Hey friend! If you‘re new to the magical world of Final Fantasy XIV, you may be wondering – is the Stormblood expansion free? Or do you have to buy it separately? I‘ve got you covered with all the details.
The short answer is: Sort of! Keep reading and I‘ll explain the different ways you can get Stormblood at no cost.
How FFXIV‘s Expansions Work
FFXIV uses an expansion model where new content is added through major expansions every couple years. Here‘s a quick rundown of how it works:
There‘s a free trial that lets you play the original A Realm Reborn content plus the first expansion, Heavensward, up to level 60 with no time limit. Pretty generous!
To advance past level 60, you need the starter edition, which includes A Realm Reborn and Heavensward. This removes the free trial restrictions.
Each expansion after Heavensward must be purchased separately – currently Stormblood, Shadowbringers, and Endwalker.
But buying the latest expansion gives you all previous ones too! Convenient.
Every 2 years or so, old expansions get rolled into the starter edition and become free for everyone.
So in summary – Stormblood isn‘t permanently free, but you can get it by buying the latest expansion, or waiting for it to join the starter edition.
Make sense so far? Let‘s go over some specific ways you can get Stormblood at no cost.
Getting Stormblood for Free Currently
While Stormblood doesn‘t come free by default, there are some awesome deals that make it free temporarily:
Free Login Campaigns: Every 4-6 months, inactive players can log in for free thanks to these promotions. Stormblood is often included when they run!
Limited Time Giveaways: Around Shadowbringers‘ launch, Square Enix gave Stormblood away in their store for free for a while.
Twitch Prime: Twitch Prime members scored Stormblood at no cost during a special promotion.
So keep an eye out for these kinds of limited-time giveaways. The deals don‘t last forever, but you can grab Stormblood for free if you time it right!
If there‘s no active promotion, you have two options to buy Stormblood currently:
1. Buy Shadowbringers ($39.99) – The latest and greatest expansion, includes all previous ones like Stormblood!
2. Buy Stormblood Separately ($19.99) – You can still buy just the Stormblood DLC if you want. The starter edition is required too.
Analysts actually recommend getting Shadowbringers over standalone Stormblood. It saves you money by packaging that sweet, sweet Stormblood content in with the rest!
What‘s in Stormblood?
In case you‘re wondering what makes Stormblood worth it, here‘s an overview of what you‘ll get:
New Areas – Huge new zones like Gyr Abania and Othard to explore. Breathtaking!
Epic Story – The cinematic story continues with around 50 new main quests to complete.
Awesome Jobs – Popular Samurai and Red Mage jobs added. So much fun!
New Playable Race – Viera rabbit-eared folk join the fray. Adorable!
Killer Raids – Challenging 8 and 24-player raids + Alliance raids. Pulse-pounding!
Tough Bosses – Thrilling trials and primal fights. Such a thrill!
Dungeon Delving – Over a dozen new 4-player dungeons with sweet loot.
Gearing Up – Tons of new equipment and recipes. Become a living legend!
Minigames – Verminion monster battles? Yes please! A great way to unwind.
Expanded PVP – New arenas and modes to test your skills against others.
Player Housing – Additional neighborhoods, yes! Make yourself at home.
Beast Tribes – Unlock unique rewards by befriending these factions.
That‘s over 100 hours of amazing new adventures! Hard to argue with value like that.
Should You Play Stormblood?
With so much epic content, Stormblood stands tall as one of FFXIV‘s top expansions. Here‘s why players and critics alike praise it:
Killer Story – An engaging story picking up right after Heavensward‘s cliffhanger ending!
Beautiful East Asian Zones – Inspired by Japan and China, they‘re simply breathtaking.
Exciting Jobs – Samurai and Red Mage give you clever new ways to play.
Awesome Raids – Some of the very best high-end raids in the game.
Fun Streamlined Leveling – Improved questing and dungeons make leveling a breeze.
Shapes the Story – Stormblood‘s tale sets the stage for the Shadowbringers storyline.
Hundreds of Gameplay Hours – Tons to do from story to side content and unlockables!
Stormblood scored an impressive 90/100 on reviews aggregator Metacritic. Many players rank it slightly below Shadowbringers but above Heavensward.
If you plan to play FFXIV long-term, absolutely don‘t skip Stormblood. Its vast amount of quality content will keep you happily occupied for months!
How Long to Beat Stormblood?
With so much to see and do, how long will it take to plow through Stormblood‘s content? Let‘s break it down:
Main Story: Around 30 hours if you rush the main scenario quests.
Leveling to 70: 40-50 hours traditionally, or much less with help!
Gearing Up: Finish main dungeons to get starter Stormblood gear.
Endgame and Side Content: 100+ hours easily for raids, side quests, unlockables, leveling extra jobs, and more!
So realistically, it takes 70-80 hours to finish the core expansion content, and 200+ hours to 100% complete everything. And that‘s not even touching the many replayable activities!
For perspective, popular site HowLongToBeat reports Stormblood takes the average player just over 100 hours to complete the main story and extra content. That‘s a whole lot of value for your buck!
The staggering amount of gameplay makes Stormblood absolutely worthwhile if you plan to thoroughly explore Eorzea. Let‘s get you started the right way!
Beginning Your Adventure
Ready to dive into Stormblood‘s eastern adventures? Here are some tips from the pros:
Finish A Realm Reborn and Heavensward‘s story first – don‘t skip ahead!
Make sure you‘re at least level 60 before starting.
Gear up your jobs by finishing Heavensward content and spending your Tomestones of Poetics.
Kick off the fun with the "The Far Edge of Fate" quest in Mor Dhona.
Mix main story quests with side activities like daily roulettes to stay fresh.
Join an active Free Company to find groups for harder content!
Follow the Main Scenario Quest (MSQ) markers to stay on track.
Taking time to prepare will make Stormblood smoother sailing. Then just let the MSQ guide you on a magical tour through Samurai lands!
Looking to Endwalker
At the time I‘m writing this, Endwalker is the latest expansion after Shadowbringers. Released in late 2021, Endwalker increased the level cap to 90 and added a ton of new content.
Like with Stormblood, buying Endwalker also gets you all previous expansions like Shadowbringers! And Shadowbringers is expected to become free in 2022 or 2023 when it joins the FFXIV starter edition.
So for new folks, definitely grab Endwalker complete editions to get everything in one fell swoop. Endwalker has been hugely popular thanks to its gripping conclusion to the Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga!
Will Stormblood Go Free?
If you‘ve been following along, you know the starter edition eventually includes old expansions for free! Based on historical timing, predictions say Stormblood will go free sometime in 2022 or 2023.
Here are the details:
- Heavensward: Released in 2015, went free in 2017
- Stormblood: Released in 2017, will go free soon
- Shadowbringers: Released in 2019, will go free next
So if you‘re patient, waiting for Stormblood to join the starter edition gets you everything for free! No reason to pay early and miss out.
Joining the starter edition is an expansions‘ rite of passage. Take the free levels and save your gil for the virtual bards!
Can I Try Stormblood Free?
The unlimited free trial lets you play up to level 60 with the base game and Heavensward expansion. But Stormblood and beyond are not included.
You need to buy the starter edition and expansions to continue past 60. That said, Square Enix sometimes runs limited-time free login campaigns for inactive players with Stormblood tossed in!
But there‘s no permanent free trial for Stormblood right now. Buying the full game is currently required to play through areas like Gyr Abania.
Down the road, exercising your patience muscles will pay off when Stormblood inevitably joins the free starter edition!
Is FFXIV Free to Play?
FFXIV isn‘t fully free-to-play, but provides awesome free options:
Free Trial: The entire base game and Heavensward up to level 60 with no time limit!
Login Campaigns: Returning players get free temporary access during these promos.
Expansions Go Free: Old expansions join the starter edition to become free.
So while a subscription is needed after level 60, there‘s tons of free FFXIV gameplay available! Even after subscribing, you never have to pay for additional story content, zones, levels, etc.
Many free-to-play games nickel and dime you. But FFXIV lets you enjoy hundreds of hours of gameplay on the house – you really can‘t lose!
Is FFXIV Expensive?
Compared to other popular MMOs, FFXIV is very reasonably priced, especially when you factor in the free content:
Unlimited Free Trial: Tons of levels and story for zero gil.
Starter Edition: A Realm Reborn and Heavensward for only $19.99. Complete editions sometimes discounted!
Latest Expansion: $39.99 for Endwalker, comes with all past expansions.
Monthly Subscription: $12.99, less per month if you sub for 3 or 6 months.
With the free trial and eventual free expansions, FFXIV delivers tremendous value. You only need to buy the starter edition and latest expansion to unlock everything. That‘s maximum content for minimum cost!
Many MMOs charge $40-60+ just for the base game, then add subscriptions and paid expansions. Not FFXIV! Square Enix respecting your time and wallet makes it extra rewarding to be an Eorzean hero.
To Wrap Up…
While the Stormblood expansion isn‘t permanently free, you can often claim it at no cost during limited-time promotions if you play your cards right!
Alternatively, buying the latest and greatest expansion like Endwalker nets you Stormblood for free. Expansions bundle their predecessors for smooth sailing!
With its heavy eastern influences, martial arts combat, and lighter, faster leveling, Stormblood earned praise as one of FFXIV‘s top expansions. Its vast amount of content will keep you happily occupied for hundreds of hours!
And if you keep your patience stat buffed and inventory stocked with coffee biscuits, Stormblood will eventually join the starter edition to be free for everyone! FFXIV makes it worthwhile to take the free levels when you can get them.
So which path will you choose? Rush ahead and grab Stormblood now? Or relax and let it come to you in due time? For the patient and the eager alike, FFXIV has something special in store! Let your journey begin, my friend!