Xbox owners can save hundreds of dollars on Game Pass, as Sony stops PlayStation owners from doing just that.
Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus subscriptions are just another cost piling up on top of Netflix, Disney Plus, and whatever else you forgot you signed up for, so we're all looking for a way to game the system.
PS4 and PS5 owners discovered they could stack PS Now memberships ahead of the transition to the new PS Plus to save money. But Sony quickly put a stop to that. Over on Xbox, however, things are a little different. There's a workaround that hasn't been stamped out yet, and it'll save you hundreds of dollars.
What you need to know
There are a couple ways to save cash, depending on whether you've taken advantage of the $1 / £1 / AU$1 Xbox Live Gold upgrade or not. If this isn't ringing any bells, you're eligible to save even more with this trick, so congrats!
With both options, you'll want to stack up to three Xbox Live Gold memberships. This is the maximum amount you can stack at a time. Given that we don't know how long this loophole will last, you might want to max out now.
Bear in mind that when redeeming codes, 36 months is also the cap. You won't be able to redeem a code for more than one month, for example, if you're already at 35 months – so for the love of all that's holy, if you buy three one-year subs, make sure the recurring billing option is switched off. The feature actually nets you one free month as a little bonus, but that's going to throw a huge spanner in the works if you have three 12-month codes to redeem.
If you buy smaller increments, the free month with recurring billing is a nice freebie that you can use to put towards the cap. Microsoft Rewards members can also check to see if they can redeem points for periods of Xbox Live Gold.
The annual cost for Xbox Live Gold is $59.99 / £49.99 / AU$89. At most, you'll be splashing out $180 / £150 / AU$267. Microsoft doesn't sell the year subs on its website but you can get them elsewhere. Conveniently, we have a roundup of the cheapest Xbox Live Gold deals for you.
This all means you can potentially save even more before we get around to the actual magic.
How to get Xbox Game Pass cheap
If you've never had an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription before, you're going to love this bit. Once you've done all of the relevant hacks to maximize savings pre-loophole, go ahead and redeem your codes. Then head to the Xbox Live Gold upgrade page .
If you're a newbie, you can upgrade for the low, low price of $1 / £1 / AU$1. That applies to the duration of your entire membership. That's a 1:1 conversion for less than the price of... well, a lot of things actually, because this economy suuucks.
If you've enjoyed the perks of an Xbox Game Pass sub before, then you can still upgrade all three years of your Xbox Live Gold. It'll just cost you the monthly rate as a one-time cost instead. To upgrade all three years of Xbox Live Gold, it's just a one-off payment of $14.99 / £10.99 / AU$15.95.
Under normal circumstances, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a monthly, rolling subscription and one year comes in at $180 / £132 / AU$192. Remember, three years of Xbox Live Gold is $180 / £150 / AU$267.
This little trick is a godsend for your wallet. Who knows, you might even be able to start buying avocados on toast again. The sky's the limit.
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Shabana has been writing about games for almost a decade now, as well as covering tech, politics, food, and other random tidbits at Gizmodo UK. She's stepped outside of news every now and then to write game guides, and always appreciates a DM if she's helped get you out of a pickle. During her time freelancing, you may have spotted her words at VG24/7, GamesRadar, and IGN. She's also held the position of news editor at Gizmodo UK, T3, and The Sun Online.