Is World of Warcraft Free? How To Play WoW For Free [Explained]

Want to know if you can enjoy WoW without spending your hard earned cash? Here is how to avoid spending money while playing.


Image by Gamepur

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WoW has been around for a long time, almost 20 years in fact, and in that time, the game has used a subscription to help fund the game, but for some, it can be quite the ask to pay for the game and be expected to fork over money every month to enjoy what WoW has to offer.

Naturally, this leads some people to ask if it’s possible to play WoW for free, and it turns out there are a few ways, albeit with some caveats. In this guide, we’ll detail those methods for playing WoW for free, and explain how you jump into Azeroth while keeping hold of your hard-earned cash.

Related: World of Warcraft: Beginners Guide & Tips

Is World of Warcraft Free to Play?

Image via Blizzard

In the grand scheme of things, it’s yes and no, but it depends on how you look at it.

To play WoW to the fullest, you will need to pay a monthly subscription, which starts at $14.99/£9.99 a month, with it working out cheaper if you pay for larger amounts of game time, reaching up to a year. However, there are a few ways you can enjoy WoW without spending a dime, at least not a first, which can be good ways to try the game or enjoy it without spending your hard-earned cash. These are the Free Trial, and WoW Tokens.

WoW Free Trial

The WoW Free Trial is the best way to try the game for free while also making a sizable dent in the experience. With the trial, you can play the game up until level 20, with access to nearly all the game content, including classes, previous expansions via Chromie Time, and their dungeons, quests, and zones. However, there are a few restrictions.

You won’t have access to a lot of the social aspects of the game, such as using Whisper or other chat channels, and you can’t Trade, Mail, or use the Auctions House, as well as several other features. In that regard, it can feel restrictive, but it’s a good first option as a way to try the game progress without spending any money.

WoW Tokens

If you decide to purchase the full game and its expansion but don’t like the idea of paying for a subscription, there is a way to play the game without paying real-world money, thanks to WoW Tokens.

Players can purchase these tokens from Blizzard and sell them on the Auction House for large sums of gold. However, for the person buying them, they can be redeemed for 30 days of in-game time or credit. We imagine you’ve made the contention now.

Related: Can You Play World of Warcraft On Mac [Explained]

If you fancy doing some grinding or enjoy making money in WoW, you can use that to purchase WoW Tokens and redeem them for your game time, especially making the game free if you don’t count your time spent working for the gold needed. With that said, you will need to play for at least 30 days of game time with real money once before you can do this method, but one payment isn’t a lot to ask when you have the potential to never pay for your subscription again.

Will WoW Ever Go Free-to-Play?

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While other games and MMOs are taking the free-to-play approach, Blizzard has shown no signs that their flagship title will take this approach in the future. While its in-game shop is a viable way for the game to make money or for players to support the developers, the subscription model continues to be the primary method by which the game makes its money. Because of that, it’s not likely we will see any change.

But never say never, as with the company now being owned by Microsoft and the continuing changes and trends in the industry, it’s not as unbelievable as it once was that the game could make a shift like this in the future. However, that remains to be seen for now.