Outriders will join Xbox Game Pass at launch

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Outriders was supposed to debut alongside the PS5 and Xbox Series X. While this multiplayer shooter/RPG would have made an interesting launch title, delaying the game has arguably had a few benefits for fans. First, there’s the fact that it’ll probably launch in a more stable state. Second, there’s the excellent demo, which you can play for free right now. And finally, there’s the fact that the game will now be playable on Xbox Game Pass as soon as it comes out on April 1.

Information comes from Megan Spurr, the Xbox Game Pass community lead. Writing on the official Xbox Wire blog, Spurr laid out the basic details. When Outriders launches on April 1, it will be available on Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. You can play it on Xbox consoles and Android phones via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta). Spurr didn’t mention any kind of time-limited offer, suggesting that the game will be on the service for a long time to come.

After that, Spurr broke down the basics of the game. We’ve covered them in our Outriders FAQ, but just in case: Outriders is a cooperative shooter/RPG, developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix. You choose from one of four classes and play as an Outrider: an explorer on an alien planet, where a mysterious Anomaly has given you strange powers. You and two other players must explore the world, gather resources, advance the story, complete side quests, improve your gear and so forth.

What sets the game apart from similar titles is its tight shooting mechanics — not surprising, considering that People Can Fly also developed Painkiller, Bulletstorm, Gears of War: Judgment and even the first mode of Fortnite.

There seem to be only two potential drawbacks to the “Outriders on Xbox Game Pass” situation. The first is that many players who pre-ordered the game on Xbox may now want to cancel their reservations and simply play the title on Xbox Game Pass instead. The game’s developers started up a Reddit thread to help players in this situation, and have made the process as straightforward as possible.

The second issue is that while Outriders is available on PC, the PC version is not covered under Xbox Game Pass. As such, if you want the PC version, you’ll have to buy it separately — and your Xbox progress won’t carry over. Square Enix and Microsoft may or may not add the PC version of Outriders to Game Pass Ultimate in the future, so gamers will simply have to pick a platform and stick with it for the time being.

Beyond that, the game will be out for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC and Stadia on April 1. It will cost $60 as a standalone game; alternatively, Xbox Game Pass costs between $10 and $15 per month, depending on which setup you get.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.