After a spate of rumors and leaks, Xbox has finally revealed some details about its Game Pass account sharing plan. called Game Pass Friends and Family, it is not yet available in the United States. But when (or if) it eventually becomes available outside of the two countries Microsoft is testing it in, it sure sounds like a great deal.
Game Pass is already one of the best deals in gaming right now. For $10 a month, you get access to a rotating library of hundreds of games on Xbox or PC. For $15 a month, you can sign up for the higher tier: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which offers combined access to both the Xbox and PC libraries, bundles in EA Play’s game library (the similar games-on-demand from the publisher of sports games service), and offers the ability to stream more than 100 games. Game Pass Friends and Family is pretty much the ultimate level, except you can share one account between five people, with one person designated as the primary account holder.
Game Pass Friends and Family is currently in a trial phase in Colombia and the Republic of Ireland, where it costs 49,000 COP or €21.99 per month respectively. (At time of writing, this fee is converting to $10.92 or $21.99 in US currency.) Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently costs 29,000 COP in Colombia and €12.99 in Ireland.
Anyone who has signed up for Game Pass will see months of existing subscriptions converted to partial months on the sharing plan. If you’re currently signed up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, each remaining month will be 18 days of Game Pass Friends and Family. Those who signed up for the fragmented tiers will see their subscriptions converted to 12 days of Game Pass Friends and Family.
On paper, assuming Microsoft has a similar pricing schedule globally, Game Pass Friends and Family is worth considering. Assuming the company goes with the higher figure, the price of about $22 currently in effect in Ireland, that’s still a damn good deal. If you get four friends on board, you’ll all pay less than $5 for everything you’d otherwise get for three times that price. (It’s also a smart way for Microsoft to increase Game Pass subscribers, which missed recent goals.)
However, there are some limitations. If you are the account holder, you can only have four additional people on an account at any one time, and you can only share with eight unique accounts over the course of a calendar year. And it’s region specific: the primary account holder can only add members who live in the same country or region.
It’s unclear if there are any specific plans to bring Game Pass Friends and Family to regions outside of the two where Microsoft is currently testing the plan, or what a potential timeline might be. (Microsoft representatives did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.) But Microsoft published an encyclopedic FAQ on Xbox’s US support page, suggesting at least some consideration for US players. It notes, “future countries may be added in the coming months.”