How To Set Up An Xbox Live Account

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  • How To Set Up An Xbox Live Account
  • How To Subscribe To Xbox Live Gold

If you’ve just purchased an Xbox for the very first time, then chances are that you’ll want to know how to set up an Xbox Live account so that you can get the most out of your powerful new Microsoft console. This page will tell you everything you need to know so that you can get up and running with those games on the Xbox Network with ease, including what names for things mean, what packages are available, and how much they cost in both the US and UK.

We've done our best to make this article as easy to follow and understand as possible, and endeavored to answer any and all of the questions that we think someone new to the Xbox online ecosystem might have. After this visit to TheGamer, you should be able to get your home console, phone, or personal computer into online matches with other users on Microsoft's multiplayer network and focus on having a fun time just playing video games. Let's get started.

How To Set Up An Xbox Live Account

On Xbox Console

To keep things simple, we’re going to assume that you’ve already set up your Xbox console hardware by following the instructions provided in the box. If not, please get everything plugged in and then come back to us.

Once the console is on, you’ll be greeted with the first-time setup prompts. Go through them as instructed. That will involve setting your language and location, checking your display settings are okay, and connecting the new device to the internet network.

Now that you’re connected to the internet, you’ll probably be prompted to do an Xbox System Update. Let the Xbox do its thing and get itself ready for you. It can take a while depending on your internet speed, so take this opportunity to relax a bit.

When it’s fully updated, it’ll finally be time to sign in to an Xbox account. If you already use other Microsoft services like Windows, Outlook, OneDrive, Office, or Skype, then it is likely you have a Microsoft account already. Use your e-mail address and password to log in to that and it will assign you a unique Xbox username. You can change this once for free, if you'd like to personalize your account more. We can’t help with that part, but we trust that you’re creative enough to come up with something.

If you don’t already have a Microsoft Account then you can sign up for one for free with any e-mail address you own. It will ask you for some details (name, country, date of birth) and a password. Once you’ve filled that information in, you’ll be asked for an Xbox username too.

On Windows PC

If you’re on a computer using Windows, you’re likely to have a Microsoft account already, but if somehow you do not, then you can sign up for one here on the Microsoft website. Just click ‘Create Account’ and go through the steps, providing the details you’re asked for until your account is created.

Once you have a Microsoft Account, use it to log into xbox.com or the Xbox app for Windows, and just like on consoles, you’ll be assigned a username (that can be changed once for free) that will be used whenever you access the Xbox Network. You don’t need Xbox Live Gold to play Microsoft games online with a PC, but you will still need a free Xbox Live account (also sometimes known as Xbox Live Silver) to play with console-owning friends on the Xbox Network. Your username will be displayed to other people, so if you do change it, be sure to choose it carefully!

You can also use a web browser to manage your Xbox Live account or any of your other Microsoft account subscriptions, by going to the ‘Manage my Microsoft Account’ button. You can find this by clicking your avatar sitting up on the top right side of the screen, or by going to this link here, which will open the Services & Subscriptions area of the website directly.

This is a useful page that you should probably keep in your bookmarks, as you can also use it to manage Office 365, EA Play for Xbox Console, and Xbox Game Pass. It is also the website to go to should you ever purchase a digital game through the Xbox Network and have any issues.

How To Subscribe To Xbox Live Gold

What Is Xbox Live Gold?

Xbox Live Gold is an additional subscription you can choose to purchase, the main benefit of which is that it allows you to play games online with others. You won’t need it for something like Fortnite Battle Royale, but you absolutely will need it to play big AAA games such as Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite.

Active Xbox Live Gold subscribers also get given access to new games every month thanks to Games With Gold and are eligible for exclusive Microsoft Store offers thanks to Deals With Gold.

What is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate?

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is another subscription that provides users with all of the benefits of Xbox Game Pass, EA Play for Console, and Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Game Pass and EA Play are services that are a bit like Netflix, providing users with a rental library of over 100 games to play. You can download these titles, or stream them over the internet like you would for shows, movies, or music.

How To Sign Up For Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass

Now that you’re signed in, getting subscribed to Xbox Live Gold is easy. Go to the Microsoft Store, and under Games, you will find Subscriptions. Xbox Live is listed there as one of the options, alongside Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Choose the subscription plan you like, activate it, and make a note of the renewal date so that you’re not taken by surprise when it charges you again. Congrats! You now have Xbox Live Gold.

Only one account on an Xbox system requires Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass for anyone on the console to take advantage of its benefits, so you don’t need multiple subscriptions.

How Much Do Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Cost?

There are several subscription plans that you can purchase that include access to Xbox Live Gold. The table below will explain each one in more detail:

Name of PlanWhat You GetPrice
Xbox Live Gold for 1 Month
  • Online Play with Xbox Live
  • At least 4 Games With Gold a month
  • Discounts and Deals with Gold
$9.99/£6.99 a month
Xbox Live Gold for 3 Months
  • Online Play with Xbox Live
  • At least 4 Games With Gold a month
  • Discounts and Deals with Gold
$24.99/£17.99 a month
Xbox Game Pass for 1 Month
  • Does not include online play with Xbox Live
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on Xbox
  • Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda games on day-one
  • Discounts and deals with Xbox Game Pass
$9.99/£7.99 a month
Xbox Game Pass for 3 Months
  • Does not include online play with Xbox Live
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on Xbox
  • Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda games on day-one
  • Discounts and deals with Xbox Game Pass
$29.99/£23.99 every 3 months
PC Game Pass for 1 Month
  • Online Play with Xbox Live
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on PC
  • Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda games on day-one
  • EA Play for PC
  • Discounts and deals with Xbox Game Pass
$9.99/£7.99 a month
PC Game Pass for 3 Months
  • Online Play with Xbox Live
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on PC
  • Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda games on day-one
  • EA Play for PC
  • Discounts and deals with Xbox Game Pass
$29.99/£23.99 every 3 months
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for 1 Month
  • Online Play with Xbox Live
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on Xbox
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on PC
  • Xbox Cloud Gaming on Mobile
  • Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda games on day-one
  • EA Play for Console
  • EA Play for PC
  • Discounts and deals with Xbox Game Pass
  • Discounts and Deals with Gold
$14.99/£10.99 a month
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for 3 Months
  • Online Play with Xbox Live
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on Xbox
  • Unlimited access to over 100 games on PC
  • Xbox Cloud Gaming on Mobile
  • Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda games on day-one
  • EA Play for Console
  • EA Play for PC
  • Discounts and deals with Xbox Game Pass
  • Discounts and Deals with Gold
$44.99/£32.99 every 3 months

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