Did you know that you can access video games from Game Pass directly on your Windows PC? The subscription service was previously exclusive to Xbox consoles, however, Microsoft has introduced PC Game Pass to cater to Windows users’ needs.
And while this is a much-welcomed addition, accessing games on a Windows PC can be a daunting task as it requires a bit of navigation to get started, unlike an Xbox console where the user will be able to access video games directly from the home dashboard.
If you’ve recently started using Xbox Game Pass on your Windows PC and haven’t quite figured your way around it, don’t fret. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step and get you up and running within no time.
What is PC Game Pass?
Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what PC Game Pass is first. PC Game Pass is Microsoft’s monthly subscription service that provides gamers with a library full of video games to play and download on a Windows PC without incurring any additional cost.
Microsoft refreshes the list of entries available in PC Game Pass on a monthly basis. Be sure to keep it OnMSFT.com for updates highlighting which games are coming to the service and those leaving.
Both Windows 11 and Windows 10 users can access the service. It should also be noted that it’s available as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Tip: If you already have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can access these games on your PC with the same subscription. You don’t need a PC Game Pass subscription.
It’s also worth noting that your Windows PC must meet the system requirements listed below in order to access Microsoft’s PC Game Pass subscription service.
- OS: Windows 10/11, version 22H1 or higher
- Processor: Intel Core i5; AMD Ryzen 5. Quad-core or higher.
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050; AMD Radeon RX 560
- Memory: 8GB RAM, 3GB VRAM
- Storage: 150GB
- DirectX: DirectX 12 API
- Monitor: 1080p
If your device satisfies the listed requirements, check whether PC Game Pass is supported in your region. It’s currently supported in 86 countries, after recently tapping into 40 new countries.
Subscribe to PC Game Pass
First, before you indulge in any gameplay, you must get a PC Game Pass subscription. At the moment, it costs $9.99 per month for users based in the United States, while those in the United Kingdom will incur a monthly charge of £7.99.
The subscription will get you access to a new library featuring hundreds of high-quality PC games on Windows, this is inclusive of new Xbox Game Studios releases on day one, iconic Bethesda games, an EA Play membership, and member-only benefits in Riot Games.
For the longest time, Microsoft gave newbies to the service an introductory fee of $1 for the first month. However, the promotional offer was recently scrapped. Moving forward, the company is evaluating different marketing promotions for new members.
Aside from the inclusive PC Game Pass subscription, an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription will also get you all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, plus hundreds of high-quality console and PC games. An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription attracts a monthly charge of $14.99 currently.
1. Use the Xbox app
If you’re looking for a simple yet fast way to access Game Pass games on your Windows PC, then the Xbox app is your best bet. The process is pretty straightforward, here’s what you need to do:
- Download the Xbox app from the Microsoft Store.
- Next, log in to your Microsoft Account where you’ll now be able to see all the Game Pass games available in that particular month.
- You can then select and download all the games you want. (You can either access the games directly from the Xbox app or the shortcut created during the installation process)
2. Use the Microsoft Store
If for some reason you’re unable to access the games via the Xbox app, then you can use the Microsoft Store instead. You’ll be able to access all the PC games available in Game Pass directly from the Microsoft Store.
Note: Not only can you find apps and movies on the Microsoft Store, but also games.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Launch the Microsoft Store.
- Click on the menu button at the bottom-left section of the Microsoft Store’s homepage, then select Library to see all the apps installed on your Windows PC.
- You can use the filter at the top to refine your list to feature only games.
Note: Unlike the Xbox App where it’s easier to access the games, it’s difficult to decipher games you’ve purchased from entries you’ve downloaded via your PC Game Pass subscription in the Microsoft Store. The list also features entries exclusive to the Xbox console making it more difficult to sieve through it.
Joy at your fingertips
It’s very apparent that accessing games via the Xbox App is simpler than trying to find them directly from the Microsoft Store. Additionally, the Xbox app was recently updated to enhance the gameplay experience. It now ships with neat features like better game discovery, jump back in, and more.
The Xbox app features a new game collection called Trending for better discoverability. It is in place to help you identify the top 10 games that members in your region are playing.
Hopefully, you’re now able to access PC Game Pass on your Windows PC. Share your experience with us in the comments.