Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Xbox Game Pass — what you get and how it works

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Galaxy Note 20 launch brought a lot of focus on productivity, given the giant screens on the two new Samsung phablets and improved features on the S Pen. But all work and no play makes the Note 20 a dull phone, so Samsung is teaming up with Microsoft to make sure that gamers take advantage of the new phablets’ processing power.

When launching both the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung announced a unique partnership with Microsoft to bring an exclusive version of Xbox Game Pass to the Samsung Galaxy Store. It will include added functionality unavailable outside of Samsung devices, such as the ability to redeem tokens or make in-app purchases for a variety of titles in the Xbox Store such as DLC items or character skins. 

Xbox Game Pass gives you access to a catalog of games and it’s coming to Android phones via Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service in September. Finally, Xbox players can take several of their favorite Xbox One and upcoming Xbox Series X titles with them on the go to play via their favorite mobile devices. And Samsung clearly wants the Note 20 to be the phone you use to play titles like Gears 5 and Forza Horizon 4 on the go. 

When you pre-order one of Samsung’s Note 20 models, you’ll get a three-month pass to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. That’s a $45 value included with your phone purchase. (Though with a starting price of $999, the Galaxy Note 20 isn’t exactly a bargain.) Galaxy Note 20 pre-orders are open now, with the phone shipping on August 21.

There's also a physical component to this Samsung-Microsoft team-up that Xbox owners may be interested in. Samsung is offering a special gaming bundle alongside the Galaxy Note 20 that comes with three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as well as PowerA's MOGA XP5-X Plus controller. The controller is made specifically for use with your Galaxy Note 20 and xCloud games; it’s even capable of charging your phone up while you're owning fools in your favorite shooter and can also be used on PC if you so choose. 

Because you’re getting the Xbox Game Pass app through Samsung’s Galaxy store and not Google Play, you’ll have access to in-app purchases Microsoft isn’t making available to other Android devices.

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Sept. 15 launch of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on Android will bring more than 100 games, including titles like Gears 5, Grounded, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sea of Thieves, Destiny 2, and more. The service costs $15 a month and will be available in 22 markets at launch for Android players, with a series of additional mobile controllers from manufacturers like Razer, 8BitDo, and Nacon available in addition to the PowerA included with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 bundle. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.