Are Xbox Live and Game Pass the same?

Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Live & Xbox Game Pass Microsoft Remix By Keane Eacobellis

Gaming is becoming an ever-more popular pastime, slowly crossing the line from niche interest into mainstream attention.

Accessibility is a major culprit behind the rising popularity of video games, as big names like Xbox and Playstation strive to make their consoles and apps more streamlined and available than competitors’. Xbox has largely won this war thanks to several stellar offerings, including Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live, both of which allow Xbox to separate itself from the competition. These options are largely unmatched by other brands and companies, leaving Microsoft at the head of the pack when it comes to game pickings.

The range of options provided by Xbox have led to a small amount of confusion among some potential subscribers, as advertising blurs the line between Game Pass and Xbox Live. Are the two services one and the same, or do they offer up different perks?

Are Game Pass and Xbox Live the same thing?

Xbox Game Pass
Game Pass

A Game Pass subscription can only be utilized by users with an Xbox Live account, so the confusion between these two Xbox offerings is entirely understandable.

Xbox Live is well worth the $10 monthly cost, particularly when paired with Xbox’s other stellar options. A base subscription to Live will give users access to online games and multiplayer options, as well as streaming services — like Netflix and Hulu — on top of discounted games and several free downloads a month. It is entirely separate from Game Pass, which means that users on a budget can enjoy Live’s perks without shelling out the extra cash for a Game Pass subscription.

If you’ve got the money for it, however, a Game Pass subscription is well worth it. The service offers up a wonderful selection of titles that would typically cost up to $80 for a low, consistent monthly price, and even provides Cloud gaming for those with a robust internet connection. The library of games provided with a Game Pass subscription comes on top of the four free monthly options offered up by Xbox Live, leaving users who subscribe to both with a constant influx of new content.

A base subscription to Game Pass will run users $9.99, and its far more stacked older brother — Game Pass Ultimate — ups the ante for only a slight raise in price. Ultimate costs $14.99 a month, but adds perks — like Cloud gaming, access to EA Play titles, and Game Pass for PC — that are too tempting to ignore. The service is immensely worth it for any gamer who enjoys trying out a broad range of games, and — even combined with a Live subscription — will cost users less than most television streaming services.