Free-to-play Xbox games no longer require Xbox Live Gold to play online

You also don't need a subscription anymore to access party chat and the LFG feature.

Aaron Souppouris / Engadget

Starting today, all Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S owners can play free online multiplayer games without an Xbox Live Gold membership. In all, that means more than 50 free-to-play titles no longer require a subscription to play online with your friends. Some of the more notable inclusions on the list include Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, Destiny 2, Fortnite, Roblox and Rocket League. As part of today’s update, party chat and the looking for groups functionality is also available to that same group of people.

Microsoft’s decision to remove the paywall requirement for freemium multiplayer games came after it reversed course on a Xbox Live Gold price hike in late January. Initially, the company had planned to double the cost of a yearly Xbox Live Gold subscription. Most Xbox fans criticized Microsoft for the plan and it went on to quickly backtrack. “We messed up today and you were right to let us know.” the company said following the reversal. “Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day.” After the episode, Microsoft said it would remove the Xbox Live Gold requirement for free-to-play multiplayer games and began testing the policy change last month.