What do you think of Game Pass on PC?

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bitbat

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Poll What do you think of Game Pass on PC? (262 votes)

I have Game Pass on PC, I use it regularly 43%
I have Game Pass on PC, I don't use it enough 37%
I don't have Game Pass on PC but it looks interesting 14%
I don't have Game Pass on PC and am not interested 6%

Hey remember video clubs? At least that what people still call them (imagine with added Greek accent) back home, you know, brick and mortar places where you can rent physical movies and series. Beyond the nostalgia of the whole thing, I have been growing more and more wistful of the choice available when compared to today's fractured streaming services, which I am becoming really tired of. "Is there anything new on there?" "Is movie X available to buy/rent?" "Maybe movie X is on the other service" and so on, I just don't like it.

So it was with great trepidation that I signed up to Game Pass for the PC this year. The release of Microsoft Flight Simulator was too much to resist and for a while it felt like a good deal. I mean, it helps that every single gaming podcast sings its praises, what a great deal it is etc. And of course it is, a good selection of games for not very much, what's not to like?

But having it for a few months, it has just become another unused service that charges me every month. It shares my greatest issue with streaming services (watch not exactly what you want but instead what's on the service) with the added issue that, with PC game sales coming so often and being so steep, it is hard (for me at least) not to develop a backlog of genuinely good games what I would rather be playing. The guilt of playing things not on Game Pass while paying for it also just makes all my game playing less enjoyable.

It doesn't really work for me so I cancelled today but what does everyone else think of Game Pass, is it really a no-brainer? Has it affected the way you play games, for the better or the worse? Thanks! (and sorry for the rambling)

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ali_d

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I find there's always something I want to play, but I need to remind myself to play things. I'm just in the habit of loading up Steam, and I've already got a backlog there, so I should really finish the games I've got.

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liquiddragon

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#2  Edited By liquiddragon

It's not a bad service but I always feel like I'm playing a game under the clock and the app is questionable at best. A lot of MS store games don't allow you to change resolution. That's a major issue. GP makes me think about how much use I'm squeezing out of the money I'm spending I personally don't think it's a good feeling. I just don't give enough usage out of sub services.

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Efesell

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It's great, I think people are weirdly enthusiastic about turning a good deal bad somehow but it's nothing but a positive to me.

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frytup

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We're on the same page. I still have like six months of Ultimate after taking advantage of their upgrade deal, but I won't be extending. Just not enough time in the day to play enough games to justify $15/month.

As a service you buy occasionally to play big games on the cheap, it's great.

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geirr

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It's alright. I ended mine when they bumped the price up.

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eight_track

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I'm on and off it depending on what I want to play. But it's nice to have there when I fancy trying a couple of things out that I don't have to pay full price for

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huntad

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I think it's alright and I use it mostly as a trial/rental service. It's like a better Gamefly and Blockbuster for me right now.

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The_Nubster

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Where's the option to say I like it, but only subscribe one month at a time when a game from my backlog shows up? I really do think it's great, and I hope that the developers on there are being given their fair share of the pie. That is probably the only hangup I have about it, even though by all accounts the money ends up where it needs to go.

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NameRedacted

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Technically: I think it's hit or miss; for some it works great / flawlessly, but for others it's a massive headache that never works right.

As a subscription service: I have too damned many subscriptions as it is, and all those subscriptions quickly add up, per month, to "death by a thousand cuts" financially. I barely use all the subscriptions I do have, if at all.

I also worry that video game streaming services will turn into the same shitshow that video streaming is:

1) Where you have a dozen walled gardens, with their own exclusivity deals, so if you want to watch everything, you'd better be prepared to A) pay for damn near all of them; and B) search endlessly for which service has the content you want. The days of ONLY needing a Netflix account to watching everything are long gone.

Market Consolidation is NOT Competition.

Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda / Zenimax is a bad precedent for market consolidation in 3rd party video games, which is always a lose-lose for consumers. People clown on Google and Amazon, but between them both tech giants (along with Microsoft) have the power / capital to buy up ANY and ALL 3rd party video game publishers (e.g. Activision-Blizzard, EA, TakeTwo, Ubisoft, etc.); lock up all that IP and content as exclusives for their streaming platforms.

The fact is, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon could starve Sony and Nintendo out of the video game market SIMPLY by consolidating the other major 3rd party publishers.

2) That the general quality and length of "AAA" video games will decline, just like it has on services like Netflix. Streaming services need a constant flow of new product to justify their continued subscription price, which isn't how our current 3rd party AAA or AA publishing works.

Basically, I don't think Game Pass is the "good deal" everyone keeps trying to sell me on. I think there are too many potential, long-lasting negatives associated with it, but most people don't want to think beyond the short-term gain of Microsoft literally giving everything way for next to nothing, to drive adoption.

Besides... My video game backlog is already massive without Game Pass.

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CreepingDeath0

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It's ok. I grab it anytime it goes on offer, most recently just before Christmas in a 3 months for £1. It does make me feel like I have to rush whatever I intend to play though, and I still much rather buy my games outright. But in a world where demos are rare, it's a decent substitute.

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colourful_hippie

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The game selection is decent. It can't compare to Xbox but that's because Xbox has backcompat. PC app is shit though.

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RimTiggins

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It's fine but lacking compared to the console version and often feels like an afterthought. That used to be acceptable when it was half the price, but now that they cost the same the value is a lot more questionable. I use MS Rewards to keep the sub running, but if that option vanishes at some point I'll just let it expire.

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sombre

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#16 sombre  Online

It seems like a good idea, because the game selection is big.

But you just end up doing what you do with emulation. You download like thirty games, play them each for about 8 minutes, they don't touch them again

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OurSin_360

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It looks like a good value, but like game streaming I can't download enough games to justify it with Comcast's shitty data caps.

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frytup

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It looks like a good value, but like game streaming I can't download enough games to justify it with Comcast's shitty data caps.

Really? Not that I'm in any way defending Comcast or caps, but at 1.2TB the barrier for me is time to play the games not data to download them.

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timeoflifehaver

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@efesell said:

It's great, I think people are weirdly enthusiastic about turning a good deal bad somehow but it's nothing but a positive to me.

"If you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, you're the sucker."

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Efesell

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What's the con.

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sandm0rph22

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No issue with the curation on PC- it's very good. I think Game Pass on PC will gain more traction and attention once Xbox Games Studios releases the big guns- like Elder Scrolls, Avowed, Fable, Halo Infinite. You need the stars and once those arrive, it should get more eyeballs.

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Justin258

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It would be more worth it if one of the games I was using on it didn't become unusable (Wasteland 3) for some unknown reason.

"You need to install Wasteland 3 to play it"

"You already have Wasteland 3 installed"

...these statements should be mutually exclusive.

If you've got an Xbox or if it never gives you a problem on PC then yeah, it's great, it's like Netflix for video games! And it works! However, unlike Netflix, games take a lot of time to play through. If a game comes out and it's $60 and I need to play it now, it's almost certainly something I've already set aside money and time for. If I need it to be cheaper, I can just wait a few months or a year or so as I already have a ton of games to play.

I also have a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that Game Pass is as much or more of a threat to the idea of ownership as anything else. I mean, I have realized several times that I don't buy music CDs anymore (not that I ever did that too often) or movies all that often. If I want to watch a movie and it disappears off of Netflix, I have to go seek it out elsewhere. And anything can disappear into the ether if it's only ever available in rentable format. I don't begrudge anyone for preferring to spend fifteen (or whatever) dollars a month for access to a large library of games, but collectively this can come at a higher cost than you might think.

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rorie

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#23  Edited By rorie  Staff

@justin258 said:

It would be more worth it if one of the games I was using on it didn't become unusable (Wasteland 3) for some unknown reason.

"You need to install Wasteland 3 to play it"

"You already have Wasteland 3 installed"

...these statements should be mutually exclusive.

Did you install it somewhere other than your C drive? I've run into issues with both MCC and Fallout 76 where they both started becoming unbootable because they weren't on the C drive. I guess there are workarounds out there for this but honestly it makes me just want to not use the app at all. In fact I think I'll just unsub as I haven't seen a huge amount of interesting stuff pop up on there recently and I'm subbing to Uplay+ at the moment anyway. But I'm sure I'll come back when some of their blockbusters start hitting.

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Slag

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It's a work in progress as the app has occasional serious problems and some versions of games aren't the best. I haven't run into too many of them, but certainly have seen enough reports out there to know it's commonplace to have install/uninstall problems.

does seem like the app is improving but there's a lot of work left be done.

but the value proposition can't be beat (especially if like me you locked in at $5/mo for a good while using MS rewards points). It's the ideal way to try out new games and new developers.

I pretty much don't buy indie games anymore. I probably played 20+ games off the service last year.

my main complaint with it is how hard it is to back up saves.

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ToughShed

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Where's the option to say I like it, but only subscribe one month at a time when a game from my backlog shows up? I really do think it's great, and I hope that the developers on there are being given their fair share of the pie. That is probably the only hangup I have about it, even though by all accounts the money ends up where it needs to go.

exactly.

Its an amazing service and value though for me.

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myke_tuna

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@rorie said:
@justin258 said:

It would be more worth it if one of the games I was using on it didn't become unusable (Wasteland 3) for some unknown reason.

"You need to install Wasteland 3 to play it"

"You already have Wasteland 3 installed"

...these statements should be mutually exclusive.

Did you install it somewhere other than your C drive? I've run into issues with both MCC and Fallout 76 where they both started becoming unbootable because they weren't on the C drive. I guess there are workarounds out there for this but honestly it makes me just want to not use the app at all. In fact I think I'll just unsub as I haven't seen a huge amount of interesting stuff pop up on there recently and I'm subbing to Uplay+ at the moment anyway. But I'm sure I'll come back when some of their blockbusters start hitting.

Just to piggyback off of Rorie, I have also had a similar issue with Halo MCC. I have all my Xbox Game Pass apps installed on a separate hard drive, not my C: drive. For some reason, any time there's a major update, I have to check it's installation status in the Windows Store app (same goes for one previous update for Wasteland 3).

Somehow checking that the game is updated/verified in there makes it start working. Messing with the options in the actual Xbox Games PC app or whatever does nothing. Just like Rainier Wolfcastle's goggles.

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Justin258

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#27  Edited By Justin258

@myke_tuna said:
@rorie said:
@justin258 said:

It would be more worth it if one of the games I was using on it didn't become unusable (Wasteland 3) for some unknown reason.

"You need to install Wasteland 3 to play it"

"You already have Wasteland 3 installed"

...these statements should be mutually exclusive.

Did you install it somewhere other than your C drive? I've run into issues with both MCC and Fallout 76 where they both started becoming unbootable because they weren't on the C drive. I guess there are workarounds out there for this but honestly it makes me just want to not use the app at all. In fact I think I'll just unsub as I haven't seen a huge amount of interesting stuff pop up on there recently and I'm subbing to Uplay+ at the moment anyway. But I'm sure I'll come back when some of their blockbusters start hitting.

Just to piggyback off of Rorie, I have also had a similar issue with Halo MCC. I have all my Xbox Game Pass apps installed on a separate hard drive, not my C: drive. For some reason, any time there's a major update, I have to check it's installation status in the Windows Store app (same goes for one previous update for Wasteland 3).

Somehow checking that the game is updated/verified in there makes it start working. Messing with the options in the actual Xbox Games PC app or whatever does nothing. Just like Rainier Wolfcastle's goggles.

If I remember correctly, Wasteland 3 was installed on c:\. However, that installation has since been nuked from orbit in favor of a fresh install.

The only other games I own on the Windows Store are Minecraft, Forza Horizon 4, and The Outer Worlds, all three of which I played for dozens of hours of none of which gave me any issues. I'm pretty sure I kept those on the c:\ drive when I had them installed, though. In any case, I'm not purchasing anything else that's exclusive to the Windows store except maybe Gears of War 4, if the mood for that series ever strikes me again.

I actually bought Wasteland 3 on GOG not too long ago, something I had planned on doing anyway.

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FinalDasa

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#28 FinalDasa  Moderator

I kind of view it like I do Netflix. I subscribe when I think there are a few things I'll enjoy for a while. Otherwise, it's just a slow drain of a subscription I'm not using.

I'm really glad it exists though. It's a great and cheap way to play several games that I might never try.

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Y2Ken

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It's a great service. For sure its best value proposition was when it first started and you got access to 100 games at once (likewise for people who only buy one month at a time when there's enough stuff they want to play), but honestly I feel like I'm easily getting my value out of it. I've played a fair few big games that I wouldn't necessarily have paid full price for, gotten in on some things at launch that I might've otherwise have been waiting for a sale on, and gotten to try out a ton of stuff that I might have been unsure on actually buying (whether or not I ended up continuing with it).

I certainly don't think the app itself is great, and it has some install issues here and there, but the value of the service works out just fine for me and as long as developers are getting a decent deal out of it too I'm happy to keep supporting it for the forseeable future. For people who don't have a ton of cash to spend on games it's a really nice way to actually have a good number of things to play.

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bobafettjm

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I have is because I already have Gamepass Ultimate. I feel like I have had issues with it more than it has worked. I have had multiple games I just can't install because they need to be on C: drive when I use a small SSD for that. When it works it is awesome, but I mostly just install the games on my Xbox instead.

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alistercat

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@bobafettjm: I get prompted to choose my install drive whenever I download a game. It does set up an encrypted directory to install to, but you can install to other drives just fine.

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bobafettjm

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@alistercat: I have done that with some games, but I have an issue where some games will just error out if I choose any other drive.

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alistercat

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mostboku

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I think gamepass for PC as a service is very good, although I think the xbox app is incredibly fussy and buggy. On its own its very good, compared to Xbox gamepass it's a little underwhelming.

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bobafettjm

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@alistercat: Yeah, I will probably go back from time to time and try to install those again and see if it is fixed or not, or eventually upgrade my SSD to a bigger one.

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zeouterlimits

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The application is a nightmare.

The offering is good.

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LavenderGooms

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Gamepass on PC is the best deal in video games. If there are games on it that one hasn't played then it's almost a no-brainer to subscribe for a month, play as many as one wants, and then just cancel it.

I've subscribed a few times and never had a problem with the application.

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bitbat

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@the_nubster: Yeah you are right, I missed that in the poll options. Judging by the responses it seems like a lot of people are in and out according to the games available, my bad.

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bitbat

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@efesell: I agree with you that it’s a good deal, it just doesn’t work with how I play games personally.

Beyond value, I just think that there is an interesting discussion to be had about how it (and services like it) affects game playing in general. Some points have been made already like the guilt associated with not using it while subscribed or using it out of a sense of obligation. I understand that these are all self imposed feelings but they were there, for me at least.

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OurSin_360

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#40  Edited By OurSin_360

@frytup said:
@oursin_360 said:

It looks like a good value, but like game streaming I can't download enough games to justify it with Comcast's shitty data caps.

Really? Not that I'm in any way defending Comcast or caps, but at 1.2TB the barrier for me is time to play the games not data to download them.

That's good if you're by yourself, but if you have a house full of people at home watching netflix etc all day then downloading one or 2 70+gb downloads hits the cap quick. The cap is bullshit tbh, especially when most people are home using the net all day long during this pandemic, and if only 5% go over why charge anyway since that obviously wouldn't be enough to throttle anything.

it honestly wouldn't be bad to pay for unlimited, but they have like 50-70 dollars in hidden fee's already lol.

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FRANZlSKA

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@bitbat: I feel like Game Pass isn't alone in that front, though. While it has it in a unique way because of the subscription nature of it, I've heard plenty of people talk about feeling guilty they haven't played more of their backlog, or that they haven't played "the classics" etc. etc.

By and large, I've found it really useful for trying out games to see whether or not I'll stick with them, but there are undeniably concerns for the future about how Game Pass (but more importantly, developers dealing with Game Pass) can make a profit, as well as further hampering the already tenuous state of owning vs. licensing a game.

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#43  Edited By Ben_H

I only have it right now because of the 3 months of Ultimate for a dollar thing that ran last month. I used to be subscribed specifically to Gamepass PC but quit the subscription a couple months back. When it was five or six bucks a month it wasn't such a big deal but now that it's $13 CAD per month plus tax that adds up pretty quickly and I just wasn't using it enough to justify to continue paying with the price increase. If there's a game on it I want to play, I may resubscribe but I can't see myself just letting the subscription continue anymore like I did in the past.

The Xbox app on PC though is a dumpster fire. They really need to make their install system better and make it so if you do a clean Windows install, you can point to a game install directory. I figured you'd be able to do that since literally every other game launcher app has that functionality but nope. Instead I had 800GB of games that were sitting on a drive that the app couldn't see, were blocking the app from using the drive, and weren't deletable without jumping through a pretty ridiculous number of hoops for permissions. I have a tech background and found fixing this frustrating. I can't even imagine a person without any knowledge of this stuff having to troubleshoot it.

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sandm0rph22

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The library is good but the PC app has been too buggy. Had times when the app opens to just a black screen. It's also sluggish.