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Is Destiny 1 Free in 2023? Here‘s the Complete Lowdown for New Players

Hey there! If you‘re new to the world of Destiny, you may be wondering if you can check out the original Destiny 1 game for free. I‘ve got the full scoop for you right here!

The short answer: Unfortunately, Destiny 1 is not free-to-play. While you can download the base game, you‘ll be limited to only the introductory content. To experience the full Destiny 1 package, you‘ll need to purchase the Destiny: The Collection edition.

I know that‘s kind of a bummer to hear. Destiny 2 going free-to-play in 2019 set an expectation that maybe the original would follow suit. But for a number of reasons, Bungie has kept the full Destiny 1 experience as paid content only.

Now I don‘t say this to discourage you! The good news is that Destiny: The Collection frequently goes on sale for less than $20. So it‘s pretty reasonably priced for the sheer amount of content you get. And trust me, it‘s absolutely worth experiencing the game that started this legendary franchise.

Below I‘ll give you a complete overview of what‘s available for free vs. paid, where you can still buy it, what‘s included, and why Destiny 1 is still worth playing even in 2023. Time to suit up and learn everything you need to know!

What Content Can I Play For Free?

Let‘s start with exactly what Destiny 1 content you can access for free:

  • Download the base Destiny 1 client on PS4 or Xbox One
  • Play through the introductory story mission in Old Russia
  • Explore the starting Cosmodrome area on Earth
  • Create a Guardian character and level up to 7
  • Play Crucible PvP with limited mode options
  • Attempt the Vault of Glass raid but capped at 390 Light

And…that‘s about it. Pretty limited, right? You‘ll essentially get a small teaser of what Destiny 1 has to offer. But to do anything meaningful, you‘ll need to buy the full game.

Here‘s a quick chart of major free vs paid content:

FreePaid (Requires Purchase)
Intro missionFull story campaign
Cosmodrome onlyAll destinations
Level 1-7 capMax level 40 cap
Limited CrucibleAll Crucible modes
Vault of Glass raid previewAll raids and co-op activities

So in summary, you‘ll basically be cock-blocked from doing anything meaningful without buying Destiny: The Collection. Harsh but true!

What Do You Get with Destiny: The Collection?

Alright, so Destiny 1 isn‘t free. But what exactly do you get if you purchase The Collection? Well strap in, you‘re in for a treat my friend!

Here‘s a complete breakdown of everything included:

  • The full Destiny 1 base campaign – spans Earth, Moon, Venus, and Mars with tons of coop story missions

  • Five expansions: The Dark Below, House of Wolves, The Taken King, Rise of Iron – each added new story campaigns, destinations, coop activities, competitive multiplayer maps and modes, exotics, subclasses, and more gear.

  • Four highly-praised raid activities: Vault of Glass, Crota‘s End, King‘s Fall, and Wrath of the Machine. These 6 player coop challenges are the pinnacle of the Destiny experience.

  • Access to ALL Crucible maps and modes for competitive multiplayer and Iron Banner events.

  • Hundreds of exotic, legendary, and rare weapons and armor pieces to collect.

  • Additional limited-time events like Festival of the Lost, SRL Sparrow Racing, Crimson Days, etc.

  • Various quality-of-life improvements that were added over three years of updates and support.

That‘s a TON of stuff! Essentially everything that was ever added to Destiny 1 throughout its lifecycle is included. You‘ll have endless quests to complete, loot to acquire, activities to conquer, and worlds to explore.

It‘s an incredible value when you consider the hundreds and hundreds of hours of potential playtime.

Where Can I Buy Destiny: The Collection?

Alright, I‘m sold! But where can I actually purchase Destiny: The Collection in 2023? Here are a few options:

  • Digitally on the PlayStation Store or Microsoft Store for PS4 and Xbox One. This gives you access to download it directly to your console. Usually runs $19.99 but frequently on sale.

  • Physical copies at retailers like GameStop, BestBuy, or Amazon. Stock is limited but you may find new or used copies. Ensure any codes are still valid!

  • Third party key sellers like sometimes have keys available at discounted prices. Make sure to buy from reputable sellers!

I suggest checking your console‘s digital store first. Sony and Microsoft often run sales on The Collection, letting you scoop it up digitally for cheap. The downloads are huge so keep that in mind depending on your bandwidth!

And if you prefer physical copies, call around to a few local game stores in your area to check availability. Just know stock is limited since Destiny 1 is older now. But you may luck out and find a copy.

Either way, between $15-20 will let you jump into Destiny: The Collection. Not a huge investment considering how much is included!

Can I Play Destiny 1 on PC?

This is a common question I see, so let‘s quickly clear this up! Destiny 1 was never released on PC unfortunately. It remained exclusive to PlayStation and Xbox consoles during its lifecycle from 2014-2017.

There ARE ways to unofficially access Destiny 1 on PC through console emulators. But performance is spotty at best. I don‘t recommend trying to actually play through the game this way.

If you want the real Destiny 1 experience, console is the only way to go currently. Maybe someday Bungie will surprise us with a remastered PC port, but there‘s been no indication of that happening. Stick to PS4 or Xbox One for now!

What‘s the Player Population Like in 2023?

Considering Destiny 1 is over seven years old now, you might be worried the servers are ghost towns at this point. So what‘s the player population look like in 2023?

Here are the rough estimates:

  • Between 1-2 million monthly active players
  • A few thousand daily players across all platforms
  • Enough population to find matches but smaller than Destiny 2
  • Activity spikes around seasonal events before declining again

So it‘s not SUPER active, but still has a dedicated player base keeping it alive! The worlds aren‘t super crowded anymore, but you‘ll run into other Guardians out on missions or in the Tower.

And thanks to skill-based matchmaking systems, you‘ll always match with players around your own experience level. So you don‘t have to worry about getting stomped by veterans!

Rest assured you‘ll have plenty of comrades to play with. Destiny 1 still has an incredibly passionate community after all these years.

Do I Need DLC to Progress in End-Game?

When Destiny 1 first launched, you could reach the max level cap and participate in end-game content without any DLC. This changed over time though.

Following the major The Taken King expansion, players were heavily limited in progression and end-game access without owning the current DLC packs.

In 2023, if you tried playing Destiny 1 with just the base game, your character will be severely capped in terms of strength and equipment. You‘ll also be locked out of most end-game activities.

Essentially, owning The Collection including all expansions is mandatory now to experience Destiny 1‘s end-game and max out your Guardian‘s potential. Don‘t gimp your power!

How Does Destiny 1 Compare to Destiny 2?

Alright, you convinced me to grab The Collection! But how does the OG Destiny 1 stack up compared to the more modern Destiny 2?

There are valid arguments on both sides. Here are some of the key differences:

Destiny 2 Advantages

  • More beginner friendly with better tutorials and guidance
  • Quality-of-life improvements like automatic quest tracking
  • Available on PC and newer consoles for larger audience
  • Character movement and vehicle controls refined
  • Greater weapon and build diversity

Destiny 1 Strengths

  • More serious and gritty narrative tone
  • Better structured end-game reward loop
  • Generally cooler looking armor, weapons, and loot
  • More atmospheric soundtrack sets the mood
  • PvP Crucible preferred by hardcore fans

Overall, Destiny 2 has several usability and accessibility improvements given newer technology and experience. But Destiny 1 absolutely still shines in certain areas like its darker sci-fi vibe, cool gear, and memorable soundtrack.

There‘s also something special about going back to experience the origins of Destiny‘s universe. Seeing where it all kicked off carries serious nostalgia points if you‘re a longtime fan!

So both games have their merits, but I consider them both excellent for different reasons. Can‘t go wrong with either!

Should I Play Destiny 1 in 2023?

You might be thinking…this game originally came out in 2014! Is it even still worth buying and playing in 2023?

Let me put those concerns to rest – absolutely YES! Let me tell you why:

  • It‘s the origins of Destiny – where the legendary journey began
  • The worlds, lore, and soundtrack still hold up incredibly well
  • The raids are some of Bungie‘s best co-op content ever designed
  • Perfect nostalgia trip if you lived it the first time
  • Provides context for long-time characters before playing Destiny 2
  • A looter shooter masterpiece that still delivers fun in spades

If you missed out back in 2014 or are looking to relive fond memories, Destiny 1 remains an incredible sci-fi epic that every Guardian should experience!

The Collection is your ticket to easily dive into this genre-defining adventure that sparked a franchise phenomenon. Don‘t hesitate, I‘ll see you star side!

So that covers everything you could need to know about whether Destiny 1 is free or not. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help new light players discover the amazing worlds of Destiny. Enjoy the journey!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.