Xbox Game Pass Core is coming this fall with big changes — here's what you need to know

Xbox Game Pass Core
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Live Gold will soon become Xbox Game Pass Core. Launching on September 14, this Xbox Game Pass tier has the exact pricing as Xbox Live Gold, but it will give subscribers access to a new library of more than 25 games. 

On top of that, you’ll keep all the games you redeemed via Games with Xbox Live Gold if you remain a Game Pass Core or Game Pass Ultimate member.

A leak concerning Xbox Live Gold reportedly shutting down happened hours before Xbox officially announced Xbox Game Pass Core. Now that we know this is real, this decision seems like a natural way to integrate Xbox Live and Games with Gold with Xbox Game Pass. It also gives current and new Game Pass subscribers more flexibility with their subscription options.

Here’s everything you need to know about Xbox Game Pass Core.

Xbox Game Pass Core: Release date and price 

Xbox Game Pass Core launches on September 14 for Xbox consoles like Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. Xbox Live Gold will shut down on September 1 — with existing members automatically becoming Game Pass Core members when the tier launches.

Game Pass Core will retain Live Gold’s pricing. You have the option of paying $9.99 per month or paying $59.99 per year, which saves a little less than $60 off the cost of going month-to-month.

Xbox Game Pass Core: Game library

Game Pass Core members will have access to more than 25 first- and third-party games. Microsoft provided a list of games we can expect at launch. The company says we’ll get new titles added two to three times a year, though we don’t know the number of games we can expect with each update.

Below are some of the titles we can expect:

  • Among Us
  • Descenders
  • Dishonored 2
  • Doom Eternal
  • Fable Anniversary
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout 76
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears 5
  • Grounded
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Human Fall Flat
  • Inside
  • Ori & The Will of the Wisps
  • Psychonauts 2
  • State of Decay 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited 

Note that the game library might vary over time and by country. 

Xbox Game Pass Core: Member perks 

Like Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass Core lets you play online and gives you free games and game discounts. As mentioned above, you’ll also gain access to a library of more than 25 games at no extra cost.

You’ll continue to have access to any Xbox One game you previously redeemed through Games with Gold if you remain a Game Pass Core or Game Pass Ultimate member. No matter your subscription status, any Xbox 360 game redeemed on Games with Gold will remain in your library.

Xbox Game Pass Core: Outlook 

Xbox Live stopped making sense after the release of Xbox Game Pass so it seems natural for Microsoft to fold its legacy subscription service into Game Pass. This will cause less confusion for folks who want to subscribe to Xbox’s subscription service now that it’s all under one banner. Best of all, existing Live members lose nothing in the process; in fact, they’re getting access to many more games than before.

Xbox Game Pass Core seems like a win for both Xbox and Xbox users alike. We'll see how it stacks up when it launches on September 14.

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.