How to save up to 60% off up to 3 years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (in 2 easy steps)

My Gamertag is almost old enough to vote, but regardless of the age of your account – there’s an awesome deal on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate out there (as of July 2020) and I’ll tell you how to get it below.

Before you start, log into your Microsoft account and see how much time you have remaining on your Xbox Live Gold subscription here: https://account.microsoft.com/services/

Step 1: Even though Microsoft *just* put an end to the 12-month subscription, you can still get 12-month subscription codes online from various retailers (though when I did it with Amazon, they suspected fraud and locked out my account – so be careful).

The easiest way for me ended up being to use the Get Help app that’s built into Windows (just click Start and type Get Help) to chat with MS support staff and place an order to get me up to 36 months of Xbox Live Gold credit at the $59.99/12-month price.

Step 2: Once your account is showing that you’re covered for service for the next 36 months you should see an offer to upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for only $1.  That’s 93% off the purchase price for one month!

So, in summary:

  1. Pre-pay for the next 36 months of Xbox Live Gold.
  2. Convert your subscription to Microsoft Game Pass Ultimate.
  3. Profit

In fact, Microsoft even has a detailed (now year old) blog post that explains how to do it.  If you couldn’t figure out from my post, maybe check out theirs.

Anyway, by my rough math on a lunch break at work, 36 months (3 years) of Xbox Live Gold at $59.99 amounts to $179.97.

At $14.99/mo, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which offers a lot more in the way of services) would cost $539.64 for the same 36 months.

So by maxing out your account to the 36 month pre-paid limit before upgrading, you can save a maximum of about 60%.

Do it. Do it now!

Since this deal has been around for about a year, I’d imagine it will end soon.  Microsoft has a big Xbox press conference slated for next week… so that’d be an opportune time to communicate new deals, offers, and pricing structures that will probably not be anywhere near as generous.

How to Set-up Minecraft for Cross-platform Multiplayer

After poking around a bit, I was able to get my kids set-up with Minecraft cross-platform multiplayer.

See the link in the previous paragraph for details.

Once you set it up, and add your kids and their friends, they’ll be able to join each other’s games through the Xbox Live service for free (though accessing it via Nintendo Switch requires their paid online service “Nintendo Switch Online” for access).

Once everything is configured according to the details of that article, you’ll need to be able to easily share links to the relevant Xbox Live accounts.

Here’s an example:

https://account.xbox.com/en-us/profile?gamertag=Sample%20Gamertag

You can just modify it by deleting “Sample%20Gamertag” and adding whatever gamertag you wish.  Be sure to replace any spaces in the gamertag with “%20” to ensure that the link is URL encoded and stays intact when pasted into emails and various messaging apps.

Asking friends to add your Xbox Live account via a link allows them to do it from any device and also coaches them to get logged in with their own account first before they can add yours – which is a great way to help them figure out what their own XBL account is since not everyone knows off the top of their head (especially when it comes to parents setting up accounts for their kids).