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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

You can now give five of your friends a free PC Game Pass trial

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PC Game Pass is no longer quite the wildly good deal it once was thanks to the end of the $1 Game Pass Ultimate trial, but now there’s a new way to get it on the cheap, as long as you have a friend who already subscribes: The Xbox Game Pass Friend Referral program lets members give 14 day PC Game Pass trials to up to five of their online friends.

The process is very straightforward: Log into your account, click the “Give PC Game Pass” button, copy the code, and then fire it off to your pals through your email or text. They’ve got 30 days to redeem it—if they don’t, the key will become available to share again after another 30 days.

Don’t Game Pass alone!! Game Pass members can give 5 buddies a 14 day trial of @XboxGamePassPC. Terms Apply: https://t.co/GP49yG0vQc pic.twitter.com/oA7Ygg1AoeMay 2, 2023

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If you’re paying close attention, you’ll likely have noticed that this offer is for PC Game Pass specifically. Engadget speculated that this may be because Microsoft believes that Game Pass penetration has peaked on Xbox consoles, but not on PC.

“We’re seeing incredible growth on PC,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said during the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference (via The Verge) in October 2022. “On console, I’ve seen growth slow down, mainly because at some point you’ve reached everybody on console that wants to subscribe.”

Whatever the reason, the new trial program makes for a pretty sweet deal for the brief time that it lasts, with full access to all PC Game Pass games and content, including an EA Play membership and access to League of Legends and Valorant characters with a linked Riot account. 

Of course there are a few restrictions in place, too: It’s for new members only—you can only invite people who are not, and have not previously been, Game Pass subscribers—and only paid subscribers can send out invites, so Friend Referral recipients cannot invite their own friends to play for free because that way lies chaos. And the five-invitation limit isn’t a one-and-done, but will reset on January 1 every year, so as long as you can keep making new friends, you can keep sending out new invites. Full details are up at xbox.com.

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