It was true nine years ago and it’s true today: Stop pre-ordering games. The latest case in point comes by way of Outriders, the upcoming looter-shooter from developer People Can Fly.
Earlier today, Microsoft confirmed that Outriders will be part of the Xbox Game Pass library when it releases next month for pretty much everything but the Switch. Publisher Square Enix posted a FAQ today outlining what that news means for those who’ve pre-ordered the game. Short version: You’ll have to manually cancel your pre-order if you want to get the game via Game Pass instead. Subscribing to Game Pass—where, to reiterate, the game will be available to you at no extra cost—won’t automatically refund your pre-order.
To cancel, you log into your Microsoft account and head to your order history. Note that your pre-order will be listed on the date you made the pre-order, not the date Outriders is scheduled to release (April 1). Click on it, and cancel. Whether you used a card or a Microsoft store credit to make the pre-order, you should receive a refund with no charge.
Those who pre-ordered Outriders get free access to the Hell’s Rangers content pack, a bit of DLC that includes 11 guns, an outfit, and some truck decals. If you cancel your pre-order, you’ll no longer get that pack, but you’ll be able to buy it piecemeal (at a 10 percent discount, provided you’re a Game Pass member) after the fact.
Of course, digital storefronts are wonky and unpredictable. In your order history, you might not see a line item for Outriders (for instance, if you made the pre-order recently, before your account registers it). You might not see the option to cancel (if, say, you’ve made the decision to pre-order Outriders within 10 days of its release, but that would mean you pre-ordered it after reading this PSA, in which… what gives, man?). In the event of any hiccups like that, you can file a refund request directly with Microsoft via the Xbox support website.
Last month, People Can Fly made a demo available for Outriders. It’s a fairly meaty chunk of the game, covering the prologue and the first chapter. You can create up to six different characters, and level them up to level seven. Outriders allows for cross-play across all platforms, but does not support cross-saves. In other words, you won’t be able to carry your PlayStation or PC characters over to Xbox. Still, the choice between paying full price for a new game or replaying the opening hours is pretty clear.
Sony allows you to cancel pre-orders any time before release, but there are a few parameters that are especially pertinent for players who have automatic downloads turned on. If your console starts downloading the game, you won’t be able to request a refund. (This policy created a widely publicized snafu in regards to year’s busted-on-PS4 Cyberpunk 2077.) If you made your pre-order more than 14 days of the release date, you have up to the game’s release date to cancel. If you’ve made the pre-order within 14 days of the release date, you have 14 days to request a refund, even if that period stretches past the release date. Again, Outriders is more than 14 days out, so that last one likely doesn’t apply to you, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
PC players, meanwhile, are also S.O.L. Yes, Outriders is coming to Game Pass, but it’s not coming to Game Pass for PC. It’ll only be available on Steam and the Epic Games Store. The latter allows you to cancel and refund any pre-orders prior to release. Same goes for Steam, but if you pre-ordered more than three months ago, you might have to file a refund request, which you can do right here.
Outriders is a total blast, at least based on my several runs through the demo, but you might not be sure if it’s worth paying full price for. Today’s announcement will no doubt result in more people playing the game, with the caveat that those new players will likely end up playing in the Xbox ecosystem. In a January call with investors, Microsoft revealed that Xbox Game Pass has hit 18 million subscribers.