Microsoft’s Game Pass is a subscription service that provides access to a library of popular Xbox and PC games at a fixed monthly price. While other streaming services are cramping down on sharing the same plan, Microsoft is just starting with sharing.
Following a few leaks, Microsoft has officially revealed its “Game Pass Friends & Family” plan. It’s only available in Colombia and Ireland right now, but the company says “future countries/regions might be added in the next months.” In Ireland, the service costs €21.99 per month, compared to €9.99/mo for individual Xbox/PC plans and €12.99/mo for Game Pass Ultimate.
The Friends & Family plan allows one person to share access to Game Pass with four other people (five members in total), which seems like a fantastic deal — based on the Ireland pricing, it’s cheaper than two individual Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions. The plan has the same benefits as Ultimate, which means you can play any Xbox or PC game in the catalog, download titles from EA Play (a similar subscription from Electronic Arts), and stream Xbox games on your mobile device or browser.
There aren’t any significant restrictions on who you can share the Friends & Family plan with, if they are in the same country as you. Each person is also added with their own Microsoft/Xbox account, so there’s no messy password sharing or overwriting each other’s game progress. There are safeguards in place to prevent frequent switching, though — primary account holders can only invite a maximum of eight people per year, and group members can only join a group twice each year (including leaving and re-joining the same group).
If Microsoft rolls out the new plan to more countries, and maintains the same competitive pricing, Game Pass would be hard to pass up for friend groups and families that want to play top-tier games every once in a while.