Final Fantasy XIV on Xbox: Limited Trial vs Game Pass

Final Fantasy XIV. Screenshot courtesy Square Enix.
Final Fantasy XIV. Screenshot courtesy Square Enix. /

Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix's long-running massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is finally set to arrive on Xbox Series X|S this week. On March 21, Xbox gamers will finally be able to travel to the world of Hydaelyn where they'll embark upon a quest to deliver the land from an eternity of Darkness.

When Final Fantasy XIV arrives on Xbox, you'll be able to play for free through the Free Trial. Alternatively, you can also claim the Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition for free through Game Pass, although doing so will require you to start paying the game's own monthly subscription free. Yes, while most MMORPGs are free-to-play these days, FFXIV is one of the few that still requires you pay a monthly subscription.

So what's the difference between the Free Trial and the FFXIV Starter Edition?

What's included in the Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial

The Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial allows new players to play all the way to level 70 with no restrictions on playtime. You'll be able to create your own character and choose from 16 different jobs, such as Paladin, White Mage, Monk, Summoner, and more.

But there are some limitations with the Free Trial. You can't exceed 300,000 gil. You can't access the in-game market board. You can't trade with other players. You can't play Ultimate Raid, create or join a PvP team or participate in Crystalline Conflict, Rival Wings or Frontline You can't use the "shout," "yell," or "tell" in-game chat options. And a few other things.

If you just want to experience the base game's story up to level 70 and don't care about some of the deeper social aspects of an MMO, then the Free Trial may be fine for you.

It's also important to note that the Free Trial version does not require an Xbox Game Pass (Core or Ultimate) plan to play.

But if you want the full Final Fantasy XIV Online experience, then the Starter Edition through Game Pass might be a better option.

Upgrading to the FFXIV Starter Edition through Game Pass

Between March 21 and April 19, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can claim the Final Fantasy XIV Starter Edition. This includes the base game along with the Heavensward and Stormblood expansions. It also removes the restrictions of the aforementioned Free Trial.

Now there are some caveats with this upgrade though. If you play the Starter Edition, you'll not only need to have a Game Pass plan, but you'll also have to start paying the MMOs subscription fee.

The Starter Edition comes with a 30-day free play period, but after that, you'll need to pay between $12.99 ($77.94 for 180 days) and $14.99 (one month) per month depending on your plan.

And again, that's on top of your Game Pass subscription plan. Xbox Game Pass Core, the cheapest tier, costs $9.99 per month, $24.99 for three months, or $59.99 for the year.