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Aujourd’hui — 3 décembre 2021Windows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

A new Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot tests a small handful of fixes

The Java Edition version of 1.18.1 still needs to go through a round of testing.

What you need to know

  • 1.18 'Caves and Cliffs Update' Part Two recently delivered a ton of new features and changes to Minecraft players everywhere.
  • Minecraft: Bedrock Edition already enjoyed its 1.18.1 patch update, but Minecraft: Java Edition players will have to wait a little longer.
  • Minecraft: Java Edition 1.18.1 Pre-Release 1 is now available to test, and includes a handful of tweaks and fixes.
  • If all goes well, the 1.18.1 patch update for Minecraft: Java Edition should, hopefully, arrive sometime next week.

The release of 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update Part Two to Minecraft players everywhere also signified the public completion of the Caves and Cliffs Update. That doesn't mean Mojang Studios is finished tinkering, however, as there are still plenty of ways the gargantuan Minecraft content update can be polished and improved upon. On Friday, Mojang released Minecraft: Java Edition 1.18.1 Pre-Release 1, which tests a handful of bug fixes and tweaks.

Minecraft players on other platforms are already enjoying their own fresh fixes with the release of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition 1.18.1 on Thursday, but the Java Edition equivalent still requires additional testing before it can be released. There isn't a ton to be excited about in this snapshot other than the few bug fixes, but anything is welcome. If everything proceeds according to plan. Minecraft: Java Edition 1.18.1 should arrive sometime next week.

Minecraft is one of the greatest games ever made, and holds on to its title as one of the best PC games by continually evolving with new features and content. The Wild Update, releasing sometime during 2022, will update Minecraft's Overworld with new mobs, blocks, and more.

In case you missed it, here are all the changes and additions in 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update Part Two.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition 1.18.1 Pre-Release 1 includes:

Technical updates

  • Fixed an issue that would cause players on low-bandwidth connections to get timeout errors when connecting to a server
  • World fog now starts further away from the player, to make distant terrain more visible
  • Instead of applying fog as a spherical volume it is now applied as a cylindrical volume

Fixed bugs

  • Beacon's power reverts back to previous one on world reload
  • Observer activating without any updates nearby, caused by /clone
  • Chunk render distance on servers seems shorter than in 1.17.1

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Xbox $45 at Amazon (3-month subscription) $15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Join us LIVE for the Windows Central Video Podcast today at 2:30PM ET

Join Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden for a LIVE recording of the Windows Central Video Podcast!

Make sure you join us for the broadcast of this week's Windows Central Video Podcast, LIVE today at 2:30pm ET. For those in different time zones, here's when we'll be live: Convert your time zone here.

Head to our YouTube page to see the podcast or watch the embed above.

We'll be talking about this week's biggest Microsoft news. Make sure you're there! Be sure to be following us on Twitter as we'll be tweeting out when the show begins. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back later, as the player embedded in this post will be where we stream to.

How to set a static IP address on a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a fine addition to your home for a crazy number of reasons, but you'll probably need a static IP for it first.

The Raspberry Pi continues to be one of the most impressive computers on the planet. Not for its power, but for the possibilities. This thing can be programmed with a mindboggling number of purposes, from small servers and NAS to controlling your home automation or even just a small Linux computer to learn some new IT skills.

Whatever you want to use it for, it's a pretty solid bet that you'll need a static IP for it. Unless you're using something like the Raspberry Pi 400 hooked up to a display, you're likely using it headless. That is, without a GUI. In the case of the Raspberry Pi Zero, this is even more likely.

Setting a static IP for your Pi is really easy, and doesn't have to involve your home router which sometimes can mess it up anyway. Case in point, the last Raspberry Pi I set up on my home network I assigned a static IP in the router settings, and it just sort of forgot about it and assigned a totally different IP to my ad blocker so it didn't actually work properly. That's why you should follow these steps and set it up on the Pi itself for the best results.

Setting up your Raspberry Pi

This guide assumes that your Raspberry Pi is already set up and you've flashed it with the Raspberry Pi OS already. If you haven't and need a helping hand, we have a guide on setting up a headless Raspberry Pi using nothing but your Windows PC.

Before you can set a static IP for your Raspberry Pi you will need to know what IP address it's currently on. At this point, the quickest method is probably to log into your router's software and grab it there, especially if you're doing a headless setup. You'll need the IP address to connect over SSH and do the rest.

With the IP address in hand, open a terminal (WSL or PowerShell is fine), and connect with the following command:

ssh [email protected]

Accept the fingerprint by typing yes and hitting enter. If this is the first boot you'll need to log in with the default password, which is raspberry. It's a good idea to change this, but for the purposes of what we're doing here you don't need to and can just carry on with the next step.

How to set a static IP on your Raspberry Pi

To set the static IP properly you'll need a few things. The first is the current IP of the Pi which you've already got, the next is your router's gateway IP and the current DNS IP address. We can get these last two from the Raspberry Pi terminal.

Router gateway IP address

Enter this command into the terminal:

ip r | grep default

Note down the first IP address given as this is the one you want.

Router DNS IP address

Again in the terminal, enter this command:

sudo nano resolv.conf

This will open a file in the nano text editor and the IP address you're looking for is immediately after nameserver. Note this down and press Ctrl + X to close out.

Setting the static IP address

The final step is to set the static IP address for your Raspberry Pi. It involves appending some details to the end of a configuration file. You must make sure you either use the IP address already given to your Raspberry Pi or that you're using an address that is currently vacant.

To begin, enter this command:

sudo nano /etc/dhcpcd.conf

This will open up the dhcpcd.conf file in the nano text editor. Use your cursor keys to navigate all the way to the bottom.

Make sure not to change any of the existing items in this file, then at the bottom, you'll be entering a block of text following this template:

interface NETWORKTYPE
static ip_address=YOURSTATICIP/24
static routers=YOURROUTERIP
static domain_name_servers=YOURDNSIP

You'll replace the terms in capitals with the following:

  • NETWORKTYPE — Type either eth0 for ethernet or wlan0 for wireless.
  • YOURSTATICIP — Whatever static IP you want to assign to the Raspberry Pi.
  • YOURROUTERIP — The gateway IP address acquired above.
  • YOURDNSIP — The DNS IP address acquired above.

When finished you'll end up with something that looks a bit like this:

interface wlan0
static ip_address=192.168.86.250/24
static routers=192.168.86.1
static domain_name_servers=192.168.86.1

Now, press Ctrl + X followed by Y to close and save the file. You'll need to reboot the Pi for the changes to take effect, which you can do with the sudo reboot command.

Give it a minute to reboot, reconnect over SSH, and then use the hostname -I command to confirm the IP address matches what you set above. It should match, and now your Raspberry Pi should retain this IP any time it boots. Ensure you don't assign anything to this IP address either manually or through your router settings, and you should be good to go!

A new Forza Horizon 5 patch update is rolling out now on all platforms

Playground Games continues to improve and fix Forza Horizon 5 after launch.

What you need to know

  • Forza Horizon 5 has been plagued with a variety of bugs since launch, especially its online portions.
  • Playground Games is committed to fixing and improving its open-world racing game with post-launch patches and hotfixes.
  • On Friday, the studio released the Dec. 3, 2021 patch update for Forza Horizon 5, which includes a ton of changes.
  • Alongside the myriad of bug fixes, all players will receive 1,000 Forzathon Points after installing this update for their patience.

Forza Horizon 5 has actually been one of the most stable and polished "AAA" gaming experiences released in 2021, but its online portions and game modes have still been plagued with a plethora of bugs and issues. Playground Games is dedicated to continually improving Forza Horizon 5 over time with new updates and additions, which starts with ensuring the game is as smooth as possible. On Friday, Playground released a new Forza Horizon 5 patch update, with plenty of fixes the community has been waiting on for weeks.

This story is developing...

The unchallenged champion

Forza Horizon 5

$60 at Xbox (Xbox & PC) $60 at Amazon (Xbox & PC) $60 at GameStop (Xbox physical) $60 at Steam (PC)

The best open-world racer

Playground Games has delivered their latest masterpiece with Forza Horizon 5, which features the series' most diverse map and largest car list yet. Forza Horizon 5 somehow fulfills its ambitious promises to be the best open-world racer right now, and one of the best racing games in general.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Xbox $45 at Amazon (3-month subscription) $15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Here's the Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist for Spring (Dec. 2-8)

The Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist is constantly breathing new life into an already fantastic game.

After months of waiting, Forza Horizon 5 is here and it's wonderful. The base game already includes mountains of content and dozens of hours of playtime for players to explore, but Playground Games isn't stopping there. The Festival Playlist returns from Forza Horizon 4, and it's better than ever, with an all-new design, improved features, and the promise of years of continued support for Forza Horizon 5.

Here's what you need to know about the Festival Playlist in Forza Horizon 5, and the current challenges and rewards this season.

The unchallenged champion

Forza Horizon 5

$60 at Xbox (Xbox & PC) $60 at Amazon (Xbox physical)

The best open-world racer

Playground Games has delivered their latest masterpiece with Forza Horizon 5, which features the series' most diverse map and largest car list yet. Forza Horizon 5 somehow fulfills its ambitious promises to be the best open-world racer right now, and one of the best racing games in general.

Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist: Spring, Series 1 (Dec. 2-8, 2021)

The Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist updates every week as the in-game season changes, with larger updates slated for every month as a new Series begins. It can be difficult to keep track of everything there is to do in Forza Horizon 5's Festival Playlist and decide whether it's worth it to tackle the challenges. Fortunately, that's what we're here for.

Series 1: "Welcome to Mexico" (Nov. 11-Dec. 8, 2021)

  • Series 1 rewards. Series 1 of Forza Horizon 5's Festival Playlist has a total of 247 points across all Seasons. The Series rewards include:
    • 2021 Mercedes-AMG One for 120 Playlist Points: This is a Legendary Rarity car, and the cover car for Forza Horizon 5
    • 1993 McLaren F1 for 180 Playlist Points: This is a Legendary Rarity car, and is quite hard to find in Forza Horizon 5
  • Monthly Events. There is one Monthly Event.
    • Horizon Mexico Circuit: Beat the Rivals challenge at Horizon Mexico Circuit. Rewards four Playlist Points.

Spring "Hot Season" (Dec. 2-8, 2021)

This is the Spring Season of Forza Horizon 5's Series 1 Festival Playlist, which is available from Dec. 2 until Dec. 8, 2021.

  • Season rewards. The Spring Season of Series 1 has a total of 61 Playlist Points across all challenges. The main rewards include:
    • 2019 Raesr Tachyon Speed for 24 Playlist Points: This is an Epic Rarity car, and is exclusive to the Festival Playlist
    • 1985 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex for 44 Playlist Points: This is an Epic Rarity car, and is hard to find in Forza Horizon 5
  • Weekly Challenge. "New Benchmark" — The Weekly Challenge has four Chapters. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and 80 Forzathon Points.
    • Chapter 1: Own and drive the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista
    • Chapter 2: Earn five Ultimate Speed Skills with the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista
    • Chapter 3: Win any three Road Racing Events with the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista
    • Chapter 4: Earn three Daredevil Skills with the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista
  • Daily Challenges. There are seven Daily Challenges. Each rewards 1 Playlist Point and 10 Forzathon Points.
    • Challenge 1: Purchase any three Car Mastery Perks
    • Challenge 2: Earn three Clean Racing Skills in any Cross Country Event
    • Challenge 3: Earn three Stars from any Speed Trap PR Stunt
    • Challenge 4: Drive a total of 10 miles in Road Racing Events
    • Challenge 5: Beat Round Three of any Horizon Arcade Event
    • Challenge 6: Drive above 150mph in any car for 15 seconds uninterrupted
    • Challenge 7: Earn three Stars from any Drift Zone PR Stunt
  • Season Events. There are 10 Season Events.
    • Horizon Arcade: Complete any Horizon Arcade Event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
    • Rite of Passage: Complete The Trial challenge in a D-Class to A-Class Classic Sports Car. Rewards 10 Playlist Points and the 1967 Ferrari Spa 330 P4 #24
    • Party Time: Complete the Season Playground Games challenge in a D-Class to B-Class Retro Hot Hatch car. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and the 1981 Ford Fiesta XR2
    • Avenida: Complete the Avenida Speed Trap challenge in an S1-Class Nissan car. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Drop It Like It's Hot: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in an S1-Class Retro Supercar. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and a Super Wheelspin
    • High Noon: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in a D-Class to B-Class Retro Saloon car. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the 2016 Jaguar F-TYPE Project 7
    • Los Jardines: Complete the Los Jardines Danger Sign challenge in an S1-Class GT Car. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Orilla Del Río: Complete the Orilla Del Río Speed Zone challenge in an A-Class Modern Rally car. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Holidays are Comin': Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in a D-Class to A-Class Truck. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the "Jingle Bells" car horn
    • Co-op Championships: Complete any Horizon Tour Event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
  • Challenges. There are four Challenges.
    • Hold Your Horses: Find the Treasure Chest (Clue: Earn 10 Stars from any PR Stunts in any Mustang car). Rewards 3 Playlist Points and 50,000 Credits
    • #ShoppingSpree: Photograph any Vans & Utility vehicle in Guanajuato. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "Special Delivery!" Forza LINK message
    • Getting Sideways: Perform 5 Ultimate Drift Skills in Horizon Open Drifting Race Events. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and 25,000 Credits
    • Battle Royale: Finish 30th or better in The Eliminator. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "La Cucaracha" car horn
  • Forzathon Shop. The Forzathon Shop offers the following items this Season:
    • 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion for 600 Forzathon Points
    • "Beautiful Morning" Car Horn for 75 Forzathon Points
    • 2013 Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus 5.2 FSI Quattro for 400 Forzathon Points
    • Wheelspin for 80 Forzathon Points
    • "The Robot" Emote for 75 Forzathon Points
    • Super Wheelspin for 300 Forzathon Points

What is the Festival Playlist in Forza Horizon 5?

The Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist is an ever-changing list of challenges and missions that players can complete as they play the game. Players can complete races, events, PR Stunts, and online activities as Festival Playlist challenges, sometimes with specific requirements, to earn rewards such as cars, Wheelspins, cosmetic items, and Forzathon Points that can be redeemed at the Forzathon Shop.

The Festival Playlist has Series, with each Series lasting four weeks, and each week lasting about one week. Each week has its own unique challenges and rewards, giving players incentive to return week after week to complete the Festival Playlist and collect new cars and prizes. The Festival Playlist consistently adds new content to Forza Horizon 5, and is how Playground Games will seamlessly inject new ways to play into FH5 over time, including brand-new cars.

New cars, events, and much more can be added to Forza Horizon 5 through the Festival Playlist, and Series updates can even be themed and evolve Forza Horizon 5's world. Series 1, for example, welcomes players to Horizon Mexico, while Series 2 will apparently be Holidays themed and add new seasonal decorations to the FH5 world. EventLab creations from the community that gain popularity can also be surfaced through the Festival Playlist, adding even more variety to this constantly moving in-game feature.

Forza Horizon 5's Festival Playlist should provide years of support and content to the game, even after DLC expansions have been released and finished. Thanks to new creation features like EventLab, the Festival Playlist has practically endless content to pull from.

What is Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 is an open-world simul-arcade racing game from Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios. It's the latest in a long line of increasingly ambitious and successful Forza Horizon games, and it accumulates everything the studio has learned into one incredible package. FH5 is one of the best Xbox racing games of all time, and is even one of the best Xbox games of 2021.

Forza Horizon 5 accomplishes this feat with its largest and most diverse map yet, set in Mexico, that is freely explored behind the wheel of hundreds of cars and vehicles. Fan favorites like Barn Finds have returned, but every aspect of FH5 proves that it's not just another racing game.

Our Forza Horizon 5 review concluded that Playground has delivered the unchallenged champion of open-world racers, which is now available for Xbox, PC, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Xbox Game Pass. If you want to learn more about what makes this expansive game so special, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to Forza Horizon 5.

What are the past Festival Playlists for Forza Horizon 5?

Playground Games may occasionally resurface older Series updates and challenges to give players another shot at earning those rewards. It can also be helpful to know what previous Festival Playlists included as rewards, in case you're missing any of those cars in your own collection. Whenever a Festival Playlist is retired, you can find it here.

Series 0: "Welcome Week" (Nov. 5-10, 2021)

  • Series 0 rewards. Series 0 of Forza Horizon 5's Festival Playlist is a shorter affair that only spans one Season, and is there to offer activities for players who join Forza Horizon 5 during the early access period or right at launch. Because of this, there are no overarching rewards for Series 0. Check back in for Series 1's rewards starting Nov. 11, 2021.
  • Monthly Events. There is one Monthly Event.
    • Horizon Baja Scramble: Beat the Rivals challenge at Horizon Baja Scramble. Rewards 4 Playlist Points

Spring (Nov. 5-10, 2021)

This is the Spring season of Forza Horizon 5's Series 0 Festival Playlist, which is available from Nov. 5 until Nov. 10, 2021.

  • Season rewards. The Spring season of Series 0 has a total of 38 Playlist Points across all challenges. The main season rewards include:
    • 2017 Alpine A110 for 16 Playlist Points: This is an Epic rarity car that is hard to find in Forza Horizon 5
    • 2005 Honda NSX-R GT for 26 Playlist Points: This is an Epic rarity car that is hard to find in Forza Horizon 5
  • Weekly Challenge. "Wouldn't It be Loverly?" — The Weekly Challenge has four Chapters. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and 81 Forzathon Points.
    • Chapter 1: Own and drive the 2003 Nissan Fairlady Z
    • Chapter 2: Earn 9 Stars from Drift Zones with the 2003 Nissan Fairlady Z
    • Chapter 3: Earn 5 Ultimate Drift or E-Drift Skills with the 2003 Nissan Fairlady Z
    • Chapter 4: Bank a total of 500,000 Skill Score with the 2003 Nissan Fairlady Z
  • Daily Challenges. There are seven Daily Challenges. Rewards 1 Playlist Point and 10 Forzathon Points each.
    • Challenge 1: Earn three Clean Racing Skills in a single road race
    • Challenge 2: Complete a Horizon Open event
    • Challenge 3: Earn five Stars from PR Stunts in a Lamborghini
    • Challenge 4: Win a Drag Race in a Modern Sports Car
    • Challenge 5: Smash five phonebooths
    • Challenge 6: Send a Gift Drop to another player
    • Challenge 7: Earn 12 Stars from PR Stunts in a Truck
  • Season Events. There are seven Season Events.
    • Horizon Arcade: Complete any Horizon Arcade event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
    • Off the Grid: Complete the Seasonal Playground Games Championship in a B-Class in an Offroad vehicle. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and the 2018 Porsche Macan LP Racing T1 Rally Raid
    • Coast View: Complete the Coast View Speed Trap challenge in an S2-Class Track Toys vehicle. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • First Course: Complete the Seasonal Championship in an A-Class Super Saloon vehicle. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
    • Event Horizon: Complete the Event Horizon Danger Sign challenge in an S1-Class Ford vehicle. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Ranchito: Complete the Ranchito Speed Zone challenge in an S2-Class Audi vehicle. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Co-op Championships: Complete a Horizon Tour Championship. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
  • Challenges. There are three Challenges.
    • #MuralCompass: Photograph any Modern Sports Car at Star 27's mural in Mulegé. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "Beautiful!" Forza LINK phrase
    • Clean Sweep: Earn five Clean Racing Skills in Horizon Open. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and 25,000 Credits
    • Battle Royale: Finish 30th or better in The Eliminator. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "Mwahahaha" Forza LINK phrase
  • Forzathon Shop. The Forzathon Shop is not open for Spring of Series 0.

Series 1: "Welcome to Mexico" (Nov. 11-Dec. 8, 2021)

  • Series 1 rewards. Series 1 of Forza Horizon 5's Festival Playlist has a total of 247 points across all Seasons. The Series rewards include:
    • 2021 Mercedes-AMG One for 120 Playlist Points: This is a Legendary Rarity car, and the cover car for Forza Horizon 5
    • 1993 McLaren F1 for 180 Playlist Points: This is a Legendary Rarity car, and is quite hard to find in Forza Horizon 5
  • Monthly Events. There is one Monthly Event.
    • Horizon Mexico Circuit: Beat the Rivals challenge at Horizon Mexico Circuit. Rewards four Playlist Points.

Summer "Wet Season" (Nov. 11-17, 2021)

This is the Summer Season of Forza Horizon 5's Series 1 Festival Playlist, which is available from Nov. 11 until Nov. 17, 2021.

  • Season rewards. The Summer Season of Series 1 has a total of 64 Playlist Points across all challenges. The main rewards include:
    • 1982 DMC DeLorean "DMC-12" for 26 Playlist Points: This is a Legendary Rarity car, and is exclusive to the Festival Playlist
    • 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera for 46 Playlist Points: This is an Epic Rarity car, and is valuable in Forza Horizon 5
  • Weekly Challenge. "A True Super GT" — The Weekly Challenge has four Chapters. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and 81 Forzathon Points.
    • Chapter 1: Own and drive the 2017 Nissan GT-R
    • Chapter 2: Drive the 2017 Nissan GT-R for a combined 13.5 miles
    • Chapter 3: Earn a total of six Stars from any Danger Sign PR Stunts in the 2017 Nissan GT-R
    • Chapter 4: Earn two Awesome Drifting Skills during any Road Racing Event in the 2017 Nissan GT-R
  • Daily Challenges. There are seven Daily Challenges. Rewards 1 Playlist Point and 10 Forzathon Points each.
    • Challenge 1: Drive above 250mph for five uninterrupted seconds in any car
    • Challenge 2: Jump a distance of 1,500 feet in any car
    • Challenge 3: Complete any Showcase Event
    • Challenge 4: Complete a game of The Eliminator
    • Challenge 5: Post a clean lap on any Rivals Event
    • Challenge 6: Earn a total of nine Stars from any Trailblazer PR Stunts
    • Challenge 7: Smash 25 items in 30 seconds or less
  • Season Events. There are 10 Season Events.
    • Horizon Arcade: Complete any Horizon Arcade event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
    • Making a Splash: Complete The Trial challenge in a B-Class Pickup & 4x4 vehicle. Rewards 10 Playlist Points and the 2013 Mini X-Raid All4 Racing Countryman
    • No Rain, No Gain: Complete the Seasonal Playground Games challenge in a B-Class Modern Rally vehicle. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and the "Quick Draw" emote
    • Cordillera: Complete the Cordillera Speed Zone challenge in an A-Class BMW vehicle. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Letting Off Steam: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in an A-Class Modern Sports Car. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the "Steam Boat" car horn
    • It's Rainin' Sideways: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in a B-Class Classic Muscle vehicle. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the 1965 Hoonigan Ford Mustang Gymkhana 10 "Hoonicorn"
    • Runway: Complete the Runway Danger Sign challenge in an S1-Class Retro Sports Car. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Hillside: Complete the Hillside Drift Zone challenge in an S1-Class Drift Car. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • New Kid on the Block: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in an A-Class Super Hot Hatch. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N
    • Co-op Championships: Complete any Horizon Tour Event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
  • Challenges. There are five Challenges.
    • New Heights: Locate the Treasure Chest hidden outside of Mulegé. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and 50,000 Credits
    • #NewDigs!: Photograph any vehicle outside the Casa Bella Player House. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "Welcome to Mexico!" Forza LINK message
    • Gotta Go Fast: Reach 140mph in any Horizon Open Racing Event. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and 25,000 Credits
    • Welcome to Mexico!: Smash 100 cacti. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and the "Gotta smash 'em all!" Forza LINK message
    • Battle Royale: Finish 30th or higher in The Eliminator. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "This isn't even my final form" Forza LINK message
  • Forzathon Shop. The Forzathon Shop is not open for Summer of Series 1

Autumn "Storm Season" (Nov. 18-24, 2021)

This is the Autumn Season of Forza Horizon 5's Series 1 Festival Playlist, which is available from Nov. 18 until Nov. 24, 2021.

  • Season rewards. The Autumn Season of Series 1 has a total of 61 Playlist Points across all challenges. The main rewards include:
    • 1984 Honda Civic CRX Mugen for 22 Playlist Points: This is an Epic Rarity car, and is exclusive to the Festival Playlist
    • 2015 Radical RXC Turbo for 42 Playlist Points: This is an Epic Rarity car, and is hard to find in Forza Horizon 5
  • Weekly Challenge. "Baja Bug" — The Weekly Challenge has four Chapters. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and 80 Forzathon Points.
    • Chapter 1: Own and drive the 1969 Volkswagen Class 5/1600 Baja Bug
    • Chapter 2: Earn 500,000 Skill Score with the 1969 Volkswagen Class 5/1600 Baja Bug
    • Chapter 3: Win any three Cross Country Events with the 1969 Volkswagen Class 5/1600 Baja Bug
    • Chapter 4: Earn a total of 12 Stars from any Trailblazer PR Stunts with the 1969 Volkswagen Class 5/1600 Baja Bug
  • Daily Challenges. There are seven Daily Challenges. Each rewards 1 Playlist Point and 10 Forzathon Points.
    • Challenge 1: Buy any car from the Auction House
    • Challenge 2: Earn three Stars at any Speed Trap PR Stunt in a Classic Racer vehicle
    • Challenge 3: Earn 12 Clean Racing Skills from Road Race Events
    • Challenge 4: Jump a distance of 1,000 feet in any car
    • Challenge 5: Win any Street Race Event in a Vans & Utility vehicle
    • Challenge 6: Complete any Expedition
    • Challenge 7: Complete any Horizon Story chapter
  • Season Events. There are 11 Season Events.
    • Horizon Arcade: Complete any Horizon Arcade event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
    • Going Down a Storm: Complete The Trial challenge. Rewards 10 Playlist Points and the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SV
    • RabidMrNoodle Presents: Complete the EventLab "The Gauntlet of Fun" challenge. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and the "Windows Tada" car horn
    • The Thunderdome: Complete the Seasonal Playground Games challenge with an up to B-Class Rod and Custom vehicle. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and a Super Wheelspin
    • Drag Strip: Complete the Drag Strip Speed Trap challenge with an S2-Class Ferrari. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • When It Rains, It Pours: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge with an A-Class Modern Sports Car. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and 50,000 Credits
    • Pick Up the Pace: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge with a B-Class Pickup & 4x4 vehicle. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor
    • Mountain Top: Complete the Mountain Top Danger Sign challenge with an A-Class Classic Muscle vehicle. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Río Fuerte: Complete the Río Fuerte Speed Zone challenge with an S1-Class Modern Supercar vehicle. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Four on the Floor: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge with an up to S1-Class Sports Utility Hero vehicle. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and the 2015 BMW X6 M
    • Co-op Championships: Complete any Horizon Tour Event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
  • Challenges. There are three Challenges.
    • #SleepingGiant: Photograph any Modern Rally vehicle at La Gran Caldera volcano. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "Sleepy" emote
    • Rightful Heir: Steal a crown in Horizon Open Playground Games. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and 25,000 Credits
    • Battle Royale: FInish 30th or better in The Eliminator. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "Mexican Hat Dance" car horn
  • Forzathon Shop. The Forzathon Shop offers the following items this Season:
    • 2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS 2017 for 600 Forzathon Points
    • Sea of Thieves Theme Car Horn for 75 Forzathon Points
    • Spaik Short Sleeved Shirt Jacket for 75 Forzathon Points
    • 2016 Honda Civic Coupe for 400 Forzathon Points
    • Super Wheelspin for 300 Forzathon Points
    • Wheelspin for 80 Forzathon Points

Winter "Dry Season" (Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2021)

This is the Winter Season of Forza Horizon 5's Series 1 Festival Playlist, which is available from Nov. 25 until Dec. 1, 2021.

  • Season rewards. The Winter Season of Series 1 has a total of 61 Playlist Points across all challenges. The main rewards include:
    • 2018 Italdesign Zerouno for 22 Playlist Points: This is a Legendary Rarity car, and is exclusive to the Festival Playlist
    • 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STI for 42 Playlist Points: This is a Legendary Rarity car, and is hard to find in Forza Horizon 5
  • Weekly Challenge. The Weekly Challenge has four Chapters. Rewards 5 Playlist Points and 80 Forzathon Points.
    • Chapter 1: Own and drive the 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera S
    • Chapter 2: Earn nine Stars in total from any Speed Trap PR Stunts with the 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera S
    • Chapter 3: Take a picture of the 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera S
    • Chapter 4: Drive for a total of 15 miles with the 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera S
  • Daily Challenges. There are seven Daily Challenges. Rewards1 Playlist Point and 10 Forzathon Points each.
    • Challenge 1: Earn three Clean Racing Skills in a Dirt Race Event
    • Challenge 2: Earn a total of six Stars from any Trailblazer PR Stunts
    • Challenge 3: Smash 20 Solar Panels in 30 seconds or less
    • Challenge 4: Win any Street Race event in a Modern Supercar
    • Challenge 5: Complete any Horizon Tour event
    • Challenge 6: Win any Drag Race event in a Retro Muscle vehicle
    • Challenge 7: Buy any three cars
  • Season Events. There are 11 Season Events.
    • Horizon Arcade: Complete any Horizon Arcade Event. Rewards 3 Playlist Points
    • A Fine Tradition: Complete The Trial challenge in any Collector's Series car. Rewards 10 Playlist Points and the 1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GT
    • Pickerchu Presents: Complete the Eventlab "Domination Mode" challenge in an A-Class USA car. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and the "Referee Whistle" car horn
    • Black Friday Bonanza: Complete the Seasonal Playground Games challenge in an A-Class Unlimited Offroad car. Rewards 3 Playlist Points and the "Thumbs Up" emote
    • Pyramid of the Moon: Complete the Pyramid of the Moon Speed Zone challenge in an S2-Class Porsche. Rewards two Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • No Expense Spared: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in an S1-Class High Roller car. Rewards five Playlist Points and the 2005 Ford GT
    • The Real Deal: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in a C-Class Reasonably Priced car. Rewards five Playlist Points and the 2016 Pagani Huayra BC
    • Calle Principal: Complete the Calle Principal Speed Trap challenge in an S1-Class Retro Muscle car. Rewards two Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Canyon Run: Complete the Canyon Run Trailblazer challenge in an A-Class Unlimited Offroad car. Rewards two Playlist Points and a Wheelspin
    • Midnight Battle: Complete the Seasonal Championship challenge in an A-Class Super Hot Hatch. Rewards five Playlist Points and a Super Wheelspin
    • Co-op Championships: Complete any Horizon Tour Event. Rewards three Playlist Points
  • Challenges. There are three Challenges.
    • #TwilightSaga: Photograph any vehicle at night. Rewards the "Clock Tower" car horn
    • Prepare for Elimination: Eliminate two or more opponents in a single game of The Eliminator. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and 25,000 Credits
    • Battle Royale: Finish 30th or higher in The Eliminator. Rewards 2 Playlist Points and the "Welcome to The Eliminator" Forza LINK message
  • Forzathon Shop. The Forzathon Shop offers the following items this Season:
    • 2012 Hennessey Venom GT for 600 Forzathon Points
    • DOOM E1M1 High Car Horn for 75 Forzathon Points
    • 1970 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 for 400 Forzathon Points
    • Wheelspin for 80 Forzathon Points
    • Light Blue Hight Tops for 75 Forzathon Points
    • Super Wheelspin for 300 Forzathon Points

The unchallenged champion

Forza Horizon 5

$60 at Xbox (Xbox & PC) $60 at Amazon (Xbox physical) $60 at GameStop (Xbox physical) $60 at Steam (PC)

The best open-world racer

Playground Games has delivered their latest masterpiece with Forza Horizon 5, which features the series' most diverse map and largest car list yet. Forza Horizon 5 somehow fulfills its ambitious promises to be the best open-world racer right now, and one of the best racing games in general.

Vroom vroom

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Xbox $45 at Amazon (3-month subscription) $15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. Forza Horizon 5 is available through Xbox Game Pass from day one, including on consoles, PC, and the cloud.

Should Microsoft Edge have shopping features built in?

Microsoft recently started testing buy now, pay later functionality in Edge, and it sparked a conversation about what should be in a browser.

Microsoft Edge has a new feature in the works that allows online shoppers to spread payment across multiple installments. It's called buy now, pay later (BNPL), and it's caused quite the stir on the web. BNPL is currently in testing on Microsoft Edge Dev. The post announcing the feature has over 200 comments, many of which are extremely negative.

Critics of the option have called the integration of BNPL with Edge a "shameless cash grab," "bloat," and "exploitive." People have added dozens of tags to the Tech Community announcement post, such as "predatory," "garbage," and "poor leadership."

The core argument of many is that Microsoft should not build this type of functionality directly within the Edge browser. Instead, critics call for extensions to be used for shopping features. Buy now, pay later functionality has been particularly criticized because many people that use the feature fall behind on payments and end up in debt.

Microsoft appears to disagree with these sentiments, as the company started testing BNPL in Edge in mid-November. It partnered with Zip, which powers the feature.

Edge includes several shopping features, such as a coupon tool that helps you find discounts. Microsoft highlights this fact in a campaign that shows prompts when people try to download Google Chrome through Edge.

One of the messages that appears states:

"'I hate saving money,' said no one ever. Microsoft Edge is the best browser for online shopping."

Microsoft has marketed Edge as the "best browser for shopping." BNPL seems like an extension of this platform, as it provides another option for online purchases.

Should Microsoft Edge have shopping features built in?

Do you think Microsoft Edge should have shopping features built in? Let us know in the poll above and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Make Windows 11 easier to read with high-contrast themes

Windows 11 has a high-contrast mode to make the experience more usable for people with low vision, and here's how to use the feature.

Although the default color scheme across the Windows 11 desktop is suited for most people, as part of the accessibility experience, the system also includes four high-contrast color themes specifically designed for people with low vision (but anyone can use them).

When you enable the feature, elements like text, links, buttons, and background will use a specific set of high-contrast colors that makes it easier to see and read content on Windows 11 and across the internet. You can even create and apply a custom theme with custom colors suited to your needs.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to enable and configure high-contrast mode on your laptop or desktop computer.

How to enable high-contrast mode on Windows 11

To switch to one of the contrast Windows 11 themes, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Contrast themes page on the right side.

  4. Under the "Contrast themes" setting, select one of the available themes:

    • Aquatic.
    • Desert.
    • Dusk.
    • Night sky.

  5. Click the Apply button.
  6. (Optional) Use the Left Alt key + Left Shift key + Print screen keyboard shortcut to enable or disable the contrast theme.

Once you complete the steps, the Windows experience will switch to the high-contrast mode. When applying a high-contrast theme, it's normal to see a "Please wait" screen for a few seconds while the system applies the changes.

How to create custom high-contrast mode on Windows 11

To create a custom high-contrast theme, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Contrast themes page on the right side.

  4. Under the "Contrast themes" setting, select one of the available themes — for example, Desert.
  5. Click the Edit button.

  6. Use the Background setting to set the background for the elements that show text on Windows 11.

  7. Use the Text setting to set the text color for Windows 11 and web pages.
  8. Use the Hyperlink setting to set the text color of links available on Windows 11 or web pages.
  9. Use the Inactive text setting to change the text color for inactive text across the experience.
  10. Use the Selected text setting to choose the text color for text selection.
  11. Use the Button text to set the color for buttons and text inside the buttons.
  12. Click the Save as button.

  13. Confirm a name for the new custom theme.
  14. Click the Save and apply button.

As you make the changes, you will see a preview in the setting. After you complete the steps, the theme will apply immediately with all the custom settings.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

A new Minecraft: Bedrock Edition patch update is now rolling out

The 'Caves and Cliffs Update' is already enjoying some fixes and additional polish.

What you need to know

  • Minecraft players are currently diving into everything that 1.18 'Caves and Cliffs Update' Part Two has to offer.
  • The update is only a few days old, but Mojang Studios is already rolling out a patch update to fix some lingering issues.
  • Minecraft: Bedrock Edition 1.18.1 is now available on PlayStation, and will continue to roll out to other platforms in the next few days.
  • The patch update contains a handful of fixes, including for crashes, moving after respawning or sleeping, and more.

Minecraft players everywhere recently gained access to 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update Part Two, an update that massively changes Minecraft's worlds and caves. It's already time for players to queue up another update, however, as Mojang Studios is now beginning to release Minecraft: Bedrock Edition 1.18.1.

This is a simple patch update with a small batch of fixes for the Caves and Cliffs Update, but there are some important tweaks like changing diamond ore generation to match Minecraft: Java Edition, fixing crashes on Android devices, and solving an issue with movement after respawning or sleeping in a bed. Minecraft: Bedrock Edition 1.18.1 is currently releasing only to PlayStation devices, but will roll out to all other Bedrock Edition platforms over the next few days, likely finishing over the weekend.

Minecraft is one of the greatest games ever made, and holds on to its title as one of the best Xbox games by continually evolving with new features and content. The Wild Update, releasing sometime during 2022, will update Minecraft's Overworld with new mobs, blocks, and more. As time goes on, we'll inevitably see more parts of The Wild Update tested in Minecraft betas and snapshots like Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Beta 1.18.10.21.

In case you missed it, here are all the changes and additions in 1.18 Caves and Cliffs Update Part Two.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition 1.18.1 patch update includes:

Fixes

  • Fixed a crash that could occur when copying a world backup in certain languages on PlayStation
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when chatting and playing on Realms
  • Decreased the amount of Diamond Ore that generates to match Java Edition
  • Fixed lighting bugs when removing light sources after returning to the Overworld from other dimensions
  • Players no longer have problems moving after respawning or getting out of a Bed
  • Added a warning prompt explaining potential loss of data when setting File Storage Location to External on Android devices
  • Fixed various crashes and storage-related issues with Android multi-user functionality and Amazon Kids / Freetime
  • Fixed simulation stopping in multiplayer sessions when other players move away from one player's render distance
  • The teleport command will no longer succeed when 'checkForBlocks' is true and the destination is obstructed
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a faulty purchase page for Realms when the maximum number of Realms are already owned
  • Optimized the Marketplace Inventory screen and improved loading of content images

A gaming masterpiece

Minecraft

$50 at Xbox (Xbox Master) $20 at Xbox (Xbox) $50 at Xbox (Windows Master) $30 at Xbox (Windows Starter) $30 at Amazon (PlayStation Starter) $30 at Amazon (Switch)

Available everywhere you play.

Minecraft is an inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It's also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox, Windows 10, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. Play with anyone and play anywhere.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Xbox $45 at Amazon (3-month subscription) $15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Quake is getting a brand-new game mode, free for all players

The remastered Quake is improving with an all-new Horde Mode for free.

What you need to know

  • Legendary shooter Quake was recently remastered for several platforms, and now is enjoying various free improvements released over time.
  • On Thursday, Bethesda Softworks and id Software revealed Horde Mode, a free update with single player, local split-screen, and online multiplayer.
  • Horde Mode pits players against waves of increasingly difficult enemies, with weapon and power-up upgrades scattered around the map.
  • Horde Mode is available now for free to all Quake players; more free add-ons are planned for the future.

The modern first-person shooter genre of video games is built on a foundation laid by titles like Quake, a game that still holds up in many ways today. Bethesda Softworks and id Software recently remastered the original Quake on several platforms with modern amenities and features, and is continuing to improve the classic shooter with free add-ons and updates. On Thursday, Bethesda announced the latest addition to Quake: Horde Mode.

Horde Mode is an all-new game mode for Quake, and it's available now for all players, completely for free. In Horde Mode, players will scavenge the map for upgraded weapons and power-ups while battling wave after wave of increasingly challenging enemies. You can play Horde Mode either by yourself, or in co-op using local split-screen or online multiplayer.

With DOOM Eternal—an epic shooter in its own right—now complete, studio id Software is rumored to be working on something new. This newfound focus on the original Quake, including adding fresh content to it, may deepen community speculation that a new Quake game is in the works, but nothing has been confirmed yet. In the meantime, the newly revived Quake is among the best Xbox games if you're a fan of the classic shooters that give the genre its roots.

Quake Horde Mode is available now, alongside the free "Honey" add-on and a new Ranger skin for DOOM Eternal players on Nintendo Switch.

A classic, revived

Quake

$4 at Xbox $10 at Amazon (Switch)

Better than before

Quake was recently remastered in a surprise launch on several platforms, and now it's getting various improvements over time. On Thursday, Bethesda Softworks announced the all-new Horde Mode, now available to all Quake players for free.

Hier — 2 décembre 2021Windows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

FTC obstructs NVIDIA's Arm acquisition with lawsuit

The light at the end of the tunnel grows dimmer for NVIDIA.

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA's Arm deal has been met with resistance and roadblocks from major players all around the world, including the UK and Chinese governments.
  • Many companies have cited concerns with the deal as well.
  • Now, the U.S.'s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing to stop the merger.

NVIDIA's Arm acquisition efforts have seen no shortage of obstacles. A multitude of major nations have threatened to shutter the deal should they deem it too dangerous, and now, the FTC is concretely standing against it with a full-on lawsuit.

To set up the situation: NVIDIA has been trying to get this acquisition through the various pipelines it needs to go through since late 2020. It has had to survive obstacles such as European summer vacation, probes from both the EU and UK, and notoriously difficult Chinese regulatory bodies.

And now, in what one can only assume is a very large headache for NVIDIA, there's a full-on lawsuit from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is suing to stop the NVIDIA-Arm merger, a move which can be seen via the official corresponding FTC documentation. FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova said the following about the matter:

The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies. Tomorrow's technologies depend on preserving today's competitive, cutting-edge chip markets. This proposed deal would distort Arm's incentives in chip markets and allow the combined firm to unfairly undermine Nvidia's rivals. The FTC's lawsuit should send a strong signal that we will act aggressively to protect our critical infrastructure markets from illegal vertical mergers that have far-reaching and damaging effects on future innovations.

Will this be the final nail in an already troubled acquisition's coffin? Time will tell, as will the FTC.

TSMC ushers in its 3nm era of chip production

As the number shrinks, the expectations soar.

What you need to know

  • TSMC is running the pilot production phase of its 3nm process.
  • The company reportedly expects to go big with volume production by late 2022, tentatively in the fourth quarter.
  • This news comes as TSMC gears up to handle NVIDIA's RTX 40-series production, another item on its 2022 docket.

TSMC has been having a very busy year, especially where headlines are concerned. Between its differing views with the U.S. government and the eye-catching win of NVIDIA's contractual interests, it's had no shortage of high-profile news surrounding it. And it's once again making the front page now that its 3nm pilot production program is officially underway, signaling the company is upping its chip game once again.

Though the pilot production phase is going on right now, TSMC isn't expected to hit volume production with its 3nm process until the final quarter of 2022 (via DigiTimes). Coincidentally, that's right around the time NVIDIA's RTX 40-series GPUs should be going wide in the market, so long as circumstances permit and the great chip shortage doesn't continue to ravage the world's various tech industries.

For those not in the loop, all this chip production news comes at a time when most companies are dealing with shortage issues that are backing up supply chains by weeks and months. Evidence of this can be found in companies' earnings reports, such as Microsoft admitting Surface revenue took a hit due to such factors and Lenovo saying it wasn't able to ship as much product as it wanted.

Some tech is immune to the harshest effects of the shortage, such as GaN chargers. Navitas Semiconductor gave insight as to why that is and the difference between energy processing technology and data processing technology. But for most of the hardware PC enthusiasts care about, such as the best graphics cards, TSMC and co. will need to be at the top of their game and continue to innovate to fix the current global situation.

The full list of Xbox Game Pass games available right now (December 2021)

The full catalog of Xbox Game Pass games, all in one place.

One of Microsoft's greatest contributions to gaming is its online subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. For just $10 a month, you can play 200 videogames on Microsoft platforms like Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, and even iOS and Android devices via the cloud. And if you're a first-time subscriber, you pay only $1 for the first three months. If the regular Xbox Game Pass isn't enough and you want more, you can pay $15 a month for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gain access to console, PC, and cloud games all at once instead of just one platform.

Given how gargantuan the Xbox's library of games is, it may look like a herculean task to pick the best games on Xbox Game Pass. So, we have decided to compile a few lists of Xbox Game Pass titles now available and new games coming soon to Xbox consoles, PC, and cloud-enabled mobile devices all in one place. This way, you will be able to pick out your favorite titles more easily and get the best deals out of your Xbox Game Pass subscription. Keep in mind that some of these titles are region-locked and may not be available in your home region.

Xbox games being added to Xbox Game Pass

These are the Xbox Game Pass games coming soon to consoles, PC, and the cloud over the coming months. Once their scheduled release date has passed, new upcoming titles for Xbox Game Pass will replace them.

November 2021

Evil Genius 2: World Domination (Cloud, Console, and PC) — Nov. 30

Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a strategy game developed and published by Rebellion. Become an evil mastermind and build a criminal organization to take over the world. Construct a secret lair filled with traps to capture intruders, train an army of minions, and build a Doomsday Device to bring the Forces of Justice to their knees.

Generation Zero (Cloud, Console, and PC) — Nov. 30

Generation Zero is an open-world survival game created and published by Systemic Reaction. Set in an alternative universe version of 1980s Sweden, you play as an ordinary teenager caught in a desperate struggle to survive against a horde of killer robots. You must find other survivors, build a base of operations, scavenge for weapons, and explore the land to discover the origins of these murderous machines.

Mind Scanners (Cloud, Console, and PC) — Nov. 30

Mind Scanners is a psychiatry simulation game developed by The Outer Zone and published by Brave Night. Your goal is to diagnose the citizens of a dystopian city called The Structure. Utilize futuristic technology and psychological treatments to heal the minds of your patients and help maintain order within The Structure.

theHunter: Call of the Wild (PC) — Nov. 30

theHunter: Call of the Wild is a hunting simulator developed and published by Expansive Worlds. Pack your hunting rifle and explore a gigantic open world filled with wildlife such as deer, bison, and various birds and insects. Go on hunting trips alone or with your friends in online co-operative and competitive multiplayer modes that support up to eight players.

December 2021

Before We Leave (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 1

Before We Leave is a city-building game developed by Balancing Monkey Games and published by Team17. You play as Peeps, a race of humanoids that have spent generations living underground. One day, they decide to make for the surface and rebuild their lost civilization. Help these Peeps build new settlements, grow crops, and create ships to venture into the vastness of space.

ANVIL (Console and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 2

ANVIL is a roguelike, top-down shooter developed and published by Action Square. You play as the Vault Breaker, a super-soldier tasked by the Ancient Vault Investigation Lab (ANVIL) to explore hostile worlds and abandoned ruins for ancient alien vaults. These vaults contain mighty weapons and relics that can augment a user's strength. However, they are guarded by hordes of dangerous monsters, each one more deadly than the last.

Archvale (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 2

Archvale is a bullet-hell game with action-RPG elements developed by idoz & phops and published by Humble Games. Take up your bow and arrows and embark on a journey to save the land from the evil forces of the Undying. Fight your way through undead enemies, customize your play style with powerful weapons and skills, and uncover the secrets of the legendary Archvale.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Console and PC) — Dec. 2

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, the 13th main entry in Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. You play as Serah Ferron, a young girl on a journey to find her sister, Lightning, who went missing after the events of Final Fantasy XIII. With a new companion, Noel Kreiss, they will travel the world, and even time and space, to find Lightning and protect Cocoon from a dark future.

Lawn Mowing Simulator (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 2

Lawn Mowing Simulator is a simulation game about gardening developed by Skyhook Games and published by Curve Games. Kick back and relax as you mow the lawns of the Great British Countryside in this peaceful immersive simulator.

Rubber Bandits (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 2

Rubber Bandits is a chaotic, 4-player, beat 'em up, party game created and published by Flashbulb. It's every robber for themselves, as you shoot, smash, and blow up your rival bandits to steal the most loot you can. Pick from a wide variety of criminals and prepare for hilarious heists where everything that can go wrong, goes wrong.

Stardew Valley (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 2

Stardew Valley is a farming simulator with RPG elements developed and published by ConcernedApe. You play as a farmer who has moved to Stardew Valley after inheriting your late grandfather's farm. Armed with your farming tools, it's up to you to restore your grandfather's plot to its former glory and help the community of Stardew Valley thrive.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 2

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector is a fast-paced, brutal, turn-based strategy game developed by Black Lab Games and published by Slitherine Ltd. Take control of the almighty Blood Angel Space Marines, and purge Baal Secundus of the vile Tyranids infesting it in an epic singleplayer campaign. Or you can take control of the Tyranid swarms and fight the Space Marines in online, competitive multiplayer skirmishes to determine who is the strongest force in the galaxy.

Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] — Dec. 7

Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator is a horror-themed, trading simulator created and published by Strange Scaffold. In this game, you assume the role of an Organ Trader, a cutthroat merchant who sells organs to desperate clients on the intergalactic black market. Maintain the stability of your goods to keep them from rotting, barter with unique and interesting alien races, and explore a dark universe where life only matters when profit is involved.

Halo Infinite (Cloud, Console, and PC) — Dec. 8

Halo Infinite is the latest entry of the Halo franchise, a franchise that revolutionized the first-person shooter genre. The Banished have dealt a crushing blow to the UNSC and are preparing to embark on a bloody campaign to conquer the galaxy. Don the armor of Master Chief once more, and fight back against the Banished, rescue surviving UNSC soldiers, and discover long-lost secrets of the Forerunners. Join the fight in Halo Infinite's multiplayer beta and its thrilling first season, Heroes of Reach, today. In addition, all your progress in multiplayer will be carried into the full release of Halo Infinite on Dec. 8, 2021.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 (Cloud, Console, and PC) — Dec. 9

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a beat 'em up developed by Omega Force and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Play as your favorite characters from the popular anime and manga series, One Piece, and battle against hundreds of pirates and marines. Smash down Warlords of the Seas as Monkey D. Luffy, cut down corrupt marine captains as Roronoa Zoro, bring down the thunder as the thieving navigator Nami, and so much more.

Among Us (Console) [email protected] — Dec. 14

Among Us is a social deduction game developed and published by Innersloth. In this multiplayer game that supports 15 players, you play as crewmates of a spaceship tasked with repairing it so you can all go home. However, some members of your crew are Imposters sent to murder everyone on board. It is to you and your friends to repair the ship and discover the Imposters before it is too late.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite (Console and PC) — Dec. 14

Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a co-operative, third-person shooter developed by Cold Iron Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive. Set 23 years after the original Alien trilogy, you play as a Colonial Marine tasked with exterminating Xenomorphs infesting the UAS Endeavor. Customize your looks, class, perks, and weapons to build the ultimate Marine and go on a bug hunt with your friends in 3-player co-op.

Xbox games being removed from Xbox Game Pass

These are games that will be leaving Xbox Game Pass. This list will be updated at the beginning and the halfway point of every month, with more titles announced for removal.

Dec. 8, 2021

  • Destiny 2: Beyond Light (Cloud and Console)

Dec. 15, 2021

  • Beholder (Cloud and Console)
  • The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan (Console and PC)
  • Guacamelee! 2 (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Wilmot's Warehouse (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Unto The End (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (Cloud, Console, and PC)

Xbox Game Pass games list for Xbox One, Series X|S

  • A Way Out
  • AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES
  • Alan Wake's American Nightmare
  • Alice: Madness Returns
  • Alien: Isolation
  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite
  • Among Us
  • Anthem
  • ANVIL
  • Aragami 2
  • Archvale
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Explorer's Edition
  • Art of Rally
  • Astria Ascending
  • Astroneer
  • Atomicrops
  • Backbone
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • Bassmaster Fishing 2022
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1943
  • Battlefield 1
  • Battlefield 3
  • Battlefield 4
  • Battlefield: Bad Company
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Battlefield Hardline
  • Battlefield V
  • Battletoads
  • Before We Leave
  • Beholder: Complete Edition
  • Bejeweled 2
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Black Desert
  • BLACK
  • Bleeding Edge
  • BLiNX: The Time Sweeper
  • Bloodroots
  • Breathedge
  • Bridge Constructor Portal
  • Brütal Legend
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered
  • Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
  • Carrion
  • Children of Morta
  • Cities: Skylines — Xbox One Edition
  • ClusterTruck
  • Code Vein
  • Conan Exiles
  • Control
  • Costume Quest 2
  • Crackdown 3
  • Craftopia
  • Cricket 19
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Cris Tales
  • Crown Trick
  • Crysis
  • Crysis 2
  • Crysis 3
  • Curse of the Dead Gods
  • Cyber Shadow
  • Dandy Ace
  • Dante's Inferno
  • Darkest Dungeon
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered
  • DayZ
  • Dead by Daylight: Special Edition
  • Dead Cells
  • Dead Space
  • Dead Space 2
  • Dead Space 3
  • Dead Space Ignition
  • DEEEER Simulator
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Descenders
  • Desperados III
  • Destiny 2
  • Destiny 2: Beyond Light
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken
  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Dicey Dungeons
  • DiRT 5
  • Dishonored: Definitive Edition
  • Dishonored 2
  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
  • Disneyland Adventures
  • Dodgeball Academia
  • Donut Country
  • DOOM (1993)
  • DOOM II (Classic)
  • DOOM 3
  • DOOM 64
  • DOOM (2016)
  • DOOM Eternal Standard Edition
  • Double Dragon Neon
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Dragon Age 2
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age — Definitive Edition
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 16
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 17
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 20
  • EA SPORTS Rory Mcllroy PGA TOUR
  • EA SPORTS UFC 3
  • Echo Generation
  • eFootball PES 2012 SEASON UPDATE STANDARD EDITION
  • Elite Dangerous
  • Empire of Sin
  • Enter the Gungeon
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination
  • Exo One
  • F1 2019
  • Fable Anniversary
  • Fable II
  • Fable III
  • Fae Tactics
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout 76
  • Fallout New Vegas
  • Farming Simulator 19
  • Feeding Frenzy
  • Feeding Frenzy 2
  • FIFA 15
  • FIFA 18
  • FIFA 21
  • FIGHT NIGHT CHAMPION
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 2
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 3
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 4
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Original Series
  • Flynn: Son of Crimson
  • Football Manager 2022: Xbox Edition
  • For Honor
  • Forager
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Frostpunk: Console Edition
  • Full Throttle
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Gang Beasts
  • Gears 5 Game of the Year Edition
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears of War 4
  • Gears of War Judgement
  • Gears of War Ultimate Edition
  • Gears Tactics
  • Generation Zero
  • Genesis Noir
  • Goat Simulator
  • Golf with your Friends
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — The Definitive Edition
  • GreedFall
  • Grim Fandango Remastered
  • Grounded (Game Preview)
  • Guacamelee!
  • Hades
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Infinite
  • Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Halo Wars 2: Standard Edition
  • Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
  • Human Fall Flat
  • Hypnospace Outlaw
  • I Am Fish
  • Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars
  • Injustice 2
  • Into the Pit
  • It Takes Two
  • Jetpac Refueled
  • Joy Ride Turbo
  • Jurassic World Evolution
  • Just Cause 4: Reloaded
  • Kameo
  • Katamari Damacy REROLL
  • Kill It with Fire
  • Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition
  • Killer Queen Black
  • Kingdom Hearts III
  • Knights and Bikes
  • Knockout City
  • Last Stop
  • Lawn Mowing Simulator
  • Lemnis Gate
  • Lethal League Blaze
  • Limbo
  • Lumines Remastered
  • Lonely Mountains: Downhill
  • Lost Words: Beyond the Page
  • Madden NFL 19
  • Madden NFL 20
  • Maneater
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • Medal of Honor Airborne
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
  • Mighty Goose
  • Mind Scanners
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Mirror's Edge Catalyst
  • MLB: The Show 21
  • Monster Sanctuary
  • Monster Train
  • Moonglow Bay
  • Moonlighter
  • Mortal Shell
  • MotoGP 20
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • My Friend Pedro
  • My Time At Portia
  • Narita Boy
  • NBA LIVE 18: The One Edition
  • NBA LIVE 19
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • Need for Speed
  • Need for Speed Heat
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
  • Need for Speed Payback
  • Neon Abyss
  • Neoverse
  • New Super Lucky's Tale
  • Next Space Rebels
  • NHL 20
  • NHL 21
  • NHL 94 Rewind
  • NieR: Automata BECOME AS GODS Edition
  • No Many's Sky
  • Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition
  • Nowhere Prophet
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Omno
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4
  • One Step from Eden
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Outlast 2
  • Outriders
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Pandemic: The Board Game
  • Payday 2: Crimewave Edition
  • Peggle
  • Peggle 2
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Phoenix Point
  • PHOGS!
  • Pikuniku
  • Pillers of Eternity: Complete Edition
  • Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire — Ultimate Edition
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
  • Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  • Prey
  • Project Wingman
  • Project Winter
  • Psychonauts
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Quantum Break
  • RAGE
  • RAGE 2
  • Rain on Your Parade
  • Raji: An Ancient Epic
  • Rare Replay
  • ReCore: Definitive Edition
  • Remnant: From the Ashes
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Ring of Pain
  • Rocket Arena
  • Rubber Bandits
  • Rush: A DisneyPixar Adventure
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Sable
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • ScreamRide
  • Sea of Solitude
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Second Extinction
  • Secret Neighbour
  • Shadow Warrior 2
  • Signs of the Sojourner
  • Skate
  • Skate 3
  • SkateBIRD
  • Slay The Spire
  • Slime Rancher
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • SnowRunner
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator
  • Spiritfarer
  • SSX
  • Stardew Valley
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Star Wars: Battlefront
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Star Wars: Squadrons
  • State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
  • State of Day: Year One
  • Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones
  • Steep
  • Stelleris: Console Edition
  • Strangers Things 3; The Game
  • Streets of Rage 4
  • Subnautica
  • Subnautica: Below Zero
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Super Lucky's Tale
  • SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE
  • Superliminal
  • Supraland
  • Surgeon Simulator 2
  • Tell Me Why: Chapters 1-3
  • Terraria
  • Tetris Effect: Connected
  • The Ascent
  • The Artful Escape
  • The Bard's Tale ARPG: Remastered and Resnarkled
  • The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut
  • The Bard's Tale Trilogy
  • The Catch: Carp & Coarse Fishing
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • The Evil Within
  • The Evil Within 2
  • The Falconeer
  • The Forgotten City
  • The Good Life
  • theHunter: Call of the Wild
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 4
  • The Little Acre
  • The Long Dark
  • The Medium
  • The Outer Worlds
  • The Procession to Calvary
  • The Riftbreaker
  • The Sims 4
  • The Surge 2
  • The Walking Dead: A New Frontier — The Complete Season (Episodes 1-5)
  • The Walking Dead: Michonne — Ep. 2, Give No Shelter
  • The Walking Dead: Michonne — Ep. 3, What We Deserve
  • The Walking Dead: Michonne — The Complete Season
  • The Walking Dead: Season Two
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
  • The Wild at Heart
  • Titanfall
  • Titanfall 2
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Deluxe Edition
  • Torchlight III
  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service
  • Touhou Luna Nights
  • Trailmakers
  • Tropico 6
  • Two Point Hospital
  • UFC 4
  • Undertale
  • Undungeon
  • Unpacking
  • Unravel
  • Unravel Two
  • Unsighted
  • Unto The End
  • Visage
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: TIP
  • Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector
  • Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
  • Wasteland 3 (Xbox One)
  • Wasteland Remastered
  • We Happy Few
  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Wilmot's Warehouse
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • World War Z
  • Worms Rumble
  • Worms W.M.D
  • Wreckfest
  • Xeno Crisis
  • Yakuza 0
  • Yakuza 3 Remastered
  • Yakuza 4 Remastered
  • Yakuza 5 Remastered
  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2
  • The Yakuza Remastered Collection
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • Yes, Your Grace
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War
  • Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection
  • Zuma
  • Zuma's Revenge!

Xbox Game Pass PC games list

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • A Way Out
  • Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
  • Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
  • Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition
  • Age of Empires IV
  • AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES
  • Alan Wake's American Nightmare
  • Alien: Isolation
  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite
  • Alvastia Chronicles
  • Among Us
  • Anthem
  • ANVIL
  • Aragami 2
  • Archvale
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Explorer's Edition
  • Art of Rally
  • Arx Fatalis
  • Astria Ascending
  • Astroneer
  • Atomicrops
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Bassmaster Fishing 2022
  • Battlefield 1 Revolution
  • Battlefield 3 Premium Edition
  • Battlefield 4 Premium Edition
  • Battlefield V Year 2 Edition
  • Battlefield Hardline Ultimate Edition
  • BATTLETECH
  • Battletoads
  • Before We Leave
  • Bleeding Edge
  • Bloodroots
  • Breathedge
  • Bridge Constructor Portal
  • Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered
  • Carrion
  • Children of Morta
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Clustertruck
  • Code Vein
  • Command & Conquer Remastered Collection
  • Control Standard Edition
  • Crackdown 3
  • Craftopia
  • Cris Tales
  • Crown Trick
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crysis
  • Crysis 2 Maximum Edition
  • Curse of the Dead Gods
  • Cyber Shadow
  • Dandy Ace
  • Darkest Dungeon
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Dead Cells
  • Dead Space
  • Dead Space 2
  • Dead Space 3
  • DEEEER Simulator
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Descenders
  • Desperados III
  • Destiny 2: Beyond Light
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Dicey Dungeons
  • DiRT 5
  • Dishonored Definitive Edition
  • Dishonored 2
  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
  • Disneyland Adventures
  • Dodgeball Academia
  • Donut County
  • DOOM (1993)
  • DOOM II (Classic)
  • DOOM 3
  • DOOM 64
  • DOOM (2016)
  • DOOM Eternal Standard Edition (PC)
  • Dragon Age II
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition — Game of the Year Edition
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age — Definitive Edition
  • Dungeon Keeper
  • Dungeon Keeper 2
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 16
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 17 Standard Edition
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 20
  • Echo Generation
  • Empire of Sin
  • Enter The Gungeon
  • Europa Universalis IV — Microsoft Store Edition
  • Everspace 2
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination
  • Exo One
  • F1 2019
  • Fallout
  • Fallout 2
  • Fallout: Tactics
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout 76
  • Fae Tactics
  • Farming Simulator 17
  • Farming Simulator 19
  • Fe
  • FIFA 15
  • FIFA 18
  • FIFA 21
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2
  • Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 2
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 3
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 4
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Original Series
  • Flynn: Son of Crimson
  • Football Manager 2022
  • Football Manager 2022: Xbox Edition
  • Forager
  • Forza Horizon 4 Standard Edition
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Frostpunk
  • Full Throttle Remastered
  • Gang Beasts
  • Gato Roboto
  • Gears 5
  • Gears 5 Game of the Year Edition
  • Gears of War 4
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Gears Tactics
  • Generation Zero
  • Genesis Noir
  • Ghost of a Tale
  • Goat Simulator Windows 10
  • Golf With Your Friends
  • GreedFall — Windows 10
  • Grim Fandango Remastered
  • Gris
  • Grounded — Game Preview
  • Guacamelee! 2
  • Hades
  • Halo 2: Anniversary
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo 4
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Halo Infinite
  • Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Halo: Reach
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Halo: Spartan Strike
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
  • Halo Wars 2: Standard Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet Edition
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Hollow Knight
  • Human Fall Flat
  • Hypnospace Outlaw
  • I Am Fish
  • Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars
  • Into the Pit
  • Iron Harvest
  • It Takes Two
  • Jade Empire Special Edition
  • Just Cause 4: Reloaded
  • Katamari Damacy REROLL
  • Kill It with Fire
  • Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition
  • Knights and Bikes
  • Knockout City
  • Last Stop
  • Lawn Mowing Simulator
  • Lemnis Gate
  • Lethal League Blaze
  • Limbo
  • Lonely Mountains: Downhill
  • Lost Words: Beyond the Page
  • Lumines Remastered
  • Madden NFL 19
  • Madden NFL 20
  • Madden NFL 21
  • Maneater
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Mass Effect 3 N7 Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda Deluxe Edition
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne
  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault War Chest
  • Medieval Dynasty (Game Preview)
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection: Premium Edition
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • Mighty Goose
  • Mind Scanners
  • Minecraft: Java and Bedrock Editions
  • Minecraft Dungeons — Windows 10
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Mirror's Edge Catalyst
  • Monster Sanctuary
  • Monster Train
  • Moonglow Bay
  • Moonlighter
  • Mortal Shell
  • MotoGP20
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • My Friend Pedro
  • My Time At Portia
  • Narita Boy
  • Need for Speed Deluxe Edition
  • Need for Speed Heat Deluxe Edition
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
  • Need for Speed Most Wanted
  • Need for Speed Payback — Deluxe Edition
  • Need for Speed Rivals: Complete Edition
  • Neon Abyss
  • Neoverse
  • New Super Lucky's Tale
  • Next Space Rebels
  • NieR:Automata BECOME AS GODS Edition
  • No Man's Sky
  • Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition
  • Nowhere Prophet
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Omno
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4
  • One Step from Eden
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Outlast 2
  • Outriders
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Pandemic: The Board Game
  • Pathway
  • Peggle
  • Phoenix Point
  • Phogs!
  • Pikuniku Win10
  • Pillars of Eternity: Hero Edition
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire — Ultimate Edition
  • Plants vs. Zombies Game of the Year Edition
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for the Neighborville Deluxe Edition
  • Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare
  • Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2: Deluxe Edition
  • Populous
  • Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  • Prey
  • Prison Architect PC
  • Project Wingman
  • Project Winter
  • Psychonauts
  • RAGE
  • RAGE 2
  • Raji: An Ancient Epic
  • ReCore: Definitive Edition
  • Remnant: From the Ashes
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Ring of Pain
  • Rise of Nations: Extended Edition
  • Rocket Arena
  • Rubber Bandits
  • Rush: A DisneyPixar Adventure
  • Sable
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Sea of Solitude
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Second Extinction
  • Secret Neighbor
  • Signs of the Sojourner
  • SimCity 2000 Special Edition
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
  • SimCity: Complete Edition
  • Shadow Warrior 2
  • SkateBIRD
  • Slay The Spire
  • Slime Rancher
  • SnowRunner
  • Solasta: Crown of the Magister
  • Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator
  • SpellForce 3: Soul Harvest
  • Spiritfarer
  • SPORE
  • Starbound
  • Stardew Valley
  • Starmancer
  • Star Wars Battlefront: Ultimate Edition
  • Star Wars Battlefront II: Celebration Edition
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Star Wars: Squadrons
  • State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Streets of Rage 4
  • Subnautica
  • Subnautica: Below Zero
  • Superliminal
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE
  • Super Lucky's Tale
  • Supraland
  • Surgeon Simulator 2
  • Tainted Grail: Conquest
  • Tell Me Why: Chapters 1-3
  • Tetris Effect: Connected
  • The Ascent
  • The Artful Escape
  • The Bard's Tale ARPG : Remastered and Resnarkled
  • The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut
  • The Bard's Tale Trilogy
  • The Catch: Carp & Coarse Fishing
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man Of Medan
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • The Evil Within
  • The Evil Within 2
  • The Falconeer
  • The Forgotten City
  • theHunter: Call of the Wild
  • The Long Dark
  • The Outer Worlds
  • The Procession to Calvary
  • The Riftbreaker
  • The Saboteur
  • The Sims 3 Starter Pack
  • The Sims 4 Deluxe Party Edition
  • The Surge 2
  • The Wild at Heart
  • Titanfall Deluxe Edition
  • Titanfall 2: Ultimate Edition
  • Torchlight III
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera
  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
  • Touhou Luna Nights
  • Trailmakers
  • Tropico 6
  • Two Point Hospital
  • Undertale
  • Undungeon
  • Unpacking
  • Unravel
  • Unravel Two
  • Unsighted
  • Unto The End
  • Visage
  • Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector
  • Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
  • Wasteland 3
  • Wasteland Remastered
  • We Happy Few
  • Wilmot's Warehouse
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • WORLD OF HORROR (Game Preview)
  • World War Z
  • Worms Rumble
  • Worms W.M.D
  • Wreckfest
  • Xeno Crisis
  • Yakuza 0
  • Yakuza 3 Remastered
  • Yakuza 4 Remastered
  • Yakuza 5 Remastered
  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2
  • The Yakuza Remastered Collection
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • Yes, Your Grace
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War
  • Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection

Xbox Game Pass (xCloud) list for iOS, Android, and PC

Note: Games marked with this emoji (👇) support touch controls.

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES
  • Aragami 2 (👇🏻)
  • Archvale
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Explorer's Edition
  • Art of Rally (👇🏻)
  • Astria Ascending
  • Astroneer
  • Atomicrops
  • Backbone
  • Banjo-Kazooie (👇🏻)
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Banjo-Tooie (👇🏻)
  • Bassmaster Fishing 2022
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield V
  • Battletoads
  • Before We Leave
  • Beholder Complete Edition (👇🏻)
  • Black Desert
  • Bleeding Edge
  • BLiNX: The Time Sweeper (👇🏻)
  • Bloodroots (👇🏻)
  • Boyfriend Dungeon (👇🏻)
  • Breathedge
  • Bridge Constructor Portal (👇🏻)
  • Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
  • Carrion
  • Children of Morta
  • Cities: Skylines — Xbox One Edition (👇🏻)
  • ClusterTruck
  • Code Vein
  • Conan Exiles
  • Control
  • Crackdown 3
  • Craftopia
  • Cricket 19
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge (👇🏻)
  • Cris Tales (👇🏻)
  • Crown Trick (👇🏻)
  • Curse of the Dead Gods (👇🏻)
  • Cyber Shadow
  • Dandy Ace (👇🏻)
  • Darkest Dungeon (👇🏻)
  • DayZ
  • Dead by Daylight: Special Edition
  • Dead Cells (👇🏻)
  • Dead Space
  • DEEEER Simulator
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Descenders
  • Desperados III (👇🏻)
  • Destiny 2
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Dicey Dungeons
  • DiRT 5 (👇🏻)
  • Dishonored: Definitive Edition
  • Dishonored 2
  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
  • Disneyland Adventures
  • Dodgeball Academia
  • Donut County (👇🏻)
  • DOOM (1993)
  • DOOM II (Classic)
  • DOOM 3
  • DOOM 64
  • DOOM (2016)
  • DOOM Eternal Standard Edition
  • Double Dragon Neon (👇🏻)
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age — Definitive Edition (👇🏻)
  • eFootball PES 2021 SEASON UPDATE STANDARD EDITION
  • Echo Generation (👇🏻)
  • Empire of Sin (👇🏻)
  • Enter the Gungeon (👇🏻)
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination
  • Exo One
  • F1 2019
  • Fable Anniversary
  • Fable II (👇🏻)
  • Fable III (👇🏻)
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout 76
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Fae Tactics
  • Farming Simulator 19 (👇🏻)
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 2
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 3
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 4
  • Flynn: Son of Crimson (👇🏻)
  • Football Manager 2022: Xbox Edition (👇🏻)
  • For Honor
  • Forager
  • Forza Horizon 4 Standard Edition
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Frostpunk: Console Edition (👇🏻)
  • Fuzion Frenzy (👇🏻)
  • Gang Beasts
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears 5 Game of the Year Edition (👇🏻)
  • Gears of War 4
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Gears of War: Judgement
  • Gears Tactics (👇🏻)
  • Generation Zero
  • Genesis Noir (👇🏻)
  • Goat Simulator
  • Going Under (👇🏻)
  • Golf With Your Friends (👇🏻)
  • GreedFall
  • Grounded — Game Preview
  • Guacamelee! 2 (👇🏻)
  • Hades (👇🏻)
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Infinite
  • Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta
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Why you should buy the newest Dell XPS 15 unless you can get a good deal

Newer model

Dell XPS 15 9500

From $1,666 at Dell

Pros

  • More recent model
  • Newer components
  • Gorgeous optional 4K OLED display
  • Amazing battery life

Cons

  • More pricey at launch
  • Same price as the newer XPS 15 9510

The newest XPS 15 from Dell packs everything you need for a powerful 15-inch laptop, including new options for an OLED 4K panel, GTX 1650, and an Intel Core i9 processor. If you want the latest and greatest from Dell, this is the laptop for you.

Capable laptop

Dell XPS 15 9570

From $1,400 at Amazon

Pros

  • Generally more affordable
  • Get a good deal on the second-hand market
  • Still a super-capable notebook

Cons

  • Older model
  • Older components

Regardless of which Dell XPS 15 you purchase, it's going to be a killer notebook. The 9570 is an older generation, which means you're rocking older hardware, but you should be able to get a good deal on the used market with the newer model already out.

The newer XPS 15 9500 was one of the best Windows laptops before it was replaced, rocking 10th Gen Intel processors (with the choice of an Intel Core i9 CPU), a 4K OLED panel option, as well as the newer NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti dedicated GPU. While the 9570 could be considered the worse laptop here merely because it's the older model, it shouldn't be overlooked, especially if having the latest features offered by the 9500 doesn't necessarily interest you.

Still, we'd recommend going for the latest XPS 15 9510 if your budget can stretch as it's the same price as the 9500.

Dell XPS 15 9500 vs. XPS 15 9570: Specs

This refresh was a small evolution for the Dell XPS 15, adding the latest processors, newer dedicated graphics, and a 4K OLED panel option. Comparing the new 9500 against the older 9570 shows just how similar the two laptops are, aside from the now-confusing model numbers.

Dell XPS 15 (9500) Dell XPS 15 (9570)
OS Windows 10 Windows 10
CPU Up to 10th Gen Intel i9-10885H Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9
RAM 8GB DDR4-2933MHz
16GB DDR4-2933MHz
32GB DDR4-2933MHz
64GB DDR4-2666MHz
8GB DDR4-2666MHz
16GB DDR4-2666MHz
32GB DDR4-2666MHz
64GB DDR4-2666MHz
GPU Up to NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6 Intel UHD Graphics 630
NVIDIA GTX 1050 (4GB GDDR5)
NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5)
Display 15.6-inch IPS
3840x2160
500 nits
Touch support
15.6-inch 1920x1080 InfinityEdge
15.6-inch UltraSharp 4K 3840x2160 InfinityEdge
Storage 256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
128GB SATA SSD + 1TB HDD
1TB SSHD
256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 3 with power delivery & DisplayPort
1x USB-C 3.1 with power delivery & DisplayPort
1x Full-size SD card reader v6.0
1x 3.5mm combo jack
1x Wedge-shaped lock slot
HDMI 2.0
USB 3.0 (x2) with PowerShare
Headset jack
SD card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3
Webcam 720p 720p
Battery 56Whr
86Whr
56Whr
97Whr
Security Windows Hello fingerprint reader Windows Hello fingerprint reader
Wireless Killer AX1650
Bluetooth 5.0
Killer 1535
Bluetooth 4.1
Dimensions 0.71 x 13.57 x 9.06 inches (18mm x 344.72mm x 230.14mm) 0.45-0.66 x 14.06 x 9.27 inches (11-17mm x 357mm x 235mm)
Weight Up to 4.55 pounds (2.05kg) Up to 4 pounds (1.8kg)

Same beautiful XPS 15 design

Dell made sure not to touch the dimensions or weight of the XPS 15 (read our full Dell XPS 15 9500 review for all the details), and the design team failed to spend any time switching up the design. These are both excellent points for the new XPS 15 since the older generations' design was (and still is) amazing. It's one of the best-looking laptops out there. What makes this even better for owners of both models is you won't be able to tell them apart. If you stick with (or purchase) the older 9570, people will be hard-pressed to tell it apart from the new 9500 unless you know what to look for.

Visually speaking, the newer XPS 15 comes rocking smaller bezels, larger keys, and more touchpad surface that all make a considerable difference. The dimensions, weight, and overall look of the laptop looks similar to the older 9570. Internally, both laptops differ somewhat. The new 10th Gen Intel processors provide a substantial boost in performance over the older 8th Gen processors, and the GTX 1650 Ti is a step up from the GTX 1050 Ti.

There's also the inclusion of a fancy new 4K OLED panel, should you choose it as an option when configuring your new XPS 15. This is why it's also possible to recommend the older 9570 to those who don't require the additional headroom offered by the new Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPU, saving some money in the process.

Should you need immense performance, Dell lets you configure the newer XPS 15 with a 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti, all accompanied by a 1TB PCIe SSD.

Don't upgrade unless you need more power

As great as the new specs of the 9500 are, we can still recommend some owners to stick with their trusty XPS 15 9570. If it's still working just fine, the older processor handles everything you throw at it, and you don't technically require the advancements present in the newer 9500, stick with the older notebook.

Still, for most people, there's not much here that warrants another $1,400 to be dropped for such a similar portable PC. We'd even go as far as to recommend choosing the newest XPS 15 9510.

Choosing the very best from Dell

This iteration of the XPS 15 is the 9500, which was released in 2020 and confused everyone with the new model number. This notebook was refreshed with upgraded internals while retaining that stunning iconic XPS design. Not only are you getting more recent processors from Intel, but also a faster GTX 1650 Ti GPU and an optional 4K OLED panel. It was a strong contender for the best Dell laptop.

Newest model

Dell XPS 15 9500 (15-inch)

Latest and greatest 15-inch laptop

From $1,666 at Dell

Dell's iconic XPS 15 received a substantial spec bump for 2020 with a new option for 4K OLED (non-touch), NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti for graphics, and new 10th Gen Intel processors including up to an 8-core Core i9 CPU for ultimate power. The massive 86WHr battery remains to make sure you get all-day battery life.

Go with the older XPS 15 to save a little

There's really no reason to choose the 7590 over the 9500 unless you're getting a solid deal on one. Whether a retailer needs to get rid of one or if you can find one on the used market, there are strong chances you can knock a few hundred off the original retail price of the older XPS 15.

Just watch out for some listings that cost a little more than the XPS 15 9500.

Capable laptop

Dell XPS 15 9570 (15.6-inch)

A classic performer

From $1,400 at Amazon

See at Walmart

The XPS 15 9570 is a great laptop and one that should be considered if you want to save on the price of a new laptop. Sure, the internals aren't current, but it's still a workhorse that will perform well.

Surface Laptop Studio goes for $1,499 in deal you can't afford (to miss?)

Cyber Monday may be over, but the joke's on you because Cyber Monday isn't actually over: It's just getting started. See, after Best Buy figured out how much money it could make off of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it said "hey, let's just do this every day of the year, yeah?" Which brings us to now, when a random Thursday can also be the day that Microsoft's shiny new Surface Laptop Studio goes on sale for a whopping $300 off.

That's right. For just $1,499, you can get a Surface Laptop Studio with an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Do you even know how many episodes of The Sopranos you can store with an SSD that big? All of them!

But you need to act fast if you want to score this killer deal, as it's only available for a limited time. At midnight (ET) tonight, the pumpkin carriage will revert to a dead, moldy vegetable and Best Buy will yank the savings opportunity away from you, at which point you'll have no choice but to take out a mortgage on your home to afford the full $1,799 machine.

Surface Laptop Studio

It's a laptop! No, it's a foldable! No, it's both! See the wildest not-quite-2-in-1 Surface device to come out of Microsoft's 2021 slate, then spend nearly $2,000 doubloons on it.

$1,499 at Best Buy

It's worth noting that you can get a Surface Laptop Studio for around this sale price on a regular day, but it won't be this same config. So if you want the most bang for the buck on the spec side of things, now's your chance to dive in and reap the rewards of Best Buy's offer. Or, alternatively, wait 'til sometime next week when another surprise deal sneaks up on you like Jason Momoa did to Henry Cavill at that one red carpet premiere.

New trackpad module will help PCs compete with Apple's Force Touch

Thinner trackpads will allow PC manufacturers to fit bigger batteries into compact laptops.

What you need to know

  • Boréas and Cirque unveiled the GlideSense trackpad module with Boréas Piezo Haptic Trackpad technology this week.
  • The module allows PC makers to utilize haptic feedback on Windows 11.
  • The technology helps Windows laptops compete with Apple hardware that uses Force Touch.

Windows 11 laptops could get a big boost when it comes to trackpads, thanks to technology that Boréas and Cirque just unveiled. The two companies announced GlideSense with Boréas Piezo Haptic Trackpad technology earlier this week. The trackpad module allows PC makers to take advantage of haptic feedback in Windows 11. In its press release, Boréas says this new technology will allow Windows trackpads to compete with Apple's Force Touch.

Haptic trackpads are complex and involve multiple layers working together. In short, they allow you to feel like you're clicking on a trackpad without requiring moving parts. They offer several advantages over traditional trackpads, including lower power consumption, reduced failure rate due to a lack of moving parts, and laptops being able to be considerably thinner.

Our executive editor Daniel Rubino breaks them down in depth, including a comparison of how Apple, Sensel, and Boréas approach things differently.

An example of a piezo-based haptic trackpad from Boréas.

Here's the relevant excerpt from Rubino's coverage in relation to this week's news:

In short, the big deal here is we're going to get much more accurate trackpads that can detect force (a new dimension), won't fail due to moving parts, all in laptops that can be thinner (or have even more space for the battery). No more dead zones, no more phantom clicks.

Best of all, because of how piezo haptics work, you'll feel like you're clicking when you press down. It's trippy stuff, but anyone who has used the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga or an Apple MacBook knows what I'm talking about: Haptics trick the brain into sensing something that isn't happening.

One of the main benefits of the approach Boréas is taking is that it's scalable. Boréas and Cirque can work together to mass-produce components for several PC manufacturers. Because of this, trackpads that use this technology could be seen in a wide range of devices from big-name companies.

Microsoft recently jumped in on the haptic trend with the new Surface Laptop Studio, which uses a custom-designed trackpad. While Microsoft created it, the underlying technology is provided by Sensel, a competitor to Boréas and Cirque. We'll have more on the underly technology in the Surface Laptop Studio soon, as Sensel is expected to be going into more laptops in 2022.

Indeed, we should be seeing many more laptops with haptics next year, making this an exciting trend to follow.

Review: Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover is a must-have for frequent Slim Pen users

The Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover is not cheap, but it's the best accessory even if you don't use the pen.

There aren't many accessories for Microsoft's Surface Duo 2, partially due to the complexity of creating cases and even screen protectors (the new inward curving displays are tricky). But Microsoft did show off the Pen Cover back when the Surface Duo 2 was announced in October, which looked intriguing.

While it took over a month to come out hitting the streets on Nov. 15, the $65 add-on is unique. Not only does it let the Surface Slim Pen more firmly stick to Surface Duo 2, but it can also recharge the pen via induction. Toss in more protection for the front cover and hide some fingerprints on the otherwise very glossy Obsidian model, and you get a worthy upgrade.

Here's what you need to know about it after spending a few weeks with it.

Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover

Bottom line: While not cheap, the Pen Cover brings some excellent protection and new functionality for Surface Duo 2, especially if you like using the Slim Pen with it.

The Good

  • Recharges Slim Pen
  • Perfect fit, adds protection
  • Powerful magnets to secure pen
  • Hides fingerprints

The Bad

  • Doesn't protect the back
  • Adds bulk and weight
  • Expensive

$65 at Microsoft $65 at Best Buy

Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover: Price and availability

You can see the white LED when the pen is initially charging.

The Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover is now available directly from Microsoft (online) and Best Buy (in-store pickup or online). Amazon does not yet have it listed as available.

The cost is $65, and it comes in two colors: Obsidian (black) and Glacier (white), matching both color options for Surface Duo 2.

Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover: What you'll like

In the box, the Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover has three parts: the front cover and two rear pieces that form the rear bumper. The rear bumper is comprised of the same two pieces from the standalone Surface Duo 2 Bumper Case, which adheres with two-sided tape.

The matte front cover clicks onto the Surface Duo 2 with a firm press. There is no tape needed. Removing it is a bit trickier, as you need to pry the ends near the hinge on both sides to pop it off, but it does come off without too much effort.

Unlike Surface Duo 2 Bumper, the front cover completely protects the phone's bottom side covering the SIM slot. Microsoft could achieve this preferred design because the cover is removable and does not use tape to stay in place.

The inside of the white Pen Cover where the coil and magnets are located.

Inside the front cover, you can see a strip of Alcantara that helps protect the front glass of Surface Duo 2 from scratches from the cover's plastic. That cover also houses, presumably, the induction coil and magnets to recharge and hold the pen in place. Indeed, when the cover is on, it is evident that the area where the pen attaches is substantially thicker than the hinge-side, which dramatically tapers down.

Recharging is simple: Drop the pen onto the cover, and the magnets hold it into place. A tiny white LED briefly turns on to let you know it is charging. This system works with both the original Surface Slim Pen and Surface Slim Pen 2.

From this angle, you can see how one side is thicker than the other due to the added wireless components.

Some people doubted my claim that the magnets with the Pen Cover are so powerful that the Slim Pen stays attached even in your pocket. But I was right. These magnets are much stronger than those built into Surface Duo 2, and the pen is firmly attached (you need to pull hard to remove it). If the magnets were any more potent, it'd be a pain to remove the pen. Case in point: You can hold Surface Duo 2 (284 grams) by the attached pen and even lightly shake it without dislodging.

Battery drainage from Surface Duo 2 is minimal due to the small size of the Slim Pen's internal battery and how long it lasts, although your mileage will vary on how often you use the pen.

Both Slim Pen 1 & 2 work with the Pen Cover.

Interestingly, it seems the pen won't charge if Surface Duo 2's battery is below 50%, which is an excellent way to prioritize the phone's longevity.

The pen's battery life can be checked via the Bluetooth settings in Surface Duo 2 when the pen is not recharging.

There is no doubt the front of Surface Duo 2 is much more protected with the front cover both from scratches and potentially light drops. Additionally, while the plastic picks up fingerprints, they are much fewer than directly onto the Corning Gorilla Glass.

Flipping Surface Duo 2 into one-handed mode is no issue with the cover. The device snaps nicely into place even with the pen attached. Sure, it's thicker, but there are few ways to pull off a more elegant design with today's existing technology.

Surface Duo 2 already felt more robust due to the added thickness, and the Pen Cover adds to that, removing some of the fragility in having a nearly all-glass device in your hands.

Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover: What you won't like

Mixing and matching colors is not a great look.

Just the front of the Pen Cover weighs in at 30 grams. That's not a lot, but when you add the Slim Pen 2 (14 grams), the whole package with rear bumper brings Surface Duo 2's weight from 284 grams to 334 grams making it easily one of the heaviest "phones" on the market. It's not a night-and-day difference, but with the added thickness, Surface Duo 2 feels beefier with this cover and pen.

You can put a skin on top of the cover or even use one below, but you're better off using SopiGuard over dBrand as the former's are much thinner and not the thicker (and better) 3M variety. The skins interfere slightly with folding the phone into the one-handed mode, but it's not a dealbreaker.

There is no protection for the rear of Surface Duo 2. That may seem like a flagrant omission, but it's not clear you could have both sides covered and still be able to reverse-fold the phone into one-handed mode.

It's not advised to mix and match colorways, either. Sure, you could slap the white cover on the black Surface Duo 2, but the Oreo effect is not pleasing.

And no, you cannot charge Surface Duo 2 with the Pen Cover, which would be weird since it is on the front.

Finally, the $65 price is not cheap. Of course, expensive niche accessories are never cheap as Samsung's own Samsung S Pen Folio Cover is $80, and its Leather Flip Stand Cover is an eye-watering $90. However, the Pen Cover looks like a bargain compared to the $40 Surface Duo 2 Bumper Case due to the added protection, fewer fingerprints, and the new functionality in being able to recharge the pen on the go.

Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover: Competition

Unlike Samsung products with a larger market share, there are no real alternatives to the Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover.

For $40, you can get the Surface Duo 2 Bumper Case, which, while pricey, is an excellent addition for those who want some minor protection and added grip and don't need to recharge the pen.

OtterBox is coming out with an even more rugged case for Surface Duo 2; however, it is not yet available, and it does not offer pen charging.

If you want a cheap way to attach the pen without charging, the Ringke $10 pen holder is a great solution.

You can get more ideas in our best Surface Duo 2 accessories guide.

Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if ...

  • You use Surface Slim Pen 1 or 2 a lot and want to charge it
  • You want added protection
  • You hate fingerprints but don't like skins either

You shouldn't buy this if ...

  • Using Surface Slim Pen is not a priority
  • You want the most protection for Surface Duo 2

In some ways, the Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover is a bit odd. When you buy the Slim Pen 2, there is no way to recharge it unless you buy the $35 charger. That's a change from the original Slim Pen (which is still available), but there is a hidden cost: Slim Pen with charger is $150, while Slim Pen 2 without the charger is $130. Slim Pen 2 adds haptics, has a new design, and improved accuracy making the slight increase in cost worth it for some. While haptics don't work on Surface Duo 2, anecdotal reporting in forums from users says Slim Pen 2 works better than Slim Pen 1 for inking on the device.

All this means if you have Surface Duo 2 and Surface Slim Pen 2, either the Pen Cover ($65) or charger ($35) are required. At least Microsoft gives you a choice.

As to why Microsoft couldn't build wireless charging for the Slim Pen 2 into Surface Duo 2, it's a question of space. Surface Duo 2 already went from 4.8mm to 5.5mm, making it thicker and heavier than the original Surface Duo. Adding in a wireless coil would have made that even worse, as the Pen Cover demonstrates. There's also cost, as it would have driven up the price even higher, even as Surface Duo 2 is already more expensive.

That all makes the Pen Cover a bit of a kludge until Microsoft can figure out to build in wireless charging for the Slim Pen and wireless charging for the Surface Duo (in the rear) into one device without accessories. That's something we'll likely see in the next version, but it's a DIY add-on for now.

Whether you get value from the Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover depends on how much you use that Slim Pen. Microsoft is slowly but surely building out the usefulness of owning a pen into Surface Duo 2, which is good news. Microsoft just added inking to Outlook and now lets you "mark up" photos directly using the pen.

We're also hearing that December's system update enables the rear button on the Slim Pen to automatically open OneNote.

4 out of 5

Even if you don't use the pen often, the cover is just cool. It adds protection, hides fingerprints, and makes it grippier to hold. That alone may be worth it for some people.

Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover

Bottom line: For those who like the idea of using a pen with Surface Duo 2, the Pen Cover is clever and a recommended accessory to make the most out of the combo.

$65 at Microsoft $65 at Best Buy

Halo Infinite multiplayer is fun, but where's the content?

Why does Halo Infinite only have three playlists?

The free-to-play Halo Infinite multiplayer experience is here, and its core gameplay mechanics are superb. Many have even declared that Halo Infinite's movement, gunplay, and sandbox are some of the best in the series, and since hundreds of thousands of players are consistently playing the game across the Xbox ecosystem, it's clear that Microsoft and 343 Industries have crafted a shooter that has the potential to dominate the industry and become one of the best Xbox games ever. However, for Halo Infinite to truly succeed in the long term, it needs content variety. And unfortunately, that's one of the things that the game currently lacks.

Halo Infinite launched with three playlists: Quick Play, Ranked Arena, and Big Team Battle (the game's "Bot Bootcamp" training mode doesn't count). Within these playlists, there are six game modes: Slayer, Capture the Flag, Oddball, Strongholds, Stockpile, and Total Control.

Compared to previous Halo games, this is a pitiful amount of content. Where's Team SWAT? What about Team Doubles and Team Snipers? Why doesn't Halo Infinite have staple Halo modes like Infection, King of the Hill, and Juggernaut? The game doesn't even have matchmaking playlists for playing specific game modes, and as a result, many players are forced to play modes they don't enjoy.

The lack of content at launch is baffling, especially since the Halo community vehemently criticized 2015's Halo 5: Guardians for having the exact same problem. Why is a new Halo game shipping with less content than Halo 3 and Halo: Reach had over a decade ago? Why couldn't the developers include creative modes from Halo 4 and Halo 5 that many enjoyed, such as Ricochet, Dominion, and Breakout? Where's Halo's beloved cooperative Firefight PvE mode?

Why does Halo Infinite have significantly less content than Halo games from 10 years ago?

The issue is made worse by the fact that Halo Infinite's Forge mode was delayed further into 2022, preventing fans from using Forge to create maps suitable for Custom Games that would no doubt help ease the pain of Halo Infinite's miniscule content offering. Not only do fans have to deal with barely having any content variety in matchmaking, but they'll also be unable to make their own fun with Forge and Custom Games until late 2022.

Some fans have fairly pointed out that Halo Infinite's multiplayer is technically being considered a beta build until Dec. 8, and that because of that, new playlists and modes may be added to the game when it officially launches. However, according to 343 Industries, that won't be the case; in a blog post, the developers confirmed that the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta launched "with all day-one maps and modes enabled." What we have now is what we'll have on launch day.

Notably, during the recent Halo Infinite Fracture: Tenrai event the developers added the Fiesta game mode, only to yank it out of matchmaking once the event concluded. This frustrated countless fans who were excited to finally have another mode to play, and it also got me worried about the future of Halo Infinite's content offerings.

Are the developers intentionally holding back core modes like Fiesta, SWAT, and Infection so they can pass them off as "limited-time experiences"? Are they only offering the bare minimum between events in an attempt to drive up Player Engagement™ whenever the next event rolls around? I understand that free-to-play games live or die based on their ability to keep players coming back over time, but stripping Halo multiplayer down to its bare bones and creating an artificial lack of variety is not an acceptable way to achieve that goal.

Ultimately, it's just frustrating that one of the best-feeling Halo games ever made is suffering because of the fact that it barely has any content at launch. It's simply unacceptable that Microsoft and 343 Industries shipped Halo Infinite in this state, and things need to change sooner rather than later.

Halo is back

Halo Infinite multiplayer

Free at Microsoft

Halo Infinite's multiplayer has launched a few weeks early, compiling classic arena multiplayer modes, expanded 24-player Big Team Battle, and more into one free-to-play package.

Respawn, Ripple Effect head Vince Zampella now leading Battlefield

Former head, DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson, is leaving Electronic Arts.

What you need to know

  • Battlefield 2042 recently launched to mixed reception, with numerous bugs and issues reported by players and press.
  • DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson is reportedly leaving Electronic Arts.
  • Respawn Entertainment and Ripple Effect head Vince Zampella is now leading the Battlefield franchise.
  • DICE, Ripple Effect and a new Seattle studio are now working to create a "connected" Battlefield universe.

Vince Zampella, head of Respawn Entertainment and Ripple Effect, is now head of the entire Battlefield franchise at Electronic Arts, per a report from GameSpot. This follows the recent launch of Battlefield 2042, a collaborative effort from multiple teams at EA Worldwide Studios.

" His ability to lead studios and bring developers together so they can create world-class experiences is unmatched," EA chief operating officer Laura Miele said of Zampella. "I believe the structure, process, and vision he brings will enable Battlefield to excel like never before. No one knows shooters and live services better than Vince."

Former DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson, is leaving Electronic Arts, though it's not clear at the moment where he's headed next. Additionally, a Battlefield connected universe is now in development, a result of collaboration between DICE, Ripple Effect and a new Seattle-based team led by former Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto.

Ripple Effect is working on a "new Battlefield experience" and continuing to support Battlefield 2042's Portal mode, while the still-unnamed Seattle studio will be aiming to increase the "narrative, storytelling, and character development" in Battlefield 2042, with future expansions.

There's no timeframe right now for when any of new games or expansions will be made available. DICE is currently working on reducing the number of bugs and issues in Battlefield 2042, launching multiple major patches with lengthy lists of improvements.

Near-future combat

Battlefield 2042

$70 at Microsoft (Xbox Series X|S) $60 at Microsoft (Xbox One) $70 at Amazon

Battlefield tackles the years to come

Battlefield 2042 is the latest big game from DICE, with support from several other teams at Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios. The game supports destruction, massive storms and up to 128 players on the latest consoles.

Upgrade your setup with $80 off LG's 27-inch 1440p gaming monitor

The LG 27GL83A-B 27-inch 1440p screen is a fantastic monitor, and I should know because I'm typing this post while staring at it. Today you can get it for $299.99 at Amazon. This isn't the lowest price ever on this monitor. It actually dropped to $285 for Prime Day earlier this summer, but other than that today's price is the best we've ever seen. It normally sells for around $380, and it has only dropped this low one other time. You can't find this price anywhere else, either, as it's going for as much as $400 at other retailers like Newegg.

LG 27GL83A-B 27-inch 1440p gaming monitor | $80 off

You get 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, a 1ms response time despite the amazing color of the IPS panel, and a 144Hz refresh rate. The connectivity includes DisplayPort and HDMI. Plus it is wall and arm mountable so you can remove it from the stand.

$299.99 at Amazon

This is my personal recommendation for the best "bang for your buck" gaming monitor. You get all the stats a gamer should love, including a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and 1440p pixel resolution. Plus it uses an IPS panel while still getting that response time, which means you get great viewing angles and color accuracy.

While the monitor has native AMD FreeSync, it is also Nvidia G-Sync compatible. Just connect via DisplayPort to use the G-Sync, which is what you'll need to use to get up to 144Hz refresh rate anyway. It works great.

The monitor has a very adjustable stand, but it also uses the VESA 100 x 100mm standard. That means you can just attach it to a wall or arm mount instead and forego the stand altogether. With the virtually borderless design, these monitors look good stacked next to each other. I use this mounting arm with two of the screens for my personal build.

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