Xbox Live Gold no longer required for free-to-play games

Posted on April 22, 2021

For the longest time, it has been a requirement that players have a subscription to Xbox Live Gold in order to play any titles online, including games that are free-to-play such as Fortnite and Apex Legends. This is no longer the case as Xbox has dropped this need so that over 50 games are now truly free-to-play as long as you have an internet connection.

Earlier this year, Xbox also made the foolish decision to up their prices for the subscription, only to quickly backtrack on it due to the complaints and negative reception from users.

This new change to the Gold service is a first for Microsoft, which has recently started to shift away from their Xbox Live Gold model in favour of the ever-popular Game Pass and Ultimate Game Pass, with the latter including Xbox Live Gold anyway. Truth be told, the Game Pass and Ultimate Game Pass subscriptions offer far more value than a standard Gold subscription anyway, so it is no surprise that the Gold service is seemingly being buried more and more.

The full list of completely free-to-play games can be found below:

  • 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

Xbox Live Gold

It is worth noting that apart from the expected likes of Fortnite, Warframe, Warzone, Apex Legends, and Dauntless, there are a couple of oddities such as Too Human (an older Xbox 360 title) and Resident Evil Revelations 2, which is a purchasable game so it generally wouldn’t be considered free-to-play. Either way, a very nice change to the service and surely one that will be welcomed by fans as online gaming continues to soar in popularity and users.

This also now pits Xbox more favourably against PlayStation’s service which has always allowed users to enjoy free-to-play games online without a PS Plus subscription. Microsoft is certainly doing what it can to keep existing users happy while attracting new ones, and with the positive reception to the Xbox Series X, Game Pass library, and overall focus on providing an all-inclusive gaming experience for fans, they are certainly heading in the right direction.