Apple’s gaming subscription service is occasionally available for free to select users for a limited time.
Wondering does Apple Arcade cost money? You aren’t the only one!
In recent years Apple has launched a swath of subscription services including Apple TV Plus, iCloud Plus, Apple News Plus, Apple Music, and Apple Fitness. But they’ve also launched another subscription service called Apple Arcade, which is now a few years old.
Apple Arcade is a paid-for service, but sometimes you can get it for free. Let’s take a look at what the service entails…
What Is Apple Arcade?
Apple Arcade is Apple’s gaming subscription service. It launched in September 2019. However, though this is a gaming subscription service, don’t expect to see console-level games on Apple Arcade.
Apple Arcade features games for iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS – and only games specifically selected for the service. In other words, Apple Arcade does not offer every iPhone or Mac game made.
When Apple Arcade first launched it had a little over 100 games available. Today that number is 200. These games are primarily games originally designed for iPhone, but they also have iPad and Mac versions as well.
What Are The System Requirements For Apple Arcade?
As stated, the Apple Arcade service is designed for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. One subscription lets you play Apple Arcade on any supported device at no additional cost.
Apple Arcade works with any Apple device the runs iOS 13 or later, iPadOS 13 or later, tvOS 13 or later, and macOS Catalina or later. Apple Arcade is not available on the Apple Watch or watchOS for obvious reasons.
Does Apple Arcade Work With Controllers?
One cool thing about Apple Arcade is that it offers support for third-party controllers like the Xbox or PlayStation controller. This can make playing Apple Arcade games on the Apple TV have a much more console-like feel.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Apple Arcade?
Besides cross-device support, all games included in an Apple Arcade subscription feature no ads and no in-app purchases. This is a big deal for casual gamers since smartphone games are usually packed with ads and/or in-app purchases.
What Is With The “Plus” Games?
When Apple Arcade first launched, it mainly had exclusive new games or very recent iOS games that were added to the service. However – probably due to less than desirable subscriber numbers, in 2021 Apple started adding a bunch of classic iOS games to the Apple Arcade. Apple appended the “Plus” moniker to these games.
For example, the classic iOS game Fruit Ninja is now available on Apple Arcade as Fruit Ninja Classic Plus.
Is Apple Arcade Worth It?
Eh, that really depends on you and how big of a gamer you are. If you love console AAA titles, Apple Arcade is probably not for you. However, if you are a frequent casual gamer and you mainly play games on smartphones, Apple Arcade could be just for you.
Does Apple Arcade Cost Money?
Yes. Apple Arcade costs $4.99 per month, making it one of the cheapest subscription services Apple offers. Apple also offers annual subscriptions to Apple Arcade for $49.99 a year, which breaks down to just $4.17 a month.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get Apple Arcade for free under certain circumstances. For example, Apple gives every Apple ID user a 1 month free trial of Apple Arcade.
And you can also get Apple Arcade free for three months if you buy a qualifying Apple device, including a new Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Apple Arcade games free?
No. You need a subscription to Apple arcade to play them.
Q: Can you cancel Apple Arcade after free trial?
Yes. You can cancel your Apple Arcade subscription at any time so you won’t be billed again in the future.
Q: What is Apple Arcade free?
Apple Arcade is a paid subscription, but you can get a free 1-month trial if you’ve never signed up for the service before. You can also get 3 months for free when you buy select Apple devices.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.