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What Are Xbox Free Play Days and How Do They Work?

Free games every weekend!

Xbox Free Play Days allows you to play full Xbox games for free during selected weekends. It‘s an awesome program that lets you try before you buy!

As an Xbox gamer myself, I love Free Play Days because it‘s a risk-free way to demo new titles and discover games I may have overlooked. In this guide, I‘ll tell you everything you need to know to take advantage of Free Play Days and enjoy tons of free gaming. Let‘s dive in!

How does it work?

Here‘s a quick rundown of how Xbox Free Play Days works:

  • Microsoft announces a Free Play Days weekend where Xbox Live Gold/Game Pass Ultimate members can play certain games for free.
  • During the event, you can download the selected games from the Xbox Store and play the full version at no cost.
  • Progress and achievements are saved in case you buy the game later.
  • When the weekend ends, you lose access until you purchase the game.

It‘s really that simple! Free Play Days run Friday-Sunday once or twice per month. We‘ll get into more details below on how to find and download the free games.

What games are included?

The Free Play Days lineup tends to include:

  • Major new releases – Get early access on hot new titles
  • Popular franchises – Big names like Call of Duty and NBA 2K
  • A variety of genres – Action, sports, RPG, and more

Here are some examples of past Free Play Days hits:

  • Elden Ring
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • GRID Legends
  • Dying Light 2 Stay Human
  • Battlefield 2042

The full slate is revealed about 1-2 weeks beforehand on Xbox Wire. I‘ll show you how to find the schedule below.

Do I need Xbox Live Gold?

Free Play Days requires an active Xbox Live Gold subscription (which runs $9.99/month) or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($14.99/month).

You can‘t access Free Play Days with a basic free Xbox account unfortunately. But if you play online, Xbox Live Gold is worth it for the free games alone!

How do I download the Free Play Days games?

Downloading the free games is easy:

  1. On your Xbox console or the Xbox app on PC, search for the game in the store.
  2. Look for the "Free Play Days" tag and click to go to the game page.
  3. Click "Install" or "Get" to download just like any game purchase.
  4. Once installed, launch the game tile and play away!

The games will be playable as soon as Free Play Days begins. I recommend pre-loading when possible so you can start right at launch.

How much can I play during the free weekend?

You get full unrestricted access to the Free Play Days games! Play as much as you want and experience all modes, maps, and content available.

Your progress is saved too. If you choose to buy the game later, you‘ll pick up right where you left off seamlessly.

So feel free to hunker down all weekend and binge the free games to your heart‘s content!

What happens when the free period ends?

Once Free Play Days concludes on Sunday, the games will become locked and unplayable again until purchased. Don‘t worry though, your save data is stored in the cloud.

If you decide to buy a game you tried, you can continue progression from the Free Play Days weekend. Pretty cool right?

Upcoming Free Play Days schedule

Wondering what‘s coming up for Free Play Days? Bookmark the Xbox Wire site. This is where new events are announced 1-2 weeks in advance.

Here are the next two Free Play Days lineups as of February 2023:

February 16-19:

  • NARAKA: BLADEPOINT
  • Deliver Us The Moon
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

February 23-26:

  • Tom Clancy‘s Rainbow Six Extraction
  • Praey for the Gods

Get those calendar reminders ready! The sooner you pre-load, the quicker you can jump in once the weekend begins.

Tips to maximize Free Play Days

Let‘s wrap up with some pro tips to get the most out of Xbox Free Play Days:

  • Try new genres – Use Free Play Days to experience types of games you don‘t normally play. You may find unexpected new favorites.
  • Demo before you buy – Try that game you‘ve been eyeing but are unsure about purchasing. Free Play Days lets you test risk-free.
  • Play with friends – Gather your crew during the free weekend. Playing together makes any game better.
  • Provide feedback – Let the developers know what you think. This helps them identify improvements.
  • Follow on Xbox Store – For games you enjoy, follow on the store to get notified of DLC, sequels, and sales.
  • Set reminders – Use smart home devices or your phone calendar to remember Free Play Days dates.

Leveraging these tips will help you get the most gameplay and savings from Xbox Free Play Days. Never miss out on another free game again!

Wrapping Up

Well friend, now you know everything about Xbox Free Play Days! In summary:

  • Xbox Live Gold/Game Pass Ultimate members get full free game access certain weekends
  • Big new releases and popular titles are included
  • Find/download games easily from the Xbox Store
  • Play as much as you want, progress saves
  • Stay up to date on Xbox Wire for upcoming events

I hope this guide gives you the confidence and knowledge to take full advantage of Free Play Days. Let me know if you have any other questions! Have fun playing tons of free games.