Hey friend! I know you‘re excited about the upcoming release of God of War Ragnarok. As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I totally get it! A huge game release like this doesn‘t come around too often.
You‘re probably wondering if there‘s a way to get your hands on Ragnarok without paying full price. I‘ve done some digging on your behalf, and unfortunately there is no way to play the full game for free at launch. But let me walk you through all the possibilities I explored so you have the full picture.
Can I try before I buy? Demo and trial options
Demos and free trials are great ways for publishers to give players a taste of their game before committing to a purchase. Based on my research into Sony‘s practices with major first-party releases, there is a chance God of War Ragnarok could get a demo or free trial, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
For example, Sony offered a 3-hour free trial for Horizon Forbidden West earlier this year through the PlayStation Store. However, there was no mention of a similar trial for Ragnarok during the PlayStation Showcase or in any official communications.
I scoured gaming news sites, subreddit threads, and Twitter, but couldn‘t find any hints from developers about a pre-launch demo. A post-release trial is still a possibility, but don‘t get your hopes up for free play before November 9th.
Game sharing: My buddy already pre-ordered…
Since a free trial isn‘t on the table, the next best option is trying to get access through a friend or family member who pre-ordered Ragnarok.
PlayStation does allow game sharing between accounts on the same PS4 or PS5 console. So if a buddy pre-ordered Ragnarok digitally on their account, you may be able to download and play it on your account on that shared console without buying it yourself.
However, there are some limitations:
- You could only play while logged into that console set as your friend‘s primary system. No playing on your own console.
- Their account would need an active PlayStation Plus subscription for you to access the game.
- Only one of you could play at the same time.
While not ideal, it‘s a possible free option if you know someone willing to share their pre-order.
Will it be free with PlayStation Plus?
Sony often adds first-party games to the PlayStation Plus collection eventually, but you have to wait a while. For example, Marvel‘s Spider-Man was added in November 2020, over 2 years after its September 2018 launch.
Based on that timeframe, I wouldn‘t expect God of War Ragnarok to hit PlayStation Plus until late 2024 at the very earliest. Plus, Sony may want to keep it at full-price for even longer since it‘s a system seller.
The only way Ragnarok could come to PS Plus near launch is if Sony surprises us with it as a monthly free game. But for a huge release like this, I find it hard to believe they‘d give it away free that quickly when they can bank on sales.
How about Xbox Game Pass?
Game Pass is an amazing value with day one access to Xbox exclusives and third-party blockbusters. If Ragnarok was on Game Pass starting November 9th, that would be a game changer!
But PlayStation first-party titles have never been available on competing platforms like Game Pass. Sony wants flagship exclusives like God of War to drive PlayStation console sales.
Based on comments from Sony leadership, their strategy seems committed to keeping these major releases off Game Pass for the foreseeable future. Don‘t get your hopes up for streaming Ragnarok through Game Pass in November or anytime in 2023.
Can I stream it through PlayStation Now?
Here‘s a quick rundown of PlayStation Now as another potential option:
- Library includes PS2, PS3, and PS4 games available for streaming
- Doesn‘t offer brand new releases like Ragnarok
- Ragnarok could be added down the road, but only available via streaming
Unless Sony surprises us with a day-one addition, PlayStation Now won‘t help you play Ragnarok for free. And even if it gets added to the catalog eventually, streaming-only access poses some limitations.
Sharing with the fam: Console sharing and family groups
If your buddy isn‘t willing to share their pre-order, maybe a family member would be willing? PlayStation allows game sharing a few different ways:
If the account that purchases Ragnarok digitally sets their console as the primary system for other accounts, those accounts get access. The limitations are:
- Only one console can be designated as primary for playing shared games.
- An internet connection is required for license verification on non-primary consoles.
- Only one person can play the game at the same time.
You can add family members to a group with the account that owns Ragnarok. Benefits include:
- Family members can download your games on their own PS4/PS5.
- Share PS Plus benefits like online multiplayer.
- Limitations are one concurrent play session and active PS Plus required.
So if you want to try getting free access through console sharing or family groups, make sure you understand the limitations. But it‘s an option if you have a generous relative!
Will I be able to play on multiple consoles?
If you decide to purchase Ragnarok digitally, you can download and access it on any PS4 or PS5 system as long as you use your PSN account. Your games library moves with you!
There are some multiplayer limitations to be aware of:
- Only one console can be set as your account‘s primary for simultaneous play.
- Additional consoles require internet for license verification when playing.
- Family sharing allows access on multiple consoles but limits it to one concurrent play session.
So while you can play Ragnarok on multiple consoles with some internet requirements, sharing access with others at the same time is restricted.
What about cross-play and PC?
I know you play some games like Fortnite with your buddies on Xbox and PC. But don‘t expect that cross-play experience with Ragnarok multiplayer:
- No cross-play: Sony will likely keep the Ragnarok player base exclusive to PlayStation.
- No PC: Horizon Zero Dawn took 3 years after PS4 launch to get a PC port. Don‘t expect Ragnarok on PC until 2025 at the very earliest, if ever.
Free play verdict
I know that‘s a lot of information I just covered on the possibilities of scoring God of War Ragnarok for free! Let me summarize the key takeaways:
- No announced demo or free trial as of now
- Game sharing with a friend or family member is your only option for free access at launch
- Don‘t expect it on PlayStation Plus until late 2024 at the earliest
- It won‘t be playable through Xbox Game Pass
- PlayStation Now addition down the road would only allow streaming
- Cross-play and a PC port aren‘t happening anytime soon
I know that‘s probably not the news you wanted to hear. But hopefully breaking down all the options gives you a better understanding of what to expect. Let me know if you have any other questions! I know waiting isn‘t easy, but Ragnarok will undoubtedly be worth the purchase when it launches November 9th.