In my late-teens, I worked at the Australian version of GameStop, EB Games. My employee discount combined with an affinity for gaming, and I quickly found myself buying a new release nearly every week. After realizing I was plugging most of my paycheck back into the same store from which I earned it, I challenged myself to see if I could find a way to support my gaming without paying a cent. I did, and now my library is exclusively updated with the addition of FREE GAMES.
Although it takes a bit of time, the method I found WORKS, and in 2019 alone I bought the following games on Xbox One for (almost) $0.00 out of pocket:
- The Bioshock Collection
- Okami HD
- Redout (plus all DLCs)
- Darksiders: Warmastered Edition
- Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition
- Final Fantasy VII
- Mass Effect
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Standard Edition
- Halo: Reach
- Star Wars: KOTOR
Now that I have your attention, you’ll be pleased to learn that not only is what follows legal, but it’s made possible directly through Microsoft! Microsoft has a little-known, points-based program named ‘Microsoft Rewards’ (“MR”). This program rewards participants for completing ‘Daily Sets’, using Bing Search on your phone and PC, and for checking out new content on your Xbox One (using the Rewards App).
To get started, all you will need to do is log into your Microsoft Account (the email that is linked to your Xbox profile) on the Xbox.com homepage. Once you have logged in, click on your profile in the top right-hand corner of the page, and click on ‘My Microsoft Account.
This link will take you to your Microsoft Account. From here, simply click the MR ‘Dashboard’ in the blue ribbon at the top of the page. Once there, you will have access to the Daily Sets, Point Redemption Portal, and other cool MR tools.
Completing each Daily Set will usually net your around 50 points, and if you complete ‘Daily Sets’ for enough days in a row, you’ll also earn bonuses of up to 75-points. On top of this, you can earn another 100 points daily for using the Bing app to conduct 20 unique searches, and another 150-points for 30 unique searches on your PC. In all, this means you can usually earn a minimum of 250-points per day (and 500+ points per day during ‘Double XP’ months).
Once you have enough points, you can redeem your MR points for a wide assortment of rewards – Walmart and AMC gift cards, donations to charities, Xbox Live subscriptions – but the best value, in my opinion, is redeeming them for Xbox/Microsoft gift cards. Typically, you can get $1.00 of Xbox/Microsoft credit for every 1,000 points, but if you net at least 500 points each month, you’ll earn ‘Level 2’ rewards status and get a discount on your redemptions. Once you have the gift card balance, simply redeem it for free games!
This might seem like a lot of effort for very little reward, and there’s some truth to that. However, the MR system is so accessible that the Daily Sets and searches can be completed in almost 1-minute, and during time that is otherwise unproductive. For my own part, I complete the ‘Daily Set’ (50+ points) and 20x Bing searches (100 points) from my phone while brushing my teeth in the morning. At some point during every day, I am home and on my computer, and so I quickly open up the Bing browser and complete 30 quick searches – sometimes it’s headline news searches, updates on investments, or gaming articles – for an easy 150 points. You could also quicken the pace by simply searching ‘1’, ‘11’, ‘111’ and so on until you hit 30 searches.
You will always want to check the ‘Points Breakdown’ when you’re done to make sure that all of your searches and Daily Sets have logged.
Doing this for enough time will eventually net you tens-of-thousands of points which you can redeem for the gift card of your choice. For my own part, I redeemed just shy of 60,000 points at the beginning of November to buy Modern Warfare outright:
So, the going may be slow, and there will be times when you’re tempted to just give up – but you shouldn’t. Not only will this Microsoft Rewards system work to get you FREE games, FREE DLC, and FREE food, but what else are you going to do while brushing your teeth!?