How to gift Nintendo Switch online and other gaming services

If you love a gamer but would rather die than walk into a GameStop and ask an employee what game to buy them, you might want to consider a game service as an alternate giveaway.

First of all, a primer. A game subscription service is similar to your Netflix or HBO Max. For a monthly subscription, you have access to a library of content (in this case, games) that you can enjoy as long as you are a subscriber. An online multiplayer service is a subscription that you pay to play with other people online. Two major console makers, Nintendo and Microsoft, have combined them into one subscription (and Sony reportedly intends to follow suit), but there is a difference.

It should also be noted that standard gift cards on a game console’s online store (e.g. Nintendo eShop, Microsoft Store, etc.) can also be used for these services, which are also always good options. . And unless otherwise specified, the price listed is for an annual subscription. Okay, let’s go!

12-month Nintendo Switch Online membership

The essential: In addition to online play, Nintendo’s subscription service includes a free library of classic NES and SNES games, as well as access to online voice chat through the Nintendo Switch Online app and cloud storage, which allows you to save online game data. Nintendo also recently rolled out an “Expansion Pass” for Switch Online. The $ 50 annual subscription adds a library of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, as well as the Animal crossing: new horizons DLC.

How to offer it: You can purchase a Nintendo Switch Online digital gift subscription at most major retailers or pick up a physical gift card in stores. (Best Buy also has the option of purchasing a physical gift card online.) An annual membership costs $ 20, but a family membership, which can be used by up to eight people, is also available for $ 35.

PlayStation Plus: 12 month subscription

The essential: Unlike Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony is still separating its online service, PlayStation Plus, from its games subscription service, PlayStation Now. (Although Bloomberg reports that the company plans to merge them soon.) PlayStation Plus is currently the best deal, as it also includes a library of monthly free games in addition to online multiplayer, although it is true that a library much smaller than the one offered by PlayStation Now.

How to offer: Digital Gift Cards are available for PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, in 1-month, 3-month, and 12-month increments. You can also find physical gift cards in the stores of most major retailers.

Microsoft Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

The essential: In 2019, Microsoft combined its online multiplayer service, Xbox Live Gold, with its game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, into a mega-service, with EA Play (see below) for good measure. Yes, you can technically still buy them separately, but Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is by far the best value for money. It includes online play, a huge library of Xbox games, including access to Xbox Game Studios games on release day, and most notably is accessible on both console and PC. Microsoft is also currently offering its cloud gaming beta exclusively to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. (Be careful though: you need an extremely strong and stable internet connection to participate.)

How to offer: Of course, Microsoft offers both physical and digital Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gift cards, in 1-month and 3-month increments. (Price shown is for a 3 month subscription.)

EA Play

The essential: EA’s Games Subscription service provides access to a library of EA titles, including early access to new versions days before release. However, the base $ 30 / year subscription only includes up to ten hours of playtime at these new games. An EA Play Pro subscription costs a lot more ($ 100 / year), but it offers unlimited access to new versions of EA.

It should be noted that the basic subscription is included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (see above) but you can also purchase a subscription separately. This option only makes sense for someone who is, like, a huge fan of sports games (and / or just has a PlayStation console.)

How to offer: EA offers both physical and digital gift cards, just make sure you buy the correct version (PlayStation, Xbox, or PC) as you cannot use EA Play on different platforms.

Ubisoft +

The essential: Ubisoft has adopted the ubiquitous “+” naming convention in the streaming world for its game subscription service, which offers a library of over 100 Ubisoft games on PC. This includes day one access to new titles, complete with DLC. For an additional $ 3 per month, you can upgrade to a “multi-access plan” that includes cloud gaming through Google Stadia or Amazon Luna.

How to offer: Unfortunately, Ubisoft doesn’t even offer Ubisoft Store gift cards, so your best bet is to hand over $ 15 in cash every month.

Humble choice

The essential: Humble Choice is unique in that unlike the rest of the game subscription services on this list, the games are yours, even if you cancel your subscription. Each month, Humble hosts a bundle of up to 12 PC games – typically indie titles across a range of genres – for $ 20 a month. (There’s also a more traditional library of Humble Original games, called Humble Trove, which you can download and play as long as you’re a subscriber.) A “Basic” membership with three games is available for $ 15 per month, and if you just want the Humble Trove, you can get a “Lite” subscription for $ 5 per month. Humble also donates 5% of each membership to a monthly charity.

How to offer: Humble makes it easy to offer a Humble subscription: just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Offer a subscription”.

Apple Arcade

The essential: Apple’s mobile game subscription service includes a library of exclusive iOS games with no in-app purchases or ads. The basic subscription can also be used by up to five people, making family sharing easy at no additional cost.

How to offer: Apple doesn’t offer specific Apple Arcade gift subscriptions, but a $ 50 Apple Store gift card will cover an annual subscription. A 3 month subscription is also included with new Apple devices.

Google Play Pass

The essential: Basically, the Android version of Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass also offers a library of mobile games that can be shared by up to five family members. The difference with Apple Arcade is that the games aren’t subscription exclusive, which means you can purchase them individually if you want to. Still, that would be much more expensive than the annual subscription fee of $ 30.

How to offer: Just like Apple Arcade, Google doesn’t offer an individual Google Play Pass subscription, but you can still purchase a Google Play gift card. They don’t come in the $ 30 increment that would cover one year of Google Play, but Amazon does allow you to send digital gift cards in personalized amounts.

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