Following a wave of rumors and leaks, Xbox has finally unveiled some details about its account-sharing plan for Game Pass. Called Game Pass Friends and Family, it’s not available stateside yet. But when (or if) it eventually becomes available outside the two countries Microsoft is testing it in, it sure sounds like it’ll be a great deal.
Right now, Game Pass is already one of the best deals in gaming. For $10 a month, you can get access to a rotational 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 the game library of EA Play (the sports game publisher’s similar games-on-demand service), and offers the ability to stream more than 100 games. Game Pass Friends and Family is pretty much the Ultimate tier, except you can share one account between five people, with one person designated as a 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. (As of this writing, those fees convert to $10.92 or $21.99 in U.S. currency.) Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently costs 29,000 COP in Colombia and €12.99 in Ireland.
Anyone signed up for Game Pass will see months from existing subscriptions converted into partial months on the sharing plan. If you’re currently signed up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, every remaining month will turn into 18 days of Game Pass Friends and Family. Those signed up for the piecemeal tiers will see their subscriptions convert into 12 days of Game Pass Friends and Family.
On paper, assuming Microsoft keeps a similar pricing scheme around the globe, Game Pass Friends and Family is worth considering. Assuming the company goes with the higher figure, the roughly $22 price point currently in effect in Ireland, that’s still a damn good deal. Get four friends on board, and you’re all paying less than $5 for everything you’d otherwise get for three times that cost. (It’s also a smart way for Microsoft to boost Game Pass subscriber numbers, which missed recent targets.)
There are some limitations, however. If you’re the account holder, you can only have four additional people on an account at any given time, and can only share with eight unique accounts over the course of a calendar year. And it’s region-locked: The primary account holder can only add members who live in the same country or region.
It is unclear if there are specific plans to bring Game Pass Friends and Family to regions beyond the two Microsoft is currently testing the plan in, or what a potential timeline there would be. (Representatives for Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.) But Microsoft published an encyclopedic FAQ on Xbox’s U.S. support page, suggesting there’s at least some consideration for American players. It notes, “future countries might be added in the next months.”