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Microsoft will finally let you play free-to-play games online without Xbox Live Gold

LFG and party chat also no longer require a Gold subscription.

xbox live gold 12 month subscription
Image: KnowTechie

Microsoft has decided it will finally remove the paywall that stops players from playing free-to-play games online for free.

As of today, Xbox gamers will no longer be required to have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to play free-to-play games online. The update also removes the Xbox Live Gold requirement from the Looking for Group and Xbox party chat features.

For years Xbox gamers have been required to have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription to play any games online, but with this new update, that is finally changing. Microsoft has been testing the idea of removing the requirement, and now it will become a reality.

The change was originally announced in January after the company came under fire for doubling the price of Xbox Live Gold. The price doubling ultimately didn’t happen.

This is a major update for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S users. In addition to opening up party chat and LFG features to everyone, gamers will now have access to over 50 free-to-play games online without the need for any kind of subscription. Games like Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends can now be a truly free online multiplayer experience, making gaming more accessible for more people.

This is a pretty exciting change, but it does leave Xbox Live Gold in a pretty weird place. By allowing players to play games online as well as chat and us the LFG feature, Microsoft has taken a lot of the benefits of Xbox Live Gold away from the service.

Considering the company is moving away from the “Xbox Live” branding, it will most likely remove Xbox Live Gold entirely at some point. Xbox has shown that it is fully committed to Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate, and any features left as part of Xbox Live Gold will probably soon be merged with Game Pass.

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