XBOX game pass for PC

I recently picked up XBox game pass for PC. It was (is if your reading this soon after posting!) $1 for the first month and $5/month after that currently…. although i fully expect that the price will substantially increase if it manages to take off.

I subscribed to Xbox game pass purely to play “the outer worlds” without having to wait for 6 months for it to turn up on steam. While it is available via the epic games store – full price simply doesn’t compare to $1 (even though the outer worlds is worth every cent of its full price tag)

So – keep in mind that Xbox game pass is in Beta (which is watered down somewhat by the fact that “beta” is increasingly used as a long term excuse for a shit product)

  • The library of games is OK – but not great. For $1 or the reverting price of $5 month it is pretty good. I played “dead cells” for example because it was available via the pass – and discovered how absolutely fucking brilliant that game is. Overall though, there would maybe only be 5-6 games that im truly interested in on the current list… clearly very much based on personal preferences.
  • The speed and responsiveness of the client is just terrible. Clicking a game results in a 10-15 second wait for the main information screen to show, downloads of games are excruciatingly slow – be ready to leave your PC on overnight in order to download a couple of your games. Once your in game, all is good….
  • The app regularly “black screens” (which appears to be a common issue). This is sometimes resolved by restarting the client and sometimes by restarting the PC.
  • The app regularly doesn’t automatically log in
  • The app, if shutdown 1/2 way through a download will commonly “lose” all knowledge about that app, and you’ll need to go back into the store and re-select “install”. So don’t bother queuing up 4 or 5 installs unless you plan on leaving your PC on overnight.
  • Because it downloads everything as “WindowsApps”, most people will have to change their default windows app install location to their larger drive. This ofcourse sets the default for all windows apps – not just the games – this is just poor design. The config/save files etc can also be difficult to find due to the whacky folder structure – but to be fair, steam suffers from this a little as well – as there are no industry standards for this.
  • And perhaps the biggest downside, the app has been shoe-horned in as a way to get people onto the latest versions of Windows 10. While this isn’t an issue for me, i imagine it will be for some people – but more to the point, its that the thinking around the app/storefront seems to be “let leverage this to force Win 10 upgrades and windows apps usage” as opposed to “lets make a genuinely good game storefront/platform to challenge steams dominance and encourage crossplay between Xbox and PC”


To sum up – ill be keeping my Xbox game pass (for PC) for at least a few months – primarily because it represents good value for money right now. Given where Microsoft seem to have their focus, i wouldn’t be surprised if this goes the same way as the ultra-successful “games for Windows live” – but i would also be happy to be wrong!


*** Update – September 2020 ***

I have ended my subscription to gamepass a few months back…. i quite liked the games that were available overall…. and with the purchase of bethesda – its only going to keep getting better…. but… the major issue is… it doesn’t work reliably. The killer for me was Gears tactics – a decent game, which i would have been, maybe 3/4 of the way through… then a game update was released… and it simply would not update. Tried a bunch of things, posted on support forums, tried (unsuccessfully) to get any type of support – and there is just no decent support available for the platform. Public suggestions all revolve around clearing the cache…. about as useful as the people that suggest running sfc /scannow for any and all server issues.

The games available make game pass for PC a decent value option…. but until MS abandon the insane “must use windows store” approach – and replace it with a dedicated, made for gaming platform, hopefully one that works – it is unfortunately worth $0…. as it just doesn’t work.

PS Now… on PC

This –

is awesome.

Assuming it works, and the performance is ok, ill be signing up.

Although its unlikely at release, it would get even better if I could play my one and only PS3 store game, Super Stardust HD.

Microsoft have right royally fucked PC gamers by forcing “Play anywhere” games to be played via the completely shithouse, and non-gaming-aimed, UWP and only on Windows 10.

Sony, it looks like are targeting 7,8.1 and 10…. hopefully it wont have any lame-arse, shit-for-brains nobbles like the xbox “play-anywhere” (was long as you define “anywhere” as within the windows store only on Windows 10)…..

Tim Sweeneys opinion on the future of the windows store

I think he is spot on.

Games for windows live was a disaster, UWP is un-configurable.

Currently, in my opinion, the reason why people use the windows platform is that it is (or maybe was is more accurate) flexible, partly natively and partly because of the huge array of software and hacks out there to get things done, in the way users want to get them done.

We all know that MS wants the apple “closed” model for recurring revenue…. but that means everyone that wants a flexible platform may have to start looking elsewhere.

Doom (2016)

Good game…. great game in fact

Good bits

  • Very fast paced – even no weapon reloading – different, but good
  • Glory kills are surprisingly well implemented and a lot of fun
  • Looks and sounds brilliant
  • the way the story is told, by using holograms in game, instead of cut scenes, is really good

bits I’m not so sure on

  • It is quite short, but by the end it gets a little repetitive, so its probably about right.
  • I would have liked the background music to be heavier…. yes, that’s because I like heavy rock/metal…. and I know not everyone does…. but it fits with the game…
  • The rocket launcher… strange for an ID game, but the rocket launcher in this version just feels like a poor weapon….
  • Multiplayer… meh, its a bit dull….


I’ve played it through twice, got all the achievements, and that will probably be it, I don’t see it as a game ill go back too…. but those two play-throughs were a lot of fun – I think it is worth the $.

Strider maps

Strider, a 2014 remake of the Capcom arcade classic, is a game I recently spent some time on, after buying it a while ago – and found it was actually very good.

This was very refreshing after some of the crap remakes of late – and good platformers on PC are few and far between.

Anyhoo – there is a fantastic post from a user called Sainiku on the steam forums at

which has a map of each level and all the collectibles. The issue I found with it, was that I found myself wasting a lot of time trying to get to certain areas, and couldn’t work out how to open one trapdoor.

The thumb-nailed maps below have a little more detail on how to get to around.


Military.Ring Military.HQ KAZAKH.Outskirts KAZAKH.City Industry


Legacy of the void – Prologue missions

The prologue missions for Legacy of the void became available a few days ago…. and I got around to playing them…

and, well… it was a bit of “meh”…..

Maybe I’m just too old and bitter…. or maybe the missions were just a bit of nothing and other people feel the same way….  either way, they didn’t get me excited for the final release or tide me over for the 6+ month possible wait.

Oh well, there is always fallout 4….


ED – Capital ships



As per a recent galnet post, the federation (in ED) had decided to launch an attack in the Nijotec system, I headed there and found, just near the planet Nijotec 1, a capital ship – and it was awesome.

While ED is a great game, it can get a little dull – and combat has never had the fun or had the awe of a game like freespace 2 – and the massive capital ship battles in that game. This discovery changed that…. for a while, it was total chaos, with bucket-loads of enemies, beam lasers everywhere and just lots of pew-pew in general.

Unfortunately when I have gone back to the area this morning, the location is still listed, but the federation battlecrusier itself seems to have gone and the enemies show up much less frequently.

ED is great, but also has many flaws (but to frontiers credit, existing and future updates are addressing these at a pretty good pace) – more of this type of stuff – and maybe some missions around running bomber protection (yes, just like FS2) would be great.


Screenshot_0000 Screenshot_0003

Elite Dangerous – Trading rare commodities

I was unaware these existed until yesterday.

Some stations have rare commodities, which are unique to a station – and can be sold for a greater amount, based on distance travelled away from the source station.

I ended up doing this, just for a bit of a change from bounty hunting and found it to be relatively profitable, with a few requirements:

  • Cargo space of at least 12 tonnes – each station seems to have 5-12 tonnes of their rare commodity
  • A good range FSD. Mine was at 15.7 ly (fully laden) when doing this.
  • A fuel scoop – not so much the cost of fuel, but rather not having to stop and being able to pick up fuel in systems where there are no stations
  • a detailed planetary scanner…. as if your making these multi-system trips, it makes sense to maximise profit via cartographic data at the same time
  • Change the galaxy map to use the fastest route, rather than most economical – saves quite a few jumps

First I tried (based on a forum post I saw, but cannot seem to re-find now)

Altair – Solo Obriter station – 8 Altarian Skin


Toxandji – Tsunenaga Orbital – sold 8 Altarian Skin for 128,024 profit and also sold cartographic data for 98,000 (approx.) credits


That wasn’t too bad. Travelling/discovering is kind of boring… but this way I can watch the cricket and play elite…. while its raining outside…. so that’s a pretty good use of a few hours while the kid is sleeping 🙂

Next up, I was trying to find more rare commodity locations – eventually I found this – then click on the “rares” section and enter a starting system – in my case Toxandji. So next up I ran

Toxandji – Tsunenaga Orbital – Buy 11 Toxandji Virocide


Any Na – Libby Orbital – Buy 6 Any Na Coffee, Sell cartographic data – approx. 66,000 credits


AZ Cancri – Fisher Station – Buy AZ Cancri Formula 42, Sell 11 Toxandji Virocide: 174,000 profit, Sell 6 Any Na Coffee: 77,604 profit, Sell cartographic data – approx. 33,000 credits (got bored of all the scans by this point – had reached the exploring rank of “surveyor”


At this point, I travelled back to my starting system (Altair)…. happy that I tried something different in the game.

The exploring side is a very grindy process, the scans and the required distance (<5ls for many planets) just make it a bit painful.

I noticed that if I now try and plot a route from Altair to Toxandji, that it is unavailable (as before) and I need to plot a route part way there – and repeat (as I did the first time I made the trip). Considering I have already travelled between the systems, surely It makes sense that I should be able to plot that route automatically using previously gathered data.

The rare commodity side is a good addition, but just like trading in general, its pretty dull!


Elite Dangerous – my getting started suggestions

There are many video’s already on “how to make credits fast!” for ED… here’s my suggestions….


The starting sidewinder only has 4 cargo slots, so trying to make some money via trade or mining is extremely slow – and taking bulletin board missions is very limited at this point due to the limited cargo and combat capabilities of your ship.

I suggest :

  • Get to the closest Nav beacon or resource extraction site
  • Target and scan all ships in the area, once you find one that is “wanted”, attack and kill them
  • At the very start, when you only have two not-so-powerful pulse lasers, you may have to be a little choosey about your targets
    • Un-shielded eagles can be quite easy to kill due to their relatively weak hull’s and can give up to 10000 credits bounty
    • Pythons and Anaconda’s are a bit too much to take on yourself at this point…. however it is possible to get some “Easy money” by waiting for all the other vessels in the area to get their hull strength down – then you can just chime in when their hull is at 1 or 2% with a couple of shots – and possibly get up to 90000 credits for it
    • Keep on using the “next target” button to cycle through targets, just because they are “clean” when you first scanned them, doesn’t mean they are now
  • In all fights
    • managing your power distribution is key
      • Try to always have a full capacitor for your engines, that way if you do get in trouble, you can boost out of there immediately
      • I generally allocate 4 units of power dist to weapons and 2 to system during a fight
      • I then re-distribute while not firing (e.g. while tracking a manoeuvring enemy) to fill up the capacitors as required
    • Get in a good firing position, such as immediately behind the enemy, prior to initiating combat
    • Set your speed to the “blue area” for maximum manoeuvrability (but obviously increase if they start to run)
    • If you accidentally hit a non-wanted ship, and you become wanted, get out of there immediately. Head to the nearest starport and clear the bounty on your head
    • If the system authority vessels are attacking you and your not “wanted”, you have probably attacked someone that was friendly in the local system (even though they were marked as wanted) – simply frame-shift out of the area, then come straight back in… and they will no longer attack you
    • If you are in trouble, move 3km away from the attacking enemies. Many (but not all) weapons in elite dangerous have a 3km range
    • Once you have upgraded your ship and weapons and decide to take on anacondas
      • Get other ships involved. Bait the anaconda back to the nav beacon so the system authority vessels get involved in the fight. This simply means that the anaconda is firing on more targets, not just you
      • Shoot at it from 3km away (well, 2.99). If other ships are involved, you will cop very little fire and be able to inflict a fair bit of damage with no risk
  • Once you have a little bit of cash, start upgrading your ship
    • Power generation and capacitors are the first things I would suggest to upgrade. That way you can keep firing, constantly (assuming you are using energy weapons)
    • I prefer to stick with energy weapons at this stage, as they do not run out of ammo – and recharge times are quite short if you have upgraded power
    • Gimballed beam lasers are my favourite at this stage
    • Buy/sell prices for ship components are standard. So if you buy a component and decide you don’t want it, you don’t lose anything. The same applies when upgrading ships. If you have applied 400,000 of upgrades to your sidewinder, when you move to a cobra or viper, you will get that money back
    • I prefer moving to a Cobra Mk 3 next, as they are a good balance between combat ready and hauling cargo – and can also be used for mining etc.
      • I go for gimballed beam lasers on the medium hard points and projectile weapons (multi-cannons etc.) on the small hardpoints

Elite Dangerous docking guide

While speaking the other day, a mate (Chocolate bear) of mine mentioned he was having trouble docking in ED.

While I’m sure there are many methods, this is how I do it.

Docking with a dock

  • Drop out of FSD
  • Close to within 7.5km (requests to dock from further than this will be denied) <Picture 1>
  • Open your contacts interface <picture 2>
  • Request to dock <picture 3>

  • The docking location is sometimes right in front of you, but sometimes its on “the other side” of the station <picture 4>
  • Manoeuvre around the starport/dock until you can see the distinctive orange landing pad indicator with your landing pad number on it <picture 5>
  • Once you have located this, simply move to that position, drop your landing gear and use the thrusters to fine tune the last parts of the procedure – along with the very handy landing indicator <picture 6>
  • Note: You must also be facing forward in order to land. “facing forward” means that you are directly facing the number on the orange landing bay indicator / facing towards the top of the screen in the landing indicator area (in the radar area of the screen) / facing the landing tower (once you get close, the orange landing indicator disappears)


Dock4 Dock5 Dock6


Docking with a coriolis starport

  • Drop out of FSD
  • Focus on the starport and target it <picture 1>
  • Notice the arrows on the starport object on your targeting display, these point to the dock entrance <picture 2>
  • Turn so the opposite end of the starport is what you can see in your targeting area <picture 3>

DockSS1 DockSS2 DockSS3

  • Use thrust and afterburners to go past the star port – utilise the distance property in your targeting area. When this number starts getting larger, you have gone past the starport
  • Turn back towards the starport, you will now be able to see the dock entrance <picture 4>
  • Request docking <picture 5>
  • Manoeuvre through the docking port and look for the docking bay you have been allocated <picture 6 & 7>
  • Use roll to orientate your ship initially, then drop your landing gear and use the landing indicator to again finish off the procedure
  • Note: You must also be facing forward in order to land. “facing forward” means that you are directly facing the number on the orange landing bay indicator / facing towards the top of the screen in the landing indicator area (in the radar area of the screen) / facing the landing tower (once you get close, the orange landing indicator disappears)

DockSS4 DockSS5 DockSS6 DockSS7