For seasoned gamers, these terms are obvious and we need no explaining. However, it can be slightly confusing to new gamers or casual gamers who mostly begin their gaming experience via mobile games. So, what are the differences between free games and free-to-play games?

In short, free games are games that are 100% free. No subscription fee or payment needed for you to download and play the full game. Free-to-play games are games that you can download to play for free but there are content or game items that are made available to you only when you make in-app purchases (aka microtransactions.)

So, the question is, do you need to spend money on free-to-play games? It depends. If you’re playing, let say, games like The Walking Dead. You can play Season One for free but you’ll need to pay in order to unlock Season 2 to 5. This is one type of game that’s sometimes known as demo games where you get to play as a trial and you’ll need to purchase to get access to the full game.

There are also free-to-play games like Genshin Impact, PUBG Mobile, LifeAfter, League of Legends, just to name a few, that you can choose to not spend a single cent and you can still play. You only spend money when you want to purchase skins, exclusive items, bonus rewards, extra characters, and the list goes on. If you’re perfectly fine to not have those “exclusives”, you don’t need to spend at all.

I hope this brief explanation is helpful to those who are new to gaming. So you see, gaming is not necessarily an expensive hobby. It all depends on the types of games you want to play; paid games, free games, or free-to-play.


Image Credit: PUBG Mobile
Screenshot from Steam App