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Microsoft announces some free-to-play games, including Fortnite and Warzone, now playable without Xbox Live Gold

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After 16 years of paid online multiplayer, Microsoft starts making exceptions

Xbox Live Gold subscription cards on a store shelf Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Many free-to-play games on Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X and Xbox One consoles will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

The change was made official after Microsoft started lifting the restriction in its Xbox Insiders beta testing program. Furthermore, a system update this month will open up the Looking for Group option to all users, and party chat used while playing free-to-play games will also no longer require an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Microsoft offered more information in an FAQ posted Wednesday. The new policy applies to a list of 70 titles available for Xbox platforms. Additionally, a game’s listing page in the Microsoft Store will indicate whether it is free to play online or requires Xbox Live Gold.

There still are some exceptions: free-to-play weekend promotions, where a premium game is available to everyone free on a trial basis, will still require Xbox Live Gold membership to access their online multiplayer. Demo versions won’t require Gold for any multiplayer they support, but it is still necessary for demos that either require a pre-order or purchase to access, plus early access games, “$0 sale offers,” and other time-limited trial versions of premium products.

Competitors Sony and Nintendo have also made exceptions for free-to-play games in the past. The full list of games that will be playable online without a paid Xbox Live subscription is below:

  • 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
  • ROBLOX
  • Rocket League
  • Rogue Company
  • Skyforge
  • SMITE
  • 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