Skip to content

Is Horizon Forbidden West free?

No, Horizon Forbidden West is not a free game. Horizon Forbidden West is a major PlayStation exclusive that released in February 2022 for a full retail price of $59.99 on PlayStation 4 and $69.99 on PlayStation 5. With production budgets for games like Forbidden West running into the tens of millions, Sony and developer Guerrilla Games position this as a premium AAA title that commands a higher price tag.

But all is not lost! As your gaming deal-hunting friend, I‘ve got the insider tips to help score discounts or even play Horizon Forbidden West entirely free with some patience and workarounds. Let‘s dive into the pricing landscape and multiple paths to cut costs on this phenomenal game.

Normal Launch Pricing on PlayStation Store

As an exclusive tentpole release for Sony, Horizon Forbidden West first landed on the PlayStation Store at the typical full price for major new releases:

  • PlayStation 4 version: $59.99
  • PlayStation 5 version: $69.99

This fits right in line with other big-budget first party titles like God of War, Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part II that all launched at the same $59.99 or $69.99 price points on PS4 and PS5.

With games increasing in scope and development costs, most major publishers have standardized on these price tiers for premium games over the past decade. Forbidden West is no exception.

Discounts and Deals – Patience Pays Off

Have no fear, patient gamer friends! While Horizon Forbidden West starts at full MSRP, there are ample opportunities to get discounts:

Digital Sales on PlayStation Store

During major seasonal sales or publisher-specific promotions on the PlayStation Store, Horizon Forbidden West will often be discounted 30-50% off its regular pricing.

For example, during the recent Winter Sale in December 2022, Forbidden West was offered at 50% off – just $29.99 for PS4 and $34.99 on PS5. Keep an eye out for these digital deals!

Physical Retailer Sales

Forbidden West also frequently goes on sale at major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart who sell physical copies of the game.

Checking sites like Wario64 on Twitter that aggregate gaming deals is a great way to quickly find discounts across retailers. Physical copies of Forbidden West can often be snagged for $40-$50.

Pre-owned Copies

If buying pre-owned sounds appealing, used copies can offer big savings too. Generally 6 months after launch, used copies will be readily available in the $40 range at retailers like GameStop, or even cheaper via private sellers on eBay.

Rental Options

Renting via GameFly or Redbox is a quick way to play the game for just a few bucks!

Key Discounted Milestones

Based on Forbidden West‘s price history, here are some of the cheapest verified prices and key discount milestones:

  • Launch MSRP: $59.99 PS4 / $69.99 PS5
  • First 50% off sale: $29.99 PS4 / $34.99 PS5 (December 2022)
  • All-time low price: $25 PS4 (eBay daily deal)
  • Used copies around $40: Approximately 6 months after launch
  • Average pre-owned price: $45

PlayStation Plus – The Free-to-Play Path

For PlayStation Plus members, there are a couple avenues to experience this PlayStation exclusive at no additional cost:

PlayStation Plus Catalog Access

In February 2023, Sony added Horizon Forbidden West to the PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium catalog. This grants subscribers included access to the full game as part of their membership!

PlayStation Plus has over 30 million subscribers globally as of April 2022. Assuming at least 30-40% of members are on the Extra or Premium tier based on Sony‘s reporting, this puts over 10 million gamers in position to play Forbidden West for free!

Free PS4 to PS5 Upgrade

PlayStation Plus members who purchase a PS4 physical or digital copy also get access to the PS5 version as a free upgrade. This means you can buy a cheap used PS4 copy and still enjoy the next-gen version at no added cost.

Between catalog access and free next-gen upgrades, PlayStation Plus provides meaningful free access to Forbidden West.

Limited Time Trials

Occasionally PlayStation offers 1-month trials for Plus Extra/Premium. When available, this gives you a month to experience the Forbidden West for free through the catalog. Keep an eye out for these limited-time offers.

Understanding Forbidden West‘s Premium Pricing

While not free or heavily discounted, there are good reasons behind Forbidden West commanding a higher $59.99 or $69.99 price point as a premium title:

Massive High Quality Open World

Forbidden West features a sprawling open world map that‘s reportedly 1.5x times larger than the first Horizon Zero Dawn game. Every inch is painstakingly crafted with visual splendor and intricate details that contribute to an incredibly immersive experience.

Top-Tier Graphics Showcase

On a visual level, Forbidden West flexes the PlayStation 5‘s graphical muscle to deliver what might be the most visually stunning open world seen in games to date. Every environment drips with intricate details, inviting exploration and screenshot sharing.

Storytelling and Performance Pedigree

Leaning on the pedigree of the first game‘s compelling characters and science fiction narrative, Forbidden West weaves an epic story with genuinely emotional moments and thrilling cinematic presentation.

The talent behind bringing Aloy and friends to life, like Ashly Burch and Lance Reddick, deliver movie-quality performances.

Best-in-Class Accessibility

Forbidden West sets a new high bar with over 60 customizable accessibility settings allowing nearly any player to tailor the experience to their individual needs and abilities. This level of accessibility expands gaming to more people – a mandate that does justify increased investment.

Jam Packed with Content & Activities

With its wealth of side activities, cauldrons, machines to battle, skills to unlock and treasures to discover, Forbidden West offers a brimful open world with well over 50+ hours of quality content to consume. The density and variety of gameplay satisfies even after the credits roll.

Overall Polish & Refinement

On a core gameplay level, Forbidden West represents a AAA pedigree of taking a proven formula in Zero Dawn and honing it to near perfection. Every game system and interaction is polished to a tee resulting in a smooth, highly refined gameplay experience.

Labor of Love

As a first party Sony studio, Guerrilla Games devoted years of passion and talent to make Forbidden West worthy of being a tentpole PlayStation exclusive and system seller. This level of care and ambition again merits increased investment.

So in summary, while Horizon Forbidden West commands a higher premium price, you certainly get an immense bang for your buck. And for the patient and savvy, discounts or even free access is attainable!

Hopefully this inside scoop helps you on the journey to exploring Aloy‘s world. Let me know if you have any other questions! Happy gaming!