Players Say Xbox Game Pass Glitch Is Stopping Them From Playing Some Games

Players Say Xbox Game Pass Glitch Is Stopping Them From Playing Some Games

Xbox Game Pass is supposed to enable Xbox owners to play more games, not less. Unfortunately, over the last few days, some Xbox One owners have reported being unable to play certain games they own due to an error with Game Pass, a problem Microsoft has confirmed it’s looking into.

Photo: Marco Verch (Flickr)

Xbox Game Pass is a monthly program that lets subscribers install and play various games from the console’s library. It’s like PlayStation Plus, except the games don’t switch out each month. For $10.95 per month you could play Gears of War 4, Resident Evil 6 and 166 other games. However, three players have shared stories about being unable to start games they actually own outright if those games happen to also be included in Game Pass while they aren’t subscribed.

A user who goes by nerdaftermathfx posted their experience on Reddit of being unable to play Rise of the Tomb Raider despite having a physical disc. “I keep getting a message telling me to renew my game pass,” they wrote. “Funny thing is I dont have game pass. Never have.” They said they tried resetting the console and uninstalling and reinstalling the game, but still got the same error message. Trying to disconnect the console from the internet and play offline didn’t work either, according to them, as the Xbox One kept telling them it needed to connect to Xbox Live in order for them to proceed. They emailed Kotaku a photo of the error they keep getting.

Players Say Xbox Game Pass Glitch Is Stopping Them From Playing Some Games

Another user, RodCCL, reported the same issue with Halo 5. They did have Game Pass at one time, but let it expire a few weeks ago. Despite having a physical disc, they too kept getting the “Please renew your Game Pass” message every time they tried to play the game. Resetting, reinstalling, and trying to play offline didn’t work for them either. “If I try to install the game while being offline, I get the error ‘0x8b050066,'” RodCCL wrote.

Other players reported anecdotally having similar issues throughout the thread, including one person trying to play Mad Max, another game currently in the Game Pass library.

Microsoft says a fix is coming. “We’re committed to ensuring customers have access to games they have acquired,” an Xbox rep told Kotaku in an email. “We’re aware of the claims and working to validate and resolve.”

So far Microsoft hasn’t elaborated on what’s causing the issue, exactly how widespread it is, or whether there are any existing workarounds. In one of the Reddit threads on the topic, Major Nelson, director of programming for Xbox Live, said the right teams inside Microsoft were investigating the problem, but couldn’t share any more information at this time.

In January, Microsoft announced that Game Pass would feature some first-party games on release day, including Sea of Thieves, which releases next week on March 20.


  • I can’t help but giggle that they were just pointing fingers at others for “blocking” certain features and now a bug blocks their own players from simply playing.

    Yes, I’m being facetious, it reminds me a PS+ bug I had a while back that kept telling me to renew my subscription when it was already renewed and active.
    Pain in the arse.

    • It’s just an oversight with game pass. I had rise of the tomb raider installed, from when I owned the disc.
      I don’t have the disc anymore, but I do have game pass.
      I was expecting to have to redownload, as I thought the system would recognise it as a different game. But it just started right away. Even had my save file in tact.
      I was very happy.

      Gotta take the good with the bad.

      • I feel people’s opinion on “taking the good with the bad” would be considerably different if anyone who buys Sea of Thieves next week without a Game Pass is locked out of the game.

        I mean, I’m sure they’ll fix it by then, or at least temporarily give everyone access to Game Pass until they can fix it. Having people locked out of the biggest Xbox exclusive of the quarter (entire year?) day one wouldn’t be the best outcome.

      • From the start of this gen, digital and physical have been the same install on x1, the only difference is where it checks for the license.

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