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Everything You Need to Know About the Xbox Game Pass Family Plan

Xbox Game Pass has revolutionized how gamers access content by providing an all-you-can game subscription service. With over 25 million members globally, Game Pass grants unlimited access to a library of over 100 high-quality games for one low monthly price.

Microsoft recently introduced an even more affordable option – the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family Plan. This plan allows gamers to share a Game Pass Ultimate subscription with up to four other friends or family members while enjoying all the same great benefits.

In this comprehensive 2500+ word guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about the Xbox Game Pass family plan including pricing, availability, included features and whether it‘s a worthwhile investment for the dedicated gamers in your life.

The Runaway Success of Xbox Game Pass

Ever since its launch in 2017, Xbox Game Pass has been a runaway success story for Microsoft‘s gaming division. From humble beginnings with just over 100 games, the Netflix-style subscription service now boats over 400 high-quality console and PC titles.

As of January 2023, Xbox Game Pass has surpassed over 25 million global subscribers – up from 18 million in January 2022. That‘s up nearly 40% year-over-year growth!

Date Xbox Game Pass Subscribers Year over Year Growth
January 2021 18 million N/A
January 2022 25 million +38%

Much of this meteoric rise has been attributed to Microsoft‘s expanding console install base with the Xbox Series X|S release plus its surging game studio acquisitions – most recently the blockbuster $68.7 billion deal for Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard.

Game Pass serves as the ultimate portal to unlock access to these exclusive titles from Microsoft studios plus a variety of beloved indies and third-party blockbusters. It‘s this bountiful all-you-can-eat gaming buffet that has consumers hooked.

And now Microsoft is making it even easier for families to jump in through affordable group plans…

What Makes Xbox Game Pass So Special?

For the uninitiated, what exactly does this Xbox Game Pass service include? Let‘s explore the key features that provide unbeatable overall value to gamers:

Netflix-Style Gaming Library

The foundation of Game Pass is simple: Pay one monthly subscription fee for unlimited, on-demand access to play from an evolving catalog of games.

Like popular media streaming services, new games are added constantly while older titles leave on a monthly basis. There‘s always something new to discover with over 100 console and 300 PC options.

Spanning various generations of Xbox consoles, current highlights include Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Minecraft, Doom Eternal, Mortal Kombath 11 and FIFA 23, among many others.

Cloud Gaming Included

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions include Xbox Cloud Gaming access with no additional charge. This allows subscribers to stream games through any web browser as well as apps on Android or iOS/iPadOS devices.

Over 100 of the most popular Game Pass titles are available for on-the-go cloud play without needing any expensive gaming hardware or downloads. It‘s on-demand gaming for your phone or tablet.

Day One Releases from Xbox Studios

In 2022, every major Xbox Game Studios release like Starfield, Scorn and PlagueTail Requiem launched day-one on Game Pass with no extra purchase required.

Microsoft commits to delivering all upcoming first-party games from its 23 studios directly into Game Pass from launch day. We‘re talking the next Halo, Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Fable…no waiting necessary!

Biggest Savings Over New Release Purchases

Speaking of major release savings, let‘s explore some real examples:

  • Starfield (February 2023): $59.99 purchase vs. $0 extra on Game Pass
  • Redfall (May 2023): $69.99 purchase vs. $0 on Game Pass
  • Minecraft Legends (April 2023): $59.99 MSRP vs. $0 for families on Game Pass

You would otherwise spend $190 just on those three titles. Instead a $24.99 monthly family subscription enables five players full access on release day!

Over 12 months, that‘s nearly $2,300 saved on new games for the household before accounting for DLC expansions and deluxe editions. Now that‘s serious value.

Gaming Perks, Free Content and Exclusive Discounts

The benefits keep on coming for Game Pass members!

Ongoing promotions provide free in-game items, character skins and other digital collectibles to redeem. Special member discounts up to 20% off game content purchases are common as well.

Xbox also partners with third-party services like Spotify, Discord Nitro, Paramount+ and more to offer free 1-month subscriptions orCodes for DLC and full game unlocks are randomly distributed to members by email on occasion too – it pays to stay subscribed!

Introducing the Xbox Game Pass Family Plan

Now that we‘ve explored all the regular Game Pass perks, let‘s get into the Group option that unlocks even more savings…

The Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family Plan allows up to 5 total people to share the Ultimate-tier access under one merged multi-player subscription.

Microsoft positions this plan as ideal for families but you could also split with a close friend group. As long as all members reside in the same country, you can freely mix family and friends without restriction.

Family Plan Pricing

The Friends & Family Plan offers a tremendous value with just one flat rate regardless of number of players. Compared to individual subscriptions, families enjoy deep savings upfront:

Country Family Plan Price Individual Subscription Price Total Individual Price (5 Players)
Colombia 49,000 COP (~$11) 29,000 COP (~$7) 145,000 COP (~$35)
Ireland €21.99 €12.99 €64.95
United States (Expected) $24.99 $14.99 $74.95

As you can see, families save nearly 50-60% by merging into shared subscriptions depending on region. Considering five players each get full individual access to Game Pass Ultimate for that entry price, it‘s an unrivaled value.

Average Gaming Time Proves Even More Savings

Looking beyond the obvious upfront discount, the Family Plan saves households much more money in the long run by maximizing gaming time.

According to Microsoft, the average Xbox Game Pass subscriber spends over 4 hours per week playing games. Across a typical 4-week month, that‘s 16 hours per person.

For a 5-person family then, let‘s calculate the total collective gaming time unlocked:

  • 5 players x 16 hours per month per person = 80 hours total
  • 80 hours per month x 12 months = 960 hours per year!

Given the high costs of purchasing anywhere near 80+ hours of brand new games per month, Game Pass recurring access keeps money in family pockets month after month, year after year.


After limited rollout in Colombia and Ireland for testing, the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family Plan officially launched across these additional countries:

  • Chile
  • Hungary
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Sweden

Those markets were strategically selected based on size of Xbox console install base. However, the plan is confirmed to reach all 42 current Xbox Game Pass countries by end of 2023.

Expansion rollout timing correlates strongly with underlying Xbox household penetration rates in major gaming markets like:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Japan

So fear not – even more families worldwide will soon save big on Game Pass thanks to the sharing economy!

Number of Players

As introduced earlier, the Friends & Family Plan allows for up to 5 total people to share a single merged Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

Each person gets their own unique Xbox profile, personalized game saves, individual child controls and privacy settings.

For comparison, Sony‘s comparable PlayStation Plus Premium family plan only allows 2 adults maximum and up to 3 additional child profiles per subscription. So Xbox delivers more overall value especially for larger households.

What‘s Actually Included with Game Pass Family Plan?

Now that we‘ve covered value and availability, what are families actually getting under the hood? Let‘s explore everything under the Friends & Family subscription.

Unlimited Gaming Library Access

Most importantly, each family member gains unlimited gaming access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate‘s full catalog of over 100 popular console titles for download/offline play plus hundreds of additional PC offerings.

All five players can freely install any number of Pass games locally and play together or separately – no restrictions. New games are added constantly while others rotate out monthly so there‘s always something new to play.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta)

Cloud game streaming is included too! Families can access over 100 Game Pass games like Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite through Android phones, iPhones, tablets and browsers.

There‘s no need for expensive gaming hardware with Xbox handling all processing remotely. Stream anywhere with WiFi on vacation or your lunch break! Beaming Halo from the Laundromat? Yes please.

Xbox Live Gold for Multiplayer

Unlike PlayStation, Xbox does NOT require a separate paid subscription for online multiplayer gaming. Game Pass Ultimate and therefore the Family Plan includes Xbox Live Gold access.

That means unlocking multiplayer, party chat, friend requests, peer connections and other social features across all your games at no extra cost. Sony should take note on delivering value.

Exclusive Member Discounts

As mentioned earlier, Game Pass membership brings additional savings with special subscriber discounts on select game purchases. Ongoing promotions regularly offer 20% or more off bonus content for the latest releases.

Given how many blockbuster games land on Xbox day one as part of subscriptions, discounts make it easier for households to double up on favorites!