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Xbox Live Gold is no longer required for more than 50 free-to-play online games

Xbox Live
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Free-to-Play online multiplayer games will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership on Xbox consoles.

In an announcement (opens in new tab) today, Microsoft shared the details of plans to remove the Xbox Live Gold membership from more than 50 titles, including Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty Warzone. The message states that the change arrives today "and all Xbox players will be able to access online multiplayer at no charge."

In a follow-up FAQ (opens in new tab), Microsoft confirms that "effective April 21, 2021, all Xbox players can access online multiplayer for free-to-play games on their console at no charge. For these games, an Xbox Live Gold membership is no longer needed. You'll be able to download and play online entirely for free on your Xbox console." The company also confirms that if you only use your subscription for free-to-play games, you'll be able to immediately cancel your membership, and receive a credit based on the time remaining on the subscription.

Xbox Live Gold has been a requirement for online play on Microsoft consoles since the days of the Xbox 360, but has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, as it's limited access to certain explosively-popular free games. The change means that Fortnite, for example, will be entirely free-to-play on an Xbox console for the first time since the launch of its battle royale mode. If a game contains both free and premium game modes, however, online play will still require a subscription.

The full list of games affected by the change can be found below, but it's not clear if or when new titles will be added to the list:

  • 3on3 FreeStyle
  • Aegis Wing
  • APB Reloaded
  • Apex Legends
  • Armored Warfare
  • Battle Ages
  • Battle Islands
  • Battle Islands: Commanders
  • Bless Unleashed
  • Brawlhalla
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Crackdown
  • Crackdown 2
  • Crimson Alliance
  • Crossout
  • CRSED: F.O.A.D.
  • Darwin Project
  • Dauntless
  • DC Universe Online
  • Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters
  • Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters
  • Defiance 2050
  • Destiny 2
  • Doritos Crash Course
  • Dungeon Defenders II
  • Enlisted
  • Eternal Card Game
  • Family Game Night
  • Fishing Planet
  • Fortnite
  • Galaxy Control: Arena
  • Gems of War
  • Happy Wars
  • Harm’s Way
  • Hawken
  • Hyper Scape
  • Killer Instinct
  • Korgan
  • Minion Masters
  • Neverwinter
  • Outriders (Demo)
  • Paladins
  • Path of Exile
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Phantom Dust
  • Pinball FX2
  • Prominence Poker
  • Realm Royale
  • Rec Room
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2
  • Rocket League
  • Rogue Company
  • Skyforge
  • Spacelords
  • Spellbreak
  • Star Trek Online
  • Techwars Global Conflict
  • TERA
  • The Four Kings Casino and Slots
  • Too Human
  • Trove
  • Vigor
  • War Thunder
  • Warface
  • Warframe
  • World of Tanks
  • World of Warships: Legends
  • Yaris

Check out our list of upcoming Xbox Series X games.

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.