Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass: Which Mobile Gaming Subscription Is Better?

Buying a new mobile can be both an expensive and overwhelming endeavor. The price of a mobile device can easily reach the thousands, so you really want to make sure you are making a purchase that’s right for you.

If you enjoy dabbling in the world of video games, one thing that could sway your decision toward getting an Apple or an Android device could be their gaming subscription services. Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass are similar in many ways, but they definitely have their pros and cons. The question is, which is better?


What’s the Difference Between Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass?

Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass share many similarities. They’re both subscription services that offer a huge library of games you can play at no additional cost, you can share both services with up to five other devices in a family plan, and they both frequently update their rosters. But while the two services may be like sisters, they are definitely not twins.

Man playing games on iPhone

The most glaring and obvious difference between the two mobile subscription services is, of course, the type of device they cater for. You are unable to access Apple Arcade on an Android device, and vice versa.

But there are a couple of other more subtle differences between these two mobile subscription services. The most notable of which is that Google Play Pass offers apps as well as games. This boosts the amount of content the service offers tenfold and increases the versatility of the service.

What Kind of Games Do Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass Offer?

So we have established the fact that both services offer games. But there are thousands of mobile titles in the big wide world of video games. So with so many games available, what do Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass choose to offer?

Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade takes a less-is-more approach in terms of what games it offers. It has a relatively beefy roster of over 200 games that are frequently added to in an effort to keep the service fresh and exciting for its subscribers.


Apple Arcade Logo
Image Credit: Apple

A lot of the games on Apple Arcade are good quality, popular titles such as Taiko No Tatsujin and Dead Cells+, and the best part is there are no ads. Nothing is more annoying than trying to relax while playing your favorite mobile title and being rudely disrupted by unsolicited advertisements.

In conjunction with the many popular games you can find on Apple Arcade, the service also contains many exclusive titles. These are games that have been created specifically for Apple Arcade that you can’t play anywhere else. So while Apple Arcade does have its pros and cons, its quality and variety of games are definitely some of the best aspects of the service.

Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass has a much larger roster of titles that reaches over 1000, although this total does include apps. However, while there are enough games available on the service to keep you thoroughly entertained until the end of days, not all of them match the caliber of those on Apple Arcade.

There are plenty of great mobile titles on Google Play Pass, but others don’t quite make the mark. It seems like many of the games on the service are filler titles that are just there to boost the number of games available, but they aren’t necessarily the robust gaming experience many of us want out of our mobile games.

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Google Play Pass logo being carried by two small cartoon people
Image Credit: Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass also promises that all games available on the service are ad-free, but that’s not the case. JapaneseOfficeSimulator, for example, does have unskippable ads. This is very disappointing, especially considering that an ad-free experience is something that Google Play Pass explicitly advertises to its paying customers.

So while Google Play Pass does offer far more games than Apple Arcade does, the quality control is questionable. And once you filter out the shovelware, that impressive total of over 1000 games drops significantly.

What’s the Price Difference Between Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass?

Whenever it comes to any sort of subscription service, gaming or not, one of the main things to consider is the price. The price is what can really make or break a good deal. So how do Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass compare on this front?

Apple Arcade

$4.99 per month / $49.99 per year.

Apple Arcade does fall under the Apple umbrella, so you would be forgiven for assuming it also comes at a high price tag. And you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, either. Subscribers can get unlimited access to the 200+ games on Apple Arcade for $4.99 per month.

A boy playing a mobile game.

If you’re confident you are going to be actively using the service, you can also pay an annual cost of $49.99, which does save you around 10 dollars in the long run. $4.99 isn’t a bad price, especially when you consider how much more expensive other subscription services can be.

But it seems like everything comes with a subscription these days, and any individual can potentially have anywhere between five and 10 subscriptions at a time, so $4.99 per month for 200+ games could seem a little steep for some.

Google Play Pass

$4.99 per month / $29.99 per year

Google Play Pass also offers a monthly subscription for the price of $4.99, but a yearly subscription will only cost you $29.99, making Google Play Pass the far cheaper option.

There is also more content available on the service, and while some games do seem to be sub-par, there are still many quality apps and games on Google Play Pass. Something like Stardew Valley, for example, costs almost half the cost of a yearly subscription alone.

The Best Mobile Gaming Subscription Award Goes To: Google Play Pass

From the outset, the question of which subscription service is better depends on whether you prefer quality over quantity. Apple Arcade’s library is solid for the most part, so there is less of a gamble involved when downloading a new title to play.

But it is hard to argue with the price of Google Play Pass, which is almost half that of Apple Arcade for a yearly subscription. So not only are you getting cheaper games, but you are also getting far more with Google Play Pass.


8bitdo xbox gaming clip
Image Credit: 8BitDo

Yes, it is disappointing that Google Play Pass has not stuck to its word and provided users with ad-free games. But what’s the worst that can happen? You download a game, you don’t like it, you delete it, and move on to the hundreds of other great games available.

If the in-game ads are bothering you, but you really like the game, there are a couple of tricks you can use to disable ads in mobile games. That way, you can have the best of both worlds

You might get a bad egg every now and then with Google Play Pass. But for every dud, there are about a hundred more quality gaming experiences to overshadow it. The fact that it also offers apps is also another convenient feature that deserves to be mentioned.

The Battle Between Mobile Subscription Services Has Been Settled

If your next mobile purchase was hinging on the state of its mobile gaming subscription, hopefully, this has helped push you firmly over to whatever side of the fence it may be.

Everything in life has its pros and cons. And although Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass definitely have their fair share of them, they are both pretty good subscription services. Just make sure you actually play the games they offer, so you don’t just end up adding yet another subscription service to your list that you don’t make the most of.


🧪 |Medical Laboratory Scientist 🥇 | Mindset over Everything. 
 🤝 | Let's Grow Together.

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