Microsoft Unlocks Free-to-Play Online Multiplayer Games, No Xbox Live Gold Sub Required

Now they're actually free-to-play.

In one of those “wow, that wasn’t a thing already?” moments, Microsoft has announced that starting today, April 21, all free-to-play online games won’t require a paid Xbox Network subscription to play.

This will affect about 50 games across the Xbox platform, and will allow anyone, regardless of what subscription level they’re on, to play these games free of charge. So now they’re actually free-to-play instead of “free-to-download-but-you’ll-need-to-start-paying-our-subscription-fee-first.”

The list as written on the Xbox Wire announcement reads as follows:

  • 3on3 FreeStyle
  • Aegis Wing
  • APB Reloaded
  • Apex Legends
  • Armored Warfare
  • Battle Ages
  • Battle Islands
  • Battle Islands: Commanders
  • Bless Unleashed
  • Brawlhalla
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Crackdown
  • Crackdown 2
  • Crimson Alliance
  • Crossout
  • CRSED: F.O.A.D.
  • Darwin Project
  • Dauntless
  • DC Universe Online
  • Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters
  • Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters
  • Defiance 2050
  • Destiny 2
  • Doritos Crash Course
  • Dungeon Defenders II
  • Enlisted
  • Eternal Card Game
  • Family Game Night
  • Fishing Planet
  • Fortnite
  • Galaxy Control: Arena
  • Gems of War
  • Happy Wars
  • Harm’s Way
  • Hawken
  • Hyper Scape
  • Killer Instinct
  • Korgan
  • Minion Masters
  • Neverwinter
  • Outriders (Demo)
  • Paladins
  • Path of Exile
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Phantom Dust
  • Pinball FX2
  • Prominence Poker
  • Realm Royale
  • Rec Room
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2
  • Rocket League
  • Rogue Company
  • Skyforge
  • Spacelords
  • Spellbreak
  • Star Trek Online
  • Techwars Global Conflict
  • TERA
  • The Four Kings Casino and Slots
  • Too Human
  • Trove
  • Vigor
  • War Thunder
  • Warface
  • Warframe
  • World of Tanks
  • World of Warships: Legends
  • Yaris

That’s a pretty substantial amount of games, and given that something like Fortnite is on this list, there’s a non-zero chance some folks only were paying for an Xbox Network account to play that game, or just make a habit of playing free-to-play games because playing video games is an expensive hobby.

In other news:

Across the board, it looks like Microsoft is trying to get subscribers away from the Xbox Network subscription in favor of Xbox Game Pass. Which, depending on your sub tier includes the perks of Xbox Network, but also a large library of rotating games, and occasionally, access to features like the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta that’s going on right now.