Fortnite Battle Royale is free-to-play, but it has an added wrinkle on consoles. While it’s officially free to play on PC from the Epic Games Store, consoles often lock multiplayer content behind a paywall. And that’s pretty annoying. On Xbox, that means Xbox Live. So do you need Xbox Live to play Fortnite?
There are two tiers to Xbox Live, Gold and Free. The Free tier allows use of friends lists and other basic social features, but that used to be all there was to it. At least that was the case until a few months ago. Gold used to be required to play games online and access more advanced social features. Free players could only get a few basic features, but not anymore.
Microsoft finally changed that earlier this year. Various games that were free-to-play like Warframe, Path of Exile and Fortnite used to require Xbox Live Gold to play online. And being online games, that means you couldn’t play the game at all, while it was free on other platforms, without paying Microsoft some cash. So that’s great news, as these games are now truly free on the green machine.
It wasn’t all good news for Xbox Live Gold over the last few months though, as the company behind the gaming service made some huge changes. After nixing the sale of all 12-month subscription codes, limiting users to 6-month blocks, things only got worse. As gamers expected to pay more, Microsoft went for the 1-2 punch of bad news. The company effectively tried to double the cost of all Xbox Live paid tiers at the same time by increasing prices across the board. Gamers really hated this.
So as of now, you no longer need to share paid Xbox accounts to get online. No more messing about with Home Xbox chicanery to play F2P games.
Microsoft has now made it so “multiplayer in Free-to-play games, Looking 4 Groups and Party Chat on Xbox no longer requires an Xbox Live Gold membership,”