Microsoft today announced to Xbox owners that Xbox Party Chat will soon be available for free. The software manufacturer today began testing with testers a new Xbox dashboard update that unlocks Xbox Party Chat, multiplayer in free-to-play games, and the Find Group (LFG) feature.
Xbox Party Chat is an amazing addition to Microsoft’s announced plan to eliminate paywalls for free multiplayer games. The removal came after Microsoft was forced to reverse the price increase for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions earlier this year. Microsoft is also renaming the Xbox Live service to the Xbox Network, which is part of the dashboard changes the company is currently testing.
Alpha Skip Ahead & Alpha’s Xbox Insider Today we bring you some new features. Multiplayer in free games, 4 group views and party chat on Xbox no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership when flying and testing these service changes before general availability.
— Brad Rossetti (@WorkWombatman) March 24, 2021
Xbox testers now have access to the following multiplayer free games: Fortnite, No Xbox Live Gold subscription required. This makes Xbox match online services from Sony and Nintendo that don’t require signing up for free games.
These changes will be visible to all Xbox owners in the coming months when Microsoft is ready to push this dashboard update to all users. This latest dashboard update also includes a new firmware update for the Xbox Wireless Headset that improves the level of microphone monitoring and lowers the volume of the status beep.