XBLA Tips: Play More, Pay Less

Ever wonder why some people have way more XBLA games and DLC than others? Learn how to manage your Microsoft points and shop smarter in order to maximize your gaming potential. There are legitimate practices and tips that pay big in the long run. I have a pretty extensive collection of Arcade game downloads, add-ons, and DLCs. However, there are a few things I never forget while establishing my digital collection.

Avoid purchasing an arcade game full price

Nine times out of ten, some sort of deal will pop up on your must-have arcade game. Whether it’s a permanent reduction, bundle purchase deal, or temporary offer, most arcade games are put on sale in as little as a few weeks after the release. It may be some time before you get the chance to play the hot new downloadable game, but Xbox loves their sales. Especially with the summer coming up, when every other week there is a special bundle deal that encourages you to buy 3 games and get 2 free. How often have you stopped yourself from spending your points on those deals because you already bought 1-2 of the titles in the deal? If only you would have waited, you could have purchased five games for about the same price!

Tuesdays are the biggest days of the XBLA week

I cannot stress enough the importance of Tuesday. I say this simply because most gamers have no idea about what makes it special on XBLA. Every week on Tuesday, along with all new movie and game releases, XBLA offers a link on their Games section entitled Sales & Discounts. This section includes every type of item that could be purchased: Avatar junk, DLC, Arcade games, full games and just about everything else. I don’t buy anything Tuesday just in case it drops in price. Patience can pay off big time since most of the discounts are 50%, which can usually save you at least 400 Microsoft points (approximately $5.00). This is also the day that the Recently Reduced section is updated, and where less mainstream games are budgeted to increase downloads. Moreover, there are sometimes additional links advertising discounts on content that isn’t even listed in the Sales & Discounts section. In other words, keep your eyes peeled.

Study up on DLC and add-ons

Before going window shopping for XBLA junk, do your homework. DLC add-ons for some of the big games can be just as easily purchased on-disc and for far less than you would spend on Xbox Live. Most of the blockbuster titles have some form of special edition that gives you on-disc content along with the game (Fallout: New Vegas, Resident Evil 5, & various GOTY editions just to name a few). This goes for arcade games as well. One of the coolest on-disc Arcade compilations to date includes ‘Splosion Man, Limbo and Trials HD for less than $10 used, while the cost of all three on XBLA totals well over $25. Check for a lot of the older Arcade Volume collections for savings on more obscure titles, too. Another great reason to grab the on-disc content is the resale value. A download is almost worthless on your Xbox hard drive, attached to your gamertag ID. The same game on-disc at least gets you trade in value, or even more PayPal funds if you fancy to post your item on the Internet.

Always shop around before purchasing your full game online

Just because the advertisement says ‘66% OFF’ doesn’t mean it is the best deal. Since there’s a good chance used games are about to be deader than disco in the next 6-12 months, take advantage of it while you can. Hit up EBay, Amazon, or game stores and try and grab a copy of whatever title you plan on buying. I’ve seen players buy the game for $20 at a ‘discount’ while the game is being sold for $5.00 on Amazon. Don’t waste your money. This is sound advice for anything in life, but doubly important if you’re living the life of a gamer.