Star Trek Online MMO game now free to play

Star Trek Online, the massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) from Cryptic Studios, launched just under two years ago. Fans of the Star Trek franchise were able to immerse themselves in the rich universe of the United Federation of Planets, and its various enemy empires, engaging in massive space battles, and away-team missions on strange new worlds and familiar space stations.

Since then, many more MMO games based on major franchises have appeared, including DC Universe Online, Lord Of The Rings Online and, of course, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Star Trek Online has now joined some of its newer rivals in offering a new free-to-play option, ensuring that everyone can now get their kicks at warp speed without having to reach for their wallets.

A premium Gold membership option remains available for players who want full access to all of the games features, for $14.99 a month, which offers things like priority log-in, ad-free voice chat, a larger inventory and an additional character slot. But the free Silver membership isn’t as restrictive as you might expect, providing access to the majority of features, and with a good deal of additional functionality being exposed to free players after completing 20 hours of gameplay. You can compare the Silver and Gold options on the STO website.

The new freemium model aims to attract a greater number of players to the game, but has also been geared to encourage players to make more additional in-game purchases – for example, of personnel, uniform and ship upgrades. But players can still enjoy the game without spending a penny. Cryptic’s CEO, Jack Emmert, underlined this point, stating that the new model “removes those barriers of entry that previously kept fans and casual gamers away. Anyone can download and play Star Trek Online at no cost. There's no better way to see how sitting in the captain’s chair feels.”

The game is set in the ‘primary’ Star Trek timeline of Captains Picard, Sisko and Janeway, so if you want an opportunity to revisit the good ol’ days - prior to the spectacular JJ Abrams movie reboot of the franchise - head over to Star Trek Online to get your fix. If you want to find out a bit more about the game, this promo video might just get your phasers firing:

Images via Star Trek Online

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Even more web sites join SOPA/PIPA protests

Next Story

Google testing tweaks to image search results

32 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Game feels great now, I gave up on it a couple months after it's release. They appear to have beefed up ground combat now which was lacking for me. Though, I still don't think it's great enough to be fun as non star trek.

Damn this game was terrible. Major failure and disappointment. Surprised it took this long for the "Free to Play." Having beta tested it, and played it for about 5 months after release, can never go back to this game. Could have been a lot better.............. Free to play or not, don't bother with this game/developer.

Don't believe everything someone posts on a comment board.
Star Trek was a terribly conceived game that attempted to use a license to sell a
mediocre product. Only die hard fans stuck with it and cryptic had poor sales from the start.
Star Wars on the other hand has sold 2 million copies within 3 weeks and has had no statistics released showing a decline in play since launch.
For the comment about trading it on steam that is clearly a WOW fanboy that is afraid WOW could see a decline in players. Steam has never and will probably never sell the game so how can someone trade the game.
STO will do well as a free to play as it allows people to enjoy the STO universe but as a P2P it was not successful.

ogar said,
Don't believe everything someone posts on a comment board.
Star Trek was a terribly conceived game that attempted to use a license to sell a
mediocre product. Only die hard fans stuck with it and cryptic had poor sales from the start.
Star Wars on the other hand has sold 2 million copies within 3 weeks and has had no statistics released showing a decline in play since launch.
For the comment about trading it on steam that is clearly a WOW fanboy that is afraid WOW could see a decline in players. Steam has never and will probably never sell the game so how can someone trade the game.
STO will do well as a free to play as it allows people to enjoy the STO universe but as a P2P it was not successful.

first off hate wow so wrong there, second i meant origin but couldnt remember the name. Same crap different name.

Also, I've heard they patched a lot of issues with the game that people saw when it was first out. STO I mean.

I don't think I'll be trying it out, but still for those who've played and didn't like what it was before, it might be a bit different now.

I played the beta and actually bought it when it first came out but felt like the game was too slow pace for me.

Not sure why WoW has been able to keep its MMO momentum. I think its just that other MMOs only offer more of the same game-play style as WoW. Different graphics and themes just aren't enough.

Shadrack said,
I played the beta and actually bought it when it first came out but felt like the game was too slow pace for me.

Not sure why WoW has been able to keep its MMO momentum. I think its just that other MMOs only offer more of the same game-play style as WoW. Different graphics and themes just aren't enough.

thats exactly what it is. WoW did it right before anyone else had the chance. I can't stand WoW but i do know that if games like starwars or rift came out before or even at the same time they might have stood a chance. Now too many people are devoted to WoW to go anywhere else even if it is better. Its about time investment.

"time investment" has always been a WoW problem (some because the game was that good, and some because of progression), that's why they are going into cross server everything. WoW beats everything because others can't re-create the wheel, and WoW has an 11 year head start. That's 11 years of learning what can and can't work. At the start many WoW players were in raids that lasted 5-8 hours, and sometimes longer. That didn't work, so all at once they changed many things. They added a great story, large area, great instances, and a stronger PvP side in BC. WoW has mostly been downhill from BC and LK, because the stories/landscape/theme/pvp/dailies seem the same, and every change has been at the cost of communities. When WoW started guilds needed each other, and even worked with other guilds. Now the focus is less on guilds, and more on individual players, and this further divides the communities. The communities "usually guilds" are what made and makes WoW. If Bliz really wanted to change that fact, they would have to create ten times the quest materials they have now at level, and incorporate it in a much better way. The game also needs spontaneous, well, everything. They should have already incorporated temporary quest lines/areas/world events/ and server wide situations, that are here one day, and gone another while flowing into the next thing. The Darkmoon Isle is great, and could be expanded in many ways. New players get caught up with stories within stories. You know, the thing that makes really great media of any kind, well, great. Then at some point those things just went away. At some point Bliz just quit innovating WoW, and that's why many of us WoW players are trying other things now, because we are waiting for Pandas, or Diablo, for simple lack of content and construct.

Edited by justmike, Jan 18 2012, 8:59pm :

I tried the beta way back when. It was ok but just didn't really grab me. Seemed too generic. I'm a Trek fan but couldn't buy into it.

7 year wow player here and The Old Republic, to me, is the best MMO to emerge in that span of time. I uninstalled WoW and really don't even think about it anymore. I don't think it will "kill" WoW but I won't be going back. A slight chance for MoP but pandas.... yeah, pandas. I don't care if they're in the lore or not.

I feel much more immersed in the SWTOR storyline. Even more than I did with all of WoW because they make you feel like it's all about you, even though it's clearly not. The various interactions and scenarios are entertaining at that. And now my latest hobby: datacron hunting! Some are so damned hard to get. Last night my character got laid, too. Bonus.

Yeah, TOR does look pretty awesome, and I don't like sci-fi or Star Wars for that matter. Yes, it may be more of the same, but the storytelling looks fantastic.

I know there are some people upset with it, but ffs, it's still brand new right now.

I'm trying TOR, but I'm already sick of corridors, and the lack of NPC movement. They also need to fix PvP in almost every way.

Muhammad Farrukh said,
Where is it available? Steam?

Cant you just go to their website and download it? Its belong to Perfect World so it should be available via Steam, just like Forsaken World

I downloaded it last night and played it, after reinstalling the WHQL and not beta drivers. I think it's something that really only appeals to fans TBH, it's good, but I wouldn't have payed for a subscription.

This was the Wow killer when it first came out. Then Rift came out and that was the next Wow killer. Now we have Star Wars. See where I'm going?

There is no WoW killer. Announced in 2001, an 11 year "from production" old game has 10 million people playing it today. So no confusion there.

notta said,
This was the Wow killer when it first came out. Then Rift came out and that was the next Wow killer. Now we have Star Wars. See where I'm going?
Nope.

Saex_Conroy said,
that garbage dowloader says im not connected to the internet and closes down = the game is a piece of garbage

Lol, so it's garbage because YOU can't download it?

Maybe it's a problem with your machine, your internet connection or both.

I had an issue where it wouldn't update after the download. The launcher just sat there with no option to launch or update. I had to close and reopen the launcher about 4 times to trigger the update. After that I've had no problems.

neo158 said,

Lol, so it's garbage because YOU can't download it?

Maybe it's a problem with your machine, your internet connection or both.


that must be the reason why its garbage

Colin McGregor said,
and in a few months the starwars mmo follows. I've talked to so many people that are trading their accounts on steam for other games lol

Yeah im trying to do that now. It hit me that even if i made it to max level, my work schedule would keep me from raiding or whatever endgame it has.

Colin McGregor said,
and in a few months the starwars mmo follows. I've talked to so many people that are trading their accounts on steam for other games lol
Hardly.

i played the first bunch of levels where it was free to try a few months ago. didnt end up paying to keep playing because it didnt seem worth it. now thats its free i may give it another go