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Is Destiny 2‘s Free Version Worth Playing in 2023?

Hey friend! If you‘re wondering whether Destiny 2 is worth jumping into as a free player in 2023, I‘m here to help. I‘ve put in over 500 hours across multiple platforms, so let me walk you through what content is actually accessible, how enjoyable it is long-term, and whether you should stick to the free version or upgrade to paid expansions. Buckle up for the full breakdown!

What Exactly Can You Play for Free?

When Destiny 2 went free-to-play in 2019, Bungie opened up a decent chunk of content including:

  • The intro New Light campaign and tutorial missions – About 2-3 hours of gameplay here.

  • All the core playlists like Crucible, Gambit, Strikes – You have full access to PvP, PvEvP, and PvE modes.

  • The original Leviathan raid and Prophecy dungeon – This raid has 5 encounters and the dungeon takes about 60-90 minutes.

  • Two patrol destinations – Explore Europa and the Moon destinations freely.

  • One seasonal activity – Dares of Eternity is a 6 player matchmade mode that‘s pretty fun. Rotates weekly.

  • Limited selection of three Nightfall strikes – Higher difficulty versions of strikes with modifiers.

Now that may sound like a good amount of stuff, but let‘s look at the restrictions too. As a free player you can‘t access:

  • Most premium dungeons and raids in expansions after Shadowkeep – We‘re talking 4 additional dungeons and 5 newer raids.

  • Endgame versions of Nightfall strikes, legend/master Lost Sectors – Meaningful progression is walled off.

  • Middle part of the story like Forsaken and Shadowkeep campaigns – You only get the introduction missions.

  • Most seasonal content like the Haunted Lost Sectors, Ketchcrash – Typically need the season pass to unlock rewards.

  • Higher level PvP modes like Trials of Osiris or Iron Banner – Less loot and level advantages enabled.

So in reality, the content is quite limited unless you start buying the expansions and season passes. You‘ll miss out on most of the meaty endgame activities.

Will You Stay Engaged Long-Term with Just the Free Version?

From my experience, the free content is enough to hook you initially and let you sample the combat, but grows repetitive for long-term play.

I‘d estimate you can get a solid 50-60 hours of playtime as a free Destiny 2 player before hitting a wall. You‘ll have fun blasting aliens with satisfying gunplay, chasing some cool exotic weapons like Riskrunner, and sampling the raid/dungeon.

But over time, you‘ll exhaust the limited activities and loot pools. I found myself running the same strike or Crucible map multiple times per day without much variation or rewards.

Experts like streamer Datto echo this sentiment, noting the free version serves as more of a demo rather than a viable long-term experience.

Without a steady drip of new dungeons, raids, seasonal content, and gear to chase, things get stale quickly if you‘re not invested in the ecosystem.

The Verdict: Is Destiny 2 Worth Playing on Free Mode Alone?

Here‘s my frank opinion based on hundreds of hours across platforms:

The free version is great for dipping your toes in. It lets you experience the general gameplay loop without a financial commitment. I‘d recommend new players start here.

But for long-term play, access to expansions is near essential. The free content is a small fraction of the overall world, story, and gear available. You‘ll hit progression walls as a free player.

My advice: Try the free version first, but be ready to buy expansions if you want to seriously dive in. Getting the latest expansion will unlock the meaningful progression systems, seasonal model, and bulk of endgame.

Without that, you‘ll only get a watered down Destiny 2 experience missing much of what veteran players love. But hey, at least you can try it out at no cost!

Tips to Maximize Your Free Experience

If you‘re committed to playing on free mode, here are some tips from my experience to help you make the most of it:

  • Focus on chasing exotics first – Exotics dramatically enhance your power and build options. Do Xur‘s weekly quests and visit him often.

  • LFG for dungeons and raids – Use LFG sites to experience this content, even if you can‘t earn rewards after a first full run-through.

  • Join an active clan – Being in a clan gives free loot, shared XP, and people to play with consistently.

  • Use DIM and helper apps – Manage your limited vault space efficiently with tools like Destiny Item Manager.

  • Mix up your activities – Don‘t just grind strikes or Crucible endlessly. Dabble in all the modes and patrol zones.

  • Look for free events – Bungie will occasionally open up new dungeons or exotic quests for all players temporarily.

Final Verdict: Worth Trying For Free, But Buy Expansions to Really Enjoy Destiny 2

Destiny 2 undeniably has some of the best feeling FPS combat out there. The free version lets you experience the basics without paying a dime, which is awesome.

But you‘ll only get a small teaser of what Destiny has to offer compared to players who have invested in expansions and seasonal content.

My verdict? Jump in free initially, but expect to buy at least the latest expansion to unlock the bulk of activities and gear if you want to stick with Destiny 2 long-term. The combo of free early game and paid endgame makes for an incredible looter shooter ride.

Whether you go free only or dive fully in, enjoy the journey, Guardian! See you starside.

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Michael

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