Some Xbox Live Gold subscribers are having trouble downloading Hydro Thunder Hurricane

Microsoft is giving away 2010’s Hydro Thunder Hurricane for free as part of Games with Gold, but some subscribers are having trouble claiming it.

Released in 2010, Vector Unit’s Hydro Thunder Hurricane brought a classic arcade franchise to then-modern consoles. The over-the-top boat racer has enjoyed respectable success on PC and Xbox 360 and is free as part of Xbox Live Games with Gold until May 15.

Unfortunately, it seems that many Xbox Live Gold subscribers are unable to download their free game. This is a major annoyance for many people interested in this retro throwback to an even more retro racing game. Fortunately, a workaround can help players download Hydro Thunder Hurricane despite the problem.


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Xbox Live Gold subscribers pay $10 per month for access to online play and four free games each month through the Games with Gold program. So some gamers were surprised when they tried to download the game just for the market to inform them that Hydro Thunder Hurricane is unavailable. The issue affects players regardless of region, with Xbox players in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe reporting the same issue. The issue also didn’t care whether players were on consoles, browsers, or the Xbox mobile app.

A Reddit user finally discovered that the problem seems to be caused by an error on the part of Microsoft. The company lists two separate but identical versions of Hydro Thunder Hurricane. Xbox Live Games with Gold was supposed to give players the standard Xbox 360 version, and that’s what the Games with Gold page linked to. However, it is the Xbox Live Arcade version that is free. It’s unclear exactly how this mix-up happened, but it seems there were some crossed threads behind the scenes.

Luckily, there is a way for Xbox Live subscribers to get their free game despite this issue. First, players must find Hydro Thunder Hurricane on the Xbox 360 Marketplace. Then find the version labeled Full Game – Hydro Thunder Hurricane. It should have a listed retail price of $14.99 but with a gold box listing it as “free” for Xbox Live Gold members. Next, players should select “Download to Xbox 360”, ensure the price is still “Free”, and then claim the game. This will associate Hydro Thunder Hurricane with the player’s account, allowing them to download it on modern Xbox consoles.

Hopefully Microsoft fixes the problem before too long. However, if Xbox Live Gold subscribers are still having problems downloading Hydro Thunder Hurricanethe steps above should allow them to claim their free game.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane is available on PC and Xbox 360 and backward compatible on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

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Source: Pure Xbox, Xbox Marketplace

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