As of 2014, the pay-per-month Xbox Live Gold allows its members to play their games online, whereas Silver members cannot. Silver is a free service that provides access to game downloads, messaging and the achievement system, but little more than that.

Gold members can additionally access premium apps and certain features unavailable to Silver members, including discounts on downloadable content. The Xbox One adds video chatting via Skype through its Kinect peripheral and SmartMatch for online play. Additionally, Microsoft offers subscription-based free games every month, allowing Gold users on Xbox One to play predetermined games for no additional charge. Silver members do not have access to any of these features.