Skip to content

What are the free games for Xbox Gold January 2023?

The two free games for Xbox Live Gold members in January 2023 are Iris Fall and Autonauts.

Iris Fall is a unique puzzle adventure game that plays with light and perspective. It will be available from January 1-31.

Autonauts is a cute voxel-style sandbox crafting game where you build and guide settlements. It can be downloaded from January 16 through February 15.

These two titles continue Microsoft‘s long-running Games with Gold program that gives Xbox gamers free games each month. As an Xbox expert and gaming enthusiast, let me take you through everything you need to know about January‘s free games and how to get the most out of Games with Gold.

This Month‘s Free Games

First up is a closer look at the two games you can download right now with an Xbox Live Gold membership:

Iris Fall

Developed by Next Studio, Iris Fall is a surreal puzzle adventure revolving around light and shadow. You play as a young girl named Iris searching for her missing cat inside a mysterious theater brimming with challenging illusions.

According to critics, the game features impressive artwork and audio design that build a compelling atmosphere. The core gameplay has you manipulating dynamic lighting to solve puzzles and progress through the enigmatic world.

Iris Fall first launched in 2018 for PC and later on consoles. It normally sells for $19.99, so grabbing it for free is a great opportunity. Overall, reviewers praised Iris Fall‘s artistic presentation and clever spatial puzzles. It holds a 76% critical rating on Metacritic.

If you enjoy explorative puzzle games like Monument Valley, Iris Fall is absolutely worth downloading this month. It will be available from January 1-31 exclusively for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.


The second free Xbox Games with Gold title for January is the adorable settlement crafter Autonauts from developer Denki.

In Autonauts, you land on primitive alien planets and teach small worker bots how to colonize their worlds. You‘ll gather resources, construct buildings, set up power and farming, and more to help the simple autonauts thrive under your guidance.

With its bright and blocky voxel art style, Autonauts aims for a relaxing non-combative builder experience. Reviewers praise its creativity, charm, and wide open sandboxy gameplay. It currently holds a 73% critics rating on Metacritic.

If you need a break from intense games, letting your creativity run wild on alien worlds in Autonauts should do the trick. Autonauts will be free to download for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members from January 16 through February 15.

The Value of Games with Gold

To put the value of these free games in perspective, here‘s a quick breakdown:

Iris Fall Normal Price: $19.99

Autonauts Normal Price: $19.99

Total Value of January‘s Free Games: $39.98

Considering a 12-month Xbox Live Gold membership costs $59.99, you‘re basically recouping over 66% of the subscription cost just from the value of this month‘s free titles.

And that‘s not even factoring in the other 10 months of free games you‘ll get throughout 2023, online multiplayer access, Deals with Gold discounts, and more included benefits. Just downloading January‘s Games with Gold already makes a Gold membership worthwhile from a monetary standpoint!

Recent and Upcoming Games with Gold Lineups

To give you an idea of the variety and quality of games offered in the program, here‘s a look at recent and rumored upcoming Xbox Games with Gold lineups:

Recent Free Games Lineup

Month Xbox One/Series X|S Game Xbox 360 Game
December 2022 Colt Canyon Bladed Fury
November 2022 Praetorians HD Dead End Job
October 2022 Windbound Bomber Crew

Rumored Upcoming Lineup

Month Xbox One/Series X|S Game Xbox 360 Game
February 2023 For The King Guts N Goals
March 2023 Tropico 5 Hard Corps: Uprising

As you can see, the variety runs the gamut from acclaimed indie games like Dead End Job to AAA titles like Praetorians HD. I‘ll admit I‘m especially excited about the retro FPS Hard Corps: Uprising coming in March.

The point is, with hundreds of dollars worth of diverse titles each year, Games with Gold provides tremendous value. Let‘s dig into how you can start taking advantage of it.

How to Get the Free Games

To download January‘s free Xbox Games with Gold all you need to do is:

  1. Turn on your Xbox and launch the Store.
  2. Locate the "Games with Gold" section on the Store‘s homepage.
  3. Select the game you want and click "Get" to begin the download.
  4. Once downloaded, the game is yours to play and keep permanently as long as you maintain an active Xbox Live Gold membership.

Easy right? I definitely recommend setting reminders on your phone‘s calendar for the 1st and 15th of each month. That‘s when the next month‘s free games become available. You don‘t want to miss out!

If you don‘t currently have Xbox Live Gold but want to grab January‘s free games, you have a couple options:

1. Buy a 1-Month Gold Membership for $9.99

The cheapest way is to purchase a single month of Xbox Live Gold for $9.99. This will grant you access to January‘s Games with Gold as well as online multiplayer for the month.

2. Try Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives you Xbox Live Gold access along with 100+ free games, xCloud gaming, and more benefits. New users can get their first month for just $1, making it a super cheap way to download January‘s Games with Gold titles.

Either option will work to score this month‘s free games if you don‘t already have an active Gold membership.

Maximizing Games with Gold in 2023

If you really want to maximize Xbox Games with Gold value this year, here are a few tips I recommend:

1. Grab a 12 or 24-month Gold membership on sale

Instead of paying month-to-month, pick up a 12 or 24-month prepaid Gold card when they are discounted. It‘s not uncommon to find them for 15-20% off.

2. Use Xbox All Access to get Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox All Access bundles a next-gen console with Game Pass Ultimate for a low monthly fee. It ends up cheaper than buying separately.

3. Remember to "purchase" monthly games

Even if you don‘t download the games right away, "buying" them via the store each month adds them to your library permanently.

4. Only play Games with Gold titles

Try making it a personal challenge to only play Games with Gold titles each month. It will add focus and motivation to clear your backlog of unplayed free games.

Staying diligent with the tips above will help you build an awesome library of free titles in 2023 and maximize your Xbox gaming budget.

Play Games with Gold on the Go with Cloud Gaming

Here‘s a cool perk many Xbox owners don‘t realize – you can stream your Games with Gold titles to phones, tablets, and low end laptops with Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Xbox Cloud Gaming provides Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers streaming access to 100+ games through the cloud. This also extends to the Xbox Games with Gold you redeem each month.

After claiming January‘s free Xbox games, I‘ll be able to directly load up and play Iris Fall and Autonauts on my phone or laptop using cloud streaming. It‘s a great feature for mobile gaming or playing Xbox on devices like the Steam Deck.

So even when away from your home Xbox console, you can stay caught up with new Games with Gold releases on the go through cloud gaming. Yet another awesome benefit of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate!

Build a Huge Library of Free Games

Ever since its debut in 2013, Xbox Games with Gold has given gamers an incredible opportunity to amass a substantial library of titles without spending extra money. While new release AAA games rarely come free, Games with Gold reliably delivers a diverse mix of indie and notable catalog titles each month.

Dedicated Xbox fans who consistently claim each month‘s Games with Gold offerings can now realistically own hundreds of games accessible with an active Gold membership.

Taking periodic breaks from gaming? No worries. Renewing your Gold subscription down the road will instantly grant access to your accumulated Games with Gold collection again. It‘s the gift that keeps on giving!

So be sure to grab January‘s Iris Fall and Autonauts during their limited availability windows. They are the latest additions to an already stellar lineup of free games provided by Games with Gold over the years.

Keep collecting those monthly freebies throughout 2023 and your budget will thank you! Enjoy unmatched variety and savings while expanding your gaming catalog.