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(Pocket-lint) - Google rivalled Apple Arcade, by introducing its own all-you-can-eat subscription pass for apps and games called Play Pass. It's been around for a couple of years now, so is no longer a brand new thing. The idea being you can play games without having to deal with annoying ads. 

It's a subscription service - sort of like a Netflix - but it gives users access to a huge catalogue of apps and games for a set monthly price.

Here's what you need to know.

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What is Google's Play Pass?

If you've downloaded an app or game at all in the past year or so, we bet it was free to install, but it immediately threw up a paywall for a subscription or in-app purchase before you could actually use it. Or - just as bad - it forces you to watch a 30 second advert after every level. To help curb this practice, and to create a new revenue stream for itself, Google launched Play Pass. 

Play Pass is a new subscription service for Android users, specifically. It uniquely offers access to apps - not just games - on Android. There were 350 Android apps at launch. Play Pass completely unlocks them all, meaning they're ad-free and have no hidden in-app purchases. Google said it plans to expand the catalogue every month, giving subscribers a reason to stick around.

How much is Play Pass?

Play Pass costs $4.99 a month in the US and £4.99 in the UK. Or you can buy an annual subscription for $29.99/£29.99. A Play Pass can be shared with up to five others who are part of your Google Family. There's also a limited free trial that lets you get a feel for the service before you sign up. 

Which devices can access Play Pass?

Play Pass is compatible with any Android device that runs Android 4.4 or later and Play Store version 16.6.25.

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How to sign up for Play Pass

Signing is as simple as accessing the Play Store app and tapping your profile picture in the top right. You’ll find a Play Pass option there. Tap on and then hit 'Get Started' to start the subscription process. 

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Which apps are available through Play Pass?

Google says there are "hundreds" of them, and about two-thirds of them will be games. There are too many to launch every single one, but there are plenty of notable game titles. The likes of Stardew Valley, Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic, and Terraria - all of which got their start on consoles - are included.

There’s also your classic time-killers like Reigns: Game of Thrones, Risk, and many more. As for apps, you can expect Accuweather, CamtoPlan, Slow Motion Video FX, and Photo Studio Pro.

Here's a list of some of the most notable titles. 

Games

  • .Projekt
  • 60 Seconds: Atomic Adventure
  • 80 Days
  • Absolute Drift
  • Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise
  • Bridge Constructor Pro
  • Chameleon Run
  • Death Squared
  • Door Kickers
  • Eloh
  • Evoland
  • Framed
  • Game Dev Tycoon
  • Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride
  • Hidden Folks
  • Hoplite
  • King’s League: Odyssey
  • Lichtspeer
  • Limbo
  • Lumino City
  • Mini Metro
  • Monument Valley 2
  • My Town Series
  • Old Man’s Journey
  • One More Line
  • Pocket City
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones
  • Risk
  • Sago Mini Pet Cafe
  • Shadow Fight 2
  • Sorcery! 4
  • Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic
  • Stardew Valley
  • Suzy Cube
  • Swordigo
  • Terraria
  • The Battle of Polytopia
  • The Bug Butcher
  • The Tiny Bang Story
  • This is the Police
  • Thomas and Friends: Race On
  • Tiny Guardians
  • Titan Quest
  • Toca Mystery House
  • Toca Nature
  • Wayward Souls

Apps

  • AccuWeather
  • CamtoPlan
  • ISS HD Live: View Earth Live
  • Photo Studio Pro
  • Pic Stitch - Collage Maker
  • Slow Motion Video FX
  • Tunable: Music Practice Tools

When will Play Pass be available and where?

Google launched Play Pass in 2019, so depending on your region it should be available to you now. 

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 23 September 2019.