Rift goes free-to-play (until level 20) starting today

Today marks the release of the 1.7 update to Trion's Rift: Carnival of the Ascended. This update brings with it PvP improvements, a wedding system, a new Chronicle, an additional Master Mode dungeon, an overhaul of Expert dungeons, and better endgame equipment.

But while that's all good and well for those already playing the game, you're likely here because you're not. That's fine, because we have good news for you, too: Rift is now free to play until level 20.

Today sees the release of Rift Lite, which will let you play the first 20 levels of the game for free. That's it. No caveats. No time or server restrictions. No cost. Just download the game and see why we awarded it our "Most Massively Multiplayer" award last year.

“In the past ten months, Rift has evolved at a breakneck pace, through seven massive updates that set new expectations for live MMOs, in features, in content, and in service,” said Scott Hartsman, executive producer of Rift and Trion’s CCO. “We think a Lite edition with no time limit is the best way for players to see what an amazing experience Rift continues to be.”

Above: See what Telara has to offer

Rift Lite is similar to the free-to-play system in World of Warcraft, which lets players dip their toes into the water without committing by allowing them to play up to level 20. Apparently it has worked well for them, and we're happy to see it make its way to Rift. This F2P approach works well for big MMOs like Rift and WoW, mainly because it brings new low-level players into the game regularly, which is a better experience for everyone involved.

It's especially good for Rift, which thrives on having massive groups of players wandering the game's gigantic areas closing rifts and fighting off invasions. Man, now we're all excited to play again...

Hollander Cooper

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.