Making the Most of Subscription Gaming

The best gaming subscription services give you a constant supply of awesome games to play, either by downloading to your console or streaming directly from the cloud. But if you’re going to pay every month for a subscription gaming service, you need to use it in a smart way to get the most out of it. Here’s how.

The best subscription gaming services

There are only a few subscription gaming services available, one for each of the console platforms and a couple of wild cards. Consider the best options:

PlayStation Plus

Sony’s online subscription allows you to play online multiplayer games on your PS4 and PS5. The lowest tier, PlayStation Plus Essential, entitles you to two new PS4 and PS5 games a month, while the highest tier, PlayStation Plus Premium, includes more than 500 PS4 and PS5 games you can download anytime, plus a back catalog of more than 400 PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4 and PSP games you can play.

Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft’s gaming subscription allows you to play hundreds of games on your Xbox console, PC or even on your smartphone, tablet or smart TV, using the Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta. There are hundreds of games available with more added every month. Crucially, new games from Xbox Game Studios—like the upcoming Payday 3—are released on Game Pass the same day they go on sale.

Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo’s gaming subscription service allows you to play a back catalog of NES, SNES, Game Boy and N64 games on your Switch. While it doesn’t have the biggest library, it has some of the best classic games.

Apple Arcade

If you’re more of a mobile gamer, Apple Arcade is the gaming subscription for you. It includes more than 200 great mobile games you can play on your iPhone, iPad, Mac and even your Apple TV.

In addition to these great streaming game services, also check out:

  • EA Play – A selection of EA games available on Xbox, PlayStation and PC.
  • Ubisoft Plus – Hundreds of Ubisoft games, including day-one releases available on PC, with a smaller library available on Xbox.
  • Amazon Luna/Prime Gaming – Amazon offers a large selection of games as a cloud gaming subscription and includes a limited selection of titles you can stream with Prime.
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The advantages of subscription gaming services

Gaming subscription services have now reached the point where they can be a great option for gamers who like to play a lot of different games. Some of the big advantages:

  • You never run out of games. With hundreds of games across multiple decades to choose from, it’s practically impossible for you to play them all. If you’re always looking for something different, you’ll find it there.
  • You can discover games you wouldn’t have otherwise played. Some of my favorite games are ones I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy. If I’d had to spend $50 on them, I probably wouldn’t have tried them. With a subscription service, there’s no risk to trying any games.
  • You can revisit older games. Subscription services are often the only way to legally play older games on newer consoles. If you want to revisit some of your childhood faves, they’re the best way to do it.
  • You often get games for free. Some gaming subscriptions, like PlayStation Plus, are included as part of the same plan that lets you play online multiplayer games. If you already plan to subscribe, it means any extra games you get are essentially free!
  • There are no extra ads or microtransactions. Unless a game includes ads or microtransactions, you won’t see any extra ones.

Of course, subscription gaming services aren’t without downsides:

  • They generally don’t include the newest games. Although Xbox Games Pass stands out for including the newest first-party games from Microsoft, most of the latest and greatest games like “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” are only available for purchase and may not ever come to a subscription service.
  • You need to keep an active subscription. While some services allow you to keep the games you download forever, most require you to stay subscribed to keep playing the games in their library.
  • You need a solid internet connection. If you want to quickly download different titles, play online multiplayer games or stream games from the cloud, you’ll need a strong, stable internet connection. If you don’t have it already, check if fiber is available in your area.

How to make the most of gaming subscriptions

There are a few ways to guarantee you’re making the most of any gaming subscription or cloud gaming service you’re paying for. Some of the most important are:

  • Check for new games every month. Gaming subscription services are always adding new games, so make sure to check what’s new or coming soon every month. This way, you won’t miss any great games you’ve wanted to play for a while.
  • Dig deep into the back catalog. Some of the best games on the top gaming subscription services are 2, 5, 15 or even 30 years old. Make sure you look through the back catalog to find any classics you’ve missed or want to revisit.
  • Don’t have too many gaming subscriptions at the same time. There can be some overlap between the services, so be careful you’re not paying for more subscriptions than you need. The costs add up.
  • Upgrade your internet connection. The faster and more stable your internet service, the faster you’ll be able to download and play games. It’s one of the surest ways to make the most of a gaming subscription or cloud gaming service.

Experience a future of wins with Frontier Fiber

When you’re uploading and downloading to play, give yourself the fiber advantage. Frontier Fiber was rated #1 internet service provider for online gaming in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ready, set, Frontier Fiber! Frontier Fiber is available in select areas—check here to see when it’s available at your address.

Product features and availability may have changed and are subject to change.

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