Microsoft recently showcased a revamped Crackdown 3 at X018, highlighting its destructive cloud-backed multiplayer mode. It's the next major Microsoft Studios title on the horizon, and amid growing Xbox Game Pass investments, subscribers can play the open-world shooter for free from launch.

Crackdown 3 preorders recently hit the Microsoft Store, seemingly also opening preloading for members of Xbox Game Pass. While previous Microsoft-published titles are available under the service, the lack of preloading meant full downloads on launch day – not ideal when titles frequently surpass 50 GB. Xbox Game Pass preloading has been in the works for some time and appears to be finally making its debut ahead of Crackdown 3's February release.

Upon visiting Crackdown 3's Microsoft Store listing on Xbox One or Windows 10, existing Xbox Game Pass subscribers will be prompted to install the title. The download fetches two 100.8 MB placeholder files for single-player and multiplayer, with heftier updates to come once the full game is finalized. It's only a small download right now, but with automatic updates, the placeholder should ensure you're set for launch.

Subscribers should welcome Xbox Game Pass preloading, better positioning the service as a viable replacement to traditional purchases. With upcoming Microsoft Studios like Halo Infinite and Gears 5 expected on the service, ensuring parity with preorders should help draw wider audiences.

For those yet to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass, subscriptions are available at $9.99 per month. Don't miss the Xbox Game Pass Black Friday sales, including one month for $1.

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