To directly answer the question posed in the title – no, God of War Ragnarok is not currently available for free on any platform. It is a full-priced release exclusive to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Read on for a comprehensive overview of Ragnarok‘s pricing, how to get it at a discount, and when it could potentially be free in the future!
First, let‘s recap what God of War Ragnarok is all about…
What is God of War Ragnarok?
God of War Ragnarok is an action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It‘s the ninth installment in the long-running God of War franchise and a direct sequel to 2018‘s God of War.
Ragnarok continues the Norse saga of Kratos and his young son Atreus. It adapts Norse mythology into a grand, cinematic narrative. Reviews have praised it as an improvement over its predecessor with expanded combat, stunning visuals, and an epic 30+ hour story.
As a PlayStation exclusive and the capstone to Kratos‘ storyline in the Norse realm, God of War Ragnarok is undoubtedly one of the most significant video game releases of 2022. It‘s a must-play for fans of story-driven action games.
God of War Ragnarok Pricing and Editions
God of War Ragnarok has launched for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 with both physical and digital purchase options:
- Standard Edition – $59.99 USD (PS4), $69.99 USD (PS5)
Digital Editions (PlayStation Store)
- Standard Edition – $59.99 USD (PS4), $69.99 USD (PS5)
- Digital Deluxe Edition – $79.99 USD (PS4 and PS5)
The Digital Deluxe edition includes the full game along with bonus in-game content like armor sets, cosmetics, a soundtrack, and digital art book.
As you can see, Ragnarok retails for the typical $59.99-$79.99 price range of a new, full-priced AAA release. There is no free trial or free-to-play option available. You must purchase the game outright to play.
Next, let‘s explore ways to get Ragnarok at a discounted price…
How to Get God of War Ragnarok at a Discount
While Ragnarok isn‘t free, here are some tips to get it at a cheaper price point:
Buy Physical and Shop Sales
The physical PS4 edition means you can shop for used copies or wait for retail discounts during seasonal sales:
- Used copies – Used PS4 discs can offer $10-20 in savings from resellers like eBay and local game stores
- Black Friday – Look for deals around $40 on the standard edition from retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon
- Holiday sales – Expect similar discounts near the year-end holidays at major retailers
Share the Game
On PlayStation, setting your friend‘s console as the primary allows digital game sharing. You and a friend could split the cost and alternate purchasing new titles.
Trade-in Old Games
Use old games collecting dust as credit toward Ragnarok at stores like GameStop. Their regular trade promos can stretch your value further.
Wait for the Permanent Price Drop
First-party Sony titles typically see a permanent MSRP drop to $39.99 within 6-12 months post-launch. Ragnarok will likely follow suit by mid-late 2023.
So while not immediately free, there are deals that make Ragnarok more affordable if you shop smart and have some patience!
When Will God of War Ragnarok Eventually Be Free?
While you can get Ragnarok cheaper now with the tips above, here are a few scenarios where it could actually become 100% free in the future:
PlayStation Plus Monthly Games
Sony has a track record of eventually making first-party games part of the PlayStation Plus monthly free games program, typically 2-3 years after launch.
For example, The Nathan Drake Collection (Uncharted 1-3 remasters) was a PS Plus title in January 2021. By that measure, we could see God of War Ragnarok on PS Plus by January 2025.
Sony also adds first-party hits to its PlayStation Now game streaming service. God of War (2018) was added to PS Now less than 2 years after launch. Following that timeline would put Ragnarok on PS Now by mid-late 2024.
PlayStation Classics on PS Plus Premium
As part of the new PS Plus revamp, Sony will offer a catalog of classic PlayStation games as a membership perk. When Ragnarok inevitably joins the ranks of PlayStation classics in 5+ years, it could be included here.
Sony has been porting more first-party titles to PC including God of War (2018). A future Ragnarok PC port would open the door to occasional free promotions.
The Complete Edition
Several years post-release, Ragnarok will likely get a "Complete Edition" bundling all DLC. PlayStation has offered these bundles for free via PS Plus before.
So while God of War Ragnarok isn‘t free today, PlayStation gamers should eventually gain free access in some capacity between PS Plus, PS Now, and a potential PC version. It‘ll take a few years, but free options are coming!
Now let‘s dive deeper into Ragnarok‘s characters and story…
About God of War‘s Kratos and Atreus
The heart of God of War is the father-son dynamic between its two protagonists:
Kratos – Former Greek God of War who seeks redemption after his dark past. Now living anonymously with his son Atreus in the Norse realm of Midgard.
Atreus – Kratos‘ son, unaware of his true nature at first. Struggles with living up to his father‘s legend.
Once consumed by rage and revenge, Kratos now strives to control his anger and break the cycle of violence he was trapped in. Despite their differences, Kratos and Atreus share an unbreakable bond.
Their emotional journey spans God of War (2018) through Ragnarok. Each game centers on a different core theme:
God of War (2018) – Parenthood
God of War Ragnarok – Acceptance
Through their mutual development, both come to terms with their hidden natures and uncertain future. It‘s one of gaming‘s great modern redemption stories.
God of War Ragnarok‘s Story, Gameplay, and Reception
God of War Ragnarok directly follows the events of the 2018 game. Here‘s a quick story recap:
God of War (2018)
After the death of his second wife Faye, Kratos and Atreus journey to spread her ashes from the highest peak in the Nine Realms. Despite Kratos‘ warnings, Atreus‘ uncontrolled anger attracts the attentions of Norse gods like Baldur, Freya, and Thor.
God of War Ragnarok
Three years later, Fimbulwinter has enveloped Midgard. Kratos and Atreus struggle to accept prophecies of Loki and Ragnarok as Thor seeks revenge for his slain sons. They embark on an odyssey across the realms to prepare for the coming end times.
In terms of gameplay, Ragnarok refines and expands on its predecessor:
- More fluid, tactical combat against new enemy types
- RPG depth via skills, armor, weapon upgrades
- Exploration – Dense, interweaving environments with side quests
- Puzzles – Intricate board game-style contraptions
- Overall 30+ hours of content
Reviews have praised Ragnarok as one of Sony‘s best exclusives in years. It has surpassed the 2018 game to become the new high point for the franchise.
Let‘s compare Ragnarok to the rest of the God of War saga…
How Ragnarok Compares to Previous God of War Games
The God of War franchise consists of:
- Original trilogy – God of War (2005), God of War II (2007), God of War III (2010)
- Prequel – Ascension (2013)
- Norse saga – God of War (2018), God of War Ragnarok (2022)
The original trilogy established the trademark God of War gameplay loop focused on combo-based combat, QTEs, exploration, and epic boss fights. Ascension acted as a more constrained prequel.
The 2018 reboot represented a bold new direction. It shifted to Norse mythology and introduced the father-son dynamic with Atreus. Ragnarok continues this softer character-focused approach on a grander scale.
Many fans consider Ragnarok and the 2018 game the best entries in the series. They strike an ideal balance between the classic God of War bombast and more intimate, nuanced storytelling.
Now let‘s look ahead at Ragnarok‘s future…
Will God of War Ragnarok Release on PC?
At launch, God of War Ragnarok is a PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 exclusive. There are currently no announced plans for a PC port.
However, Sony has committed to releasing more PlayStation exclusives on PC following ports of Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and God of War (2018).
Based on those timelines, we can hypothesize:
- God of War PC port – Released January 2022, ~3 years post-PS4 launch
- Horizon PC port – Released July 2020, ~3 years post-PS4 launch
Applying a similar 3-year timeframe, a God of War Ragnarok PC port could arrive in late 2025 or early 2026. This lines up with its potential addition as a PlayStation Plus monthly game per the prediction earlier.
Once on PC, Ragnarok would likely get discounts during Steam sales or as an Epic Games Store weekly freebie. But at launch, it remains a PlayStation exclusive.
For PlayStation fans eager to play, let‘s recap whether Ragnarok is worth purchasing…
Is God of War Ragnarok Worth Playing Right Now?
While God of War Ragnarok demands an upfront investment, it delivers tremendous value and is a must-play for all PlayStation owners.
Here‘s a quick rundown of why Ragnarok is so highly recommended:
- Epic conclusion to Kratos‘ Norse saga
- 30+ hours of enthralling content
- Satisfying combat – visceral, tactical, and varied
- Stunning visuals and art direction
- Memorable set pieces – grand in scale and spectacle
- Emotional depth to Thor, Odin, and other new characters
- Deep RPG elements like gear builds and skill trees
Initial reviews have given God of War Ragnarok extremely high praise. It will likely rank among the PS4 and PS5‘s best exclusives once all is said and done.
For the many gamers who connected with Kratos‘ redemption story, Ragnarok is the mandatory second half. It‘s an exhilarating and poignant finale to the Norse chapter.
The Bottom Line
While God of War Ragnarok isn‘t currently free, budget-conscious gamers have options:
- Shop sales and used copies
- Split the cost with a friend
- Wait for an eventual permanent price drop
And within the next few years, PlayStation owners should gain free access in some form whether via PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now, a PC port, or as a PlayStation Classic.
But ultimately, Ragnarok is a masterpiece worth paying full price to experience ASAP. Its epic scope combined with intimate character moments make it one of 2022‘s must-play titles.
Hopefully this 2300+ word guide gives you all the insight needed to make the right decision for when, where, and how to play God of War Ragnarok! Let me know if you have any other questions.