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Xbox Game Pass for PC—What You Need to Know

Posted by William Sattelberg on July 12, 2019
xbox game pass pc

Since its launch in 2017, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass has been one of the best deals in gaming. For just $9.99 per month, Game Pass users were granted access to more than 100 Xbox games, with more being added all the time. From Microsoft exclusives to third-party titles, Game Pass has seen its library fill out over time, with Microsoft announcing that their own published titles, including forthcoming games like The Outer WorldsGears of War, and Halo Infinite. Despite the Xbox One’s relatively disappointing sales performance since its launch nearly six years ago, Game Pass has made the Xbox One a fantastic console, whether you already have one or you’re looking to pick up a new gadget.

Of course, with Microsoft also putting more emphasis on their placement in the PC gaming world, fans have been asking since the launch of Game Pass if and when a similar service would arrive on Windows 10, and sure enough, E3 2019 finally gave fans what they’ve been looking for. Currently in beta, Xbox Game Pass for PC is a brand-new way to play games on your PC, all from the new Xbox app available for Windows. Currently priced at $4.99 while in open beta (and to be priced at $9.99 after a full launch this year), Game Pass for PC is a deal most PC gamers should take a long, hard look at. Let’s take a look at how to sign up for Xbox Game Pass for PC, what games you can currently download for the service, and what to expect in the future.

Signing Up for Game Pass on PC

First, you’ll need to make sure you have a computer running Windows 10. You’ll also want to check and make sure you’ve updated to the newest build of Windows; if you’re running an outdated version,    Once you’re ready to go, open the Start menu on your laptop and launch the Microsoft Store app. In the search bar, type Xbox and select “Xbox (Beta)” from the list of results. Download and install the app, then open it and sign into (or create) an Xbox account to use with your device.

Now that we have the app installed on our computer, we can sign up for Game Pass. Grab your credit card and follow the steps in the Game Pass tab within the Xbox app to sign up for the platform, or sign up on the web right here. There’s a few plans to choose from, including an Ultimate option for $15 per month that greats you Game Pass for Xbox, PC, and an Xbox Live membership. If you’re just looking for the PC option, however, you can stick with the standard plan.

Once you’ve signed up for Game Pass, head to the Xbox beta app on your PC and look through the games included with your service. Unlike a service like PlayStation Now, every Game Pass game installs right in the Xbox app and appears to the left of the store, allowing you to jump into a game at any time. Whether you’re at home sitting in front of your desktop, or you picked up a gaming laptop and you want to play on the go, you’ll be ready to jump in regardless of whether you’re online.

Alright, you’ve signed up for the service, and now it’s time to pick some games. Let’s dive in.

What Games Can I Play?

Before you take the plunge on Game Pass for PC, it’s good to check out what’s actually available on the platform. You can view the full list by clicking this link, or you can check out some of our suggested and highlighted games below. Currently there are 116 games on Game Pass for PC, but that number changes constantly, so do yourself a favor and keep up to date on the list by keeping this page bookmarked for our newest suggestions. Whether you’re an experienced gamer or new to the entire genre, here’s some games you absolutely must check out:

    • Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Action RPG)
    • SteamWorld Dig 2 (Metroidvania)
    • State of Decay 2 (Survival Open World)
    • Slay the Spire (Roguelike Card)
    • Gears of War 4 (FPS)
    • Hollow Knight (Metroidvania)
    • Prey (FPS)
    • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Action-adventure)
    • Hotline Miami (Top-down Shooter)
    • Battle Chasers: Nightwar (Turn-based RPG)
    • Halo Wars 2 (RTS)
    • Metro Exodus (FPS)
    • Into the Breach (Turn-based Strategy)
    • Ori and the Blind Forest (Metroidvania)
    • Sea of Thieves (Action-adventure)
    • Sunset Overdrive (Action-adventure)
    • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (FPS)
    • Undertale (Turn-based RPG)
    • The Outer Worlds* (Action RPG)
    • Halo Reach* (FPS)

*Will be available at launch

Bold: Editor’s Choice

That’s a ton of variety for any gamer, and it’s just a fraction of the games on Game Pass PC at the moment. It’s worth noting that traditional Game Pass does have titles not available on the PC, like the Epic Store-exclusive Outer Wilds. Still, we look forward to even more games set to come to the platform over the next several months, as the wider availability of games and Game Pass in general becomes more accepted.

So, Should I Buy Game Pass?

The service is still in beta on PC, but on the Xbox One, we’ve had nothing but good experiences using the platform, and we look forward to being able to play some incredible games for just $10 on PC. Despite a few bugs in the current beta, we’re big fans of what we’ve seen so far. For the price of two full games a year, you get access to more than 100 titles from both AAA and indie developers alike. So whether you’re after an action-FPS like Wolfenstein, new areas to explore in the critical darling Hollow Knight, or a tactical challenge in Halo Wars 2, there’s plenty of titles to choose from. Of course, the true value will still come down to how much you game and whether you want to add yet another subscription service to your monthly bills. But if you’re looking to dive deep into some games and you have the extra cash lying around, maybe skip the next Steam sale and dive right into Game Pass on PC. It’s only getting better as we go.

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