If you‘re considering trying out Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV), you may be wondering just how long you can play through the free trial content before needing to upgrade. After all, with hundreds of hours of story quests, dungeons, raids, and more to experience, it‘s a massive game even when limited to the free trial.
The short answer is: for most players, the FFXIV free trial provides 120-200 hours of playtime on average if you want to complete the majority of major content. For hardcore completionists aiming to 100% everything, it can stretch even longer.
Keep reading as I break down exactly what‘s included, estimated playtimes, tips for new players, and whether upgrading to the full game is worth it. Let‘s dive in!
What Exactly Does the FFXIV Free Trial Include?
Before estimating how long the free trial lasts, let‘s first cover everything you can access:
- The entire base game (A Realm Reborn) with no restrictions
- Access to the Heavensward expansion up to level 60
- Hundreds of main scenario and side quests to complete
- The ability to play all classes and jobs up to level 60
- Dungeons, trials, raids, guildhests, levequests, and more
- No time limit or playtime cap
The major restrictions are:
- Level cap at 60
- Unable to join Free Companies (player guilds)
- Limited social features and market board access
- Can‘t form parties over 8 players for endgame raids
But don‘t let that diminish just how much content is available during the free trial! You‘ll have endless hours of gameplay across three expansions as you enjoy the sweeping story as the Warrior of Light.
Estimated Playtime for Main Scenario Quests
The main scenario questline (MSQ) makes up the core storyline of FFXIV as you journey through each expansion. Here‘s how long players report it takes to beat each section:
- A Realm Reborn: Approximately 120-150 hours
- Heavensward: Around 60 hours
- Post-Heavensward Patch Quests: 30+ hours
So if you focused solely on the main quests needed to progress, you‘d likely spend 210-240 hours minimum before exhausting the free trial MSQ.
But there‘s far more optional content beyond just what‘s required!
Playtimes Including Optional Content
If you take the time to complete side quests, run dungeons multiple times for gear, unlock bonus trials and raids, and level secondary classes, the playtime quickly ramps up.
Here‘s a rough estimate of how long it takes to beat all of the major free trial content:
- All main scenario quests: 210 hours
- Important side quests: 50 hours
- Dungeons/trials/raids: 80 hours
- Leveling 2-3 classes to 60: 60 hours
- Miscellaneous activities: 40+ hours
Total: 440+ hours
So if you want to 100% complete everything possible in the free trial, you‘re looking at over 400 hours of gameplay!
And that‘s not even including the vast variety of non-combat content like crafting, gathering, sightseeing logs, triple triad, and more – easily adding dozens of additional potential playtime.
Tips for New Players
Here are some tips to help you make the most of the FFXIV free trial as a new player:
- Focus on main scenario quests first – This unlocks everything else at a good pace
- Try out multiple classes – You can play them all on one character!
- Do your class quests – This will unlock new skills and gear
- Join the Novice Network – Ask for an invite to chat with mentors
- Look into crafting/gathering – Provides a nice break from combat
- Run dungeons multiple times – Grinding gear is fun with the Duty Finder
- Read your tooltips – Many players skip reading their skills
- Take your time! – No need to rush; enjoy the journey
The FFXIV community is very helpful and welcoming to new players. Don‘t be afraid to ask for help or look up guides if you feel lost. There‘s so much to experience, so relax and soak it all in!
Is Upgrading to the Full Game Worth It?
If you end up falling in love with FFXIV and play through all of the free trial, you will eventually need to upgrade to the full game. This removes the level 60 cap and lets you progress further with the Stormblood, Shadowbringers, and Endwalker expansions.
Here are a few things to know:
- Requires buying the game ($19.99 for Starter Edition) and subscribing
- Subscription is $12.99 to $14.99 per month
- Each expansion provides around 100+ hours of additional content
- Endwalker alone offers 120+ hours for the MSQ and side content
- Ongoing major updates every 3-4 months keeps the game fresh
So if you enjoy the free trial, continuing to the later expansions adds hundreds of hours of additional gameplay and content. You‘ll be able to level all classes to 90 and experience the epic ongoing story to its current conclusion. FFXIV also sees frequent content updates and improves over time.
Many players agree the story and gameplay only gets better beyond Heavensward! So upgrading to the full game allows you to experience the very best FFXIV has to offer.
In Summary: Expect 120-440+ Hours of Gameplay
- The FFXIV free trial includes the entirety of A Realm Reborn and Heavensward expansion
- Focusing only on main quests provides 120-150 hours of gameplay or more
- Including side content and leveling classes stretches playtime to 200+ hours
- Completionist players report 400+ hours to clear absolutely everything
- Upgrading to the full game adds 100+ hours of content per expansion
So if you‘re willing to take your time and enjoy side content, the free trial can potentially provide hundreds of hours of gameplay before needing to pay. This lets you experience the great story, combat, and more before deciding to continue onwards.
Give the FFXIV free trial a shot and see why it‘s one of the most popular MMORPGs out there. Take your time, ask for help, and enjoy becoming the Warrior of Light!