When it comes to gaming, many players choose the PlayStation or Xbox. They both offer plenty of gaming options, but they’re quite different. However, where Xbox has an advantage over PlayStation is its Game Pass subscription options that let you play hundreds of games at a flat fee billed annually, quarterly or monthly. You can also pay for the subscription with the Xbox hardware price.

While the Game Pass subscription is a great deal, the only issue is that Microsoft hasn’t given a clear message on the available Game Pass options. There are three subscription versions and a standalone Xbox subscription known as Xbox Live Gold. The Gold subscription is available in some Xbox Game pass versions but not others. Here’s the difference between Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

What’s Xbox Live Gold, and what does it have to offer?

Xbox Live Gold is an engaging online subscription service launched in 2002 on the original Xbox console to allow players access online multiplayer games with voice chat. The live chat offering has bolstered many gaming markets, with the best online casino promotions also embracing it for player interaction. 

Since the launch of Xbox Live Gold, this subscription service has grown to offer more benefits, including four free Xbox 360, Xbox series or Xbox One games and special discounts. However, Microsoft will stop including Xbox One games from 1st October after revealing they’ve reached their limit to bring games from their older consoles.

An Xbox Live Gold subscription costs $10 per month, and discounts are available for players who prepay for 12 months, six or three months. You’ll need the subscription to play any Xbox online multiplayer games, but Microsoft might be considering changing their rules to allow players access to free-to-play online games like Apex Legends and Fortnite.

Xbox gamers who have access to Xbox Game Pass can check out Xbox Live Gold for free to play dozens of games. As such, Xbox players interested in the Live Gold subscription should check the Xbox Game Pass first.

What’s Xbox Game Pass, and what does it offer?

Game Pass gives you access to everything that Xbox offers, with the monthly fee giving you access to hundreds of games. The game subscription launched in June 2017 with only a few games, which offered a good mix of games published by Microsoft and other third-party publishers.

Over the years, Game Pass has grown to encompass over 100 titles, and Microsoft sweetened the deal further by offering all the games they’ve published since its first day. That includes titles from their latest subsidiary, ZeniMax Media. That includes popular game series like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, Doom, Prey and Dishonored.  

Xbox Game Pass comes in three tiers – PC, console and ultimate. The first is for Windows PC gamers, the second is for Xbox games, and the ultimate tier covers both platforms. Both PC and ultimate tiers give you access to EA Play, which offers EA games and other members-only rewards. This subscription normally costs $5 a month.

Game Pass Ultimate also delivers Cloud Gaming, which streams games to android devices via Bluetooth controllers or touch controls. Microsoft is also developing a browser-based version for compatibility with Apple devices and Windows PCs.

Should I choose Xbox Game Pass or Live Gold?

That depends on your gaming needs. Xbox Live Gold’s biggest advantage is the ability to play online and not free games. You’ll want a Live Gold subscription if you love playing the same online games over and over. However, players looking for a Netflix equivalent for video games should consider the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.