FFXIV is one of the few MMOs out there that still require a monthly subscription fee, along with the likes of World of Warcraft and uh, I’m sure there is some more out there. Point being, if you want everything the game has to offer you have to pay the subscription fee. Of course, like WoW, Final Fantasy XIV let’s you play for free with some limitations. Unlike WoW, the free trial is actually insanely lofty and pretty much let’s you play most of the game without ever having to subscribe.
A Note for Those Who Have Ever Purchased the Base Game
Bruh, you’ll have to start over. You’ll have to make an all new Square Enix account in order to play the free trial and, if at any time you upgrade from the free trial, you can not return. So keep that in mind. The good news is that there are return to FFXIV free play periods ALL OF THE TIME for dormant accounts, so if you want to play your previous character for free, the only option is to wait for a free play period. Otherwise it’s a brand new account.
How to Play Final Fantasy XIV for Free
The first thing to note is that the FFXIV Free Trial is a completely unlimited free trial containing the first two expansions worth of content. So the way to play for free is very simple. Download the game on PC or PS4/PS5 and then register to play. Once registered, you can play for free. You can find the PC version via Steam. The PS4/PS5 version is within the online store, it is labeled “Final Fantasy XIV Online Free Trial” in the store.
That’s it! You can now play FFXIV for free. Nothing else is now required, outside of registering for the game once it downloads.
Notice to PlayStation 5 Owners: You will need the PS5 Upgrade Edition, otherwise you will download the PS4 version.
FFXIV Free Trial Limitations
So there’s some limitations. Anything requiring social, you can usually receive but can’t send (linkshells and party). You can’t use the marketboard, trade, hire retainers, join or create free companies. Microtransactions are off the table. You can only have one character per server with a limit of eight. Though to be fair, one character can do almost all content in the game except some of the starter content.
Yell, shout and tell are restricted. With most conversation happening off game platforms, this doesn’t mean as much as it used to. You can’t trade with anyone with the free trial.
You do have a Gil cap of 300,000 but can’t trade it or use it in the market. Check out our guide to FFXIV Gil Farming if you need help getting some together.
FFXIV Starter Edition & Upgrading to a Subscription
The starter edition is not the free trial. It’s the full version of the game. You get the contents of the free trial plus 30-days of free subscription for $19.99. You can… also just start the trial and upgrade by paying the subscription, saving $4.99.
The complete edition, containing the last few expansions and a month of subscription service is on sale sometimes for around $20. That’s the best way to upgrade.
There’s promotional emails for free trial members to upgrade as well.
FFXIV Subscription Plans
The subscription plans cost:
- $12.99: 1 character per world, 8 total.
- $14.99: 8 characters per world, 40 total.
- $12.99/month: Previous limits, but pay for six months in advance.
Reverting the FFXIV Free Trial
You can’t revert back to the trial once you subscribe or purchase the starter edition.
Free Trial Characters on Upgrade
You can keep your free trial character(s) when you upgrade.
Remember, once you upgrade and start paying the subscription, you will then be locked out of the free trial with that account forever.
You can upgrade by following any of the prompts to add a subscription to your account.
Is the trial worth it?
For new players before level 60, absolutely yes. The market and trading restrictions mean almost nothing since the game gives you all the gear you need. You can still use the duty finder and everything else and if you commit to the game, hit level 60 and want to keep playing to higher levels then you can upgrade.
If you want to stay at that content, then by all means, play forever for as long as it’s free. Note that since it’s free, it’s obviously very worth it to give the game at least a try.