Hunt Showdown progression
Image via Crytek

Is Hunt: Showdown free to play? Answered

Sometimes yes, but really no.

Hunt: Showdown is one of those venerable live service titles that seem to have been around forever, despite only officially launching in mid-2019. With its particular flavor of PvEvP extraction-based gameplay and its gritty and engrossing setting, Hunt: Showdown has attracted a healthy player population that continues to grow at a steady pace. If you are a potential new player looking to try it out (or have been playing for so long that you don’t remember how you got it), you may be wondering if Hunt: Showdown is free to play.

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Is Hunt: Showdown free to play?

The answer is no — Hunt: Showdown is not free to play. Crytek’s competitive shooter is a full-price pay-to-play product, so getting into it is a bit of a commitment. Hunt also has a regular rotation of paid DLCs which include only cosmetic items such as character and weapon skins. There is a premium in-game currency called Blood Bonds which is also used to acquire cosmetics, though it also ties into certain gameplay mechanics.

This may put a bit of a damper on your urge to try Hunt: Showdown, and it does certainly make trying to convince your friends to get into it a tough proposition. However, there are some good reasons why Hunt: Showdown is not free to play, the most obvious one being that this model keeps the game relatively free of cheaters. There are a few of them, for sure, but compared to other popular free-to-play shooters Hunt: Showdown’s hacking problem is very mild. Getting your account banned means you have to buy a whole new copy of the game, which naturally dissuades most cheaters.

There is also the benefit of Hunt: Showdown having relatively unobtrusive monetization as a result of its pay-to-play model. Nothing in the game is locked behind a paywall, and both the regular and premium currencies are handed out at a generous rate, allowing players to experience everything the game has to offer for the price of admission, including many of the cosmetic items. For example, when playing during Hunt: Showdown community events, players receive cosmetic items that free-to-play games would typically charge real money for.

Hunt: Showdown free weekends

Paying for live service games is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially when there are so many free alternatives out there. If you are reluctant to pull the trigger, you may want to wait for a free weekend. Hunt: Showdown hosts these events from time to time, allowing players to experience the full game for a brief, fleeting moment. If you really need hands-on experience, keep an eye out for the next Hunt: Showdown free weekend.


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Asen Aleksandrov
Freelance writer, narrative designer in training, full-time Wendy's shill. Send questions/rants to [email protected]