Recently we’ve received quite a few users queries about the Xbox Live services with the main question being – ‘’is Xbox Live free to use?’’. Honestly, it’s both free-of-charge as well as a paid service. And today we’ll present all the details you should know before getting into the awesome content that this Microsoft’s online service for gaming is able to offer.

Just this year, during its earnings call, Microsoft has announced the latest Xbox Live figures, and these undoubtedly show just how popular the Xbox Live feature has been for the gaming console. According to the company, the Xbox Live active users’ number has reached a 64 million milestone, compared to last year, it grew 8 percent!

So, what is this Xbox Live? Is Xbox Live free to use? How does the service work? What are the benefits of having it? Is it ‘worth it’ in the end? And what are the challenges you can expect once in it? – these are today’s article’s goals, and we sincerely hope that you’ll know everything about the Xbox Live once this article comes to an end.

What is Xbox Live?

To better understand the Xbox live service, and to answer the ultimate question – ‘’is Xbox Live free?’’, we must first look at what the service provides, and what’s the intention behind it. First off, the Xbox Live service is completely unrelated to Xbox Game Pass. Xbox Game Pass offers but one unique feature and that is the ability to play well over a 100 of amazing games whenever you want, for a respectable monthly fee.

xbox Live

In comparison, Is Xbox Live free then? Not necessarily.  You don’t have to buy Xbox Live to use some of its features. However, the full potential of the service can only be achieved by using Xbox Live Gold Membership, and that one comes with a monthly cost. But to become a member and use such features as Demo try-outs, Netflix, Twitch, Crackle, Amazon, and other viewing platforms as well as install the latest sports apps like NFL, WWE, NBA and more – comes completely free of charge!

How Xbox Live works?

Whether is Xbox Live free or not, the online service for gaming and content distribution is compatible with Xbox 360, and Xbox One video game systems. To use any of the numerous available Xbox Live features, you must of course have an Xbox 360 or Xbox One console, as well as a stable broadband internet service provider. If both requirements are checked, then we can start talking about Xbox Live and Xbox Live Gold services.

So, here’s the deal. Is Xbox Live free? Yes, it certainly is. But yet, the better question to ask is Xbox Live Gold free as well? And that comes as a no. Xbox Live is a subscription-based service, that can be purchased for one, three, or twelve-month periods. The subscription can be bought from within the Xbox Live system, once you sign up and create your Gamertag (a nickname you’ll be known as and referred to through the service). Or another way to acquire the subscription is through a retail store.

Games with Gold

And that’s where our Eneba Marketplace can be of great service to you. If there is Xbox Live free, why would you want Xbox Live Gold? It’s really simple, while regular Xbox Live allows you to chat with friends, share your profile, download things from Xbox Live Marketplace and use various apps, the free-variant of it doesn’t include the ability to play games online, and that’s a big one!

The standard in-service subscription fee (without any special discounts) is $59.99 for a year, $24.99 for three months, and $9.99 for a month. However, the subscription prices in a marketplace may differ greatly. Putting the Xbox Live free and discounted offers aside, marketplaces may also offer various deals on Xbox Live Gift Cards as well as some of the most popular Xbox One games. These deals do not go according to the Xbox Live Marketplace schedule, so it’s always advised to go through all your options before making the final purchase.

The Benefits of buying Xbox Live Gold

So, as we now know, the Xbox Live membership comes in two levels. There is Xbox Live free, and Xbox Live Gold. And while the Xbox Live service features have pretty much been mentioned all throughout this article, there are quite a few extra benefits that you’ll only be able to enjoy by using the Xbox Live Gold service. Is Xbox Live free? Yes. Is Xbox Live Gold worth the cost? You bet, and here’s why:

First and foremost, of course, is the ability to play your games online against other players. Second, is the specialized matchmaking that is built in order to match you against the players of similar skill level to that of your own. Third, the Xbox Live Gold service offers numerous weekly discounts of up to 75 percent off games from Microsoft Store. Fourth, twice per month, you get to enjoy free Xbox 360 and Xbox One games!

What challenges awaits with Xbox Live

Whether it is Xbox Live free or Xbox Live Gold, you as a console gamer will pretty much face the same challenges as every other player in any other multi-user online environment. Trolls, griefers, quitters, hackers, and a bunch of other personalities are unavoidable, however, Xbox Live offers plenty of prevention measures to deal with such toxic player behaviour and ease your gaming experience.

Each Gamertag (player’s ID name) can be rated and evaluated by other players through the feedback system. Microsoft reviews the reports and severe punishments for such actions are administered. The given punishments do not differentiate on whether it is Xbox Live free, or Xbox Live Gold user, and they may range from a simple warning to a suspension that can last for up to two weeks. In the worst-case scenario, the punishment can even result in a lengthy ban.