Purchasing a Game Pass subscription for Xbox and PC in Russia in 2023
Ways to purchase payment cards and alternative options for purchasing Game Pass, as well as reasons for subscribing
Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service from Microsoft available for Xbox consoles and PCS. For as little as $10 a month, users get access to hundreds of games.
In March 2022, Microsoft suspended sales in Russia, but Game Pass is still available here. In this article, we will look at the benefits of a subscription and how to get the most out of it.
Benefits of a Game Pass subscription
- Huge catalog of games: Game Pass operates on a model similar to Netflix. Subscribers pay a monthly fee and get access to the game library. At the end of the subscription, access is lost.
- Regular Library Updates: Each month, Microsoft removes about ten games and adds new ones. For example, in December 2022, subscribers will lose access to the Firewatch indie adventure, but will be able to download LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
- Permanent availability of Microsoft games: Microsoft games such as Halo, Gears of War, Forza, Fallout and more are always available to subscribers. New items from Xbox Game Studios are added to Game Pass immediately after release. In 2023, subscribers will be able to play Starfield, Forza Motorsport and other new releases from Microsoft.
Full list of Xbox Game Studios series
Sometimes games from third-party developers and publishers are also made available to Game Pass subscribers immediately after release. In 2023, subscribers will have access to the Russian shooter Atomic Heart, the horror game Amnesia: The Bunker, the action game Hollow Knight: Silksong and other multiplatform games. On Steam and PlayStation, these games will have to be purchased separately.
EA Play: Library of Games for Game Pass Ultimate Subscribers
Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can download games from publisher Electronic Arts, including football sim FIFA 22, shooter Battlefield 2042, RPG Mass Effect: Legendary Collection and all parts of the Dragon Age fantasy series. New games from the company become available in Game Pass Ultimate six months or a year after release.
Xbox Live Gold: multiplayer and free games
Game Pass also includes a Live Gold subscription that gives you access to online features for all games. Without it, it will be impossible to use multiplayer in games such as Call of Duty or FIFA. Live Gold members receive two free non-Game Pass Microsoft games each month.
Xbox Cloud Gaming: cloud gaming service
With Xbox Cloud Gaming, you can play games from the Game Pass catalog on Cloud Gaming-enabled smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs. Games are broadcast to devices via cloud technologies. However, Cloud Gaming is not available in Russia.
Types of Game Pass subscriptions
- Game Pass for Xbox ($10): Microsoft’s standard subscription for Xbox consoles. Subscribers get access to hundreds of games for Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. However, games from the EA Play catalog, Xbox Live Gold, and Cloud Gaming are not included with this subscription.
- Game Pass for PC ($10): The catalog of games for PC is different from the console one. Some console games are missing here, but there are PC exclusives such as Death Stranding, Total War: Warhammer III and Age of Empires IV. The subscription also includes the EA Play catalog.
- Game Pass Ultimate ($15): The most affordable subscription option that includes Game Pass for consoles and PC, Xbox Live Gold, and Cloud Gaming. Ultimate subscribers get all the benefits of the previous two plans.
Signing up for a Game Pass subscription in Russia
For Russian users, a Game Pass subscription cannot be purchased directly through the Microsoft Store. Instead, you must activate your subscription with a gift card. Here’s how to do it:
Steps to activate your Game Pass subscription in Russia:
- Select the Game Pass subscription you’re interested in and purchase a gift card from one of the retailers. Payment cards are available in Bukvoed, M.Video, DNS and other stores. On average, a 3-month Game Pass Ultimate subscription costs 2694 rubles, and a 12-month subscription costs more than 10,000 rubles.
- Receive the code after payment and sign in to your Microsoft account. Enter the 25-digit code provided by the seller.
- Activate your subscription. Congratulations!
How to get a Game Pass with maximum savings:
Subscription prices may vary by country. The best deals can be found in countries with the lowest prices. For example, a 12-month Game Pass Ultimate costs $85 in the US, and about 2,000 rubles in Argentina. Other available countries for purchase include Turkey, India and Colombia. Even with a foreign subscription, you can activate games on your Russian account.
To activate the international Game Pass, you will need to connect to the Internet through the IP address of another country and use a bank card of a country without an official Xbox representative, such as Kazakhstan or Georgia.
If you do not have such a card, you can contact friends or resellers on online platforms such as plati.market. The principle of operation is simple: you transfer money and indicate the desired subscription. The reseller buys and gives you the subscription using the “Buy as a Gift” feature.
Using Game Pass on PC: Step by Step Guide
- Installing the Xbox app. To get started, you’ll need to install the Xbox app on your computer. If you’re using Windows 10 or 11, it should come preinstalled on your device. If not, download the app from the Microsoft Store and install it.
- Sign in to your Microsoft account with Game Pass. Launch the Xbox app and sign in with your Microsoft account that already has a Game Pass subscription. If you don’t have a subscription yet, follow the instructions in the app to sign up.
- Overview of the catalog of games. In the Xbox app, you’ll find a catalog of games available for download as part of your Game Pass subscription. Go to the All PC Games section and browse available games using filters and search by genre, developer and more.
- Downloading and installing games. Select the game you are interested in and click the “Install” or “Download” button. The game will be downloaded and installed on your computer. It will then be available in the My Collection section of the Xbox app.
- Launch and enjoy games. After installing the game, simply select it from the “My Collection” section and click “Play”. Enjoy the games from the Game Pass catalog on your PC!
- Bypass regional access restrictions. If you find that certain Game Pass games are not available in your region, you can try to bypass this limitation. Go to Settings → Time & Language → Country/Region and select a different country. Then return to the Xbox app and search for the desired game again.
Using this guide, you can easily enjoy the games in the Game Pass catalog on your PC and get the most out of your subscription.
Tip: The Best Games to Start Your Game Pass Journey
- LEGO Star Wars: Skywalker. Saga is an action-adventure game developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Warner Bros. interactive entertainment. It adapts all nine Star Wars episodes from the Skywalker saga, and features extras from other projects in the deluxe edition. The release took place on April 5, 2022.
- Monster Hunter Rise This is a colorful action/RPG game from Capcom, part of the Monster Hunter series. Released on Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021 and on Windows on January 12, 2022. Players travel to the world of Kamura, a new mountainous location with a unique culture and cutting-edge hunting technology. New hunting grounds await players after selecting armor and weapons.
- High On Life A comedic first-person shooter with action-adventure and metroidvania elements set in a futuristic world with talking weapons. The author of the project is Justin Roiland.
- Hello Neighbor 2 is a stealth horror game where your task is to get into the house of a scary neighbor and uncover his secrets. The game has AI that adapts to your actions and changes its behavior. Can you fool your neighbor and find out what he is hiding?
- Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition Dark action RPG in the style of Dark Souls from the studio Cold Symmetry. The Enhanced Edition includes enhancements for next-gen consoles such as higher resolution, faster performance, ultra-quality textures, and DualSense controller capabilities. Supports 4K and 60 FPS on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and 4K and 30 FPS on Xbox Series S.