Xbox Live Gold membership will not be required to play free-to-play multiplayer games, Microsoft has announced. The company shared the development through its Xbox Insider program release note as part of the latest Alpha Skip-Ahead update. The OS update that is currently being tested has been released for Xbox Insiders and brings some fixes, along with making free-to-play multiplayer games work without Xbox Live Gold membership. Additionally, features like Party Chat and Looking for Groups will not require a Gold membership.
On the Xbox Insider page, the company shared some new features and developments that are part of the Xbox Update Preview. With OS updated version RS_XBOX_DEV_FLIGHT21343.1001.210322-1900, free-to-play multiplayer games like Call of Duty: Warzone and Destiny 2 that required an Xbox Live Gold membership to play online can be played without an active membership. Additionally, features like Looking for Groups and Party Chat that previously only worked for Xbox Live Gold members will now work without the membership.
Xbox Live Gold costs Rs. 489 per month in India and allows Xbox users to play online with their friends and also brings monthly free games.
However, the company notes that Call of Duty: Warzone and Destiny 2, in particular, are yet not supported without Xbox Live Gold membership and that the team is working with the studios to push an update that will allow these games to be played without it. The post adds that users should report if they come across any other such titles that do not work without Xbox Live Gold membership.
The OS update also brings some fixes like selecting items with a controller on Edge has been fixed, issues with keyboard navigation have been addressed, local language display has been fixed, and more. The Xbox Wireless Headset firmware comes with a fix for volume control for status tones and increases in mic monitoring levels.
As of now, there is no information on when this update will have a stable release for all Xbox users. It should be noted that PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 players do not require a PS Plus membership to play Call of Duty: Warzone online with their friends and this has been the case all along.