Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus: Everything you need to know

Having trouble working out whether you need a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live subscription? Our primer is designed to help!

08 Jan 2019

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What is PlayStation Plus?

PlayStation Plus is the subscription service that enables you to play your favourite games with other players online. A PlayStation Plus account is required to take part in any multiplayer offering.

PlayStation Plus members get access to discounts on the PlayStation store, where games can be bought digitally and downloaded to your console’s hard drive.

PlayStation Plus members also get a selection of games to download for free every month.

Image of a white PlayStation controller

Can I keep my PlayStation Plus games if I cancel my membership?

No. Games that were downloaded during a membership that has since been discontinued will be inaccessible.

Can I play games without a PlayStation Plus membership? 

Single-player, story-driven games like Red Dead Redemption 2 will be accessible without a PlayStation Plus account. But to access online features, like Red Dead Redemption Online, you’ll need to pay the subscription fee.

Screenshot from Red Dead Redemption Online

Image credit: Rockstargames.com 

How much does PlayStation Plus cost?

Image of PS Plus

A 3-month PlayStation Plus subscription costs £19.99. A 12-month PlayStation Plus subscription costs £49.99.*

What is Xbox Live?

Xbox Live is Microsoft’s online gaming platform and enables you to play online with other players, provided you’re a Gold member.

What is Xbox Live Gold?

Xbox Live Gold

Xbox Live Gold is the paid membership service that enables you to play your favourite games online.

What is Xbox Live Silver?

Xbox Live Silver no longer exists. Everyone who owns an Xbox and creates an account starts off with a “Silver” (free) account. You’ll need to upgrade your account to Gold if you want to play games online (against other people, for instance, or with friends over an internet connection.)

How much does Xbox Live Gold cost?

A 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription costs £14.99 while a 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription costs £39.99.*

black image of an Xbox controller

What is Xbox Games With Gold?

Xbox Games with Gold enables you to download free games every month if you have an Xbox Live Gold membership.#

Can I keep Games With Gold titles forever?

As long as you remain an Xbox Gold subscriber, the games will work. However, if you cancel your subscription, the games you downloaded will no longer play.

Screenshot from Assassin's Creed 1

Image credit: Ubisoft.com 

As an aside, Games With Gold also includes Xbox 360 games that work beautifully on the Xbox One. Two classic titles – Dante’s Inferno and Assassin’s Creed (yes, the original Assassin’s Creed) – are just two examples of recent additions to the platform. Read all about how old games work on your new Xbox in our exhaustive backwards compatibility article.   

*Prices accurate as of 9/1/2019

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