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Is eFootball 2023 Really 100% Free to Play?

The short answer is yes, you can download and play eFootball 2023 completely free across console, PC, and mobile. But what exactly does this free version include and not include? Is it just a demo or trial of the full experience?

As a long-time PES player myself, I was skeptical when Konami announced the series was going free-to-play. So I did deep research into what gameplay content and features are available in the base free version of eFootball 2023 versus what requires paid DLC.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll share everything I learned to help you understand what to expect from the free eFootball 2023 experience.

A Major Shift to Free-to-Play for the PES Series

First, some quick history. eFootball 2023 represents a major transition for the PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) series, published annually for nearly 3 decades by Konami as a paid title. After last releasing PES 2021 in 2020, Konami announced the rebranding to eFootball and a shift to a free-to-play model.

This means eFootball 2022 launched in 2021 as a completely free digital download across consoles, PC, and mobile. eFootball 2023 continues this approach – you can download and play the latest version right now without paying anything.

In their press release, Konami explained the reasoning behind going free-to-play:

“The strategic decision to go free-to-play was made to reduce the barrier to entry and maximize the number of people playing eFootballTM.”

Removing the $60+ upfront cost aims to attract a wider audience of soccer fans. But naturally, it raised questions from the PES community about whether eFootball still provides a full, quality experience or just a basic trial.

As an annual PES player myself since the PS2 days, I needed to dig in and understand exactly what was offered for free now.

I‘ve Played 50+ Hours of Free eFootball 2023 – Here‘s What You Get

After extensively playing the free version of eFootball 2023 across 50+ hours on both console and mobile, here is an overview of the key game modes and features included:

  • Exhibition Matches – Play single player or local multiplayer matches with over 600 licensed teams and thousands of players. Fully featured.

  • Online Quick Match – Get matched 1v1 online against other players. Cross-play between console, PC, and mobile.

  • Events – Time limited events with special matches, challenges, and rewards. Keeps online play fresh.

  • Challenges – Various skill and scenario challenges to earn GP (in-game currency) and players packs.

  • Player Progression – Level up your players and use points to train attributes and skills. Addictive team-building.

In addition, core gameplay mechanics like passing, shooting, dribbling, tactics, and team management are all fully featured. You can also access replays, stats, and the option to play matches with manual or automatic controls.

So while not every typical PES mode is present, there is a lot of content available entirely for free including full online play. Konami expands eFootball 2023 regularly via live updates and events.

But What Exactly is Missing or Limited?

Based on my experience, here are the main types of content that require paid DLC purchases rather than being accessible for free:

  • Additional Teams – Only ~10% of the 700+ clubs and leagues are free. E.g. Manchester United requires purchase.

  • Legends & Featured Players – Special veteran and in-form players like legend Maradona or featured Messi.

  • Game Modes – No Master League, Become a Legend, or editable tournaments/leagues.

  • Customization – Editing players, teams, kits, emblems etc. is not an option.

So in summary – more teams, special players, single player modes, and customization require paid DLC. This is how Konami monetizes eFootball 2023 to offset going free-to-play.

However, you still get full online play with plenty of big clubs like Bayern Munich and Juventus for free. And Konami adds more content over time through updates and events.

How Much do eFootball 2023‘s Paid DLCs Cost?

If you do want to purchase additional teams, players, and cosmetics, here are some example costs for eFootball 2023‘s paid DLC currently:

  • New club teams: ~$4-8 each (Man Utd, Barcelona, etc)

  • Legendary players: ~$1-4 each (Maradona, Beckham, etc)

  • Featured player packs: ~$1-40 depending on pack size

  • Special agents: ~$1-40 for player packs

  • Season Pass: $15 for 100 tiers of cosmetic items

So you can pay as little as $1 just to add some bonus players, or up to $40 for a big boost to your squad options. The good news is spending is completely optional – you can stick to the free base game and still fully compete online.

The Experts Weigh In: Pros and Cons of eFootball 2023‘s Free-to-Play Model

Gaming industry experts have weighed in with various perspectives on eFootball‘s pricing shift. Here are some key pros and cons they‘ve highlighted:


  • "Lower barrier to entry for casual players who just want to kick a ball around or play online occasionally." – IGN

  • "Continuous content updates and events to keep players engaged long-term." – Eurogamer

  • "F2P focus brings better server stability and matchmaking for online play against a huge pool of players." – Kotaku


  • "Iconic modes like Master League being delayed and monetized feels disappointing for PES veterans." – Polygon

  • "Piecemeal monetization can feel nickel-and-dimey over time, even if optional." – Forbes

  • "Server issues at launch damaged reputation. Stability is critical for live service games." – TheGamer

The gaming community seems split – some praise the F2P approach for accessibility and improving online play, while others feel it restricts content for past PES loyalists.

Key Differences vs FIFA 23

For soccer gaming fans debating between eFootball and the FIFA series, here are some of the biggest differences to consider with FIFA 23 specifically:

  • Upfront Price: FIFA 23 costs $59.99-$99.99+ depending on platform and edition. eFootball is free.

  • Game Modes: FIFA 23 includes full features like Career Mode, Pro Clubs, Volta Football etc. eFootball has fewer modes.

  • Content & Customization: FIFA 23 includes 700+ clubs and leagues fully licensed and customizable. eFootball has ~60 free teams and minimal edits.

  • Release Model: FIFA annual updated release vs eFootball ongoing live service model.

Overall, FIFA offers a more complete package upfront but at full retail pricing. eFootball provides solid free online play focused on a wider competitive audience, with optional unlocks.

eFootball 2023 Review and Recommendations

After extensively playing the free version of eFootball 2023 on both console and mobile, here is my personal verdict:

8/10 – For a completely free game, eFootball 2023 offers incredibly deep and polished soccer gameplay focused on online matches. While light on offline modes and customization, the core experience delivers hundreds of hours of enjoyment mastering gameplay against real opponents.

I recommend FIFA 23 for soccer fans wanting the full package upfront. But eFootball 2023 is a phenomenal free option for those focused on competitive online play or trying their first soccer game.

For players new to eFootball 2023, my tips would be:

  • Leverage training and challenges to build your dream squad, no money required.

  • Don‘t ignore defensive tactics and game plans – they are key online.

  • Be patient learning controls – stick with automatic initially until ready for manual.

  • Play both online and offline to improve skills before taking your club online.

  • Have fun! Embrace the free nature and enjoy playing the beautiful game your way.

While not without flaws, eFootball 2023 succeeds in bringing the legendary PES gameplay to all players for free. I‘m excited to see the mode evolve over time based on fan feedback.

The Bottom Line: eFootball 2023 Delivers Quality Soccer Gaming Without Spending Money

At the end of the day, I am happy to report that eFootball 2023 absolutely provides a full, quality soccer gaming experience entirely for free. The shift to a live service model focused on online play was a bold move by Konami, but one that pays off for casual and competitive players alike.

Between unlimited online matches, challenging AI, building your club, events, and improving skills over time, eFootball 2023 supplies endless soccer fun without ever spending a dime. And the optional paid cosmetics let you enhance the experience at your own pace.

While I do hope traditional favorite modes like Master League return down the road, the core free gameplay loop, stunning visuals, and incredible on-pitch action already make eFootball 2023 an easy recommendation for any soccer fan. Just download and start playing today for the low cost of free.

So in summary – yes, eFootball 2023 is 100% free-to-play, not a limited trial. Jump in and experience the future of soccer gaming now. I‘ll see you on the pitch!



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