Gears 5 appears to be free to play on Xbox this week

By Heidi Nicholas,
Update: Xbox has now confirmed free play days for Gears 5 from today, April 6th, until April 12th, via an Xbox Wire post. It seems timed to coincide with Operation 3: Gridiron; a "single life objective mode" where two teams compete to get a neutral flag to a goal in their opponent's end zone. The first team to 13 points wins. The Coalition are adding in an extra incentive to play; until April 20th, playing Gears 5 unlocks the Batista skin and the Batista Bomb execution in-game.

Original story: It looks like Xbox have made Gears 5 free to play this week, immediately following the end of the usual Free Play Days weekend period. If players download the game and manage to unlock one of the latest additions to the Gears 5 Achievements list, they can also earn themselves 500 Microsoft Rewards points.


According to our store scans this morning, Gears 5 is currently free to play. The listing doesn't explain why Gears 5 is free – or how long the game is going to be free for. It's likely to celebrate the new Operation and also to tempt players into buying the full game. An extra incentive has appeared too – all owners of a digital copy of Gears 5 will also get a 15% discount on the upcoming strategic spin-off Gears Tactics. That offer is available until April 28th at 8am Pacific time. With Gears 5 on sale until the end of the week, we suspect that it'll be free to play for a similar period.

The Coalition recently added Operation 3 achievements for Gears 5, and to celebrate that launch there is a special Microsoft Rewards punch card available on consoles. Unlocking any achievement from the new Operation 3 set can net you 500 Microsoft Rewards points – which you can put towards another month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, or donate straight to a new Xbox coronavirus donation drive that Microsoft have kicked off this week.

If you're looking for a quick way to unlock one of those new achievements, we've found it pretty simple to earn "Planned and Executed". Luckily this multiplayer achievement can be earned using a second controller if you don't have a party to hand, according to the guide written by community member mynameisbr.

Gears 5Planned and ExecutedThe Planned and Executed achievement in Gears 5 worth 39 pointsExecute both members of the enemy team within a round of 2vs2 Gnashers

If you want to play Gears 5 while it's free, or grab this week's discount and earn it permanently, you can track your local price below.
Gears 5
Gears 5

Free update, Operation 3: Gridiron, is now available. Use Cole and Clayton Carmine’s new abilities in Horde and Escape and try the new Gridiron mode. From one of gaming’s most acclaimed sagas, Gears is bigger than ever, with five thrilling modes and the deepest campaign yet.

Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!