How to use Xbox PC Game Pass on your Windows PC
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that provides on-demand access to dozens of games. It’s great value if you love to play and discover new games, and now that it’s PC-based instead of just a console experience, your subscription can follow you from your Xbox console to your Windows desktop.
However, the extension to Windows PCs has not been seamless. While an Xbox gives you easy access to your Game Pass right on the home dashboard, finding Game Pass games on a PC is a whole different story.
There are two ways to find Game Pass games on PC. The first and easiest requires you to download a free app, although I think it will be worth it. The second method does not require any additional installation, but finding compatible Game Pass games is more tedious.
First, get PC Game Pass
If you are already a Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, congratulations, you already have access to PC Game Pass and you can skip this step. For everyone else, start here.
You can purchase a subscription to PC Game Pass for $9.99 per month or Game Pass Ultimate for $14.99 per month. The latter is Microsoft’s all-in-one bundle subscription that also includes Xbox Live Gold for online multiplayer on consoles and Game Pass for Xbox One consoles, as well as PC Game Pass. If you’re a new subscriber, know that you can get your first month of PC Game Pass for just $1.
Access Game Pass games on PC through the Xbox app
This is the easiest and most user-friendly way to find Game Pass games that will play on PC.
- First, download the new Xbox app from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 or 11. Go to the Microsoft Store and search for the Xbox app, or find it at this link.
- Sign in with your Microsoft account. You will be entitled to a more luxurious user interface than that provided by the Microsoft Store. Even better, it brings Game Pass games to the first screen you see, and unlike the default Store view, anything the Xbox app displays can be played on PC.
Once you’ve installed the games you want to play, you can start them through the Xbox app or through a shortcut created during setup.
Access Game Pass games on PC through Microsoft Store
All PC games currently playable on Game Pass can be found in the Microsoft Store, which is by default on every Windows computer – no additional installation required.
As I mentioned earlier, this is the slightly more confusing method of finding Game Pass games that work on PC. I recommend downloading the Xbox app listed above, but this option works if you’re in a rush and don’t want to download.
- Open the Microsoft Store.
- On the Store home page, click the menu button in the lower left section of the window, then select “Library” to see all the apps you own.
- You can then use the filter at the top to show only games, but this view doesn’t distinguish between purchased games or titles you’ve downloaded through GamePass.
- This view also includes games that can only be played on the Xbox console. And there is no way to filter the view to make Xbox One games disappear.
Did I mention that the Xbox app for Windows is much better?
Updated March 8, 2022, 2:20 p.m. ET: This article was originally published on August 12, 2019; Game Pass information and some of the screenshots have been updated.