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The Ultimate Guide to Free Trials for Xbox One Games

There are a variety of great Xbox One games that offer free trials, allowing you to preview the game before committing to a purchase. Here are some of the top games currently available with free trials:

  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Halo Infinite (multiplayer)
  • Sea of Thieves
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Grounded
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Star Wars: Squadrons (through EA Play)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
  • Overcooked 2!

Now let‘s dive deeper into all the ways you can access free trials for Xbox One games. As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I‘ll walk you through the top methods I‘ve discovered through my own research and experience.

Leverage Xbox Live Gold Free Play Days

As an Xbox Live Gold member, you unlock the excellent Free Play Days perk. The Xbox team selects a few games every month that Gold members can download and play completely free for a limited time.

These are full versions of the game, not trials or demos. According to Microsoft, recent Free Play Days games have included:

  • For Honor
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
  • Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker

To find the current Free Play Days offerings, look for the gold controller icon on the homepage of the Xbox app or Xbox Store. You can "purchase" the games for $0 during the promo window which typically runs Friday-Sunday. All progress will carry over if you choose to buy the full game later.

Maximize Access with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

As an Xbox gamer, I highly recommend the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription which combines Xbox Live Gold with access to over 100 games for just $14.99/month.

With Ultimate, you get additional benefits like cloud gaming, exclusive member discounts, and early access trials for upcoming games. This amplifies your ability to preview a wide variety of titles before purchasing.

Redeem EA Play 10-Hour Trials

One underrated perk of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is that it comes bundled with an EA Play membership at no extra cost. This grants access to a 10-hour free trial for many major EA titles like FIFA, Madden, and Star Wars: Squadrons.

According to EA, members can unlock unlimited "Play First Trials" thanks to a constantly refreshed library. As long as your Ultimate subscription is active, you can continually trial EA games for 10 hours each.

Popular EA Games with Trials

  • FIFA 2023
  • Madden NFL 2023
  • Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
  • NHL 2023

This provides excellent opportunity to preview EA‘s latest releases before buying.

Snag Exclusive Xbox Game Pass Perks

The Xbox Game Pass Perks program gives members exclusive rewards and discounts. Free trials for upcoming games are frequently included as perks.

For instance, according to Xbox news, Game Pass subscribers previously got early access trials for these new releases:

  • The Anacrusis
  • Dying Light 2
  • OlliOlli World

Be sure to check the mobile app or console Perks gallery each month for potential game trials. They are usually available for a limited time leading up to launch.

Download Xbox Game Streaming to "Try Before You Install"

Xbox Cloud Gaming, also called xCloud, allows Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to stream games to phones, tablets, and browsers without installs.

I often use cloud gaming to instantly try out Xbox Game Pass console games before downloading them to my Xbox. This helps preview titles and ensures I only install games I know I‘ll enjoy.

Cloud gaming works remarkably well. It‘s a free way to trial games if you already subscribe to Ultimate.

Explore the Free-to-Play Games Catalog

The Xbox Store has an entire category dedicated to free-to-play games spanning various genres. These fully playable games don‘t require any Xbox subscription or purchase.

Some excellent free options to try based on 2022 player counts include:

  • Fortnite (over 3 million players)
  • Call of Duty: Warzone (over 2 million players)
  • Rocket League (over 1 million players)
  • Apex Legends (over 500k players)

Free-to-play allows previewing games extensively without spending anything. It‘s a great way to trial competitive multiplayer titles and battle royales.

Check for Official Game Demos

The Xbox Store has a "Game Demos" category that provides limited trials and previews uploaded directly by game publishers.

Availability fluctuates as new demos get added. I recommend sorting the section by "Release Date" and checking frequently for new titles.

Some noteworthy demos available as of February 2023 include:

  • Gotham Knights
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
  • F1 22
  • NHRA: Speed For All

Watch for Special Free Play Days Events

A few times per year, Microsoft opens Free Play Days access to all Xbox Live members rather than just Gold and Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.

Everyone gets to play full games for free during these special events, typically lasting 1 week. For instance, according to Xbox news, recent promotions have included:

  • Dying Light 2 Stay Human
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Tiny Tina‘s Wonderlands

Follow the main Xbox social accounts to stay updated on these Free Play Days announcements. They provide rare opportunities to trial games without a paid subscription.

Preview Games Early with the Xbox Insider Hub

The Xbox Insider Hub app provides beta testing and early access opportunities. After completing quests and surveys, you can opt into pre-release game betas and prototypes.

This grants you the chance to play unreleased Xbox games for free in exchange for providing feedback before launch. It‘s an excellent way for passionate gamers to contribute to the Xbox community while trialing games.

Watch for Limited-Time Free Demos from Developers

Major game studios will occasionally host special events to release free demos for upcoming titles across social media and streaming platforms.

For example, according to gaming news sites, restricted time demos have recently been offered for:

  • Sonic Frontiers
  • Gotham Knights
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
  • Saints Row

Be sure to follow Xbox developers like Annapurna Interactive, Devolver Digital, and others on social channels to receive demo announcements. Turning on notifications is recommended so you never miss a free trial opportunity.

Change Your Xbox Region to Access More Demos

The availability of game trials and demos can vary across Xbox Store regions. Consider temporarily switching your region to broaden your options.

For instance, the Japan and Australia Xbox Stores often have exclusive demos not found in other areas. Download any region-restricted trials, then switch back to your original region afterwards.

This creative approach allows savvy gamers to maximize opportunities to preview more Xbox titles for free.


With insider knowledge and the right tactics, you can unlock free trials for the latest Xbox One games before purchasing. Focus on leveraging Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, EA Play, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and social channels for the most robust selection of demos. Happy gaming!