I haven't purchased an original Xbox game, but when you buy a Xbox 360 game through the console it uses a unique menu system (almost like it is running through the compatibility layer to make the purchase), so perhaps the gift system can't attach itself to that, or something.
  • Probably the first rule comes from that fact that the discounts are set on a personal scale. A publisher may start a discount on whatever rule as of mid 2017, so any discount may have been constructed to apply to you for some reason. To test a game early, to have a sort of extension to whatever you may have bought earlier, or by examining what games you have purchased and played and to take you away from competition. Having them in the gift system probably costs money to Microsoft, since it is breaking the chain of cause for the publisher, who is expecting a full price buy from the customer you just gifted. It is a limitation that will be evaluated later probably when the cost is assessed.
  • To prevent key farming and resale?
  • I am guessing these rules are used to stop re-sellers. If it is unlimited, a black market would start where a "store" would buy during discount time large number of copies, and resell them later on for a profit.
  • Of course.
  • In case that works technically. It would be an easy way to stop it, since you need to link an existing user to your purchase. So how would you have a black market on this?
  • Stop talking sense in the comments section! It's not allowed.
  • @Rising Mos. Actually that is ONLY preventable through the TOS and within the TOS heavy consequences can be levied against those who are farming keys at a discount. So really, in reality it simply penalises customers who are gifting their relatives and family members. Secondly, it's entirely circumventable any reseller wishing to stockpile keys will be using disposable emails. Thirdly, without a IP attachment to gamertags and email addresses there is no way to enforce the limit. Therein lies the problem as that is a breach of privacy as it involves periodic scans and server/authenticate on demand scans of transaction logs and account activity to prevent keys being stockpiled. But even then that doesn't work as resellers can use VPNs. So in reality, such measures really penalise paying customers.