Final Fantasy 14 finally launches on Xbox this month, and while the MMO is free on Game Pass there's a massive caveat

Final Fantasy 14
(Image credit: Square Enix)

After years of anticipation, Final Fantasy 14 is at last set to launch on Xbox Series X and S on March 21. If you're a new player checking out the MMO for the first time, however, you need to understand that there's a big caveat to a special deal that Xbox is offering for Game Pass subscribers.

Between March 21 and April 19, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will be able to claim the FF14: Starter Edition as a free perk. The Starter Edition includes the exact same content as the free trial - the base game alongside the Heavensward and Stormblood expansions - alongside 30 days of free game time. While the free trial would allow you to keep playing that content indefinitely, once you pick up the Starter Edition, you have to start paying the MMO's monthly subscription fee after your 30 days are up.

Why would anyone want to get the Starter Edition, then? The free trial puts certain limits on your account aimed largely at curtailing the efforts of gold farmers. You can't exceed 300,000 gil, you can't access the market board, and you can't trade items with other players while you're on the free trial, for example. If you care about those limitations, that's when you'd want to switch to the Starter Edition. Otherwise, stick with the trial until you've completed Stormblood and are ready to move on to the modern expansions.

Final Fantasy 14 is great, but its bizarre account structure and bits like the hidden cost of the Starter Edition are not. Just take this as a friendly PSA on what you're in for. You'll also want to be aware that you need an Xbox Game Pass subscription to play the full game - including the Starter Edition - though Square Enix says you won't need an Xbox subscription to play the free trial.

On the note of that free trial, it's already live on Xbox in open beta, so if you're a new player and want to make a start on the critically acclaimed MMORPG you can do so right now.

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Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.