Guild Wars 2 Royal Guard

It was leaked a few days ago, but now we’ve got official confirmation: The core Guild Wars 2 game is now free-to-play. ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien took the stage at PAX Prime Saturday morning to make the announcement, and you can go to the Guild Wars 2 site right now to read a letter from him as well as download the game and jump in immediately.

Some restrictions do apply, of course, to help protect current and future players from the spam and wave of gold-sellers that usually come with a F2P game. As O’Brien said:

Our goal is to protect our community and protect our current players while still making it easy to invite your friends into the game.

The game experience stays the same, we’re just opening it up to more players. We can actually do this because we believe in buy-to-play [and] believe that when players come into the game, that they’ll love Guild Wars 2 and buy Heart of Thorns

Free Guild Wars 2 accounts:

  • Start with fewer character and bag slots
  • Cannot use map-wide chat
  • Can only start a new whisper conversation every 30 seconds
  • Can’t mail random stuff to other players
  • Can’t buy gems with gold
  • Have level restrictions on where they can go in the world: 10 to leave starter zones, 35 to visit Lion’s Arch, 60 to join World vs. World
  • You can see a full list of the differences between free and paid accounts here. The Gem Store will remain unchanged, and players can “upgrade” to a full game, with no restrictions, by purchasing Heart of Thorns, which launches Oct. 23 and has a revamped website that also went live today.

    All right, so now that it’s official, what do you think? If you hadn’t tried GW2 before, are you going to jump in now?

    the author

    Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

    53 Readers Commented

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    1. BAYAG on September 12, 2015

      can’t trade.. cant /w for 30 sec.. deeyyymm.. i think those 2 make’s the “F2P”ish horrible….

    2. anip on September 9, 2015

      The free account throws me away from this game…

      – Character, bag slot and map level restricts I can live with
      – but can’t chat?… 30 seconds to reply to someone… this kills off any sort of personal trading
      – can’t mail, really? what the hell?
      – what’s gems? is that important? if it is, so it’s P2W for players without free account?

    3. LordNoX on September 7, 2015

      OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG…..nobody cares -_-

      *goes back to playing the only decent MMO on the market: ElderScrolls Online.

    4. Ethan Florke on September 1, 2015

      i’ve downloaded it but it didn’t allow me to log in its just keep loading

    5. Bilbo Baggins on August 31, 2015

      So does this mean that those that bought the original GW for 50$ will be demoted to F2P for not buying the HoT expansion?? The original buyers get scrooged again?

    6. ColdHell on August 31, 2015

      And i thoght DCUO is bad,ohh boy!

    7. Fornicaras on August 31, 2015

      Free 2 play players will not be able to receive Laurels from daily log in rewards,this only means you will not be able to obtain Acended accessories same way as we do,you will have to pray to rng gods or play huge amount of fractals but thats just earings xd

    8. Derpina on August 31, 2015

      To the derps posting questions but having their “reply” turned off: (^) (-.-)

    9. eunusunt on August 31, 2015

      Finally I can try it out…but these restrictions, damn! This is true freemium.

    10. Detestt on August 30, 2015

      “Play for free” not “Free to play” there IS a difference. Braindead millenials.

    11. Detestt on August 30, 2015

      Nope and nope.

    12. zzzx on August 30, 2015

      FAKE FREE TO PLAY GAME! Locked content PAY TO WIN STUFF! For stupid people, rushit tramps there everywhere trying to scam people, poor criminals and beggars

      • -GG-TheSecondJoker on August 31, 2015

        It is b2p you idiot. P2W is when you pay to be the best.

      • Todoran on September 2, 2015

        its a buy to play you moron get a job and get 45 buks….

    13. Jooq on August 30, 2015

      Can only start a new whisper conversation every 30 seconds..always hate those kind of restrictions )

    14. Red Wolf on August 30, 2015

      WOW that’s there Free To Play ……………………….

    15. Lagwin on August 30, 2015

      Kinda relieved, had bought heart of thorns + core game less than a month ago…was kinda pissed that basically more than half of the money i spent was getting given away for free now….as to the game itself…seems alright, not played it to much yet though what with having other stuff to do.

    16. CONSIDERABLYHAPPY on August 30, 2015

      BYEE world of wastewarcraft i’m goin to gw2!!

      • LAMBDA471 on September 1, 2015

        Yeah, World of Shitcraft isn’t worth it anymore, since it’s not Vanilla anymore.

    17. Mystika on August 29, 2015

      I’m okay with this honestly. Some of the restrictions seem quite good on paper for keeping out bots. Maybe I’ll have another crack at the game, and get some friends who never played it to join me.

    18. Merkadis on August 29, 2015

      Figures, yet another proof that no game can live without f2p simply because of the masses it brings in, because more people equals more fun.
      Still… with all those retarded restrictions (like they gonna keep gold sellers out heh, nice BS to justify em though) i’m not sure i want to bother..

      • Merkadis on August 29, 2015

        Nah wrong, after checking the restrictions more closely.. i’m sure that i do not want to bother at all.

        • GW2 Player on August 29, 2015

          These restrictions are more than fair; you are just entitled.

          • Echoless on August 29, 2015

            Same stuff people said about archeage when people complained about the restrictions. I only pay when I want to support the devs. And I certainly won’t if they treat me like a second class player.

          • Merkadis on August 30, 2015

            Yes, i am entitled, to a fair f2p which does not force you to buy anything. This here is not f2p, it’s free2try.

            • Paybackaiw on August 30, 2015

              >A fair f2p does not force you to buy anything
              AHAHAHAHA you can’t be serious. How do you expect these people to make money then?

            • Merkadis on August 30, 2015

              There is plenty of ways to make money without affecting anyones gameplay, it’s been proven long ago.

      • Vanilla Thunder on August 29, 2015

        I do agree that some of those restriction are stupid, but I guess they have to have an incentive for people to buy the game.

    19. BOOM! on August 29, 2015

      Wow… I rather buy the game to play this F2P model they will have.

    20. gamekniggk on August 29, 2015

      they call that f2p hahahah funny i will rather buy the game for 20 buck than that

    21. Ikhy on August 29, 2015

      I start playing in the closed betas and still I don’t have a single character at max level, not event close and everytime I just manage to get to level 60 or so, it’s just a boring game, glad it will be FTP it will just fit the ingame.

      • Derpina on August 30, 2015

        Agreed. The game might have been exciting at release as thousands grouped up to eerg content. But regular pay is boring. Lack luster quests. Insta teleporting. On the go mail. Visuals just airbrushed in. Kills immersion. The cutscenes are even out of context and feel misplaced. Combat is a “attract agro in one are spam 4 buttons”. Live events are the same thing but with time specific spawn. PvP is a zerg armor based joke. I never had that “wow. This is awesome” or “I did that” moment. I have several other f2p games that can do that. This game failed on release by killing its franchise and breaking its promises. Cherry on cake: character models are butt ugly.

    22. Nidoto on August 29, 2015

      Honestly, i hate this. They should keep the buy to play model with no free to play option what so ever. It’s not because i think people who don’t have the money shouldn’t play but now it’s going to get filled with gold sellers, trolls, and people who honestly don’t belong in the game. This really sucks. I hope they don’t let the game get ruined.

      • Correct me IF I AM Wrong on August 30, 2015

        Hmmm, your comment is reasonable, but for the most part it is wrong. The gold sellers won’t even bother to pick up the game, because they have no way of selling gold. What about trolls, they are in every game, so no surprise here. And the are plenty of people in every game who don’t belong there. Oh yeah, did you read the restriction list which ArenaNet have put up for every interested in free to play player? I am 100% sure you did not.

    23. OkayIguess on August 29, 2015

      I am glad more people will be playing. I payed 60 bux… 3years ago or something when it first came out haha. It is not like we are losing anything. Original players should get a gift of some sort before the F2P starts.

      • derpina on August 30, 2015

        Price never chznged much. 40 mas typic price with 25 dips on big weekend sales

    24. Todoran on August 29, 2015

      delleting my TERA/RIFT/Skyforge…. no more Blade and soul waiting….. Guild Wars 2! DOWNLOADING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bye bad made f2p games ……

      • Billy on August 29, 2015

        This game is so horrible trust me its worst than getting ebola, I would know

        • Todoran on August 29, 2015

          well i played TERA soooo….. =)) it cant be worst than that and skyforge is very boring buged and repetitive RIFT is very buged and blade and soul hmmmm i dont know its anime =)) what is there good to play except wow…. GW2! in my opinion.

          • legilt4ife on August 29, 2015

            I had gw2 but it got boring to me cause at i think lvl 20 or so you don’t see many players idk maybe its just me the story was good though.

          • SkullBash on August 29, 2015

            Blade and Soul isn’t “anime” lol? Do you know what anime is? Blade and Soul is way better than the other games you listed imo. GW2 has it’s perks but it gets boring after a while imo as well. I would not give up Blade and Soul for it, especially considering I have GW2.

            • Hayabusa on August 30, 2015

              I’m pretty sure he meant anime art style and I play bns its ok imo revelation is more fun

          • Jokul on August 30, 2015

            Rift isnt “buged” you idiot

            • Todoran on August 30, 2015

              fall damge…. missing parts from caracters, grass refreshes from 5 to 5 secons if u max it, shadows are horid the caracters cape goes in to your mounts when it moves camera shakes and lags when u turn left righ… birnging the map get u fps loss for some reason…. etc …….. and many more…. but the best bug of the game is THE ENGINE!……. you are a retarded puke who payd 20 buks to be able to wear earrings …. get lost troni boy! go play that stupid rift or that idiot archage…. this tipe of low games are for ppl like u ….

      • Shanex on August 29, 2015

        Blade and Soul is better than this though….

        • gamekniggk on August 29, 2015

          it better but the game is with some shity company

          • Miko on August 31, 2015

            They are both with the same shitty compay man.

          • Braghez on September 2, 2015

            They’re not under NCsoft anymore. Anet bought the publishing rights….so now it’s their own game.

      • Billy on August 29, 2015

        I hate Tera, I hate Rift, I hate Skyforge, Blade and Soul is okay. GW2 is boring tbh but hey if you enjoy it, go for it

      • Taladon on August 29, 2015

        People can have their opinions but most of these are unjust. The game is worth playing, and with the expansion coming out there will finally be more to do after getting to 80.

      • -GG-TheSecondJoker on August 31, 2015

        Agreed. Except SF. I love it.

    25. Blackaria on August 29, 2015

      Did no see that one coming but I like it, some people mite be mad about it but I think this is a great way for games to get more people into there games. I love guild wars 2, I just don’t play it like most games I go back to it as my fall back game when I get bored of things. It is a great game that keeps getting better. At first I thought heart of thorns was kind of high on the price, but after looking at everything and how long I have been playing. I think it is a fair price for a new expansion.