Is there anyway to play Battlefield 3 from various Xbox systems just by recovering your gamertag?

I hope so...

Currently I am trying to play Battlefield 3 on Xbox 360 at work.

I recovered my gamertag and attempted to play multiplayer but was asked for the EA multiplayer code. I re-entered my valid code but was told that my code was already registered, and that I could buy another one.

I have played many games on other peoples systems, using my legit gamertag and maintaining my stats.

Other than EA hoping for me to purchase another online code, what can I do? EA profiles should be tied to gamertags, not hardware.

  • Have you tried taking your game data and profile with you on a USB drive? Oct 27, 2011 at 17:35
  • 5
    And in office Xbox 360's? Are you hiring? Oct 27, 2011 at 17:52
  • Doozer, I'll play you for the job. =)
    – Yatrix
    Oct 27, 2011 at 19:06
  • @DoozerBlake , that's normal stuff in an IT environment. We have an XBox, a 360, and a PS2 in our offices. Also, a soccer table and couches in the lounge area ;)
    – DrFish
    Feb 23, 2012 at 11:06

9 Answers 9


There are 2 possible options for you, I think:

  1. Take your profile and game data on a USB drive with you.
  2. Recover your profile on the other 360, and re-download the Online Pass. This should be available to you on the other machine since it was previously downloaded. The full steps to re-download content are here, but basically: Guide, Settings, Account Management, Download History, find the item and re-download it.

This all being said, I dont' have the game and haven't tried it, but let me know if it works.

  • I don't think it will. Online pass is basically a key to play the game online. I posted an answer below which I think is the way. Let me know otherwise, too.
    – Yatrix
    Oct 27, 2011 at 19:13
  • 2
    This worked. I forget about the buried stuff in the guide menu VS the dashboard menu. THANK YOU... I knew EA and DICE have crap online multiplayer setups, but I didn't think they were THAT evil. Oct 28, 2011 at 1:01
  • Looks like the Pass is tied to your account and not your system. That makes sense. You can't be signed on 2 places at once. Cool.
    – Yatrix
    Oct 28, 2011 at 14:26
  • I'll add that generally Xbox content works for all profiles on the first Xbox where it was downloaded, and then for the gamertag that downloaded it, on any number of Xbox'es. You can only be signed into a gamertag on one Xbox at a time.
    – agent86
    Nov 28, 2011 at 22:01

If you recover your gamertag and re-download the online pass via Account Management > Download History, you can play online again.


Of course you can, just download your gamertag to the system and re-download the pass. Instead of entering the code again, just click re-download.


My understanding is that you can only play a game that is installed on the hard disk if you have the game disc in the drive...

  • I have the disc here, and installed content at work. I brought the disc to work as well. Oct 27, 2011 at 18:09
  • You missed the question entirely. He was asking about the Online Key the is required to play battlefield 3 multiplayer.
    – Nick122
    Apr 2, 2012 at 19:43

The answer is no, you can't. EA, as well as many companies, are countering the second-hand market by charging users a fee to play their games online (or for content that came with the disc). Your online pass is tied to your system. For any system, regardless of log-in, to play any copy of BF3, it'll need an online pass purchased for it.

  • I know this sounds like a dick move by EA, but think if you were a chef and sold a burger using your exclusive recipe. Then imagine that the person ate your burger, paid you and then recreated that burger with your recipe and sold it. And so on and so on. The recipe that YOU created was making someone else money that had nothing to do with the creativity, research, hard work AND investment input it took to create the burger. You'd want a return on that investment too.
    – Yatrix
    Oct 27, 2011 at 19:11
  • EA didn't invent online gaming. And their online recipe for multiplayer isn't even remotely appetizing, much less a secret.EA gets their return when a game is sold. What EA is doing is charging me for coming into their EA booth after I've already PAID to come to E3. IT's offensive and a poor user experience. Oct 28, 2011 at 0:00
  • Yes, when their game is sold. But the second-hand market is killing the people responsible for the game. EA wants the full return, not half. I don't blame them - they spent 50-100 million on the game so why shouldn't they try get some of that money back? They have to maintain those servers and games, even for the people that didn't buy directly from them. Your analogy is a bit off, since E3 isn't their event. What you want is free cable internet because you bought an expensive computer. =)
    – Yatrix
    Oct 28, 2011 at 14:25
  • Havent played BF3 (aside from briefly in the demo) and don't own that many EA games for the 360, and I'm not trying to start an argument; I'm really curious - couldn't they recoup this value by tying a disk ID for the media to a given gamertag? Then when someone else wants to use the same media to play online with a different gamertag that could prompt for payment at that point? I mean, it does seem like a dick move when you've paid for it and aren't playing it in multiple places; why should legit customers pay the price for EA's secondary market problems?
    – cori
    Oct 31, 2011 at 17:11
  • Well, EA doesn't need to care about how much you paid for it, second-hand. That's not their concern. They want to convince you to just buy it new from them. Again, if I sell you my copy at $40, EA doesn't see a dime of that. They'll let you play the campaign, but they're not letting you use their servers, basically. Why should they? You didn't pay them a dime to use their servers, whereas I did when I bought it new. I see that as very fair.
    – Yatrix
    Oct 31, 2011 at 17:24

What you are actually asking about is "How do I take my Battlefield 3 multiplayer key from one Xbox to another?" The answer to this is: You can only transfer DLC from one Xbox 360 to another once every quarter (that is up to 4 times a year). You can find the license migration page here. The DRM on the Xbox 360 is set up so that you CANNOT have a purchased item usable on 2 Xbox 360s simultaneously, all DLC is tied to the console it was initially purchased on.

  • Not sure this is correct. In their FAQ it specifically states "You can still use your content on other consoles while signed in to Xbox LIVE." You can take downloadable games, DLC, anything to another console just fine and play it as long as you are signed on. You would want to transfer content licenses like this in the case where you want downloadable content to work for you while offline. Oct 28, 2011 at 17:22
  • @doozerblake Spealing from experience, this is not always the case. Some DLC just won't load unless the license is transferred first.
    – CyberSkull
    Oct 28, 2011 at 21:10
  • Weird. Which ones have you had problems with? I'm wondering what the differences are between them, restrictions by publisher, etc. Oct 28, 2011 at 21:19
  • I had some trouble after getting a new 360 from MS repair, not all the licenses were properly migrated to the new box.
    – CyberSkull
    Oct 28, 2011 at 22:17

The way I can play at "The Show" (where I play with my friends) and I can play at home is I put my gamer tag on a thumb drive and also put the EA Pass on the thumb drive. Note you'll have to download the HD content to your harddrive still(unless you want lower resolution) but this works out very well for me.

You can also put other downloaded games on the thumb drive, including games that require the disc. I had to do this for Black Ops because of a disc defect that caused a circle-scratch and made the game unplayable without having the game downloaded onto the harddrive or flashdrive.

Unlike other answers, I believe your EA Pass is tied to your profile, so you should be able to (after recovering your gamer tag) redownload the EA pass. However, if someone else wants to try to play BF3 on their own gamer tag, they will have to buy an EA pass.


Yeah, it's really easy. Go on to your profile if you haven't. Re-download on your original Xbox, the one it's on, and now it is at the top of your download history. Go to the download history on the other Xbox, download it, and there you go.


As well as the option to re-download your online pass through your download history, you can also just "purchase" another online pass. EA has made online passes across all its games free, including Battlefield 3. You will see confirmation that your purchase has a price of "free". The download is very small (around 100 KB).

I just tried this on my Xbox, and it seems the prompt about a missing pass has been updated. You will now get 2 options, one to buy and one to re-download. You no longer need to go into your download history to find the online pass.

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