Final Fantasy 14 offers returning players 4 days of free playtime on the house until late June—but you've gotta be real careful about when you choose to start

Final Fantasy 14 character
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Square Enix)

Have you heard of the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy 14? Well, it just got another free trial for returning players—sort of. Under limited stipulations.

As posted to the game's website yesterday, a "Free Login Campaign" will be running from May 23 to June 20, wherein players without an active subscription can hop back into Eorzea with four days of sub time on the house. Rather cheekily, however, the promotional material has an "up to 96 hours!" label tacked onto it.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Listen, I don't want to look a gift chocobo in the mouth here—free weekends are common among MMO games, and this is a neat way to do one of those while allowing players to pick and choose when that effective free weekend is. But whoever put that "up to 96 hours" thing on said promotional image forgot that people need to sleep.

As per the campaign's site, the four-day trial period begins the moment a returning player logs into the game: "Once activated, the free login period will end once it reaches the allotted free play duration regardless of whether you actually play." Other stipulations include needing to have purchased and played FF14—fair enough, it's for returning players—and to have been inactive for 30 days before the campaign period started.

Essentially, if you want to get in on this deal in the ramp-up to Dawntrail (which enters early access eight days after the event ends) you'll need to be choosy about when you actually begin—the moment you log in, the clock's ticking. 

You also need to be choosy about when you patch your game, too. You're on the timer the moment you sign in "via the game launcher using your Square Enix ID and password"—so actually, you know what, it's not even "up to 96 hours" if you're willing to chance it on sleep deprivation, you'll still need to download updates. 

I'm being tremendously nitpicky about a tiny piece of marketing material for an otherwise cool offer, but still. I can very much imagine some poor unfortunate soul is going to glaze over the fine print, download the game in preparation for a long weekend, and then find out that they'd been running the meter like a stalling taxi the entire time.

On the plus side, if you login during the free period you'll be able to get one of the ugliest minions in the game (and a lot of less-ugly weapon glams) via the Yo-kai Watch crossover. You too could own a dog with a face only mother Hydaelyn could love.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.