EVE Online Free To Play This Weekend

Hurry! Engage the hyper thrusters! Blast the boosters! We’re going into warp drive. EVE Online [official site] is free to play until 9pm BST this Sunday. Listen, if you’re new to this, you’re probably not going to get very far. You’ll probably still be puttering around in your rickety space canoe come Sunday night.

But if your little fledgling spacefarer heart dreams of epic space battles, or navigating interstellar trade in an economy that is all but real, or commanding your own fleet of ships, maybe, just maybe, EVE Online is for you. In that case, you’ll be pleased to know that the EVE Online Starter Pack is 75% off on Steam right now too.

The offer is open to new and returning players alike. There is a teeny bit of fine print. Newcomers can’t have a copy of EVE Online on Steam that was purchased before the sale, and returning players must have bought the game from May 2013, with an account that’s been deactivated for 30 days or more.

Phew. Now that that’s out of the way, all you have to do is wander on over to Steam, click the ‘Play Game’ button and you’re good to go. Seasoned veterans looking for a comeback will need to claim the offer on the Account Management page of their EVE Online client. If that sounds too confusing, CCP has you covered.

EVE Online has one of the most thriving worlds of any MMORPG on the market, which is an impressive feat for a game that still holds to the much maligned subscription model. While the game is infamous for its high barrier for entry, it’s also an amazing experiment in the melding of video game fiction and real life with its years long wars and high stakes heists.

The EVE Online Starter Pack is £3.74/4,99/$4.99 until Monday, but you’ll find sweeping sales on other editions and subscription packages as well. Safe travels, space cadet.


  1. SexyHomie says:

    err.. no, thanks
    I enjoy tales from EVE, it’s very exciting to read it, but playing it is some serious borefest.
    Aand yes, community is probably only interesting aspect of this game.. plus visuals. Rant out

    • DarkFenix says:

      And those visuals only look nice in staged screenshots and trailers. Playing the game generally involves being zoomed out so far you can scarcely see your ship and having spreadsheet-like interface elements covering most of the screen.

      • zog 081 says:

        “spreadsheet-like interface elements covering most of the screen”

        You mean the overview? and a few chat windows?
        Gotta have a way to sort information. Without an overview it would be a nightmare to try and find a primary target among 300 ships on a grid.

        • Catar says:

          Spreadsheets in space might be the running joke, but seriously, they’re one of the most efficient ways to present that information. I’ve yet to see anyone present a better interface for the game that still provides as much information at a glance.

          • Sound says:

            This is true. The spreadsheets in space meme merely underlines just how damn big, deep, and special Eve is. Yeah, you gotta zoom out to get an appropriate tactical sense and take in all the relevant information. But imagine how much shallower the game would be to cater to a zoomed in frame.

            Regarding the ‘thanks but no thanks’ line, don’t dismiss it too quick – Eve, moreso than any other game, is what you make it.

      • hpoonis says:

        No, you do not have to be zoomed out to do anything productive.

        I subscribed to EVE for 18 months but with only an average of 2-3 hours/month playtime it was not worth the money. Am definitely not much of an online gamer, I prefer a solo experience.

  2. Sin Vega says:

    If I was a regular, this is when I’d stop playing for a few days. Not because of the influx of new players, but because of the likely rise in total shitheads returning just to bully new players.

    • Cropduster says:

      It’s not bullying, it’s cultural enrichment!

      But yeah Eve is a big old time commitment and after 2 days most will still lost in the lonely and confused phase. But for all it’s faults I love this game. You need to join up with a group and get social though, it’s a terrible game solo.

    • zog 081 says:

      I’ve actually been in hisec roaming between the three minmatar school systems looking for random newbros to hand out free isk and advice.

      A lot of people will be an ass to a new guy, especially if they wander into lowsec or whatnot. But most of the game realizes that todays newbro could be tomorrows hero tackle. Gotta support em.

    • Sound says:

      The assholes are the extreme minority. Most people treat newbees with the respect of a future Fleet Commander in waiting. Recruits are the ultimate commodity, whether they’re for your tribe, or an opposing tribe. 90% of the playerbase will bend over backward for a new player that’s communicative, pleasant, and interested.

      Most of the horror stories come from, frankly, people with fairly bad judgement, a provocatively bad attitude, or people with deep misunderstandings about the nature of Eve.

  3. hattifnatt says:

    The best and worst game I’ve ever played.

  4. VCepesh says:

    I definitely won’t badmouth the game, but, honestly, from the (very) short period I played it, the fondest memories I have are from the rather robust character generator.

    • anHorse says:

      I really enjoyed character creation

      And then the rest of the game had nothing to do with it lol

    • Sound says:

      You should try again. Join a lowsec or nullsec corp, immediately. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you are ‘ready,’ as there is no such thing.

  5. gabrielonuris says:

    By the things I read about this game, this “free weekend” should last a full year, so we could at least touch its surface to see what the game is all about. But 2 days? I won’t even be able to understand the UI before sunday!

    • Cropduster says:

      This is sadly true, but it might be enough time for the curiosity of the eve-curious to be piqued, and hopefully catch the spaceship sickness that has kept this old game trucking.

    • FLoJ says:

      TBH the free weekend is mostly a publicity drive. You can get free 21day trials from any current player at any time.

      link to secure.eveonline.com is my personal invite link which means if you then subscribe after your 21days, I get some in-game stuff which I’ll share with you… (worth about £10, so basically a month’s sub for free if you get someone new to start a subscribtion)

      You can find other similar links all over twitch and reddit if you don’t like the cut of my jib.

    • Marr says:

      Even if you picked everything up straight away, it takes real-time days to process every skill upgrade. This is like a regular MMO running a free weekend with a level cap of one.

      • causticnl says:

        this, frankly Im suprised CCP still maintains this old skillmodel, its outdated.

        • Sound says:

          The skill point system Eve uses is not outdated. It’s extremely elegant and functional for the way Eve’s ship combat works.

          For example, the ships that take a long time to reach are not superior ships; they’re special-use ships best used in very specific circumstances. The most broadly useful(and therefore most powerful) ships all train in a short period of time.

          Moreover, a player’s working knowledge of the game takes time to acquire, and that’s the most decisive factor by far. It just does not make sense for a new player to use a complicated, specialty-use ship.

          • causticnl says:

            It takes time to acquire experience yes, but isnt it weird you’re not to allowed to actually use those ships to learn them? now you have to learn days to be a logi. so if someone jumps into the game and says “I want to be a healer” I have to say no to him because the game says so, thats not elegant.

    • zog 081 says:

      Thing is, the free weekend is pretty much bullshit, You can get a 14 day trial account to try it out, and with the buddy program, you can get a 21 day trial if you know/have a players either character name or email address I forget. Thing with the buddy program is if you end up subscribing, they get a plex when you subscribe, Most are decent enough to give the plex to the new player.

  6. FLoJ says:


  7. newguy2012 says:

    Go to their official site instead and you get a 14 day free trail with every new account with their non steam client.

    Try this game before you buy!

  8. Stevostin says:

    Funny how all of a sudden space games with planet where you can’t land have gone old.

    • zog 081 says:

      To be fair, NMS could be included in eve as say a moon mining add on after they remove POSes, and then at least NMS would be a game, and also a game you could play with other people.

  9. Ericusson says:

    Do they still have the time dilation thingie that makes everything stall ?
    I mean, better an official stalling than an unofficial one.

    • Sound says:

      There was a significant server cluster upgrade. Time Dilation is still a thing, but it doesn’t tend to kick in until you have at least 250 people fighting in one spot, last I recall. But ti-di is definitely superior to people having their commands disappear amidst a thousand man fleet action.

  10. geldonyetich says:

    Shoot, I’d love to play EVE Online, given how it is a gorgeous open-ended massively multiplayer romp through space with an extremely ambitious economy, but about 80% of my game library is less boring to play, 99% of my game library is less embracing of griefers, and 99.9998% of my game library is less of a remorseless soul-sucking grind that requires multi-boxing and purchasing decade-old accounts to have a remote chance of being at the top of the heap.