If you’re just getting started with your Xbox, you’ll come across the terms “Xbox Live” and “Xbox Live Gold”. But what do both terms mean, and should you use them?
Let’s explore the differences between Xbox Live and Xbox Live Gold and which one you should use.
What Is Xbox Live?
Xbox Live is the former name of the service that Microsoft provides. It allows you to access online content with your Xbox. It comes totally free with your console, so you don’t have to pay anything to use it. Xbox Live was rebranded to Xbox Network, with no changes to the service provided.
Xbox Network lets you use the Xbox’s online services, such as purchasing and downloading games from the online store. It does not, however, allow you to play games online with friends or strangers.
You don’t need to do a great deal to get Xbox Network. Just make an Xbox account and connect your Xbox to the internet, and you should be able to use Xbox Network with no additional setup or fees.
What Is Xbox Live Gold?
On the other hand, there is Xbox Live Gold. This isn’t a standalone product, but it is the premium subscription service to Xbox Live. When you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, you get more out of the service for a monthly fee.
So, what does Xbox Live Gold do? For one, you can play online multiplayer games using Xbox Live Gold. This includes both online matchmaking with strangers and playing alongside friends.
Not only that, but Xbox Live Gold members will get free games every month under the Games for Gold plan, as well as exclusive deals with Deals for Gold. They’re a great way to fill up your library when you’re just starting with an Xbox.
Xbox Live Gold comes in at $9.99/month, but you can also purchase months in advance with a slight discount.
If you want to save a few pennies, you may find some websites that advertise free ways to get Gold. Unfortunately, a lot of these are scams, so you need to exercise caution with these deals.
However, there are legitimate ways to get free Xbox Live Gold without being scammed, such as Microsoft Rewards, free weekends, and free trials that accompany games sometimes. The Microsoft Rewards system in particular is quite good if you have the time to play regularly across the week. You’ll earn a lot just by playing normally as you would.
Should You Get Xbox Live or Xbox Live Gold?
When comparing Xbox Live vs. Xbox Live Gold, it’s not really a case of getting one or the other. After all, you can easily create an Xbox account and get on Xbox Live, all for totally free.
The real question, therefore, is “should you upgrade Xbox Live to Gold?” To answer this, you need to ask yourself if you’ll be making good use of Gold.
Are the games in the current Games for Gold selection interesting to you? Do you want to play a game online? If you do, do you think you’ll play it enough to justify the cost? If you say yes to any of the above, you should consider getting Gold.
However, if you want to use your Xbox’s online capabilities to download games and use some of the third-party apps it has, you need not get Gold. Instead, you can use the Xbox for free and get all those services at no additional cost.
It’s worth mentioning that instead of getting just Gold, you could swallow the extra couple of dollars a month and get Game Pass Ultimate instead. There are many reasons why you should get Xbox Game Pass, and one of them is that it comes with all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold.
Get More From Your Xbox
If you’ve just got an Xbox, you may be confused about what Xbox Live and Xbox Live Gold are. In short, Xbox Live is free to use and gives you basic online functionality, while Xbox Live Gold has a monthly fee that lets you play games online and comes with special bonuses.
Things get a little more confusing when you learn about the Xbox Game Pass, but it too is straightforward. It’s a monthly subscription that unlocks a vast library of games for you to play right away.