In a news post detailing the upcoming open beta for the Xbox Series X/S version, the publisher notes that while Xbox Game Pass Core isn’t required for the open beta, it will be needed for the final release of the game.
“The Free Trial version, including the open beta test, will not require an Xbox Game Pass (Core or Ultimate) plan to play,” Square Enix’s disclaimer reads.
“However, the full Xbox Series X|S version will require an Xbox Game Pass (Core or Ultimate) plan to play.”
Xbox Game Pass Core (formerly known as Xbox Live Gold) used to be needed to play all online multiplayer games. However, in April 2021 Microsoft removed this requirement for free-to-play games.
However, it appears that because the final version of Final Fantasy 14 will either have an initial cost or will be a free download but requires a paid subscription to play through it, it’s therefore not a free-to-play game and therefore requires Xbox Game Pass Core to play it online.
While the general situation is similar on PlayStation – in which PlayStation Plus is needed to play paid games online, but not free-to-play ones – the situation with Final Fantasy 14 is different, in that players don’t require PS Plus to play it.
Square Enix announced today that the Final Fantasy 14 Xbox Series X/S open beta start date is February 21.
The publisher then plans to fully launch the Xbox Series X/S version immediately after the open beta ends – it’s at this point where an Xbox Game Pass Core subscription will be needed.