Star Wars: The Old Republic now free until level 15

New level-capped but unlimited Free Trial offer for BioWare's MMORPG allows those without previous accounts to try out opening adventures of eight character classes.

Gamers eager to try out Star Wars: The Old Republic, but not willing to pay to get started, are in luck. BioWare announced a Free Trial promotion for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game today, allowing users to try out the game's eight character classes and level their avatars to a maximum of 15.

May the Force be with you, at least until level 15.

In addition to trying out the game's classes and traveling through their origin worlds, Free Trial participants can fight against others in the player-versus-player Warzones, or work alongside players through Flashpoints. There is no time limit for the game's Free Trial.

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Free Trial offer comes with a string of limitations. In addition to the above-mentioned level cap, the promotion is good only for those who have never held a previously active Old Republic account. Additionally, Free Trial characters may only play on their origin world, capital world, the Fleet, all Warzones, and their first Flashpoint. Players will be denied entry to any regions outside these areas.

On top of those restrictions, Free Trial players will not be able to send or reply to mail by other trial characters; use general chat, trade chat, or PVP chat; use the Galactic Trade Network; or trade with other players. Lastly, Old Republic Free Trial users will only be able to reach a Crew Skills ranking of "around" 40 and will not earn Legacy XP.

For more on The Old Republic's Free Trial, check out the FAQ page at the game's website.

This is not the first time BioWare has allowed users to play The Old Republic for free, as the game has held a number of free weekends since launch. Additionally, this could be part of BioWare's effort to "look into" a full switch for the game from a subscription model to free-to-play.

With its Free Trial promotion, The Old Republic joins subscription-based MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft in offering a level-limited trial.

Star Wars: The Old Republic launched in December to a warm critical reception, and the game tallied 2 million in sales and attracted 1.7 million paying subscribers by February. In May, publisher Electronic Arts revealed the game had shed 400,000 users, falling to 1.3 million. Later that month, a round of layoffs also hit BioWare.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

166 comments
boomer0901
boomer0901

shed 400,000 users, try more like 1.4 million user.  I'm playing the f2p model right now and it's terrible, I'll keep playing it though, because frankly I'm bored with every MMO out atm, so it's something to pass the time, but don't waste a dime of real money on this game, unless or course you love theme parks this game is for you.

grand17
grand17

sounds like its tanking

VintAge68
VintAge68

Sounds terrific, since I still didn't manage to buy an online pass... :D

Lothos_Delion
Lothos_Delion

Bring back the singleplayer games and save yourself the trouble. Old Republic should have never been made into an mmo to begin with.

Breyant
Breyant

Levels 1-15 really are the best parts in my opinion, exciting new world, stories, and voice acting... after that it's all kind of downhill.

DavidStorm
DavidStorm

Just make it f2p already...You screwed up by trying to make a wow clone in space so going f2p to attract as many as possible die-hard star wars fans is your only option left Bioware/EA.

Warsilver
Warsilver

Even with all the restrictions, free play still sounds appealing.

wexorian
wexorian

With this Temp Game will go free 2play after 5-6 month :))

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

"I sense a disturbance in the force...""What it may be, master?""It's like a storm of unoriginal and useless WoW comparison comments coming our way..."

alpha_unit97
alpha_unit97

And so the slow but steep decent to free to play begins...  

fanaticsm
fanaticsm

free stuff rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

I'm still pained they decided to make an MMO instead of KotoR III.  I tried to give it a chance, but it's such a lackluster mix of both worlds that I couldn't really enjoy it.

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

This is like trying to put a child into the bathtub.  They resist all they can, and get their legs wet, until finally giving in and submerging.  BW knows SWTOR is going to go free-to-play eventually, they just want to drag it out and deny it as long as possible.  I just got another "Please come back for a free week" email for their latest patch, 1.3.  Sorry, but that patch doesn't have ANY content in it and should not have been trumpeted as a major release.

Cobra5
Cobra5

I'm not really an MMO type but I stuck with TOR longer then I stuck with any others (WOW, RIFT). Fun storytelling and some of the classes were fun to play, sith marauder I really liked.

vinsence
vinsence

My opion it should be free until level for ever.

Dav_id83
Dav_id83

That nice get some money from the people who played it at the start and then offer the game for free until level 15 I bet some are pissed

escapethyfate
escapethyfate

Played the invitation trial thingy for this game a couple of weeks ago and gave up about half way through the week you got with it. Storytelling's amazing, but the gameplay itself just feels really weak. Only class that felt decent was the trooper if i remember correctly. Very much doubt id try it again even if it went f2p.

Biocide69
Biocide69

Are the servers full like when DCU went free, and there is a 2 hour wait to log in? Do I still have time to say goodbye to my GF :P

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

Guild wars 2 will save the day. that is a game I am actually looking forward too. ToR was just a small distraction that I might play if it goes completely free to play, if not then I will not waste my time or my money play ToR.

BigFeef
BigFeef

Watching Ea/BioWare destroy their $300 million toy is like watching a really bad Spanish soap opera... Out of all the crappy experiences I've had with MMOs over the years; my experience with SWTOR ranks in the top 10 of horribad... maybe even the top 5.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

The problem for me is that I don't have time to dedicate to living a second life on a computer. I am very happy that Bioware has decided to allow Free-to-Play only because this gives me (basically) a large demo of the game to try out. I think this game is a milestone in the history of MMO video games, even if it is only an iteration of what has come before it. Plus it's Star Wars, so it's significant in name alone.

 

I'm not a big fan of FTP games, but only because of the monetizing models currently in use. The benefit is always to the publisher. There is no balance.

DemannameD
DemannameD

you couldn't pay me to play long enough to reach lvl 15.

JustArtificial
JustArtificial

They should just adopt the DC Universe Online payment scheme. It worked for them, gaining them 1 million more users.

staranise
staranise

what I want is a hunter x hunter RPG! like in greed island....MMOs burned me out and its like going to the office spend time there but can`t wait to go home *so sad

ghost688
ghost688

want to see something inovative in multiplayer for video games? multiplayer free mode, like GTA multiplayer, fallout new vegas multiplayer, red dead redemption multiplayer. and more like: mercenary actions by one player pay to another fr he do something. those things can make very fun.

chappy_man
chappy_man

I played it rather solo, right up to the cap and kinda drifted off after that because of the matchmaking issues.. I mean it would take forever to get people for dungeons :P but with patch 1.3 I have been having some good fun with it and really if an MMO is what you want give it a try especially as it is free to 15 now. 

 

I wont say its amazing of the best but certainly would not say its the worst either. Its just one of those try it and see if it is for you type of things. 

 

For me I will likely continue floating in and out of it as my core MMO in the meanwhile

egger7577
egger7577

What's amazing to me is most of the people that posted here commented on how much they hate the game rather than loved it. If anyone is interested in this game beware that Gamespot is full of haters for this franchise and if you're really interested, check TOR forums for better info. I've been playing this game on and off for about 3 months now and absolutely love it. 1.3 fixed a lot of issues and group finder worked flawlessly for me yesterday looking for a flashpoint. Blah, blah, blah, 15 dollars is too much, OMG, get a job! The amazing this is people that complain about the price also complain about F2P, there's no win here. It's free until level 15 and if you don't like it then don't subscribe; it's as simple as that.

RossRichard
RossRichard

With Guild Wars 2 coming out in a month and a half, I see no reason to pay a sub to play an MMO anymore. Coming from TOR beta, they do have good character storylines, but it isn't worth paying a sub to see that when you can just play any other Bioware game.

 

I would play this game every now and then if it were F2P, but no way in H E double hockeysticks am I going to plop down $15 a month for this.

Shilleto
Shilleto

have no idea what people are crying over im going to pay for another 6 months next month

emerin76
emerin76

that was quick.  as much as I love star wars, I wont be joining in.  there's a whole 'nother secret world out there.

skullomania2
skullomania2

And I still don't want to play it!  What I want to play is Jedi Knight Academy part 2! And what I wanted to see was Star Wars part 7 instead of part 1.  Do I need to go on? 

grgcucu
grgcucu

just wait another 2 months and you'll get to play til level 30 for free

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

..and the gaming world collectively looked back over their shoulders at TOR for a second, before moving on.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

stop delaying the inevitable, just make it FTP

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

 @Lothos_Delion That ship has already sailed. Keep saying this another million times is not only to change that. They still have to recuperate the cost and try to squeeze as much as possible out of developing this.

thphaca
thphaca

 @TrueProphecy22 Same here. I loved the Kotor series and wished they expanded on the single-player. Perhaps an online/lan coop would be cool, but I didn't expect them to take the MMO route.

 

It's funny how MMO devs try to incorporate a story-driven approach, but it just doesn't work out IMO. Admittedly, I'm a bit biased against MMOs because it just feels like a multiplayer Sims game sometimes, but I did enjoy the Secret World a bit in the beta.

keech
keech

 @Dav_id83 Not really.  You can't even get off the first non-tutorial planet at level 15.  People still have to buy the game if they want to play it in earnest.  Also these "free to play till X level" trials are typically very VERY restricted.  To the point where It's little more than a demo.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

 @BigFeef If this is horribad to you, then you have not played very many MMOs. Just admit it!

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

 @egger7577 People are entitled to their opinion's.  It just so happens that the general public does not like that game doesn't meant hey are hater's, it just means the game doesn't appeal to most people.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

 @mrboone01 Just admit that you are a sheep and only play what everyone else plays. :)

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

 @Jestersmiles They are dragging their feet to squeeze every last dime before pulling the trigger.

solo1g
solo1g

 @keech You can get off the origin world at lv10 (if you do all the quests) but being able to go to lv15 allows you to play the first flashpoint which is at the fleet and do some PvP.  But that's all you can do.  Essential it is a demo but gives you a chance to try out the classes and Advanced Classes (which you pick at lv10 on the fleet).

egger7577
egger7577

Read the last part of my statement; if you don't like it don't subscribe. Some people's "crap" is someone else's treasure. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

silentkillah
silentkillah

 @FreedomPrime You haven't even played the game. Thousands of players have returned and recent updates have fiinally fleshed out all the minor inconveniences. Like nomation29 says below. 80 GAMESPOT people is nowhere near the "General Public".

 

Give the game a go, they wanted to release a classic, fully voiced MMO and great Bioware story telling. And they did just that.