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Apple Arcade vs Google Play Pass: How do they differ?

Mobile gamers have more options than ever before, with both iOS and Android overflowing with apps. Both platforms also come with their own dedicated gaming platforms, Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass.

But how do these apps really differ? We’re going to be running through every critical difference and key similarity between these two so you can decide which is better suited to your play style.

Google’s yearly subscription is cheaper

Both Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass cost $4.99/£4.99 per month. Both platforms offer a yearly subscription too, for gamers that want to make the most out of the ever-growing games selections. 

Apple Arcade costs $49.99/£49.99 per year, while Google Play Pass costs $29.99/£29.99 per year. This makes Google Play Pass more affordable in the long run.

New subscribers to both platforms can also enjoy a seven-day free trial, meaning that you can try out both apps for free before committing to any paid memberships. 

Google Play Pass games
Google Play Pass Games. Image Credit (Google)

Play Pass comes with more games

Apple claims that its Arcade platform comes with over 200 games, with more games and content updates being released all the time. Some of the most popular games on Apple Arcade include Assemble With Care, Lego Star Wars Battles, Disney Melee Mania and Octodad: Dadliest Catch. 

Google Play Pass, on the other hand, comes with a much bigger selection. The company claims that there are around 1000 games on the platform, giving users a lot more titles to choose from. This makes it ideal for those who like to switch between games often. Some of the games featured on Google Play Pass include Stardew Valley, LIMBO, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Terraria.

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Apple Arcade comes with exclusive games

One of the biggest draws of Apple Arcade is that it comes with a lot of exclusive games. Many of these games are sequels and spin-offs of popular titles like Jetpack Joyride and Bomberman. Some exclusive games include Fruit Ninja Classic+, Sneaky Sasquatch and Rayman Mini. 

Google Play Store does not come with any standout exclusive games. If you’re only looking to play a select few games, it may be worthwhile buying them outright rather than committing to a membership, since you won’t be finding anything dedicated to Play Pass. 

Apple Arcade games
Apple Arcade Games. Image Credit (Apple)

They run on their respective platforms

Unsurprisingly, both Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade are restricted to their respective platforms. To subscribe and use Play Pass, you will need to be using an Android handset or tablet with Play Store version 16.6.25 or above and with Android 4.4 and above. You will also need access to an eligible Google Account. It’s worth noting that this account cannot be managed by a parent, school or other organisation. 

Apple Arcade is playable on iOS, iPadOS and macOS. These need to be running on iOS 13 or higher, iPadOS 13.1 or higher or macOS Catalina 10.15 or higher, respectively. This means that, unless you have a tablet or computer, you will likely be limited to the gaming app that comes supported on your handset, 

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