The best Xbox Game Pass deal is over — but you can still save on a subscription

Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming titles shown Xbox controller and Xbox Series X titles
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Xbox Game Pass is often referred to as the best deal in gaming, but the subscription service is about to get a little more expensive as Microsoft has confirmed it's ending a long-running promotion. 

For the last few years, newcomers to either Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass have been able to try out the Netflix-style video game service for just $1 for the first month. 

While this deal was technically for new members, it had also been regularly offered to Xbox accounts with a lapsed Xbox Game Pass membership. 

Online whispers spread over the weekend that the deal appeared to be no longer available, and Microsoft subsequently confirmed the news in a short statement released to The Verge. “We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future,” said Kari Perez, Xbox’s head of global communications.

This Xbox Game Pass deal is still active

This brings to an end the best Xbox Game Pass deal out there. And it’s a real blow for anybody who wants to try out the service without forking over the full $15 for a month. Although, all hope is not lost if you’re looking to sign up for Xbox’s excellent subscription program without paying full price, as a money-saving Xbox Game Pass loophole is still very much open. 

Microsoft still allows a paid subscription to Xbox Live Gold to be converted to an equivalent time of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This is pretty significant as, for example, a year of Xbox Live Gold costs $60, whereas an annual Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription costs twice as much at $120. 

Even better, this deal can be stacked allowing you to obtain three years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $195 (three years of Xbox Live Gold + a one-time $15 fee). This is quite a saving compared to the regular price of $360 for three years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Fingers crossed Microsoft doesn’t now set its sights on ending this promotion as well. 

What's next for Xbox Game Pass? 

Best cloud gaming:

(Image credit: Xbox)

It’s been speculated Microsoft may be endings the $1 Xbox Game Pass deal in order to prepare for the further rollout of the Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family plan, although this has not been confirmed. This new promotion launched in select regions in 2022 and is fairly self-explanatory: It allows you to share an Xbox Game Pass membership with friends and/or family members for a single discounted price. 

Of course, even if you’re paying full price for Xbox Game Pass, you’re still getting an almost unbeatable deal. The breadth of must-play titles offered continues to impress and 2023 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for Game Pass as the likes of Redfall, Starfield and Forza Motorsports 8 will all be available on day one.  

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.