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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

What Is Google Play Pass? Should You Subscribe?

Mobile gaming fans might be interested in Google’s often overlooked Play Pass subscription service. Play Pass is an affordable way to get a mix of games and apps on your Android phone, including some of our picks for the best mobile games. We have all the details and a few recommendations for you.

Are you married to your Xbox Game Pass subscription for life? If so, you might want to check out some of our other buying guides to improve your experience, such as the Best Mobile Game Controllers or the Best Gaming Headsets

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What Does Google Play Pass Include, and How Much Is It?


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Google Play Pass offers hundreds of Android games and apps (close to 1,000 in total). The library boasts many titles that usually cost money, and there are no ads or in-app purchases in any of the included content. Apps and games that usually contain ads or in-app purchases are ad-free with extra content unlocked with Play Pass.

If you want to subscribe, you can pay $5 per month or $30 per year (£5 and £30, respectively, in the UK). You can share a subscription with up to five other family members. You can each download, install, and play different apps and games just as though you have individual memberships.

How to Subscribe to Google Play Pass

It’s easy to subscribe on an Android device. Here’s how:

Open the Play Store on your Android device.Tap your profile avatar at the top right.Tap on Play Pass.If you want to pay monthly at $5/month then tap Get Started, or you can save some cash and pay annually by tapping the yearly subscription link at $30/year.Select your payment method and tap Subscribe.

Once you subscribe, you will see a new tab in the Play Store app at the far left, titled Play Pass. Content is organized into different categories, and you can find the latest additions under New, or check out Top Charts to see what is popular. There is also a handy Children tab with recommendations for different ages.

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You can manage your subscription in the Play Store by tapping your profile at the top right and choosing Payments and subscriptions > Subscriptions.

Best Google Play Pass Games

There is a good selection of Android games in Play Pass. Google adds new content frequently, but it also sometimes removes games. Here are just a few of the best Play Pass games right now:

Cut the RopeDead CellsGame Dev StoryHidden FolksKingdom Rush (multiple titles)Layton: Curious Village in HD (multiple titles)LimboMini MetroMonument Valley (and Monument Valley 2)Pocket CityReigns (multiple titles)RISK: Global DominationStardew ValleyStar Wars: KOTORTerrariaThimbleweed ParkVery Little NightmaresBest Google Play Pass Apps

It’s easy to forget that Play Pass includes several Android apps. Here are my top picks right now:

Floor Plan CreatorLockMyPix Secret Photo VaultMoon+ Reader ProRelax RainTaskerToca Mini (multiple titles)Sound MeterIs Google Play Pass Worth It?

There are loads of game subscription services to choose from. You can play Xbox or PC games on your Android phone, access PlayStation games, or play the latest releases with Google Stadia. By comparison, Play Pass offers a handful of popular mobile games. It's probably not worthwhile for everyone.

I find the annual subscription great value for my family. I have a tower defense addiction, so I’m working through the Kingdom Rush series. Play Pass is also great for the kids, as they can pick any game, and I don’t have to worry about ads or in-app purchases.

It’s a tougher sell for individuals. You really need to delve into the list of available Play Pass games and apps to see whether there’s enough included. None of the games or apps are exclusive to Play Pass, so if there are only a couple you want, it makes more sense to buy them outright. You only have access to Play Pass content as long as you are a subscriber, whereas if you buy an app or game, you own it.

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