The best cheap Xbox Live Gold 12-month deals in September 2023

Xbox Live deals
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox Live Gold deals can still be extremely handy for anyone who just wants to venture online and play games casually with friends and/or family. With deals aplenty for the service, it's a mistake to let your subscription renew at the full price, as players can simply reduce the cost via a discounted 12-month subscription from another retailer. 

Xbox Live is one of the most important Xbox Series X accessories on the market right now, and one of the best ways to save on the Xbox Series X price through your setup. At its base price, the Xbox Live Gold price is $24.99 / £17.99 for three months, however, you can up that to an Xbox Live Gold 12-month membership for $59.99 / £49.99

We'd generally suggest going for an Xbox Live Gold 12-month subscription, as it's better value for money overall. However, that's not to say you should pass on any good three-month offers or wait until your membership has run out entirely. Xbox Live Gold is stackable, after all, which means you can always add it on top of your current subscription, no matter how much you already have in the tank.

Whether your membership is up, or you're still reeling from an Xbox Series X restock, we're rounding up all the best Xbox Live Gold deals on both 3 and 12-month subscriptions right here. 

Alternatively, you could always check out Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deals if you're willing to stretch your budget. In terms of sheer bang for buck value, it's arguably better. Although more expensive, you're getting Xbox Live Gold to go with a library of hundreds of games you can play across Xbox consoles, mobile, and PC.

Cheap Xbox Live deals - 3 months

Xbox Live Gold 3 month

Xbox Live Gold 3 month

Okay, maybe you don't want to commit to a full 12 months of Xbox Live. Grabbing a 3-month subscription does allow you to see whether or not you're going to get real value from the service. 

Don't forget that you can add 12 months later too. It'll simply stack on top of your 3-month code. So, you could end up with 15 months or more all paid for, taking us well into the Xbox Series X generation... Win!

Cheap Xbox Live Gold 12 month deals

Xbox Live Gold 12 month

Xbox Live Gold 12 month

Xbox Live Gold 12 month deals are generally the best value option. We see the biggest price drops on the annual subscriptions, with prices generally sticking between $40 and $60 during larger sales events. If you spot anything cheaper than that you're getting a particularly solid offer.

Sure, you'll likely get cheaper offers during big retail events, but if you need to renew now, these are the best prices you'll find today. The Microsoft store sometimes has deals on as well, but you'll normally find better prices via the bigger online retailers.

Xbox Live: Games with Gold

And just like that, Xbox Games with Gold is no more. The promotion used to give you free games to play with your Live subscription, but it was announced that this would no longer run, presumably to incentivize more folks to jump into a Game Pass subscription instead. 

The last free games to hit the Gold subscription were Blue Fire and Intertial Drift. The service no longer runs as of September 2023.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

If you're looking to combine your Game Pass with a cheap Xbox Live Gold membership, you've come to the right place. While a more expensive subscription than simply picking up the Live by itself, you are also getting access to, arguably, gaming's best subscription service yet - especially if you're doubling down on that low Xbox Series S price. Game Pass offers up a plethora of free titles with all new exclusive Xbox Series X games heading straight to the service as well. That's a lot of value in one monthly payment. 

Not only is Game Pass Ultimate an excellent subscription in itself, but combined with stacked Xbox Live Gold months you can save some serious cash. That's because Microsoft is currently running a promotion that will offer up your first month of Game Pass Ultimate for just $1. However, the fine print also states that claiming the offer will also convert all your remaining Xbox Live Gold months to Game Pass Ultimate, a far more expensive service, for up to 36 months. 

That means you can stack your Live Gold months for far less than you would Game Pass and convert them all to Ultimate for just an extra dollar. 

Xbox Live Gold vs Game Pass Ultimate: which should you choose?

If you're at all interested in sampling Microsoft's excellent Game Pass service, we would thoroughly recommend ditching your separate Xbox Live Gold subscription and rolling it all into a Game Pass Ultimate membership. Three months of Xbox Live Gold will cost you $24.99 and three months of Game Pass will add another $29.99 on top. Considering Game Pass Ultimate comes in at just $44.99 (and is often available for less than that), the value is clear. 

However, if you're collecting physical games and don't intend on bashing through your backlog using Microsoft's subscription service, you won't be gaining anything extra by paying more for the all-in-one membership.

Do you need Xbox Live Gold for free to play games?

It's worth noting that if you just intend on playing free-to-play games online, you don't need an Xbox Live Gold subscription. This includes the likes of Fortnite, Halo Infinite, Apex Legends, and Rocket League without paying the monthly price. For full premium multiplayer games (Call of Duty, Sea of Thieves), you will need either an Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass subscription. 

Can you still buy 12 months of Xbox Live Gold?

As you've hopefully gathered from the Xbox Live Gold 12 month prices further up, you can still buy a full year of the service. Microsoft itself doesn't offer the 12 month card, but these codes are still available at a range of retailers across the US and UK. 

If you're on the other side of the fence, we're listing all the latest PS Plus deals and Nintendo Switch Online membership prices as well. Or, for more Xbox One accessories, check out our top picks for the best Xbox One controller, best Xbox Series X headset or Xbox steering wheel

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.

With contributions from