How to Get Free & Cheap Xbox One Games

Microsoft’s Xbox One console looks like a big black giant box. On the top are vents that allow the console to breath and cool itself. On the back are all the necessary ports users need to connect the Xbox One to their TV and entertainment system.  The hard drive inside is where Xbox One games are installed, downloaded and stored.

How a game gets installed on the Xbox One isn’t necessarily the biggest question being asked by those picking one up. Instead, they’re looking for the free and cheap Xbox One games that’ll allow them to enjoy their system and stick to their monthly budget. That makes sense, there’s a generation of users buying video game consoles who’ve only had access to free games on their parent’s iPhone. There are adults who discovered gaming because of their tablet and are looking for something with a little more power for their living room.


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Here’s how to get free and & cheap Xbox One games so that you can stuff that 500GB or 1TB hard drive inside your console full of things to play.

Buy Used

First, you have to look into buying used games and there’s hardly a lack of choices lately. GameStop, the world’s largest dedicated gaming retailer has offered used games for years. GameStop offers promotions, discounts and in-store credit to users who purchase brand new copies of games. It then resells those used copies to other gamers. The biggest benefit to this is cheaper prices; GameStop sells the games it buys from players to other players and offers a beefed up return policy for those used games. Used games can be played and returned within a week to GameStop. That’s not true of wrapped new games.


Read: GameStop Confirms It’ll Give You More Money For Your Used Games


The trick with buying used games from places like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Play & Trade and GameStop is pricing. GameStop, in particular has a nasty habit of selling used games that are priced just $5 below what they are new. Compare the cost of buying a new game with the cost of buying an old one before you buy a used one to ensure you’re getting the most savings. Sometimes, deals at Wal-Mart and Target get you the same game brand-new for even less than a used copy.

Buy Xbox Live Gold

Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold service is mostly known for being the only way users can play games with their friends online. That’s still true, the Xbox One still requires an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play multiplayer. Last year, Microsoft finally added another much-needed benefit to Xbox Live. For the $9.99 a month or $60 a year that Xbox Live Gold costs, users get two free games to download to their Xbox One a month. The quality of these games varies, sometimes it’s a title they’ve given away the previous month. Other times, it’s a title that’s just making it to Xbox Live. When users stop paying for Xbox Live Gold the game stops working.

Read: Xbox One & PS4 Setup Tips for Parents & Gift Givers

In addition to the free games, Microsoft slashes prices on some games with Xbox Live Deals with Gold. Sometimes these are minor price cuts in the grand scheme of things, sometimes they’re big. For example, Dragon Age: Inquisition cost $60 when it debuted last fall. This week it was on sale to Xbox Live Gold users for $35.99. That’s a big price cut. Some game developers also roll out cheap discounts. For example, Electronic Arts recently discounted many of its Xbox One games.


Join EA Access or a Subscription Service

With EA Access you can play Madden 15 early, and other EA games like NHL 15, FIFA 15 and NBA Live 15.

With EA Access you can play Madden 15 early, and other EA games like NHL 15, FIFA 15 and NBA Live 15.

Finally, there’s EA Access, a subscription service that rolled out to users last year. EA Access costs users $4.99 and works sort of like the free Xbox One games that are given to Xbox Live Gold users. EA Access gets users access to free trials of newer games before anywhere else and full Xbox One titles. The selection isn’t as widespread as it could be, EA Access users only get to download the games contained in its Vault at no additional cost. Games downloaded from the EA Access Vault include all of their add-ons. If someone decides they’d like to purchase a game that’s included in the EA Access Vault they can do so at a discount. Their game saves simply transfers over to the new game.

Read: Is EA Access Worth Buying?

EA Access isn’t perfect, mostly it focuses on slightly older titles, still it’s a great way to save on Xbox One games.

No matter how you try to track down cheap or free Xbox One games, there’s a few things you need to know. First, Xbox One games purchased digitally at a discount or at full price are non-refundable. You’ll also need to download those if you should ever switch Xbox Ones or delete them. If you decide to purchase a used game, you’ll need to install it before you are able to play too. Also, just because you install a disc-based game doesn’t mean you can take it back to the store and still keep playing. You’ll need that disc in your drive.


The Xbox One is on store shelves beginning at $349.99.