Comparing SWTOR F2P Versus Subscription

It’s been a big day for SWTOR, with the announcement of the game going free-to-play. Although I’m extremely cynical about the framing of the announcement of a great positive sign for the game, I do think the move is likely to grow the game somewhat. Not purely because of the change broadly, but because of the way BioWare have drawn a nice line between what F2P’ers and ongoing subscribers can access. Let’s take a look at the key ones:

1. Everyone can play right through to Level 50

This is an unavoidable move if you want to attract new players and it’s a good move when you factor in the other differences between the two player types.

2. Limited character creation options for F2P’ers

Only subscribers will get to choose species. It’s a good differentiation, as any RP’ers or other Star Wars devotees that love a particular species will be driven to subscribe. More casual players won’t be fazed most likely, so it’s not a huge issue.

3. Warzones

F2P’ers will have a lesser number of Warzones they can complete each week. There’s no confirmation of what the exact limitation is at this stage. Rabid PvP’ers will probably maintain a subscription anyways, while everyone else can really check out if they like SWTOR PvP.

4. Flashpoints and Space Combat

Again, only subscribers will have unlimited times they can play Flashpoints or space missions. What will be interesting here is the number F2P’ers can play – if the number is relatively high then there actually won’t be that big a difference. No-one sane plays dozens of Flashpoints a week. Do they?

5. Operations

This is probably the firmest line in the sand between the two player types. If you want to raid, you need to be a subscriber. That said, the F2P players should be welcome additions to guilds, as they can level up and gear up on F2P and if they decide they want that last step, they can pay up then. The cynic in me says that F2P’ers will get some Operation access in the future though.

6. Travel Features and GTN

Again, less access for those who go F2P. GTN access is apparently going to be ‘extremely’ limited, with full subscribers able to have 50 simultaneous listings. There’s no clarity on exactly what falls within ‘travel features’ – perhaps there’ll be longer cooldowns on Quick Travel for those who go F2P.

7. Priority Login for Subscribers

Ok, I feel bad, but I laughed when I read this one. Subscribers will always jump the login queue ahead of F2P’ers. That’s reasonable and handy – if there were queues. Can anyone tell me the last time they had a queue? 1.3 update maybe?

Over to you: are the subscription features enough to stop you going to F2P? Let us know!


  1. I hope F2P’ers don’t get Legacy. I thing that separates TOR from other MMOs is the voiceover story isn’t it? So it’s almost a free KoTOR 3 to anyone who plays it.

    •  As someone who will most likely not resub since I’m a casual player I hope not I’d hate to lose my legacy, they should really separate tiers into current subs, founders(former subs) and new F2P accounts.  

  2. About_time says

    The game is dead. F2P won’t save this turkey. Good thing this site has changed from TOROZ to Oceanic Gamer as it will allow a broader focus, especially with SWTOR dying a painful death.

  3. Oh, F2P will get Legacies alright, they’ll just have to pay $1.99-$4.99 per Legacy feature (typical EA pricing), more than likely in addition to the listed in-game requirements for the purchase.

  4.  I don’t know if this will help generate more money for EA but my gut feeling is it will just drop more subscribers. Altaholics for instance have no great need for GTN access or to do loads of spacemissions/FP’s as both take direct away from the character storyline (which is the biggest reason to make alts if your not a subscriber).

    I think this move may actually hurt them. Then again when you get people hook and to level 50 what else is there and if you can only have the one species then that won’t help either (altaholics like variation).

    My biggest concern was their access to general chat features because you will probably find it will likely be kids playing the F2P accounts and drop the quality of players down a bit (not all are arseholes but lets be real here some youngins are just down right intolerable).

    Just my first thoughts.

    •  There is a limit on characters discussed in the FAQ for F2P.
      So Altaholics will be affected.


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