Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family Discovered on the Xbox Backend

It was earlier this month that Microsoft announced that it was testing another iteration of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate but the details provided were pretty vague. The test was being conducted in Ireland and Columbia and it would allow users to share their membership with other users termed Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family. The alleged logo for this service was discovered by the Twitter user @ALumia_Italia, who’s known for scraping the Xbox Backend.

Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family Being Tested in Ireland and Colombia

The service will be known as Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family when it officially launches. It’s currently only available through the Xbox Game Pass Insider Preview that allows users in Ireland and Columbia to add up to four people to their subscription and the users will all get to experience the full benefits of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

“add up to four people to [their] subscription, all with their own unique access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games, content, and benefits,”

While players that are added to the subscription don’t exactly need to become a part of the Insider program, they still need to be present in the same country as the Insider that adds them to their subscription service. This pretty much limits the trial to Ireland and Colombia for now.

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But it seems that this service will be a whole lot more expensive than the comparatively cheaper Xbox Game Pass ultimate when it comes out for the entire Xbox Community in the future.

“Joining the Game Pass Insider Preview will convert the time remaining on your membership to time in the new plan, based upon the monetary value of the old membership,” 

“For example, a full month of Ultimate will be converted to 18 days of membership for this plan. This way you won’t lose any of the remaining value on your existing subscription upon conversion. Conversion is final, and users must wait for their new membership to expire before returning to a previous membership.” – Xbox Blog

If this calculation is to be replicated that is if the plan finally rolls out for all users, this could bring up the price of the Friends and Family Iteration of the “Family Plan” to 25 dollars a month in contrast to the 15 dollars per month for Game Pass Ultimate.

Details About the Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family Subscription

For those that live in Ireland and Colombia, players need to make their way to the Xbox Game Pass Insider Preview plan and purchase it in the Microsoft Store.

For people that want to share their membership in order to test out the service, they need to make sure that their friends and family reside inside the designated countries without the need of purchasing the Insider preview themselves. But there’s a caveat to all of this as enrollment to the Insider Preview is pretty limited. There’s a whole lot more information to the Insider Preview as the blog states:

Conversion is not available for invited group members. Before joining a group, a group member can cancel their existing subscription or wait for it to expire. If they do not have a Microsoft account, invited friends and family will have to create a new Microsoft account and sign in with it to participate. – Xbox Blog

Individuals that purchase the Inside Preview might or might not be selected but the remaining time on their membership will be converted into a whole new plan. This way players won’t lose out on the time remaining on their old Xbox Game Pass subscription.

If you do get selected for the Insider Preview, you won’t get the conversion plan because you’ll be accessing the full potential of the upcoming Friends and Family Game Pass which Microsoft considers worth its price.

Members with Xbox All Access won’t be able to participate in this preview. – Xbox Blog

So, selected players are better off using up the remaining time on their Game Pass subscriptions or canceling them before participating in the Xbox Insider Preview. If their friends and family members don’t have Microsoft accounts, they’ll need to create new ones to become a part of the program.

xbox game pass friends and family
Cover for the Xbox Game Pass Insider Preview Patch Notes | Xbox Blog

There are a few other caveats to this Insider Preview. Users that have Xbox All Access won’t be able to participate in the upcoming program. And native Colombian speakers are out of luck as parts of the preview’s copy haven’t been translated to their native language. So, you better polish up on your English lessons!

In Colombia, parts of the copy for the preview have not been localized and might be displayed in English. – Xbox Blog

But there are some errors involved with this Insider Preview as well. Users that already have a subscription and are invited to the Friends and Family Game Pass may run into an error, leaving them out of the group. 

Invited members with an existing subscription may encounter an error when accepting an invite. We’re working on enabling these members to cancel immediately to accept the invitation. – Xbox Blog

Users that try to upgrade from Game Pass Ultimate to Game Pass Insider review get blocked from the service for 24 hours for no reason whatsoever. Players have reported getting a generic error code when this happens.

Attempts to upgrade twice within 24 hours will be blocked. For example, upgrading from Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will work, but attempts to then upgrade from Ultimate to Xbox Game Pass – Insider Preview will be blocked for 24 hours. There is currently a generic error code shown when this is attempted. – Xbox Blog

For the account holder that owns the Insider Preview, they might also run into some problems of their own. Users might get a “Something went wrong” error when they try to share the account with two or more friends and family members at once.

A Primary account holder may see a “Something went wrong” error when trying to share directly to two or more Microsoft account family members at once after purchase. Please wait a short time and try again. Alternatively, try sharing via email or link.

Microsoft has acknowledged all the current issues with the Game Pass Insider Preview and is actively working towards solutions for these problems. Hopefully, all the known issues will be patched soon enough as more and more players report their concerns to the Platform. Once the ups and downs are all settled, everyone will get to enjoy the Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family Plan.

While Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family looks expensive on the surface, at a subscription price of 25 dollars, up to 5 users get to enjoy all the in-game content, services, and benefits of the Xbox Game Pass, that is if they know each other. This can increase the overall accessibility and the price-to-benefits ratio of the subscription as many Xbox gamers within the same family or social circle can use their invited accounts to enjoy the benefits of the game pass service without paying for separate subscriptions.

And that’s pretty much it for today’s news. Are you excited for Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family? Let us know in the comments below. We upload daily on Appuals so stay tuned for more. Till then, see you later and goodbye!

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Naseer Abbas
Naseer has been interested in PCs and videogames since his childhood. If he isn't busy playing retro shooters, he's tinkering with emulators or learning something new.