Microsoft is getting ready to drop the Xbox Live Gold requirement for free-to-play on Xbox consoles, and Xbox Insiders in the Beta ring can now try this starting today. These service changes previously rolled out to the invite-only Xbox Insider Alpha and Alpha-Skip Ahead rings last week, and the remaining Delta and Omega Xbox Insider rings should receive them soon.
Attention Beta #XboxInsiders! Today we're enabling Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking for Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requiring an Xbox Live Gold membership as we flight and test these service changes ahead of general availability.
— Xbox Insider (@xboxinsider) March 29, 2021
The Xbox Insider Beta ring is currently open to Insiders with 3 or more months tenure, with a level 5 or higher in the program. In other words, you can’t join the program today and enjoy free-to-play Xbox games without an Xbox Live Gold subscription, as the Beta ring is inacessible to newcomers. However, existing Insiders can switch between rings (if they meet the requirements) in the Xbox Insider app, which needs to be downloaded from the Microsoft Store on Xbox consoles.
As of today, Destiny 2 and Call Of Duty: Warzone don't currently support Microsoft's Free-to Play multiplayer testing. The developers will need to update these games so that they can support this service change, and the Xbox team is currently working with the studios to accomplish that.
Xbox players have been waiting for years to see free-to-play games becoming truly free-to-play, and it's good that Microsoft has finally listened. As a company pushing to make games more accessible to everyone, it would make sense for Microsoft to eventually drop the Xbox Live Gold requirement for all multiplayer games on Xbox consoles, though the company may not be in a hurry to lose such a big revenue source.