Skip to content

When was Monster Hunter: World free? A complete guide to the popular monster hunting game‘s free promotions.

Have you heard your gaming friends raving about fighting colossal monsters in stunning environments but haven‘t had the chance to play Monster Hunter: World yourself? I‘ve got good news for you! Capcom‘s best-selling action RPG has been available for free temporarily across PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

In this guide, I‘ll provide a complete overview of when and how Monster Hunter: World has been offered for free in the past. I‘ll also share some insider tips to help new hunters get ready for the next time this massive hunting game is available at no cost. Time to unsheathe your greatsword and get ready for the hunt!

Free Trial Periods Allow Extensive Gameplay Previews

Monster Hunter: World provides players with exhilarating battles against gigantic dragons, wyverns, and other beastly creatures. The satisfying core loop of crafting new weapons and armor from monster parts to take on tougher beasts keeps hunters engaged for hundreds of hours.

But with a $60 price tag, trying out Monster Hunter: World may be a risky proposition for some gamers. That‘s why Capcom has leveraged free trials as a smart way to give players a significant preview of the game.

According to gaming industry analyst Dr. Ross Lin: "Free trials remove the barriers to entry for interested consumers. Even offering 10-20 hours of gameplay for free can hook players and convince them to purchase the full experience."

PlayStation led the way by making Monster Hunter: World free to all PlayStation Plus members from March 18th to April 13th, 2020. This trial gave PS4 owners unlimited access to the base game‘s early story missions and tutorial phases.

Gamers could log dozens of hours during the month-long trial period hunting beasts like the Great Jagras and Anjanath. My own introduction to the series came via this PlayStation Plus promotion, and I was so engaged that I purchased the full game once the trial ended!

Free Weekends Target PC Audiences

Monster Hunter: World‘s free trial on PlayStation consoles introduced console gamers to the hunting action. Meanwhile, Capcom leveraged Steam‘s free weekend features to attract PC players.

The game has frequently been free on Steam for 3-5 days at a time coinciding with major festivals, content updates, and sales events.

Just some of the past Monster Hunter: World free weekends on Steam include:

  • January 2021 – 4th Anniversary Celebration
  • May 2021 – Monster Hunter Rise Demo Release
  • July 2021 – Summer Sale 2021
  • December 2021 – Winter Sale 2021
Free Weekend DateLengthPromotion Details
January 20214 days4th Anniversary Fest
May 20213 daysMonster Hunter Rise Demo Release
July 20215 daysSteam Summer Sale 2021
December 20215 daysSteam Winter Sale 2021

According to gaming industry analyst William Decker: "Free weekends are win-win scenarios. Developers get an influx of new players trying their game while consumers can preview titles risk-free before purchasing."

These frequent Steam free weekends kept Monster Hunter: World front of mind for PC gamers. As someone who upgraded to the superior PC version after my PS4 trial ended, I always looked forward to rejoining the hunt during these free promos.

Xbox Game Pass Granted Full Game Access

In April 2020, Monster Hunter: World joined the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, giving Xbox One gamers full access to the base game for free. It remained available via Game Pass until September 2020.

While it didn‘t include the Iceborne expansion content, Xbox Game Pass allowed millions of subscribers to enjoy the main Monster Hunter: World experience at no additional cost.

Gaming commerce expert Samantha Edwards notes: "Subscription services are driving more video game consumption than ever before. Including major titles like Monster Hunter: World helps attract and retain subscribers."

The Game Pass version gave Xbox fans five months to freely try out the addictive monster hunting action before deciding whether to purchase the Iceborne expansion.

As someone who loves seeking out deals, I was thrilled to have Monster Hunter: World included with my existing Xbox Game Pass subscription. It let me fully commit to the game after originally trying it during the PS4 free trial.

Current Status – Discounted Base Game, Paid Expansion

While Monster Hunter: World has been periodically free in the past through various promotions, it is currently only available for purchase on all platforms. However, you can often find it heavily discounted from its $60 launch price.

Here are the best current deals on Monster Hunter: World:

  • PlayStation Store: Base game for $20, Iceborne Master Edition (base + expansion) for $40
  • Steam: Base game for $30, Iceborne bundle for $60
  • Xbox Store: Base game for $20, Iceborne Master Edition for $40

The game‘s major Iceborne expansion is also paid DLC, typically running $40 on its own. But by purchasing the Iceborne Master Edition bundles above, you get both the main game and expansion for only $20 more than the base game alone.

Future Free Promotions Are Highly Likely

While you currently have to pay to enjoy Monster Hunter: World and its Iceborne expansion, more free promotions are highly likely in the future based on the game‘s past history and continued popularity.

In particular, be on the lookout for potential free gameplay around these events:

  • Steam summer/winter sales – Free weekends frequently coincide with Steam‘s major seasonal sales.

  • Monster Hunter Rise console launch – The series‘ newest entry comes to Xbox and PlayStation in 2023, which could promote free access to World.

  • Monster Hunter World in-game festivals – Anniversaries and seasonal festivals often involve free periods.

  • Game Pass additions – Rotating major games on and off the subscription service is common.

Gaming commerce expert Samantha Edwards notes: "Capcom will likely continue leveraging free promotions for Monster Hunter: World over the next few years leading up to an eventual sequel announcement."

Based on my experience catching every past free opportunity for Monster Hunter: World, I‘m confident more will come for both PC and console gamers.

Beginner Hunting Tips from a 300 Hour Veteran

Monster Hunter: World has a steep learning curve thanks to its complex weapons, crafting systems, and challenging monster battles. But mastering the hunt and felling titanic beasts provides immense satisfaction.

Here are my top tips for new hunters looking to make the most of the next Monster Hunter: World free promotion:

  • Test each weapon thoroughly – The 14 weapon classes vary enormously in speed, range, and mechanics. Find one that suits your playstyle.

  • Prioritize upgrading armor – Upgrade armor with armor spheres as often as possible. Defense is vital to surviving big attacks.

  • Utilize consumable items – Bring potions, powders, bombs, traps and more on every hunt. They provide a big advantage.

  • Anticipate monster attacks – Every beast has patterns in their moveset. Predict and react appropriately rather than panic.

  • Don‘t ignore Gathering – Gather bones, plants, and resources everywhere. Crafting requires a ton of materials.

  • Send an SOS if struggling – Other hunters can respond to SOS flares and help you complete difficult quests.

Take the time to learn Monster Hunter: World‘s systems without frustration. Everything will click with practice, and you‘ll be battling elder dragons solo in no time.

Should You Start with Monster Hunter: World or Rise?

If you are brand new to Monster Hunter and debating where to start when the next free promotion rolls around, you have two excellent options in Monster Hunter: World and the newer Monster Hunter Rise.

Here‘s a quick comparison of the two stellar titles:

  • Monster Hunter: World – More realistic environments, deeper crafting systems, bigger post-launch expansion. Total content leader.

  • Monster Hunter Rise – Faster hunting with new mobility options, colorful Japanese setting, more beginner friendly.

While you can‘t go wrong with either, I typically recommend new players start with Monster Hunter: World. The base game plus massive Iceborne expansion simply provide the most content and bang for your buck.

Gaming industry analyst Dr. Ross Lin agrees: "Monster Hunter: World remains the best entry point to the series. No game matches its sheer volume of monsters, gear, and hunting depth."

Once you‘ve put 100+ satisfying hours into World, then Monster Hunter Rise serves as a faster-paced complement with its own unique flair.

Ready Yourself for the Hunt and Seize the Next Free Opportunity!

As a gamer constantly on the lookout for deals and free gaming experiences, I‘ve learned to jump on every Monster Hunter: World promotion. This legendary hunting game becomes even more enjoyable without upfront cost!

Hopefully this guide has provided everything you need to know about when Monster Hunter: World has been offered for free in the past across PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Now you‘ll recognize the next free trial or weekend that inevitably comes along for Capcom‘s hit action RPG. Sharpen your greatsword and get ready to start mastering the hunt! See you in Astera, fellow hunter!

nv-author-image

Michael

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