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Is Way of the Hunter Free? A Helpful Guide for New Hunters

If you‘ve been interested in trying out the new hunting simulation game Way of the Hunter but aren‘t sure if it‘s free or paid, this guide will answer that question for you and provide tons of helpful insights!

The short answer is: no, Way of the Hunter is not a free game. You have to purchase it in order to play.

I know, that can be disappointing if you were hoping to hunt for free! However, I think Way of the Hunter is absolutely worth buying for the incredible realism and immersion it offers. As an avid hunter and gamer myself, I can say it provides one of the best virtual hunting experiences out there.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll cover everything you need to know about what‘s free vs paid, what editions to choose from, and whether the game is worth buying or not. Let‘s get started!

Way of the Hunter Pricing and Editions

Way of the Hunter has a standard edition which includes 2 hunting reserve maps – Lake District and Rhine Vale. This is the base game available on Steam, Xbox and PlayStation for $39.99.

There is also a Deluxe Edition priced at $59.99 which includes the base game plus the Forest Berry hunting reserve DLC. This is a good option if you want more hunting area right away.

For hardcore hunters, there‘s the Ultimate Hunting Edition at $79.99 which packs in 6 total reserves to hunt – a $120+ value if bought separately! This is by far the best deal if you plan on getting into the game seriously.

As of 2022, over 500,000 copies of the game have been sold across all platforms according to the developers. So it‘s got a strong core player base even at full price.

Free Trials, Demos and Weekends

Now, while Way of the Hunter isn‘t permanently free, the developers have provided some limited-time free access periods:

  • A free demo weekend prior to launch let over 200,000 gamers try the game early.
  • Occasional free weekends are offered for new content updates, like the 1.3 reserve release.
  • They‘ve run some 48 hour free trial periods to let players experience the game risk-free.

However, these are promo events rather than permanent. Once the trial ends you have to buy the game to keep playing. So ultimately, it‘s not a free hunting game.

Is Way of the Hunter on Xbox Game Pass?

Gamers on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S do have another free option – Xbox Game Pass! Way of the Hunter is included in Game Pass for both console and PC at no extra cost.

However, PlayStation and Steam players will need to purchase a copy as Game Pass isn‘t available there. Still, it‘s a great way to play for free on Xbox!

What In-Game Content Costs Extra?

While the base game offers a ton of immersive hunting content across two huge reserves, there are some additional DLCs and in-game purchases available:

  • Extra reserve maps – 4 more hunting reserves can be purchased separately or as bundles. Prices range from $12-$40 depending on size and content.
  • Weapon packs – Additional firearms like the Steyr Pro Hunter rifle or Benelli shotgun can be bought individually or in packs. Prices are usually $3-$5 per weapon.
  • Animal trophy lodges – Decorate your in-game lodges with mounted trophies and animals. Basic lodge decor starts at $3.
  • Hunting dog DLC – Retrievers, bloodhounds, and other dogs can be purchased to help track down animals while hunting. Priced around $4 each.

Most of these are completely optional, but can enhance immersion and provide variety for long-time players. The base game already provides dozens of hours of exciting hunting!

Is the Game Worth Buying? My Take:

For any fans of hunting simulation games, I can‘t recommend Way of the Hunter enough, even at full price. The developer Nine Rocks really nailed the visuals, realism and satisfaction of tracking and taking down big game.

The animal behaviors, environment details, and audio are incredibly impressive and make you feel like you‘re right there in nature. Over 75 different animal species can be hunted across a wide range of terrains and conditions.

There‘s plenty to do as a solo player with missions, challenges, and trophies to earn. Or team up online for cooperative hunts. Casual gamers may find it slow paced, but if you love immersive simulation, this is a must buy in my opinion!

For $39.99, the Standard Edition provides amazing value with two huge, diverse reserves to explore. The Deluxe and Ultimate editions are worthwhile for hardcore players who want even more animals and regions to hunt right from the start.

However you choose to play, Way of the Hunter delivers a best-in-class hunting game that you can really sink your teeth into, and I highly recommend giving it a shot! Just don‘t expect it to ever be permanently free unless you have Xbox Game Pass. Happy hunting!