Everything you need to know about Google Play Pass

Just days after Apple announced its subscription gaming service called Apple Arcade, Google officially launched the Google Play Pass service, which is also a subscription-based service for apps and games. Here’s everything that you need to know about this new Google Play Pass service.


Key Features of Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass is a subscription service that allows users to download a variety of games and apps for free of cost that would normally cost anywhere from $0.99 to $9.99 per download.

The subscription also allows users to unlock in-app purchases and expansion packs that would normally cost additional to gamers.

The company is also allowing you to share the subscription with up to five family members. However, note that if you are subscribed to Play Pass, you won’t be able to download and own one of the apps the traditional way as it will only be tied to the subscription.

  • Monthly subscription service
  • Costs $4.99 per month after introductory offer
  • Free access to compatible apps and games
  • No annoying IAPs or ads
  • No in-app purchases and expansion packs
  • Can be shared with up to 5 family members

Compatible Apps and Games

At the moment, Google Play Pass supports about 274 apps and games and the company is adding more apps and games continuously. The company has confirmed that it will add more content to the subscription service every month.

Android Police has created a list of supported apps and is continuously updating it. Click here to check it out. Popular games on Play Pass include “Thimbleweed Park,” “Monument Valley” series and “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.” Apps included on Play Pass include “Dictionary.com Premium,” “VoiceTooner,” and “Perfect Piano.”


How to use Google Play Pass?

Apart from advertisements in Google Play, “Play Pass” will show up in the navigation drawer. Once you have subscribed to the service, a new bottom bar section will appear in the Play Store ahead of tabs for “Games” and “Apps.”

Content carousels will be displayed in the dedicated section with the feed being personalized to each user. The Play Pass ticket icon will appear throughout Google Play — including in listings — to indicate that the listed app or game is included as part of the subscription.

The included apps and games are marked by a fast forward icon in the four Google Play colors. Further, store listings will also promote when a game is a part of Play Pass subscription with a purple banner underneath the buy button.

Pricing and Availability

Google was being offered a limited-time discount where users were able to get the subscription for the Play Pass for only $1.99 per month which starts after a 10-day free trial. This discounted pricing was applicable for the first twelve months of service.

However, that introductory offer period is now over and is the pricing for the subscription is now $4.99 per month which is similar to the pricing of Apple Arcade.

Currently, Google’s Play Pass service is limited to Android users in the United States. The service will be rolled out to other countries but the company has not yet revealed any details related to that.

  • Costs $4.99 per month
  • Currently limited to the US


How is it different from Apple Arcade?

While the Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass seems similar, it’s because they are. While they are both subscription-based services, there are some key differences that are quite important in making a choice if you need to choose anyone.

Apple Arcade is exclusively for games while the Google Play Pass supports both games as well as apps. While the games that are a part of Apple Arcade are exclusive, the same is not the case for Play Pass. The apps and games can be purchased seperately if you are not a subscriber.

Now, coming to availability. While the Apple Arcade is limited to iOS devices, the Play Pass is limited to Android and Chrome OS. Also, Apple Arcade is coming to several countries from 1st November (including India for ₹99 per month), while the Play Pass is currently limited to the United States of America.