If I told you that you could obtain four to five full-price triple-A games free of charge on Xbox every year, firstly you’d be telling me I was full of porkies. And secondly you’d probably scratch your head and ask how is that possible.
As gamers we always look for the best deals, games in sales, ruffle through the bargain bin or wish for a decent free-to-play title to keep us occupied. But there are always the few must-have titles that just can’t escape your grasp, and you have to have them on day one. It’s built into us as gamers: you’ve waited long enough for the game that’s taken half a decade to develop – go on, treat yourself and grab it. Grab it for no charge, guilt-free, and feel elated with your success of getting something for literally nothing.
Shall I let you into the secret? Well, it’s not really a secret but I do feel it’s a massively underappreciated feature of Xbox: Microsoft Rewards. If you’re already using Microsoft Rewards like I have religiously for some years now then you’ll be joining me on my virtual rooftop to shout to the masses about this truly amazing loyalty program.
The best way for me to describe Microsoft Rewards is that it is the Tesco Clubcard of the Xbox world – a loyalty program for Xbox gamers across several regions around the globe. It should be noted that this feature isn’t available in every country where Xbox is functional, but those who are lucky to have the option can reap the rewards.
I’m going to teach you the ways to maximise your success using Microsoft Rewards to gain maximum benefits.
Microsoft Rewards allows you to generate loyalty points for easy tasks like performing searches using their Bing search engine, making purchases and other activities. Building these points up allows you to redeem rewards such as Xbox Live subscriptions, Xbox Live credit and gaining access to Ultimate Game Pass. Other rewards include gift cards for your favourite retailers, which are likely to be region specific. You can even choose to convert to currency to put towards hardware such as a new Xbox console or Xbox Design Lab controller. The choice is ultimately yours.
You may be asking how and where do you start. Well, there are a few things you need to do and I’d suggest firstly installing the Bing application on your mobile device and also the Microsoft Rewards application on your Xbox console. Having the app on your phone will allow you to quickly claim the points whilst on the fly, or sat on the toilet during your morning routine as it takes literally seconds to conduct some of the activity you need to do.
You can accumulate reward points daily by conducting thirty searches on the Bing search engine using a PC or the Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge application on your Xbox. This will reward you with a total of 102 points per day. Then boot up your Bing application for 20 searches and gather another 60 points per day. This doesn’t sound a lot but you’d be surprised how quickly the points build when you get started.
Personally I like to use Reward points for Xbox Live credit to purchase games with. I’ve had a lot of titles on the house such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, FIFA 21 and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare. You may feel 162 points per day won’t get you far very quickly, but there are several opportunities to claim even more points and I will highlight these below.
Game Pass quests can bag you a ton of points and they refresh monthly. Simply loading a Game Pass title and the Game Pass application on your mobile device will get you an easy ten points per day. But you have to religiously remember to do this every day to capture those two quests. There will also be the addition of other simple tasks such as “Play three Game Pass games” or “Earn an achievement on any Game Pass title”. Doing what it says on the tin with these quests will earn you instant guaranteed points.
There are also Game Pass quests found within titles. For example, a current one is to kill 15 enemies on Mass Effect Andromeda. Now this may be a chore for some with slower internet speeds, and not many will want to download a full size game for 50 reward points to only delete the game after. That said though, sometimes you have to grind to be rewarded and the majority of these quests are quickly completed and not difficult. Finally, finish off a combination of weekly and daily challenges in the space of a month and you’ll be presented with a 1000 point reward for your efforts.
In addition to Game Pass quests there are streaks to be earned elsewhere; keeping your Bing searching consistent will reign in 150 extra points for you every ten days. Aside from these Bing searches there are always 50-100 more points per day for taking part in mini quizzes and checking out specific information. These are easily obtained by a few button presses.
Then finally there is the Microsoft Rewards application on the Xbox console itself. Here you’ll find access to all the functions I’ve spoken through with some extras, plus a bit more.
There are punch cards galore that will reward you for spending your hard-earned cash. For example at time of writing if you purchase Hitman III within a certain time period you will be rewarded with 6000 points – not too shabby if you plan on buying something displayed on there anyway. Technically you’re getting around five pounds/dollars back in return so it is well worth checking out. On top of these you also earn points for every pound you spend. You see where I’m going with all of this? It’s very easy to accumulate points and build them quickly. And what do points win? Prizes!
These points can seemingly be stacked up for as long as you please. One of my close friends contributed a huge amount of points over a few years and put it up against the purchase of an Xbox Series X console, paying next to nothing for it. So it really is your choice with how you spend them. You may choose to work like me and build them up enough to purchase a full price game. I figured that if you did this religiously daily for three months then you could almost afford a full price standard edition of a triple-A title.
So there it is – Microsoft Rewards is a genuine hidden treasure chest in the team Xbox inventory. Combined with the value of Xbox Game Pass, the genuine casual gamer could easily breeze through year by year without purchasing any games in my opinion. Whilst I feel Microsoft Rewards is very generous it would be fantastic to see more evolution in quests to do within the program. I have genuinely booted up titles I would never have even played and been sucked in by them. So, loyalty points aside it does retain some gaming aspects also.
What are you waiting for, start earning your keep lads and lasses. I’m off to conduct some more random searches! Keep it up Xbox!