The Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan has officially launched, and while its availability is limited, its price tag is certainly appealing.
With the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan, you and four others can access all the benefits of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for a monthly cost of €21.99 – that’s around $21.99 / £19.99 / AU$32.99. Previously, it was only available to Xbox Insiders, but the official launch means that even more players can now sign up.
Unfortunately, the service is currently only available in the Republic of Ireland and Colombia. Microsoft says future countries and regions “might be added in the next months”.
The best part? The Ultimate tier subscription means that friends or family members won’t even need an Xbox Series X|S console to benefit. The inclusion of Xbox Cloud Gaming means they can enjoy all that Game Pass has to offer on a compatible smartphone, laptop, or smart TV with Samsung Gaming Hub.
There’s some limitations to keep in mind, though. Players within your Friends & Family plan must be living in the same country or region, and only the primary account holder can decide who gets to join the group. If a user moves to a different country or region, then they’ll be removed from the group automatically.
It’s all in the family
Yes, Xbox Game Pass’s Friends & Family plan costs more than a standard Ultimate subscription, but I think the benefits outweigh the increased cost here. Especially if you’re making the most of it with five players who’ll frequently use it.
Having up to five people all under one Game Pass umbrella is beneficial in a number of ways. Chiefly, I think it’s an excellent way to organize multiplayer nights with friends and family. Everyone on the plan has access to the same games, making impromptu adventures on Forza Horizon 5 or Sea of Thieves a doddle.
While Xbox isn’t the first to show up to the family friendly party – Nintendo Switch Online offers a similarly affordable family plan for up to eight users – its ecosystem is probably best positioned to make use of the format. If only for the swathes of games and perks offered by Xbox Game Pass.
By Rhys Wood