Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass

With the launch of iOS 13, Apple released Apple Arcade, a new $4.99 per month gaming service that provides unlimited access to new and exclusive games.

Less than two weeks later, Google announced its own gaming service called Play Pass, which also offers unlimited access to games. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with both services to compare them.


Both Apple Arcade and Play Pass are priced at $4.99 per month. Apple offers a one-month free trial while Google offers a 10-day free trial, but for the first year, Google is offering a deal that drops the price of Play Pass to $1.99 per month.

Though the prices are similar, the two services are quite different. Apple Arcade features new and exclusive games, some of which were funded by Apple, while Google's Play Pass offers up older games.

Play Pass includes some super popular titles like Stardew Valley, Reigns, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Terraria, and more, but the problem with older games is that many people may have already played them.

Play Pass is also not limited to games -- Google is including apps too. AccuWeather, Pic Stitch, ISS HD, and Tunable are some of the apps offered.

‌Apple Arcade‌ only offers gaming titles, but all of the games are fresh, new, and exclusive to ‌Apple Arcade‌. In some cases, though, some of the games are also available on consoles, but on mobile platforms, ‌Apple Arcade‌ gets exclusive access. That means no Android equivalent.

It's not clear if apps can leave ‌Apple Arcade‌, but Google warns that apps can leave Play Pass. If that happens, users will need to buy the game to continue to use it if it's a paid game, and for free titles, ads and in-app purchases may show up.

Google says there are hundreds of apps and games included with more being added every month. ‌Apple Arcade‌ launched with right around 60 games, and Apple has also promised new content on a monthly basis. Both services offer offline gaming, so no internet connection is required.

With both services, content is ad free and features no in-app purchases. Apple titles were designed from the ground up with no additional purchases, but for Play Pass, these gaming elements have been removed from titles that previously offered them.

Apple allows up to six family members to share games through a single ‌Apple Arcade‌ subscription using Family Sharing, and Google allows for up to five family members to share content through its Google Play Family Library.

‌Apple Arcade‌ has launched in multiple countries around the world, while Play Pass is limited to the United States at the current time. Google does plan to expand, however.

One other aspect worth noting is privacy. Apple specifically mentions privacy protections and says that users are able to choose to share data, while Google's Play Pass materials don't mention privacy or data sharing. "Every game must meet Apple's high privacy standards," reads Apple's press release for ‌Apple Arcade‌.

Most people are locked in to either Android or iOS and few have both, so most people won't need to choose between services.

Apple users who have a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV can access ‌Apple Arcade‌ on those devices, while Google Play Pass requires a smartphone, laptop, or tablet with Android 4.4 or above and Play Store version 16.6.25. Google Play Pass games can't be played on the larger screen of a television, which gives ‌Apple Arcade‌ a bit of an edge when it comes to non-mobile gaming.

Do you prefer ‌Apple Arcade‌ with its fresh selection of titles, or Google Play Pass with its larger library of already available games? Let us know in the comments.

Top Rated Comments

Duane Martin Avatar
36 months ago

Cancelled Arcade today. Was hyped for it, but I guess the current gen of touch games just don't hold my attention long. Capcom I found had the was the most immersive title though.

Well, I canceled arcade after three days. I decided it just wasn’t for me at all. I think I’d prefer Google’s offering, as the games mentioned in the article are ones I would play.
To be absolutely clear I am not accusing anyone here of trolling but if I were a troll I would almost certainly post comments like "I cancelled after 3 days because..." It's free for 1 month! Why would anyone cancel after just a few days when it's free for a month. With 60 games can you expect anyone to seriously believe you took time to evaluate the product and all its offerings and decided it was so unusable that it was worth taking the time to cancel it after only 3 days?

Arcade is not for everyone. It probably isn't really for me. But if I were a gamer I would certainly take more than a few days to evaluate it thoroughly given that it is free for a month. Otherwise I would expect people to accuse me of trolling. Which, to be clear, I am not.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realtuner Avatar
36 months ago
So Google rounded up a bunch of stuff hanging around in the shed out back, slapped a sticker on it and called it Play Pass?

Sounds more like a garage sale.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NexusUser Avatar
36 months ago
I prefer my Nintendo Switch ?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yadmonkey Avatar
36 months ago
Freemium practically ruined iOS gaming and I wonder how this will help/hurt. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like buying complete games and paying the devs who made them.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
36 months ago
If I have to use an Android phone to get their service, automatic pass.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeneralChang Avatar
36 months ago
It's really the fact that I can go from my phone to my tablet to my tv to my computer and have the same saved game the whole time that really sells Arcade for me. And sure, a bunch of fresh games are nice, but I'm sure I'd find games I liked on Play Pass too, it's just... I'd be stuck on my phone. And even with a controller that's only gonna be good for a few minutes of play here and there.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

M2 MacBook Pro Much Slower Than Previous Model

Friday July 1, 2022 2:24 am PDT by
Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip features a significantly slower SSD compared to the previous model, resulting in poorer performance in some workflows, it has been discovered. Specifically, it has been found that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro....