At the beginning of the year, Microsoft announced their plans to make it so that Xbox Live Gold membership wouldn’t require to play free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends online. The company has since started testing a dashboard update that allows this policy change.
This update also allows for party chat to be accessible to non-Gold subscribers, which is an additional plus.
Xbox Insiders in Alpha Skip Ahead & Alpha today we are flighting some new features. Multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requires an Xbox Live Gold membership as we flight and test these service changes ahead of general availability
— Brad Rossetti (@WorkWombatman) March 24, 2021
Microsoft’s decision to stop gamers having to pay for premium multiplayer games followed when they also decided to not go ahead with a Xbox Live Gold price raise. As soon as the policy change is completed for all players, Microsoft will be in line with both Nintendo and Sony, who both do not require users to subscribe to their premium multiplayer services if they want to play free-to-play titles online. This news follows the Xbox Network change spotted a few days ago. Xbox Insiders in the Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead rings are now able to download the new software.