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Do you need gold to play Black Desert Online?

The short answer is: No, you do not need an Xbox Live Gold subscription or any recurring fees to enjoy Black Desert Online after the initial purchase.

While Gold provides access to online multiplayer features on Xbox, it is not required just to play the gamesolo and progress. Let‘s take a deeper look across platforms.

Black Desert on Xbox: Gold not needed for solo play

As a fellow gamer, I‘m sure you know Xbox Live Gold provides access to online multiplayer gaming on Xbox consoles. Many popular online games like Call of Duty and Elden Ring require Gold.

So what about Black Desert Online? The good news is:

  • You only need to buy Black Desert once on Xbox. No subscription needed.
  • Xbox Live Gold is not required for solo play – you can level up, quest, and grind without it.
  • Gold is only needed for online multiplayer features like chatting, trading, PvP battles, etc.

I know multiplayer can really add to the experience of an MMORPG like Black Desert. But if you just want to play solo on Xbox, you can do so without paying for Gold after buying the base game.

Now let‘s compare that to the other platforms…

Black Desert Mobile: Free-to-start with optional purchases

Playing Black Desert on your phone or tablet? Good news – Black Desert Mobile is free-to-start, meaning you can download and play without paying anything. No Gold required here!

You get access to the full open world and all content as a free player. The only limitation is:

  • Free players progress through the game more slowly than paying players

Optional in-app purchases like outfits, pets, and value packs can speed up leveling and progression. But they aren‘t necessary to enjoy the full experience over time.

So in summary, you can play Black Desert Mobile entirely for free. Just don‘t expect to progress as fast as paying players unless you‘re prepared to grind!

PC version: Buy once, play forever

For PC players, Black Desert Online follows the same buy-to-play model as the Xbox version:

  • Buy the base game once
  • No subscription or Xbox Live Gold required
  • Optional microtransactions available but not necessary

After purchasing the game on Steam, you have unlimited access to the full experience with no strings attached. Everything is unlocked.

Additional character slots, costumes, inventory, etc. can be purchased optionally from the Pearl Shop. But they aren‘t required to enjoy hundreds of hours of content.

14-day free trial available

Not ready to commit yet? There‘s a free 14-day trial available directly from the Black Desert website.

This gives you 14 days of unrestricted access to the full game. You can play as much as you want and level multiple characters to see if you enjoy it.

The catch is progress won‘t carry over after the 14 days unless you buy the full game. However, if you reach level 50 within the trial period, you permanently unlock the full game!

So you can essentially try before you buy risk-free. And hitting level 50 will score you the full game for free. Not a bad deal!

No mandatory subscription fees

After analyzing all the different platforms, the takeaway is clear:

  • There is no mandatory subscription or membership fee required to play Black Desert Online.
  • Only recurring cost is Xbox Live Gold for online multiplayer on Xbox.

For an online MMORPG, this is excellent. You pay once and get to experience the full open world indefinitely, unlike games like WOW that require a monthly fee.

The developers monetize through optional microtransactions and in-game purchases instead, but these are not pushed aggressively. Definitely a plus in my book!

Which version of Black Desert is best?

Let‘s compare the pros and cons of Black Desert across PC, console, and mobile:

PC

Pros

  • Smoothest performance and highest framerates
  • Superior graphics and visuals
  • Precise mouse + keyboard controls
  • Larger player base and economy

Cons

  • Must be played at a desk

Console

Pros

  • Comfortable couch gaming
  • Large screen TV experience
  • Convenience and ease of console ecosystem

Cons

  • Visual downgrade compared to PC
  • Limited by 30 FPS cap
  • Gamepad controls not as precise

Mobile

Pros

  • Fully free-to-play
  • Play on the go
  • Tap controls designed for touchscreen

Cons

  • Downgraded graphics
  • Progress is slowed without purchases
  • Not as immersive on a small screen

So in summary:

  • PC provides the definitive experience but limited to your desktop
  • Console sacrifices some fidelity for big screen gaming
  • Mobile is most accessible as free-to-play but technically downgraded

It‘s up to you to decide which fits your lifestyle and budget best!

Is Black Desert worth playing in 2022?

As a longtime MMORPG fan, here is my personal take:

Black Desert is still very much worth playing in 2022 if you enjoy:

  • Satisfying and responsive real-time combat
  • Some of the deepest character customization out there
  • A huge, open virtual world to explore
  • Engaging crafting and tradeskill systems
  • Challenging PvE boss fights and large scale PvP

In an era where many MMOs offer streamlined or dumbed down experiences, Black Desert remains a hardcore sandbox RPG at heart.

Some key stats:

  • Over 40 million players worldwide
  • 87% positive reviews on Steam
  • Available on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Mobile
  • Launched in 2014 but frequent updates with new content

With continually improving life skills like sailing and farming, expanded ocean and mountain regions to explore, and a steady cadence of fresh content, Black Desert‘s world feels alive and dynamic.

While the genre has evolved, Black Desert offers a modern yet old school MMORPG experience. And with the free trial, you‘ve got nothing to lose by giving it a shot yourself!

Just be ready to kiss your social life goodbye. I‘ll see you in-game once you‘re hopelessly addicted.