How to Get Free Trials of Xbox LIVE Gold
By James Holloway
Updated September 22, 2017
Xbox Live Gold allows Xbox 360 or Xbox One users to take advantage of all the features of Xbox Live, from online multiplayer to free games. Xbox Live Free users can also get temporary free trial memberships to try out Xbox Live. Alert users can pick up free Xbox Live trials by looking out for free weekends or picking up trial codes included with games.
From the Home Screen
Users who have an Xbox Live Free account may see offers of free Gold trials appear in the Xbox Live window of their console's home screen. These free trials allow users to access all the features of Gold for a limited time. Be careful, because they automatically renew as paid accounts at the end of the month. If you don't want to be charged, you must cancel before this time. Each profile can do this up to three times.
Microsoft periodically runs Gold Weekends, short-term promotions where Xbox Live Gold is free for all users. These occur at different times and may apply only to one console; for example, the May 2014 free weekend was available only on the Xbox 360.
New games, especially those that heavily feature online components, often include codes for free trial subscriptions to Gold. These free subscriptions usually last a month. An Xbox Live user can use any number of these promotional trials, although each promotional code can be used only once.
Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.