Home How to avoid the Xbox Game Pass price increase – for a while at least

How to avoid the Xbox Game Pass price increase – for a while at least

We didn’t want to spend the first paragraph today on a rant about the price increase of Xbox Game Pass that was announced yesterday. Rather we decided to try to do something proactive and try and keep some of your cash in your pocket rather than Microsoft’s burgeoning bank account. We have been looking for the best ways to keep the wolves from the door, at least for as long as possible because times are hard for some people, and gaming can be an essential escape.

We covered yesterday the caveats of some of the price rises and how the system is tiered to extract the maximum amount of money out of subscribers, especially those in a family home with more than one gamer sitting around the table, have a read of that if you want our take.

The price rises themselves are not unsubstantial and the loss of Day One games in the new lowest tier makes the whole thing a bit pointless. We’d love to see the take-up on that. Rather, that tier probably exists to push people to the higher price tiers, it’s an old marketing tactic that makes you think you are getting more than you would on the lower tier, even though you are actually getting the exact same as you already were but now paying more for it. Psychology eh?

Anyway, while eventually we all succumb to the price rise there is a method that will allow us to keep paying the same, at least for a while, and save a bit of cash in the process, although there will be a bit of work to be done to get there.

Cheap Xbox Game Pass

The method we are going to use isn’t groundbreaking, nor is it anything dodgy, but it’s one that you may not normally bother with, but might be more inclined to do so with the new increase on the horizon.

The downside is it will cost a little more upfront, but will shield you from some of those price rises.

Things change depending on what membership level you have, so pay attention, but the premise is the same.

Xbox Game Pass allows you to ‘stack’ gift cards to pay for your membership for certain periods of time. So for example, if you are a Game Pass Ultimate subscriber you can stack up to 36 months of payment in advance by purchasing subscription cards and adding them to your account.

So say you were to buy three years worth of membership – which you can often do quite cheaply compared to the monthly fee – you could freeze your price at the current rate for that period of time.

To stop some of that though Microsoft has introduced a change to the Game Pass for Console tier, so if you are currently on that, this bit is for you. Membership stacking has now been capped at 13 months for those users, but you could still get 13 months in advance and keep your price the same while enjoying the same benefits. The Console tier will not be available to new Game Pass subscribers but if you are existing they can’t touch you.

So your choices are;

  1. Accept the price rise
  2. Stack your membership using cards bought at a supermarket or online
  3. Search for cheaper membership from key-selling sites

What is that last one you say? Well if you check out sites such as CDKeys.com you can purchase membership cards online for cheaper than the regular retail. It’s all a bit of a grey area, but they have been around for ages and have good customer service. Just be careful when you are to get the card for your region – if it is a UK card it won’t work on a US account etc.

At the moment a UK Game Pass Ultimate 3-month subscription is going for £24.99. That’s a saving of around £15 on the current price, but when the price rises to £14.99 a month we are talking about considerable savings. So if you bought four of those for £100 and used them when the price rises, you would save £80 over the year. Money better off in your pocket for sure.

And yes, Game Pass Ultimate will cost you £180 / $ 240 per year from September – it’s a lot when you add it all together, something they never do.

So if you are in a position to do this, there is literally no reason not to.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.