Being a gamer these days can be pretty expensive, with top titles always lurking just around the corner, looking to relieve you of a decent amount of cash. So it’s a welcome relief to see an influx of free-to-play titles hit the Xbox One in recent times, providing a variety of games to delve into without a price tag. Sure, most of the time the developers actively encourage the purchase of add-ons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy free-to-play titles and keep your wallet out of sight.

In the interest of fairness, we believe the majority of free games are worth a look and many enjoyable ones unfortunately won’t make this list. But these are what we consider to be 5 of the best free-to-play games on Xbox One…


The easiest way to describe Hawken would be to liken it to a budget version of the massively successful Titanfall series, albeit without the Pilot action or a story mode. Essentially a mech based first person shooter, Hawken ignites that competitive spirit across a handful of game modes, where teamwork is just as important as dominating the battlefield with a lone ranger mindset. You’ll need good tactics and decent accuracy to destroy all other mechs in your line of sight, whilst dodging and repairing efficiently to prevent your own demise. Every match feels unlike another and it never becomes a drag to play.

A healthy amount of mechs helps give something to work towards unlocking, with each class offering different mechs with slightly different stats to suit your playstyle. There are even a few really well designed maps which are ideal for such warfare, ensuring enough variety alongside the many mechs included to entice you back in for another go – if only to earn more in-game cash to unlock a new chassis!

Fallout Shelter

Placing you in the role of an Overseer, Fallout Shelter is a micro-management game, with the fate of any and all wandering survivors resting in your hands. Not only does the Vault need building up from nothing, but also decisions have to be made as to who goes where, taking into account their SPECIAL attributes. The Vault has to have enough water, power and food to provide for the amount of inhabitants, which in itself leads to a balancing act. Dwellers can be sent on combat-orientated quests, and although it won’t necessarily satisfy your action needs, it adds another dimension to a game full of little tasks to keep you on your toes.

The regular hazards to overcome, the new additions to the quest lines and an ever-expanding Vault, all ensure the addictive nature of checking on your people frequently. Given the Play Anywhere nature of Fallout Shelter, you’re never too far from the Vault.

Star Trek Online

Boldly go where no man or woman has gone before… the Star Trek Online universe. Okay, so a lot of people have already been there and are still bathing in the delights of the shed load of content it offers. Whether shooting phasers on-foot whilst protecting your people, or zooming through space at warp speed, blasting Klingon spacecrafts into smithereens, if you’ve seen it happen in the TV series then you’ll no doubt experience it in-game. There are even classic Star Trek characters featured such as Spock, Scotty, Checkov and many more, bringing authenticity to the forefront.

Despite not looking the greatest in terms of visuals, I challenge anyone to find a better Star Trek experience – one that’s free – that lures in both fans and generally curious gamers alike, offering such a vast amount of content to work through and plenty of hours of enjoyment.

Gems of War

Remember when match-three games had a resurgence upon the amazing success of Candy Crush and all its clones? Well, Gems of War capitalised on this, with a foundation of matching gems and throwing battles into the mix – it’s quite similar to the Xbox 360 title Puzzle Quest. There are quests to complete, allies to unlock and a real tactical element when deciding upon your battle-ready team. Since day one, numerous kingdoms have been added, new creatures and beasts have arrived to enhance the number of characters available to use, and a whole load of new features have been brought in.

Trying out all the different abilities and finding out which characters are best to use in your team is half the fun; the other half is the ridiculously addictive matching of gems and earning chests, gold and ultimately, testing your wits against other human-assembled teams.


If you’re after a great co-op experience at zero cost, that’s exactly what the third person shooter Warframe brings to the table. When the wretched Grineer are expanding their reach across the solar system, conquering anyone in their path, the once great warriors and masters of the Warframe armour are summoned – that’s you. The fact paced combat has you wielding guns and swords, taking down a decent variety of enemies in PvE and if you so wish, there’s the option to show off in PvP.

With a whole host of Warframes to acquire throughout the many missions – each with their own unique style and abilities – there’s plenty to work towards. Having failed to survive the onslaught in some of the earlier missions ourselves, there’s no doubt how much you’ll need backup in order to succeed. And it’s with friends where the satisfaction of smashing through all the content really shines through.

So there we have it, they are what we believe to be five of the best free-to-play games on Xbox One. Maybe you disagree? Or do you think we’ve got it spot on? Send us any and all thoughts you have regarding our choices by using social media, or commenting below.

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