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GW2 Free to Play Announcement Post

GW2 is going free to play and here are all the info from Arenanet.

Today we’re happy to announce that the Guild Wars 2 core game is available for everyone to play for free. With Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ launching soon, there’s no better time to introduce the game to your friends.

Our Business Model

Guild Wars 2 has the simplest of business models: buy the game and play it as long as you want with no monthly fees. We’ve been championing this as a great business model for MMOs since launching the first Guild Wars® a decade ago. We continue to believe in buy-to-play. It’s good for gamers and good for developers.

This business model has been fantastic for Guild Wars 2 and our fans. Since launching three years ago—almost to the day, today—we’ve sold more than 5 million copies of the game. And we’ve delivered more than 40 major content releases, with world-changing events, Living World episodes, and feature packs, all free of charge.

Expansions are the one place where the buy-to-play model gets a little tricky. When you’re coming in as a new player to a game that has a bunch of expansions, what exactly should you buy in order to play with your friends? The base game and also every single expansion? We’ve seen examples in the industry where that kind of thing has gotten out of control. It doesn’t seem right, and we want to do better. As we get ready to ship our first expansion forGuild Wars 2, we want to ensure that we keep the business model friendly and simple. So let’s be clear that when we say Guild Wars 2 is buy-to-play, we’re only asking you to buy one thing: the current release, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

To accomplish that, we’ve already included the core game as a free bundle for anyone who buysGuild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. And today we’ll go a step further: we’re making the core game free for everyone. For anyone who’s been curious about Guild Wars 2, now you can just go to, download the game, and start playing.
If anyone can play Guild Wars 2 for free now, does that mean we’re switching business models to free-to-play? Are we going to be one of those games that aggressively monetizes free players through microtransactions? Absolutely not. Guild Wars 2 remains the same game it always has been. We’re making the core game experience free because we’re confident that anyone who loves Guild Wars 2 will buy Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

Getting the Details Right

A game like Guild Wars 2 lives and dies by its community. Our goal is to protect our current community but also to make it as easy as possible for you to introduce the game to your friends, to recruit new players into your guilds, to challenge new players to Player vs. Player matches, and so on.

It’s trickier than you’d think to accomplish both objectives. We have to ensure that free accounts can’t be used to abuse the game or its current players (through botting, cheating, spamming, or RMT) while still making sure that free accounts get the authentic Guild Wars 2experience.

Here are the changes we made for free accounts.

First, free accounts start with fewer character slots and bag slots than the paid version of the game. But they still get the full complement of slots as soon as they buyGuild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

Second, free accounts have some chat restrictions and economy restrictions so that they can’t be used to disrupt the game for other players. Free accounts can use local chat and whispers, but not map chat. With whispers, they can both start new conversations and reply to existing conversations but are limited to starting new conversations no more than once every 30 seconds. Free accounts can buy and sell common goods on the trading post. They can’t mail gold or items directly to other players, trade gold for gems, or access guild vaults.

Third, free accounts have some restrictions to prevent them from skipping ahead to places where they could be used to disrupt the game. They must play to level 10 before leaving the starter zones, to level 30 before using LFG, and to level 60 before using World vs. World. They can play PvP immediately but must get to rank 20 before using custom and unranked arenas.

We’ve found in testing that it’s hard to read a list like this and know how it’s going to feel in action. All these changes are live today, so we invite you to see for yourself. Test with a free account and see that it’s the same Guild Wars 2 you know and love; test with a veteran account and confirm that the community is protected.

We have an exhaustive FAQ covering these changes and other topics related to the free game, so check it out if you have additional questions.

royal guard outfit

A Call to Action

Guild Wars 2 is famous for having the friendliest community in online gaming, and that community continues to grow. With Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns on the horizon, of course the game was going to have an influx of new players. And now, with this change, it will have a larger one. I ask you, the game’s veterans, to be the friendly faces that will welcome all these new players to the game.

To celebrate this special three-year anniversary of Guild Wars 2, we’re giving current players an all-new Royal Guard Outfit. Wear it with pride whenever you want to show that you were there early on, and that you’re someone that new players can go to for help.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is full of end-game content, including Masteries, Fractals, Stronghold, and our newly announced challenging group content, raids. It’s coming on October 23, just 55 days from now! This is the perfect time to bring new players into your guild, to help them level up and master their professions, to practice coordinating as a team, and to prepare for all the challenges that the jungle will bring.

Mike O’Brien

What’s the difference between playing for free and playing on an account with a registered serial code?

See the chart below for a full comparison of free accounts, core accounts, and Heart of Thorns accounts.


*Depends on the version of Heart of Thorns and whether the account was eligible for a free character slot. See the Heart of Thorns Pre-Purchase FAQ for more information.

How do I upgrade my account?

You can upgrade your account to Heart of Thorns in-game or by applying a serial code (from or one of our official retail partners) to your account on the account management page.

I upgraded my account, but the game is still acting as though I’m on a free account!

After you upgrade a free account, you’ll need to exit the game and log back in to see your permissions change.  There’s also a longer delay (up to five days) before mail attachments and guild banks are unlocked. You should see a message in-game displaying the time remaining before you have full access to these features.


FAQ Source:

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

31 replies on “GW2 Free to Play Announcement Post”

i think this is a great idea, although im not too keen on some of the level restrictions. the early game already feels restricted as it is, and they keep adding more. its gonna be harder for people to get into it if they have to wait til level 30 or so to do anything.

i mean, not even having access to LA until 35?

yea thats just it though. im trying to get friends into it, and its really hard when you have to break it to them they cant do shit until 30+.

i know theyre trying to discourage botting but it still sucks.

I agree, I had trouble getting my buddies into it since the early levels was a lot of grinding … couldn’t access dungeons, wvw, etc to show it off and by that time they were bored. (in this example I bought them all copies when it was 5$ each)

This is great, there are certain who would like to try the game first before buying it but with the current model it was not possible .You had to wait for a trial period. Now its awesome , and i see no p2w feature good job 🙂

Yea, I think ArenaNet really got in right on their implementation of this. One of their strengths has always been in minimizing gold sellers and they took some great steps to continue that going forward.

what are you talking about? we can clearly see a lion statue in the picture, and everyone knows lions arch doesnt have any lions in it. its all about lobsters now.

I am telling you, fuck free version. Buy full game its worth it!!!! Definitelly. Best MMO I ever played. Colin Johanson awayts you. 😉

Free accounts can’t use map chat, can’t spam whispers, can’t mail gold or items, and can only use the trading post to buy and sell select items. Botting is, was and will remain a fruitless endeavor.

Oh yay great, now we will get even more idiots that don’t read my dungeon lfg posts, the joy -_-

I’m not thrilled with this, I would have preferred if they did trial periods every weekend or something instead… this whole complete f2p is bound to lead to a disaster. I just hope they remove it if it starts breaking the game.

As it went f2p I’m intersted into trying it out, but I have a question. How much space do I need in the hdd?

My Guild wars 2 folder is currently at 28.3GB
But here are the min specs copied from the site

~~Windows® Minimum System Requirements

Windows® XP Service Pack 2 or better
Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3 OR AMD Athlon 64 X2, or better
NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800, ATI X1800, Intel HD 3000, or better (256 MB of video RAM and shader model 3.0 or better)
25 GB available HDD space
Broadband Internet connection
Keyboard and mouse

My hdd is only 500gb and I’m a modder so 350gb of that space is occupied by all my mods and misc files and tools I need to work with. Only games I can have installed are the game I mod, SWTOR, Shadowrun Hong Kong and KotOR 1 and 2. I currently have only around 16gb free and can’t delete anything because sadly I need everything I have.

this f2p doesnt look that bad i can live with a few chat restriction but it sure is more friendlier and open then swtor.

I am assuming this change will only arrive when the expansion hits?

Edit: Never mind, just saw the official announcement when booting up the game

I hope it does not have too much effect in wvw queeing and pve dungeon parties. I’ve seen a lot of F2P types of games and I seriously hope the plague that pestered each and every F2P games does not affect us here in GW2.

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