Gaming Gaming Services 336 336 people found this article helpful How Much Does Xbox Live Cost? Choose between a free or Gold subscription By Eric Qualls Writer Former Lifewire writer Eric Qualls has been covering the Xbox line of consoles and Xbox games since August 2004. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Eric Qualls Updated March 18, 2020 Xbox Buyer's Guide Xbox Buyer's Guide Introduction Xbox Basics Best Xbox 360 Console For You Xbox Basics The Original Xbox One Xbox Family Settings What Is Xbox Live? How Much Does Xbox Live Cost? What is Xbox Live Gold? Buying Xbox Live Gold Xbox One Console Bundles Xbox One Exclusives Best Xbox One Games The Best Xbox One Games The Best Xbox One X Games Best Multiplayer Xbox One Games Best First-Person Shooter Games Best Xbox One RPGs Best Xbox One War Games Best Xbox One Kids Games Best Xbox One Sports Games Best Split-Screen Xbox One Games Best Xbox One Fantasy Games Best Co-Op Games on Xbox One Best Xbox One Racing Games Best Xbox One Zombie Games Best Open-World Xbox One Games Best Xbox One Strategy Games Best Xbox One Puzzle Games Best Xbox One Shooter Games Best Xbox 360 Games Best Xbox 360 Games By Genre Best Xbox 360 Kinect Games Best Xbox 360 Racing Games Best Xbox 360 Games Best Xbox 360 Local Multiplayer Games Best Xbox 360 RPGs Best Xbox 360 First-Person Shooters Best Xbox 360 Fighting Games Best Xbox Live Classic Games Best Kids Xbox 360 & Kinect Games Xbox Essentials Best Xbox One Accessories Best Xbox One Headsets Best Xbox Controllers Best Xbox One Apps Xbox Reviews Xbox One Elite Controller Review Xbox One Energizer Charging System Review Xbox One S Controller Review Xbox One X Review Xbox One Chatpad Review Tweet Share Email With Xbox Live, you can play with other gamers online, download demos, view trailers, and even find full games for free in the Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360. Anyone can sign up for a free Xbox Live account, but a Gold subscription to Xbox Live costs $9.99-$4.99 per month depending on your plan. Lifewire / Chloe Giroux Xbox Live on the original Xbox console is no longer available. To use Xbox Live, you must have an Xbox 360 or Xbox One as well as a broadband internet service provider. What Comes With a Free Xbox Live Account? When you register your Xbox Live account, you'll choose a nickname (called a Gamertag), which is how you will be known to other people in any games you play. You can keep friends lists to keep in touch with real-life friends or new people you meet online you like to play with. The free Xbox Live service gives you access to voice chat as well as the Xbox Live Marketplace, but you can't play games online. You can use all of the various video apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and WWE Network as well without a Gold subscription. That said, you don't need an Xbox game console to take advantage of Xbox Live. Since Microsoft also makes Windows, your Xbox Live account will automatically integrate with many PC games. That way, you can share your achievements and utilize other social features to interact with fellow gamers. What is a Gold Membership? Xbox Live Gold is a subscription-based service that can be purchased in one month, three month, and one year periods. Xbox Live Gold subscriptions are $59.99 for 12 months, $24.99 for three months, and $9.99 for one month. The paid Xbox Live Gold service gives you all of the free level features along with the ability to play games with friends online as well as early access to demos. Gold members also benefit from discounts and free games every month, making the price well worth it for frequent gamers. How to Purchase Xbox Live Xbox Live does not require a credit card to sign up. You can use one, but you can also buy Xbox Live Gift Cards or Gold subscription cards at retailers. You just pick up a Gold subscription card at a retailer and enter the code on your Xbox. You can also purchase an Xbox Live subscription from the official Xbox Live website and through your Xbox 360 or Xbox One console. For security protection, it's better to buy Xbox Live Gift Cards and Gold Subscription cards at retailers instead of using a credit card online. Xbox Live on Xbox 360 vs Xbox One Your Xbox Live account will work on your Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You'll sign in with the same Gamertag on both systems. The Xbox One has a unique feature in that one Xbox Live Gold Subscription applies to all of the profiles on the system, whereas Xbox 360 requires each profile to have a separate Gold subscription to play online.