Xbox Owners Can Now Play Free Online Games Without Xbox Live
Microsoft has made online play free-for-all for a list of multiplayer titles, including fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. Xbox owners no longer need to have an Xbox Live membership to play free titles online.
In January, Microsoft announced that it would increase the price of Xbox Live Gold. This caused an immediate fan reaction, forcing Microsoft to backtrack. In reversing the decision, the company announced that it plans to make free online games available to play even without an Xbox Live subscription.
Now, Microsoft has delivered on that promise by releasing a list of 50 games that can be played online for free starting today. In addition to fortnite and war zone, the list includes popular games like Destiny 2, Warframe, and Roblox. Players can head to the Microsoft Store to check which games require Xbox Live and which do not.
Microsoft says the list of supported games will grow as new free games are released on Microsoft platforms.
As part of the change, Microsoft will unlock its group search feature in an April system update according to an FAQ page. Players will still need Xbox Live to access paid game modes in free games. Free to Play weekends also remain reserved for online subscribers.
The strategic pivot is consistent with how Microsoft’s competitors handle free games. Nintendo Switch owners can play games like fortnite without a Nintendo Online subscription. The same goes for Sony, which doesn’t require PlayStation owners to have a PS Plus subscription to play certain games online.