SWTOR Free-to-Play Overview

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Making the return to SWTOR may seem like a daunting task, but fear not. Below you’ll find all you need to know about the patch 1.5 transition to free-to-play.

Cartel Coins

Cartel Coins are the in game currency used to buy things from the Cartel Market. Coins come in at 450 coins for $4.99 USD (about $0.01 a coin) to 5500 coins for $39.99 (about $0.0072 a coin). The “digital deluxe” is now priced at $4.99 as well. See our article on the breakdown of the different costs.

Cartel Shop

The cartel shop sells a variety of different items, from consumables that give you a massive XP boost to passes for preferred players to unlock warzones. This does change a lot about the game, since you can effectively level a character incredibly fast with the XP boosts if you’re interested in purchasing it. It boils down to packs (groups of items packed together), cosmetic outfits, unlocks (banks, legacy, etc.), and consumables (passes and XP/valor boosts).


Subscription Tiers

You can continue to subscribe to the game at the previous rate ($14.99 per month) to receive access to have full access to many of the features in the game (character slots, inventory, warzone access, flashpoint access, etc.). The game actually comes in multiple tiers.

  • Free-to-Play: Limited access to everything in the game, except for the game itself. You can quest and play all of the story missions, but you can’t chat, trade, and have limited access to many functions.
  • Preferred: Limited access to everything in the game, except for the game itself. You can do most things in the game, although with strict limits (that have to be unlocked via the cartel shop). You can chat, trade, and do anything else. One purchase of $4.99 or more unlocks this for you.
  • Subscription: Full access to the game.

Some content, like Section X, is unlockable through the cartel shop or free for subscribers. As the free-to-play model matures for SWTOR, we’ll see if more content is pay-to-play for everyone or is always free to subscribers, but costs for free-to-play players.

How This Changes the Game

Basically, if you’re a preferred player, you’re going to be able to PvE to level 50 without much of a problem and without having to spend any money, but at level 50 you’ll need to decide how you want to approach the endgame. It is 240 cartel coins to unlock unlimited space battles, flashpoints, and warzones. That’s about $2.40 per week or $9.60 a month. At a certain point, the subscription becomes a much more attractive offer, as it also includes operations.

So you’ll have to make a choice. If you want to just level characters, stay free-to-play. If warzones are your thing, then you’ll want to just get the pass. If you want to do warzones and anything else, subscription is definitely the way to go.

 A lot has changed since launch; there is now fewer servers that are more active playerbase, dungeon finder, and more. You can see our article on the reasons to give the F2P version. The only real limitation is the action bar restriction for F2P players and access to warzones/space battles/flashpoints being limited.

My best advice for those hopping in is to try the game for a bit and if you like it, look at either the subscription or unlocking the quality of life things like action bars to help make your game experience better.

Be sure to see our top five reasons to give F2P a try!