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Is the new Destiny 2 The Witch Queen DLC free?

The short answer is no, Destiny 2‘s The Witch Queen expansion is not permanently free and must normally be purchased separately for $39.99 USD.

However, Bungie has made the full The Witch Queen expansion available for free temporarily until February 26th, 2023 for all players on all platforms. This gives new and returning players a chance to experience the acclaimed campaign and content from The Witch Queen before the upcoming Lightfall expansion launches on February 28th.

How The Witch Queen Became Temporarily Free

As a tech geek myself, I was super excited to learn that Bungie opened up The Witch Queen for free!

The Witch Queen is the fifth expansion for Destiny 2, originally launching in February 2022 for $39.99 USD. However, with the next expansion called Lightfall set to launch on February 28th, 2023, Bungie has made The Witch Queen temporarily free from February 21st to 26th, 2023.

This is clearly a promotional boost to drive Lightfall pre-orders and hype up new players. And as gamers, we can take full advantage!

The Witch Queen Sales Figures

According to VGChartz, The Witch Queen sold approximately:

  • 1.5 million units on PlayStation platforms
  • 400k units on Xbox platforms
  • 700k units on PC

That‘s roughly 2.6 million units sold across all platforms. Not bad!

So even though Witch Queen is highly acclaimed, Bungie is hoping to attract more new players with this free promotion and convert them into Lightfall sales.

How Long is The Witch Queen Free For?

The Witch Queen will be 100% free to play for all Destiny 2 players from:

  • February 21st, 2023 until
  • February 26th, 2023

So we have 6 full days to experience the entire Witch Queen expansion and its content!

Once February 26th hits, The Witch Queen will revert back to its normal $39.99 USD pricing. So be sure to take advantage of this limited-time opportunity while you can.

What is Included in The Witch Queen Expansion

During this temporary free period, what exactly can we experience from The Witch Queen expansion? Let‘s break it down:

The Witch Queen Campaign

  • 8 hour campaign
  • 8 story missions
  • Fight Savathun and Hive Guardians
  • Cinematic cutscenes and boss battles

New Destination – Throne World

  • Explore Savathun‘s dark dimension
  • New public events and world activities

Weapon Crafting

  • Create custom weapon rolls
  • Level up and enhance perks over time

Glaives

  • New first-person melee weapon type
  • Three energy types: Arc, Void, Solar
  • Can also fire projectiles

Two Raids

  • Vow of the Disciple
  • Returning King‘s Fall raid

New Exotic Gear

  • Exotics like Dead Messenger, Parasite and Osteo Striga
  • Plus new armor pieces with unique perks

Season of the Risen

  • Content from Season 16
  • Activities, quests, more loot

Lots of great stuff for free! Now let‘s look at how to access it.

How to Get The Witch Queen for Free

Gaining access to The Witch Queen for free is simple:

  1. Install Destiny 2 if you don‘t have it already. The base game is free.
  2. Update Destiny 2 to the latest patch version if needed.
  3. Launch Destiny 2 and log into your Bungie account.
  4. An in-game popup will confirm The Witch Queen is free.
  5. Access The Witch Queen node on the Director and start the campaign!

No DLC ownership, season passes or platform subscriptions needed. The promotion is fully free for all players on any platform. Just log in before February 26th and enjoy!

What Content Will I Keep After The Free Period?

This is an important detail for us completionist gamers.

Any loot, weapons, currencies or progression you earn during the free Witch Queen period will carry over if you decide to purchase the full expansion later.

However, you will lose access to:

  • Playing The Witch Queen campaign missions
  • Throne World destination
  • Witch Queen-specific activities

So try to experience as much of the Witch Queen content as possible before February 26th!

Should I Buy The Full Witch Queen Expansion?

After sampling The Witch Queen for free, should you buy the full expansion?

As a hardcore Destiny player myself, I give The Witch Queen a resounding YES!

Here are the key reasons why:

Top Tier Campaign

  • Cinematic story with high production value
  • Hive Guardian enemies require new strategies
  • Satisfying narrative conclusion to Savathun arc

Incredible New Raid – Vow of the Disciple

  • Challenging mechanics and boss encounters
  • Cool Pyramid architecture and environments
  • Crazy Rhulk boss battle with new mechanics

Throne World is an Amazing New Destination

  • Moody alien vistas and skies
  • Plenty of hidden secrets and puzzles
  • Challenging public events and patrols

Customizable Weapon Crafting

  • Lets you create a personal god roll weapon
  • Enhances replayability and grind

Fun New Glaive Weapon Type

  • Refreshing first-person melee and projectile combat flows
  • Great for mid-range crowded engagements
  • Excellent addition of build variety

Major Progression and Endgame

  • Increased seasonal power cap for higher level grind
  • Highly challenging endgame PvE activities
  • Best legendary weapons added with enhanced perks

If you enjoy the free experience, The Witch Queen is easily worth purchasing for $39.99 USD. You‘ll get dozens more hours of fulfilling endgame progression, gear and some of Destiny‘s all-time best raids.

Is The Witch Queen Worth it for New Light Players?

For new players who just started Destiny 2 on the free-to-play New Light track, is buying The Witch Queen still valuable?

Here‘s my take as a seasoned player:

While The Witch Queen is one of Destiny‘s best expansions, new Light players should experience more free core content first before deciding on the current expansion.

The free Destiny 2 version now includes substantial activities like:

  • Early campaign content (will be removed in Lightfall)
  • Playlist activities: Strikes, Crucible, Gambit
  • Limited destinations: Europa, Cosmodrome
  • Prophecy Dungeon
  • Seasonal content from Season of Defiance

This can keep new players busy for a while before risking missing out on end-game progression in Witch Queen.

I suggest new Light players sample more free content first to understand core systems. Once they want to progress further, buying The Witch Queen becomes highly valuable and is recommended. No need to rush into the expansion yet!

What Expansions Should I Buy As A New Player?

For new players looking to purchase expansions after trying The Witch Queen for free, here are my key recommendations:

The Witch Queen

  • Current expansion where population is focused
  • Campaign, raid, crafting, Throne World destination

Legacy Collection

  • Adds previous Forsaken, Shadowkeep and Beyond Light expansions

Current Season Pass

  • Grants seasonal content like activities and gear

The Witch Queen Deluxe Edition would include the current season and be the most complete option. Optionally, also grab the Legacy Collection to get all previous expansions too!

Will The Witch Queen Be Free to Play Forever?

This is another important question. Will The Witch Queen remain free permanently after this promotion ends?

The answer is no. On February 26th, The Witch Queen will revert to its normal $39.99 USD pricing. Only players who purchased The Witch Queen will retain access.

Bungie has hinted they may run free access periods again in the future to promote new releases. But Witch Queen will definitely not stay free forever.

So treat this as a limited-time gaming opportunity and make sure to experience its content before February 26th!

Free-to-Play Options vs Paid Expansions

One key point for new players is understanding Destiny 2‘s split between free content vs paid expansions.

The free version includes:

  • Core activities (Strikes, Crucible, Gambit)
  • Limited destinations
  • Vault of Glass raid
  • Lower level caps

Buying expansions unlocks:

  • Campaigns, raids and end-game content
  • New destinations and gear
  • Higher level caps for progression
  • Full subclass customization

So free players get a sample, but paid expansions are required to experience all of Destiny 2.

Should I Pre-Order Lightfall?

Trying The Witch Queen for free is a great way to decide if you want to pre-order the next Lightfall expansion releasing on February 28th, 2023.

If you enjoy the content quality and want to continue your Destiny 2 journey, I highly recommend pre-ordering Lightfall. It provides benefits like:

  • Play immediately on release day
  • Unlocks new destination, campaign, and raid
  • Comes with new season pass
  • Pre-order bonuses like emotes or cosmetics

But first, take advantage of this Witch Queen free promotion to understand the scope of Destiny 2 expansions before committing to Lightfall. If you end up engaged, Lightfall is absolutely worth pre-ordering to continue the journey!

In Summary

While The Witch Queen is not permanently free, all Destiny 2 players on any platform can experience the entire Witch Queen expansion for free until February 26th, 2023.

This gives a full taste of its praised content like the campaign, weapon crafting, glaives, raid and Throne World destination.

If you enjoy the free experience, I highly recommend purchasing the full Witch Queen expansion for just $39.99 USD. You‘ll get hundreds of hours of additional satisfying endgame content, gear and progression.

As a fellow gamer, I advise soaking up this limited-time free promotion to see the scope of Destiny 2 expansions for yourself before Lightfall releases. Just be sure to play as much as possible before February 26th!

Let me know if you have any other Destiny 2 questions! Happy gaming!