• long running

Xbox Live Gold No Longer Required for Free-to-Play Games (Party Chat & Looking For Groups also Free) @ Microsoft

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Stay safe, and enjoy :)

Source

Microsoft is removing its requirement for an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play free-to-play multiplayer games today. The software maker has been testing this removal over the past few weeks, and now every Xbox One and Xbox Series S / X owner will be able to play free multiplayer games without Xbox Live Gold. Microsoft is also unlocking Xbox Party Chat and the Looking For Groups (LFG) feature as part of this rollout.

The Xbox Live Gold changes mean popular games like Destiny 2, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and many others will no longer require a subscription. More than 50 games will now be free-to-play. The changes certainly make the Xbox Series S console a lot more appealing as a device for free-to-play multiplayer games.

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Comments

  • +39 votes

    All multiplayer should be free..

    Better than nothing.

    Introducing a paywall that stops people who don't game multiplayer often (say once a month) is such a pest.

    It blows my mind they monetized something that was always free on pc.

    Maybe they need to add free tokens. Once a fortnight get some free multiplayer hours. Then you can pay if you use it more. Seems a reasonable balance.

    • +2 votes

      Can't see them cutting you off after you run out of hours working very well …

    • +7 votes

      IIRC they make most of their money from the subscriptions which is why the consoles are mostly very good value for its specs.

      If they remove the paywall I would assume that the price of consoles would increase.

    •  

      Your argument is the same as people who had PS3 Multiplayer Free until they were forced to pay on PS4

    • +2 votes

      Xbox was a much better service than the free PS online service, maybe because it wasn’t free. But it is 2021 and multiplayer is basically a standard service in most big selling games instead of an optional extra. A lot of people don’t even play the campaigns in shooters anymore.

    • +83 votes

      How do you spot a PC gamer? Don't worry they'll tell you.

      •  

        This is legitimately probably my favorite OzB quote in a while.

        jv, where are you!?!

  • +2 votes

    I want to get an Xbox, is it best to buy the new one or will the last Gen hold up for few yrs yet? I don't care about Graphics :)

    • +6 votes

      Well the Xbox one is still very good. But eventually new games will probably stop releasing on it. Might be a few years away yet though.

    • +15 votes

      I wouldn't get a base Xbox One or the Xbox One S since they are very underpowered, but I'd recommend a One X for about $250 second hand. Microsoft seem to want to support the previous generation a bit more than Sony do, at least for the moment. Great thing about the One X is that it upscales certain Xbox 360 games and they look incredible, I just finished the first Red Dead Redemption on my One X and it looked great at 4k.

      • +7 votes

        Yes I agree at minimum get a Xbox one X if wanting to stick with current gen longer.

        Series consoles are better experience due to the SSD/faster frame rates but the one X still does a good job with current gen games if you don’t mind higher res with say 30fps.

        Gap will widen over time and obviously at some point (maybe few years?) the Xbox one gen won’t be supported anymore.

      •  

        I don't believe xbox want to support previous gen more then Sony as Sony has said they want to support ps4 for 4 years xbox said 2 years.

        Yes backward compatibility is better on xbox.

      • +4 votes

        I upgraded my One S to a One X for this reason, I couldn't justify the expense of the Series S/X. I also had a friend who jumped on-board the Series X shortly after launch and he's actually been disappointed there's not been much more improvement over the One X - faster load times are about all he can notice. Until there are games optimised for the Series consoles even the graphics aren't going to be stunningly better, either.

    • +3 votes

      If you value time the series s is your best bet. Quick resume and fast load times and 60 fps have been my most enjoyed features of next gen xbox.

      I'm playing immortal fenyx rising and I use the fast travel so often because the ssd speed makes it super quick. I no longer have to calculate in my head to think would it be quicker to ride there or fast travel. Fast travel every time lol.

    •  

      Buy a new one. It saves you lots of load time, and quick resume is awesome.

    •  

      Get Series X. The quality of life improvement (SSD, Quick Resume, USB 3.1/3.2 gen 2 ports) is worth it. The improved CPU and GPU means 60fps. Sure, you may not care about graphics, but 60fps vs 30fps is something you can feel the difference.

      There will be an increase of games needing to play on internal SSD or the special external memory (CFExpress based flash storage), so if you opted for Series S, keep that in mind as you might need to get that external memory sooner rather than later.

      •  

        Ok thanks guys looks like I will go for the Series X :)

        •  

          Btw i installed SSD in my xbox one s as original HD died, pretty smooth now with loading games now

    •  

      I was in this situation a few months ago. Ended up buying a One X and liked it so much I sold it anout a month later and got a Series S. Would recommend the Series S. Very easy to find them as cheap as $320 now used on FB marketplace (absolutely insane considering its about half price and the console isn't even six-month-old yet!!!). One X was great but I'd say you have 2-3 years max of third and 1st party support left. May as well spend the extra $100-$200 and future proof yourself, plus higher FPS and quick resume justify that in my opinion over 4k res.

      Series S + gamepass is an incredibly underrated value proposition and the ozbargainer's choice in my humble opinion. Value this good in console gaming is otherwise unheard of.

    •  

      Get a Series S then if you don't care about graphics it's a next gen 1080p console for $500, all the same features just less graphics, storage space and no disc drive.

      •  

        Series S suitable for Games Pass users or people who already own a Series X. If you want to play a bunch of new release titles that aren't on Games Pass it's definitely cheaper to get the Series X. New release games sell for $120 on digital storefront but can find cheaper in physical copies at retail.

  • +6 votes

    Rocket league?

  • +3 votes

    So they are doing what Sony did all along

    •  

      You really can’t compare both services, on ps I had countless issues with multiplayer and voice chats although is free

      •  

        Yeah a lot of people went on about security when online play was free altogether. I dont use high quality headsets so never had a problem. Xbox was good for letting you play online with guests still dont think you can do that with PS which sucks. Never had issues with multiplayer

  •  

    Do I still need to buy Gold in order to avail of the $1 per month Gamepass deal for first time users?

  • +1 vote

    They lost me when they didn't fix the Oneguide EPG.

    • +9 votes

      I'll let Bill know he'd be disappointed to hear

  • +2 votes

    As soon as I upgrade my PC and move away from Xbox…

    • -3 votes

      If you have xbox love gaming and don't have gamepass it doesn't make sense to be on ozbargin. If you have gamepass you have online play.

      • +3 votes

        I never said I "love gaming". I'm a casual player, but it's just funny that 1 month after my switch to PC, Microsoft makes such a big change :)

        Why the downvotes?

        • -1 vote

          Because in most forums Nintendo and Microsoft are good and the rest are evil.

          • +2 votes

            @kazuyamishima: Okay, but I wasn't calling anyone evil. I'm just saying that I'm ironically unlucky lol

          •  

            @kazuyamishima: Would love to know which forums you go to that make Nintendo and Microsoft the good guys lol pretty much everywhere I see it's the other way around

        • -5 votes

          You don't love gaming yet you decided to switch gaming platform from xbox and buy a pc? That makes no sense.

          • +4 votes

            @Jklaro: Dude. As I said, I upgraded my PC. The Xbox One X I had couldn't play the games I like at higher than 60FPS at 1080P. I bought a used GPU for $300 and now I have a PC which can handle 165FPS stable at 1440P.

            I'm not even gonna bother replying anymore, you guys are just trying to start trouble here :(

            • +1 vote

              @Zackeroo: You see what I mean.

            • +1 vote

              @Zackeroo: I wouldn't say you're unlucky—if Xbox One X wasn't doing it for you and PC does, I don't see how this change to Xbox Live Gold would have made a difference. It sounds like you made the right choice for you! Also, in fairness, this change was announced as coming soon back in January: https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/01/22/update-on-xbox-live-g...

              •  

                @EMSilver: Since you actually made a nice comment, I'll reply :)

                I paid for a 1 year Xbox Live Gold subscription, and then realised that thr Xbox wasn't doing it for me. Whenever I occasionally hopped onto the Xbox, I used the subscription for multiplayer, but now I see that's not even required anymore lol. That's the reason why :)

                • +1 vote

                  @Zackeroo: Ah, that makes sense! Gold is still needed for co-op and multiplayer in non-F2P games, like Gears or non-Warzone Call of Duty, so I guess it depends on if you play any of those. At least you won't need to renew. Good luck with your PC! :)

                  •  

                    @EMSilver: Thank you!! I'm so happy I upgraded it before the major cost increase :)

            • +1 vote

              @Zackeroo: Hey Zackeroo! Mind me asking what specs you got on your pc? I’m quite interested myself to switch to pc for playing Xbox games and your response would mean a lot to me! :)

              •  

                @Illuxz: Hey Illuxz, I can give you my specs, but the issue is you won't be able to find anything which performs this well for $300 anymore due to the current inflation in prices lol

                CPU: i5-2500K (Overclocked to 4.9GHz - Fully Stable)
                RAM: 16GB 1866MHz
                Storage: 240GB Samsung | 1TB W.D.
                GPU: Gigabyte 5700XT Tri-Fan (Bought for $300 - Used for 4 months previously, 3 years remaining warranty)

                I get stable 165Hz 1440P on Forza Horizon 4 at Ultra Graphics :)

                • +1 vote

                  @Zackeroo: I appreciate your reply a thousand times mate for real!
                  I’ll be on the lookout for your build so slowly but surely I can get it.
                  I want to play games like Gears on pc because I can adjust the field of zone and thus not suffering motion sickness like I do on console (only in the morning don’t know why lol)
                  Thanks a lot again mate, wish you a fantastic weekend!

                  • +1 vote

                    @Illuxz: Aww haha thanks!! My CPU is honestly really really old, and the only reason why it's still working fine for gaming is because I've overclocked it so high. Definitely look for another CPU and much quicker RAM.

                    • +1 vote

                      @Zackeroo: Hmm what CPU and RAM would you suggest that are great bang for the buck? Sorry im really a beginner in these things.. but thank you for your help!

                      • +1 vote

                        @Illuxz: Hey mate if you're having a go at building your own PC I recommend using the site PC part picker to make your build, as it will warn you if you are wanting to use incompatible parts. I built my first PC in December and it was a lifesaver. I also used it to upgrade my wifes pre-built since then, Lucky too, she needed more RAM and I was just going to buy better RAM for myself and give her mine, but the RAM her PC used was incompatible with mine.

                        Just a heads up though, now may be one of the only points in time where it is better to buy pre-built rather than building it yourself due to GPU shortages, and no one knows when that's going to ease up.

                      • +1 vote

                        @Illuxz: If you're looking in the budget market for gaming, AMD Ryzen is usually the way to go :)

                        An equivalent Intel option would be the i3-10105 (or 10100) as it provides similar performance to AMD counterparts. Try and find a MOBO + CPU bundle deal here on OzBargain if you don't already have a MOBO which supports it. The other day there was a deal for $200 which had the i3 and the MOBO. Quite a good price.

                        On the other hand tho, with the way current pricing is, it's often better to just buy a pre-built PC on a discount instead of building lol

                • +1 vote

                  @Zackeroo: Yeah dont believe you, at all even a little bit. These guys dont even get 100fps at those settings with a pc that craps on yours https://www.anandtech.com/show/14618/the-amd-radeon-rx-5700-...

                  their pc:
                  Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.0GHz
                  Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Taichi
                  Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i
                  Hard Disk: Phison E12 PCIe NVMe SSD (960GB)
                  Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4-3600 2 x 16GB (17-18-18-38)
                  Case: NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition
                  Monitor: Asus PQ321

                  But hey, embellish all you want on a forum for what ever reason…

                  Found RTX 3080 benchamrks that are only hitting what you claim. And a 5700XT is pitiful in comparison to a 3080.
                  https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-RTX-3080-vs-AMD...

                  •  

                    @Ravensbane: Lmao why would I even lie tho lol. I would usually send screenshots, but you're straight up rude and I wouldn't want to waste my time on you

                    •  

                      @Zackeroo: Who knows, maybe you are just one those people that like to embellish a lot.. Like those people back in the early internet days that claimed their uncle was a navy seal that saved the president against 20 ninjas all with a toothpick.

                      Again, say whatever you want but when professional reviewers with better pcs than yours, with video cards that literally crap all over yours, are only just hitting what you claim. Thats all the proof I need.

                      • +2 votes

                        @Ravensbane: Dude you're actually toxic af. I finally decided to come back and look at the links you sent, and it's quite obvious you're being a dumbass here. You sent me a link to a 5700XT which managed 100FPS at 1440P max graphics. Now obviously you don't know what you're talking about, cause Ultra is NOT the highest setting in Forza. The extreme option is, and I only get ~95FPS when playing on extreme on my PC.

                        I play at Ultra, with a few Extreme options ticked, and a few high options ticked. It runs absolutely perfectly, and both the CPU and the GPU ends up being at ~95-100% basically all the time lol.

                        The fact that you're going to compare the story of saving the president against 20 ninjas with a toothpick with getting 150FPS on a game shows you quite clearly follow these "professional reviewers" blindly.

                        Stop being such a keyboard warrior and just accept it ffs

            •  

              @Zackeroo:

              The Xbox One X I had couldn't play the games I like at higher than 60FPS at 1080P. I bought a used GPU for $300 and now I have a PC which can handle 165FPS stable at 1440P.

              Damn, how did you get RTX 3080 level performance for $300? That's a hell of a deal. I've got a Ryzen 3900X and a GTX 1080 and want to upgrade my GPU but to get a 3080 now is close to $2k which is ridiculous. Just waiting for prices to come back down. I have a 1440p 144hz screen and struggle to get games over 120fps let alone to my native 144 on the GTX 1080.

              •  

                @Agret: Lol, I get what you're saying, but it honestly depends on the games you're playing. I play Forza Horizon 4 the most out of everything, and that's what this is based off. I got custom settings based off the 'high' preset. I got an RX 5700 XT, and if you have a search, you'll realize this is a pretty good card for 1440P high FPS. I just got a really good deal tho tbh

    • -1 vote

      upgraded* moved*

      FTFY

  • +1 vote

    Wow this is awesome. I never wanted to buy the subscription and almost bought a gaming laptop because of that.

  •  

    It's good to see Xbox are making steps to becoming more competitive.

    I think Sony will have no choice but to follow suit.

    •  

      Free-to-play games don't require a PS Plus subscription for Multiplayer and that's been the case since the release of PS4 followed by PS5 release.

      • +1 vote

        Why is it that when I try and open up a multiplayer task in Destiny 2 free to play it wants Playstation Plus?

        • +2 votes

          It seems to be only Destiny 2 that does that - my guess is that since Destiny 2 was not originally a free to play game, and when it went free it hasn't registered properly as a free to play game

    •  

      Microsoft actually caved in and followed Sony (but that's due to the ill fated attempt to raise XBox Live Gold price - which caused a big backclash from supporters).

      • -1 vote

        Is that the same time when M$ listened to the fans and didn't raise the price while Sony increased the price of their games and also decided not to provide backwards compatibility again?

        Gotcha.

        •  

          M$ listened to the fans and didn't raise the price

          Nice try, mate. The Series S|X edition for most games are also priced higher. We could wait for first party exclusives to decide, but then you will probably mention GamePass Ultimate.

          You've got to wonder why M$ refused to do that (free games do not require XBox Live Gold to play online) for so long and finally decided to do it? M$ started this console players have to pay a monthly fee in order to play online.

          This is the same M$ who refused to let me take on the $1 for 3 months Game Pass Ultimate deal, no longer including any voucher in the Series X or S consoles (you get 2 vouchers for XBox One X). Also, M$ knows I have Series X on launch day. So, the reward for buying it on launch day is pay full price for GamePass Ultimate. Nice. Shutting down good deals on XBox Live Gold is a sign that cheap GamePass Ultimate loopholes will be stopped sooner or later.

          I support both camps, but it gets annoying that XBox games of the same title get less trade in credits compared to Sony PS4 versions (despite technically having better graphics).

          • +1 vote

            @netsurfer: Sounds like fanboyism to me.

            • Series X/S games are the same price as previous gen. Not sure where you got that from.
            • Gamepass is awesome and everyone agrees. Why would you hate such a cool service?
            • M$ not charging for F2P games is a good thing. Why would you hate on this idea?
            • M$ started paid online service, yes, but it was flawless and eliminated cheating and hacking to a large degree as well as adding a lot of functionality. Sony didn't wait too long until they started charging but offered much less. M$ has led the way here.

            I think you're just upset that you can't get GPU for free and something about "trade-in credits" (Whatever that is) which I'm assuming has everything to do with the retailer and nothing to do with M$.

            Why didn't you stack the GPU deal for 3 years at ~$100 like everyone else did?

            In short, Xbox is currently better value than PS on all fronts and PC is better in every way than all consoles.

            At the end of the day, people will end up buying a particular plastic box that they think suits them and thus will accept whatever shitty terms that particular company throws at them…… unless you buy a PC.

      •  

        Sony actually caved and allowed for crossplay to happen too.
        Sony actually caved and kept their old gen stores open too.
        Sony actually caved and decided to release PS5 games on PS4 too.
        Sony actually caved and started to release their exclusives on PC too.
        Sony actually caved and now lets you store PS5 games on external storage too.
        Sony actually caved and implemented backwards compatibili..oh wait.

        Not difficult to say the same if you want to go that route🙄 (coming from someone with both consoles).

        That said, online multiplayer should have always been free. At least it's no longer a matter of contention.

  • +1 vote

    That's great!! My subscription end soons.. Woohoo!!

  • +5 votes

    Should have always been free.

  •  

    Bad news for everyone that just stacked up on gold

    • +3 votes

      Well, not everyone. Only those who stacked up on gold in order to play free to play games.

  •  

    Great PSA

  • +1 vote

    wait you had to pay for it? lol.

  • +4 votes

    Remember when you needed Xbox Live to watch Netflix? Those were dark days.

    •  

      Even worse for SBS on demand

    •  

      And Foxtel.

  •  

    What are the best amontg the 50 free games that are free-to-play?

    Can i still use xbox 360 on this free-to-play?

    • +1 vote

      I mainly played Warzone from time to time.

    •  

      apex legends

  •  

    This doesn't really affect me much, Microsoft look after those of us that live in Brazil…

    •  

      Ugh, I “live in Brazil” and put two years of gold on my account. Tried to upgrade to ultimate and it says region is wrong. If I switch to Brazil with a VPN, it lets me get to payment then rejects my Aussie PayPal and credit card. Any suggestions?

      •  

        Get a Brazilian game pass ultimate card and redeem that? you can't use paypal or cc anymore

        •  

          I don’t think that would work, because converting your gold needs an actual payment they can bill you on. Adding an ultimate card would only give me whatever months are on that card.

          •  

            @mickiskye: You redeemed a prepaid card for Brazil gold right? it should work, I don't think you need a payment method if you already have one set on your account even if it is in a different region.

            •  

              @Mooncakes: Yes I did. So does a prepaid ultimate card convert your remaining gold? Can anyone confirm if that works? I don’t want to throw more money away on Brazilian cards!

  • -1 vote

    surely playstation has to follow

    •  

      PlayStation has had free to play multiplayer since the PS3.

    •  

      It is interesting some people don't know Sony has this since the PS3 days. Furthermore, most reviewers were expecting Microsoft to do this when Series X|S was announced. It took XBox Live Gold price increase going pear shaped for Microsoft to finally cave in to do this.

  •  

    I have a ONE X from last Gen but moved over to PS5. Cold War with the new controller is incredible.

  •  

    Can someone help a confused Mum here.

    My son plays Division 2 on xbox console.
    We bought 3 years worth of the xbox live gold from this deal https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/575902
    He activated 2 years and still have the 1 year.

    Used to have ultimate but I cancelled it - too expensive.

    How does this announcement by Microsoft affect what we have?

    •  

      It doesn't. As far as I'm aware, The Division 2 is still a premium game (not free to play), so Xbox Live Gold is still needed to play that online.

      •  

        thank you!

        Another question…. he loved the demo game of outrunner and would like to play that. What is the best way to do that?

        Is there still a way to convert to ultimate to play outrunner for free? He has 2 years of xbox gold live….and another voucher for another year.

        •  

          I assume you mean Outriders? The best way would probably be to upgrade to Ultimate. You might not get a discounted introductory offer (the $1/mo or $3/3mo deals), but any purchase of Ultimate (possibly even using a trial) will upgrade your entire Gold subscription for the time you have left. If you have 22 months left of Gold and you add one month of Ultimate to your account, you should now have 23 months of Ultimate.

          Once you've upgraded to Ultimate, though, a Gold voucher will only give you a converted rate (I believe a third of what you add). Best way to do it is to stack all the Gold you can (maximum 36 months) and then buy one month of Ultimate to upgrade. You'll have to worry about the increased cost of Ultimate in three years; alternatively, at that time you can end the subscription and start back up with just Gold once cancelled.

        •  

          omg i wish my mum cared about my gaming needs as you

          youre awesome

  •  

    I take it I still need Gold to get the "free" Games with Gold each month?

  •  

    How about Overwatch? will it be free as well or do you need Xbox Gold Live to play multiplayer?

    • +1 vote

      overwatch isn't a free game, so i would assume you'll need Gold Live to play