If you want to give a friend or family member a video game for their birthday or for Christmas, it’s typically easier to hand them a physical copy they can just pop in their system. However, Microsoft is changing that, as all Xbox One and PC games can now be digitally gifted through the Microsoft store.
The feature was previously available for many Xbox One games, but it has been expanded to include every single Xbox One game on the digital store. You can also gift downloadable content and even subscription time to the Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass services.
If you are on your Xbox One, gifting a game is as easy as selecting the game in the store, choosing the “buy as gift” option and then selecting your friend’s Gamertag from your “friends” list. They’ll then get a notification with a button they can press to redeem the gift. If you gift it from a web browser or the Windows 10 Microsoft store, you can enter their email address and they’ll receive a code to enter on their system.
Beginning today, May 11, all PC games available through the Microsoft store can also be digitally gifted, along with downloadable content. Paid apps on both Xbox One and PC will also be coming in the future.
There are a few stipulations for the games you can send as gifts. You must be in the same country or region as the person who bought your gift in order for it to be redeemable, and those purchasing gifts can only buy two discounted titles every two weeks — all others must be made at full price, so you can’t go nuts during a sale. You can’t purchase original Xbox or Xbox 360 games for friends, and you can’t buy virtual currency for use in games. In case you’re a crazy person, you also can’t gift a game that is already free.
“We are hard at work on improving digital gifting, adding new capabilities, as well as support for new content types,” Microsoft store product marketing senior director John Smith said in an update post. “We look forward to bringing you updates on the gifting of paid PC and Xbox apps soon.”
One of the first games you might want to gift is State of Decay 2. It releases May 22 for Xbox One and PC, and it supports cross-platform play.