Xbox Game Pass Could Save League of Legends Players $1,000 (Kind of)

If you’ve been interested in trying out League of Legends but have been put off by having to unlock more than 160 characters, Microsoft has great news for you. The hugely popular multiplayer online battle arena is Coming to Xbox Game Pass. It’s a giant partnership: The League has been around since 2009, has spawned an incredibly successful esports scene, and has even turned Netflix animated series. And the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate It is CNET’s pick for the best deal in gaming. This new partnership already makes that much better.

Having the League (and other Riot Games titles, like Valorant and Legends of Runeterra) on Game Pass isn’t a huge deal in and of itself. League of Legends is free to play, so you can’t save money by accessing the game through Game Pass. However, you can access every League of Legends champion for free as long as you maintain your Game Pass subscription.

You did the math: There are currently 162 champions in the league. They cost, on average, about $6.50 to unlock. This means you’ll save over $1,000 with Game Pass, compared to paying to unlock each individual hero. For context, that would prompt more than five years of Game Pass Ultimate. You’ll also unlock new heroes as soon as they’re released, usually about five times a year.

A few caveats worth noting: First, paying for heroes isn’t the only way to unlock them – the game allows you to unlock heroes for free over time. Players can use Blue Essence, which you gain once you level up and get the first win of the day. There is also a rotation of 16 free-to-play heroes each week, allowing you to try out other heroes for a week at a time. So you can unlock the entire roster without paying for heroes – very slowly over time.

Second, Game Pass doesn’t technically give you ownership of all 162 heroes, according to Riot’s FAQ. It unlocks them for play, but the game doesn’t consider you an owner, which means you won’t be able to buy skins for champions you’ve only unlocked with Xbox Game Pass. You will still need to purchase the hero if you want to buy skins (using paid Riot Points or free Blue Essence). Heroes and other content you unlock with Game Pass will have a special indicator as distinct from content you own.

This means that if you end your Xbox Game Pass subscription, or if the partnership ends in the future, you will no longer have access to the Champions you only unlocked through Game Pass. However, the heroes you own will still be available to you.

Riot Games titles are coming to Xbox Game Pass

League of Legends is one of the many Riot games coming to Xbox Game Pass.

Microsoft

However, this partnership is a steal if you’re new to League of Legends or Valorant, especially if you already have Game Pass. (Valant Agents can also be unlocked for free over time but cost $10 to unlock instantly. Players will save about $140 compared to paying to unlock new agents, not to mention future ones.) You will have the ability to try out new heroes and agents at will, And they can still permanently “buy” the people you really like for free, just by playing the game.

You can associate your Riot account with your Xbox profile by going to the Xbox sign in page and signing in to both your Xbox and Riot accounts. If you already have a Game Pass, you should get a notification when you log into the game once the content has been unlocked. Riot says this process can take up to 24 hours.

If you are not already a subscriber, Xbox Game Pass For PC, it costs $10 per month, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which combines console and PC, and also includes cloud gaming, is $15 per month.

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