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Is Destiny 2 Witch Queen free on PC?

The short answer is – yes, but only for a limited time! From February 23 to 27, 2023, Bungie has made the entire The Witch Queen expansion free to play for all Destiny 2 players on PC and consoles. This gives both new and returning players full access to the latest expansion content at no cost. However, Witch Queen will go back to its normal $39.99 price tag after the promotion ends. Let‘s take an in-depth look at what you can experience for free in Destiny 2 right now!

A Primer on Destiny 2‘s Evolving World

For newcomers unfamiliar with Destiny 2, it helps to understand that this looter-shooter RPG developed by Bungie receives regular content updates to expand the world every 3-4 months. These come in two forms:

Paid Expansions:
Major additions like Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light that introduce new campaigns, destinations, raids, subclasses, etc. Expansions must be purchased separately.

Smaller quarterly content drops that bring new activities, gear, seasonal storylines, and quality-of-life improvements. Accessible via $10 season passes.

This regular cadence of new expansions and seasons means that Destiny 2 is constantly evolving. The world continues to grow for loyal players willing to purchase each year‘s new content.

But this brings up a fair question – can more casual or new free-to-play gamers enjoy Destiny 2‘s ever-changing universe? Or do the paid expansions gate off too much of the full experience?

Let‘s explore different player perspectives on this, but first – some impressive stats that showcase Destiny 2‘s rampant popularity:

Key Player & Engagement Statistics:

  • Over 200 million total registered players as of September 2022
  • Average weekly players still over 1.5 million
  • 800,000+ concurrent players during seasonal events
  • Daily player retention rate of 40%
  • 500 years worth of total playtime per day
  • Ranked 5th on Steam‘s Current Player Count as of February 2023

Given these mind-blowing engagement metrics 3+ years post-launch, it‘s safe to say that Destiny 2‘s content formula clearly resonates with its fanbase and keeps them coming back.

Free-to-Play vs Paid Games – The Best of Both Worlds?

Destiny 2 intrigues because it straddles two proven gaming business models – free-to-play and paid content. Let‘s examine the pros and cons of each approach:


  • Pros
    • Eliminates barrier to entry for new players
    • Opportunity to hook players before monetization
    • Larger reach and target audience size
    • Lower risk for consumers
  • Cons
    • Revenue dependent on in-game transactions
    • Content limitations unless players pay
    • Higher in-game advertising
    • Less gameplay depth

Paid Content

  • Pros
    • More rewarding for dedicated players
    • Deeper gameplay and content quality
    • More developer resources
    • Fair value exchange
  • Cons
    • Higher upfront cost is prohibitive
    • Much smaller audience reach
    • Harder to attract new players
    • Requires sustained engagement

Destiny 2 attempts to balance both models – offering a sizable taste of free-to-play content while pursuing paid expansions/seasons for monetization. This lets players dip their toes in before deciding if they want to dive deeper.

But this approach isn‘t without challenges, as seen by…

The Content Vault – Losing Past Content to Make Way for the New

With major expansions releasing every year, Destiny 2 faces a unique challenge – how to keep growing while ensuring the install size doesn‘t balloon out of control.

Their solution is the infamous Destiny Content Vault (DCV) – a mechanism for removing/vaulting parts of old expansions to make space for new content. Locations, campaigns, raids, and activities from past DLCs are routinely cycled out of the game.

Here are a few of the major pieces of content that have been vaulted over Destiny 2‘s lifespan:

  • The original 3 campaigns (Red War, Curse of Osiris, Warmind)
  • Several destinations – Io, Titan, Mars, Mercury, and Leviathan
  • Raids like Leviathan and Scourge of the Past
  • Numerous exotic quests, rituals, missions
  • Entire skill trees for subclasses!

This has led to some very mixed player reactions:

Player Perspective – The Content Vault Controversy


  • Allows Destiny 2‘s size to be managed
  • Focuses players on newest content
  • Enables evolving world narrative


  • Removes content players paid for
  • New light players lose context
  • FOMO and confusion for lapsed players returning
  • Breaks continuity of overarching storyline

As you can see, the DCV solves some problems while creating new ones. But it highlights the challenges of balancing a living, frequently updated game vs a more finite, static experience.

For returning players especially, it can feel jarring to see once-familiar content removed from the game. But Bungie stands behind it as a necessary evil.

Does Free Access to Witch Queen Move the Needle?

Let‘s circle back now to the original question – does making Destiny 2‘s latest Witch Queen expansion free entice players to come back and stick around? What has feedback been from both streamers and new players?

Content Creator/Streamer Reactions

The influencer and streamer community (many of whom focus on Destiny 2 as their primary game) has widely praised The Witch Queen as one of the franchise‘s best expansions yet. Here are some of their takes:

  • "The Witch Queen campaign might be the best story experience Bungie has delivered" – Gladd, veteran raider

  • "Weapon crafting adds so much more depth and reason to grind" – Aztecross, D2 guide creator

  • "The raid is intricate, challenging, and a must-try – even if you‘re new" – Datto, high-skill PvE player

  • "Between Void 3.0, weapon crafting, and Savathun‘s Throne World, this expac delivers" – SayNoToRage, PvP streamer

You‘ll struggle to find many major content creators who don‘t applaud Witch Queen as a massive step forward for Destiny 2. It seems Bungie really knocked this expansion out of the park in terms of quality and innovations.

New & Returning Player Impressions

Between beyond-positive streamer reactions and the free access period, The Witch Queen has offered many incentives for lapsed players to give Destiny 2 another go.

Anecdotally, some common new light player impressions have included:

  • Some confusion navigating the expansive, interconnected systems
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of quests, activities, currencies
  • Struggling to understand the relevance of certain characters and events
  • Wishing for more guidance on what to focus on first

However, most also agree that:

  • The gunplay feels fantastic with very tight mechanics
  • Nailing challenging PvE encounters provides an adrenaline rush
  • Moments of synergy when playing in a fireteam are magical
  • The allure of chasing powerful new gear keeps them grinding

The Big Question – Will These Players Stay?

It seems the free Witch Queen access has succeeded in impressing lapsed players and tempting them to dive back into Destiny 2 once more. But will these returning guardians stick around in the long run?

There‘s reason for optimism:

  • Genuinely buzzworthy expansion that has hooked veterans
  • Removes financial risk for new players to try it out
  • Generous amount of content available for free players already

But also causes for concern:

  • Confusion stemming from lost/vaulted content
  • Potential burnout catching up on missed campaigns
  • Lack of guidance for optimal new player experience

Only time will tell, but if Bungie can smooth out Destiny 2‘s new player onboarding experience, they have a real shot at converting this influx into the next generation of loyal players through Witch Queen.

The Verdict? Dive In, New Lights!

It‘s an exciting time to be a Destiny player. Despite some valid critiques, Witch Queen demonstrates that Bungie is still totally capable of delivering best-in-class loot shooter content with interesting innovations players crave.

For PC gamers yet to give Destiny 2 a real chance, you are doing yourself a disservice not jumping in during this free access week. What‘s holding you back?

It‘s the perfect chance to experience Destiny 2 in all its chaotic, addictive glory for yourself. Get a feel for the tight gunplay against hordes of alien foes, the thrill of conquering ever-more complex raids, and the power fantasy of obliterating enemies with space magic.

Don‘t worry – I‘ll be your guide through it all. We‘ll start with choosing your class, then set you up with some foundational quests for XP and loot. Before you know it, you‘ll be appending titles like Fatebreaker and Disciple-Slayer to your name.

Trust me, you want to carve out a small corner of the Destiny universe to call home. So what do you say? Shall we put together a fireteam and kick some intergalactic butt? The Witch Queen awaits, guardians!



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