Free to Play?
Rift is advertised as a free to play game.. but, what can you actual do for free?
- Max Level (70): You can reach the maximum level of 70 without having to buy any kind of expansion or pay a single penny into the game.
- Zones: All zones are accessible to you. You do not need to buy any kind of expansion pack to enter certain zones or play content.
- Quests: All quests are available to play, there is no purchasable open world content.
- Dungeons/Raids: You can run every dungeon and raid in the game, there is no purchasable instanced content.
- PVP: All the PVP maps are available to play, you can reach maximum prestige level.
- Gear: You can earn and equip every type of gear piece. You can earn the best in slot item for every slot without paying a penny.
- Crafting: You can train all skills to max level (across different alts) and buy all the recipes that you will need.
- Puzzles: All the in game puzzles can be played with no purchase required!
- Wardrobe: Around 95% of the available wardrobe skins can be unlocked for free. This is thousands of skin unlocks, enough to make many awesome costumes!
- Mounts: You can earn a mount with the maximum speed in game (160%). You can earn or buy (in game currencies) many different mounts in game, you can buy more unique mounts with world event currencies during world events.
All these mounts and many more are available for in-game currencies.
So with all this available for free.. what is there to pay for?
- Remove Account Restrictions: You will need to spend a small amount of money to be able to list items for sale on the Auction House and to hold over 5000 platinum on a single character.
- Speed: You can buy vials for temporary boosts for gaining XP, Notoriety, favor, etc.. or I highly recommend paying for patron, this is a permanent 40% boost to everything, making Levelling, gaining Notoriety and earning currencies much quicker.
- QoL: Bank vaults, bag slots, character slots – Be aware, you can unlock some of these by buying game packs which will be much cheaper in the long run than buying them individually.
- Primalist class: Added during the Nightmare Tide expansion this class has a unique playstyle and a more compact soul tree. It comes with a selection of souls that will allow you to play any role.
- Extra Souls: A good selection of free to play souls are available for your class, allowing you to play most roles without paying anything. If you want to expand and become (for instance) a Mage tank or a Rogue healer then you will need to purchase the souls that allow you to do that.
In the past, Rift has wildly fluctuated between different pricing/costing models.
Because of this you may find a lot of very outdated pricing information on the internet.
These are some of the old pricing models that no longer exist..
Earring Slots: When earring slots were first introduced you had to pay to unlock them. They were then available for in game currency for a while. They are now completely free.
Expansions: The most recent expansion was initially 'pay to play' you could only progress from level 65 to 70 if you bought the expansion. This was only for the first 6 months of the xpac. You can now level all the way to 70 without any purchase. All the zones are available for free.
Dungeon and warfront charges: For a short time, only Patrons were able to 'save up' dungeon and warfront charges, due to player feedback this change was reversed. Patrons and Non-Patrons are now able to save up to 7 dungeon and warfront charges to use whenever they want.
Is Rift Pay to Win
There are many different definitions of ‘pay to win’.. I will cover the ones that I think are relevant and that people worry most about.
Can you buy the best in slot gear for 'real money'
You can buy a best in slot gear item from the world events (4 total) directly with credits. But these same items are available for the world event currency, so you can buy the items without spending real money too.
You can buy other gear on the shop directly with credits, this gear is no where near best in slot, even after being upgraded with upgrade parts earned by playing. This gear is considered a complete waste of money, it is VERY easy to earn gear in game that is better than it.
You can buy token boost vials, that will make it faster to earn INTEL which is one of the end game currencies. They do not work on Datagrams, the other end game currency.
Occasionally there will be power packs on sale with INTEL caches inside, but even with the INTEL from these caches you will still need to earn the notoriety to buy the items with the INTEL and then upgrade the gear with items only available from playing the game. INTEL is farmable in game from a variety of different sources, some solo and others from group activities.
Is all the best in slot gear available in game for free?
There are no gear items or gear slots that need to be bought with real money.
You can spend money to make the gearing process quicker, but you not have to.
Will my character have better gear if I spend real money?
There is no gear or stat boost or potions that can only be bought with real money.
A player that has spent no money at all can earn all the same gear and stats as a player who has spent money.
Will my character be able to raid at top tier without spending money?
All classes have viable raid specs that don’t include the paid souls.
If you want to be more flexible in raids you should buy the soul packs (see below).
Some of the paid souls will make your character very desirable to take to raids, such as the warrior healing souls.
In the end it is entirely up to you and your raid group if you are eligible to raid with them.
Using the Rift Store
There are many many items on the store, most of which are available to buy with in game currencies. Pretty much every open world vendor in the game has had their stock added to the Rift Store. This will save you an awful lot of travelling time!
There are two pricing columns, one shows the in game currency price, the other shows the credit price. For instance, to buy the Upgraded Source core shown on the right, you can spend 30 planarite OR 4 credits.
Some items can only be bought with in game currencies (such as top tier raid gear), some can only be bought with credits (such as premium costumes and mounts).
What should I buy?
There are just 2 items that we always recommend to a fresh player, the Ascended Essentials Pack and Patron.
Ascended Essentials Pack
Found in the DLC section of the store, the Ascended Essentials Pack is very good value for money.
You can even find it at sale price sometimes (as shown above), usually during the major Steam sales.
You can buy the pack for credits in the store, or you can buy it directly with money on your Glyph account page or via Steam.
The pack includes:
- Extra character slots – Increases your slots per shard from 2 to 6.
- Bag Slots – Unlocks the 4th and 5th bag slots on EVERY character. This is much cheaper than buying all those slots individually! It also opens the 8th ‘R’ slot, even though it doesn’t state this very clearly!
- Primalist Calling – Allows you to create a Primalist.
- Extra souls – All the souls from the Ascended, Storm Legion and Nightmare Tide packs. You can see info about why you may want these souls on the character creation guide.
- It also unlocks the ‘Special’ Vault in your personal bank, for every character. (it doesn’t say this on the tooltip either)
You will also gain enough Loyalty to unlock the account restrictions so you can list items on the Auction House and it removes the platinum cap.
Patron will help you a lot while you are levelling and farming.
The extra 40% to XP, Notoriety and currencies is worth every penny!
You will also have other perks such as Patrons Fast Pass, increased mount speed, no soul damage and Artifact Tracking.
You can see the patron perks in game in your ability book under the patron tab.
What else should I buy?
If you still want to spend some cash on the game and are wondering what is the best value for money.
Minion slots are bought directly from the Minion UI. This means they cannot be gifted to you.
You can have up to 6 Minion Slots. The Credit cost increases the more slots you buy.
- Slot 1: Free
- Slot 2: 600 Credits (540 for Patrons)
- Slot 3: 650 Credits (585 for Patrons)
- Slot 4: 700 Credits (630 for Patrons)
- Slot 5: 750 Credits (675 for Patrons)
- Slot 6: 800 Credits (720 for Patrons)
I highly recommend you buy as many as possible! The more slots you have, the more materials and other items you will be able to earn with your minions, making your life in game much easier!
Trade Skill Extensions
Your character will start their journey with 5 craft skill slots. Fishing and Survival cannot be changed, so you have 3 slots to choose your skills.
There are 10 skills available for these 3 slots. You can put the other 7 skills on alts, but this can get really messy with having to transfer materials over all the time.
Trade Skill Extensions will allow you to have more skills on your main character, up to the maximum of 12 (which is all of them!).
You can find this on the rift store under Services > Character.
You may just want to buy a couple of extra slots to make sure you have mining/foraging/butchering plus dreamweaver and runecrafter.
This will allow you to harvest all possible materials on a single character.
You may want to add outfitter next as this will increase your cloth drops from mobs, although your minions should be bringing you plenty of cloth!
If there is a Battle Pass running then it is up to you if you want to buy it or not.
Your main deciding factor will be time.
Buying a battle pass is only going to be beneficial to you if you want the rewards that you will be able to earn in the time left.
Most Battle Pass rewards are fluff items including mounts and costume, there are a few boosts and premium items thrown in as well, the main ‘real money’ reward is the credits, you can ‘earn’ up to 1500 Credits.
Each Battle Pass Season lasts around 3 months, you will need to work out from the start date if you have time to finish. If you are new to the game and the Battle Pass Season is almost over then you may not be able to gain enough XP to earn enough rewards to make your purchase worthwhile.
As a very low level player, you would want at least 2 months to comfortably get to level 30 in time. If you are a high level player then you would want at least 5 weeks, though be aware it is ‘possible’ to complete in 3.5 weeks as long as you are willing to complete every quest.
You can start doing BP quests and see how fast you can level up before buying Battle Pass.
You can find full information about the Battle Pass system on the Battle Pass Guide page.
Buying Credits for In Game Currency
Rex is like a box of credits.
Player A buys REX with real money.
Player A sells REX to Player B for Platinum (in game currency)
Player B opens the REX to receive 1250 credits and 2,500 Loyalty.
When you spend the Credits you’ll get another 2,500 Loyalty (2 Loyalty Points per 1 Credit spent) (5,000 Loyalty total)
Using REX, Player B can buy items with credits without having to spend any real money at all.
This means that if you want all the cool stuff but still want to play completely for free then you have the option to buy REX from other players to gain credits.
The in game Platinum cost of REX is player driven and works with supply and demand..
The platinum cost of a REX on EU has always been roughly twice the cost of a REX on NA. So if you plan to play the game casually as a free to player then you may find the NA costing much more bearable. However if you want to play free on EU shards then you will just have to learn how to farm plat a bit more effectively.
Presents for everyone!
Many of the items in the Rift store can be gifted to other people.
The gifter will pay the credit price for the item (gifting doesn’t work with in game currencies), the recipient with receive the item in the mail.
This can be used to gift items to friends.
This is also the way that ‘store sellers’ will send you credit purchases for platinum.
Most people will prefer to sell REX rather than gift items as with REX you can use trade windows or COD mail, with store selling, you may gift the item and never receive the plat, or send the plat and never receive the item. If you are arranging store selling/buying, make sure you take screenshots of the conversation and agreement before hitting send. You can then report the seller/buyer if it all goes wrong.
A quick note about gear
There is so much gear in the shop!
- While Levelling – Completely useless and massively overpriced bundles of armor that will be not much better than your average quest gear.
- At Level 70 – Completely useless and massively overpriced bundles of armor that are of LFR quality.
- While Levelling – You can use excess void stones to bulk out your armor, especially when hitting levels 50, 60 and 65 – but quest gear will see you through just fine as long as you have a decent solo spec.
- At Level 70 – You can buy missing bits of dungeon/raid gear with your dungeon/raid tokens.
- While Levelling – You can use excess void stones to upgrade your weapons a bit, especially when hitting levels 50, 60 and 65, but again, quest gear should be fine.
- At Level 70 – Your weapons will be from the eternal weapon quest and crafting.
- While Levelling – It wont be necessary to buy these at all.
- At Level 70 – Your best Accessories will be bought with Intel from the vendor in VP.
Upgrade Parts –
- While Levelling – You may want to check upgrade able gear that you loot from low level areas to see if it gives new skins (wardrobe) when you upgrade it, you can stash these items in the bank and upgrade them later when you have plenty of currency.
- At Level 70 – Storm Cells are used to upgrade Tier 2 raid quality gear. Storm Cells drop in the Tier 2 raid, or you can buy one a week using the tier 2 raid currency, Legion Datagrams.
- While Levelling – You can get free essences by just closing rifts and killing planar creatures. You can buy essences with planarite/void stones for level 0-50 from vendors in the main quest hubs/cities. When over level 50 you can buy them using the rift store, but there should be no need to.
- At Level 70 – Your best in slot essences will come from Raid Rifts in VP. Before that, you can equip essences from any high level rift.
- While Levelling – There is a cheap 6 slot essence available in the store for 7500 planarite. You can farm planarite pretty quickly in intrepid IA (look out for the invasion quests)
- At Level 70 – The best in slot Focus is available from the store once you have your Notoriety with Planar Defence Force at revered. It is purchased with Tower Fragments (expert level currency) and Celestial Remnants (open world currency).
- Note: You will have a focus that has 2 greater slots and 4 lesser slots. You can put lessers in the greater slots so you wear 6 lessers, unless you happen to get that one in a million BIS greater drop!
- While Levelling – You will get a few free runes from the Ascended Trove while levelling, these will be very quickly thrown away as you replace the items they were attached to. You dont really need to bother with runes at all while levelling.
- At Level 70 – The best in slot rune recipes are available to buy with craft marks from the store in the crafting section, these are then crafted by runecrafters.
Planar Fragments –
- While Levelling – You wont see fragments til you start questing in the Celestial Lands (level 65-70 area). As you level from 65-70 you can put the fragments you loot into your slot, but dont bother to upgrade them.
- At Level 70 – Once you start doing group content at level 70 you will loot better and better frags which you can then upgrade to try to get decent stats. You can buy fragment coffers in the store for Tower Fragments, some of them can give good frags, this is all explained in the level 70 gear guide.
- While Levelling – You dont need to worry about seals at all while levelling.
- At Level 70 – You can buy the best in slot seal from summerfest or get a decent one from Queens Foci, you can find the vendor at /setwaypoint 4789 4530 – The PVP seal available in the store is nice for a fresh level 70.
Other things you will find on the store
There are many many items on the store, most of which are available to buy with in game currencies. Pretty much every open world vendor in the game has had their stock added to the Rift Store. This will save you an awful lot of travelling time!
- The main page of the store.
- Collect daily, weekly and loyalty rewards in the top right.
- New items or sale items may be highlighted here.
Limited Time Sale —
- A selection of items from various areas of the store that are on sale (reduced price) for a limited time.
Affinity Rewards —
- Affinity is earned by logging in each day as a patron (5 for the first log in of the day and then 1 per hour for 3 hours bring a total of 8 per day).
- You can also collect Affinity from day 7 of the rewards calendar.
- Here is where you will find the Opie mount, a very useful mount with special abilities, you should buy this asap.
- Bought with real money or credits.
- Various Mount packs with added extras.
- The Ascended Essentials pack.
- You can purchase the soul packs individually here, but it will be much more beneficial to save up the Ascended Essentials pack.
Prize Ticket Rewards —
- Prize tickets are looted from lockboxes (supply crates).
- As a patron you currently get one free lockbox per week, you can also get some extra ones from battle pass.
- There is a 40 and 32 slot bag to buy which are very useful.
- You can also buy a single Tenebrean Engine per week, which is used to upgrade LFR and T1 raid gear. Not really worth the purchase as you will outgrow that gear very quickly! Better to save your prize tickets for nice mounts/costume.
- All sorts of useful items can be found here.
- Items such as Planar Essence removers, Rune Unsocketers, and Underwater Mount Training.
- Guild rally scrolls/banners can also be bought here, so if you run out of scrolls you can quickly buy some.
- Vials to increase your loot XP, Tokens, Favor etc.
- Note: The Boost section has a sub-section on the left called Notoriety, it looks a bit like a heading, but is actually a clickable tab, this is where you exchange your sigils of valor for notoriety.
Lock Boxes —
- Here you will find the latest Lock Box to ignore. (cos we all hate lock boxes and don’t want to encourage gaming companies to make more of them)
- The Keys and Temporal Aligners that you can see here are for discontinued lock boxes from years ago, if you happen to have some in your bags and feel like buying a key to open it, don’t bother, there really is nothing useful in them.
- The equipment section is explained above, safe to say there is never any need to spend credits in this section, but it is very useful as a ‘one stop shop’ to buy your equipment and upgrade parts with in game currencies.
- This is the section that can bleed you dry! Gorgeous costumes for your character to wear, as well as extra hair styles, skin colours and hair colours.
- Be aware there are thousands of skins available in game that drop for free, these tend to be more traditional chain/leather/plate/cloth skins.
- There are also loads of more stylised skins available during the various world events for world event currencies.
- Your character can look awesome without spending any real money at all, but if you absolutely must have that one special skin then you will likely find it here.
- Various drinks available for plat.
- If you create a decent solo spec then you shouldn’t need these at all.
- Though a mana user may use them to refill mana between fights, especially during raids, you can pretty much always just craft something much cheaper using Survival skill.
- You will loot small bags as you level up through the lower levels (0-50).
- Once you have enough plat you can buy bags crafted by other players (28 slot Empyrean bags or 28 slot Nightmare Touched bags).
- Or you can train up the Outfitter skill and craft them yourself.
- Much bigger bags (32, 36, 40 slots) are available from various sources for credits only.
- There are a couple of big bags available for in game currencies, such as the cosmic bag which requires a craft item from the Fauxmire Boss in the Mind of Madness raid and the Empyrean Knapsack in the store for 4k platinum.
- You will get a free 90% speed mount at level 20 from your ascended trove and a 110% speed mount at level 50.
- The fastest mount speed is 160%, you can get a 160% mount at the end of the Vostigar Peaks Jet Pack questline (level 68-70) for Intel (in game currency)
- You can also loot 160% mounts from Supply Crates, other players will often sell these on for platinum.
- You can buy many mounts directly, either by themselves or as part of a pack containing other items.
- A lot of the mounts are scaling, they will move at the speed of your fastest mount, so you will only have to buy/loot a quick mount once and then you can choose a scaling mount for the looks!
- Pets are pure fluff.
- You will get a lot of different pets as you quest or hunt cheevos. There are hundreds of pets available for in game currencies.
- The only truly useful pet is the Little Shiny pet, this pet will poop artifacts for you! It is earned from the Summerfest event from collecting artifacts for the Pinata Puncher Cheevo.
- You will find hundreds of recipes in the shop for crafting marks and platinum. There is no need to buy any of these with credits, just do your craft dailies to earn the craft marks.
- There are a few recipes that are only available from the class trainers or recipe vendors, make sure you check all the vendors/trainers in game!
- There are a few recipes that are only available for credits, these are completely useless items that you do not need.
- You can also buy all of the Vendor Materials from the store, meaning you don’t have to run around to each vendor while you are crafting.
- There are thousands of dimension items available in game, for all different currencies!
- Some Dimension items, mainly utility items, can only be bought for credits in the premium section, including..
- Dimension Entry Point – change where you spawn when you first enter your dimension
- Forest Mailbox – Place a functioning mailbox inside your dimension
- Bank and Guild Vault – Allows you to access banks within your dimension.
- The other most useful thing you can place in dimension are crafting stations, these cannot be bought! The dimension crafting stations drop randomly from craft rifts.
- A selection of rift lures, planar related items/consumables and zone event lures (fatestones).
- Some of the lures require cheevos or Notoriety to buy, such as the NMR and Great Hunt lures.
- Zone event lures (fatestones) are currently only available for credits, except for the ones you can buy during call to action events.
Open World Vendors
There are a few open world vendors whos goods were never added to the Rift Store. You can place these items on your wish list to make them accessible to you after leaving the vendors location.
Including, but not limited too..
- R23-JK – In Alittu at /setwaypoint 4030 6360 – Sells Planar crafting recipes and gives the weekly craft quests for level 70 players with a craft skill above 510.
- Nothim – In Uttila East at /setwaypoint 3965 3416 – Sells Raid rift lures, Level 70 Trinkets, Boxes of armor for Intel, T2 rings/earrings/neck, Cosmic Trigger and Stellar Trigger. As well as Jet Pack Source Fuel, some pets and a load of dimension items.
- Evora – In Camp Quagmire, Xarth Mire at /setwaypoint 4789 4530 – Sells Level 70 Seal and Fortress Fragments for upgrading it.
- Aleatoria Sendang – In Tempest Bay at /setwaypoint 12975 11460 – Swap some event currencies for tradeable token boxes that you can send to your alts.
For Ascended Powers, including Summon Rescue Medic and Quantum/Omen Sight..
- Defiants In Meridian from ‘Hallam Darad ‘ at /setwaypoint 5941 5274 — In the College of Planar Studies.
- Guardians In Sanctum from ‘Abstaffar the Mysterious ‘ at /setwaypoint 7474 3006 — Inside the Sanctum Tower on the ground floor.
Unstable Cache Anomaly
If you are a returning player then you may have some ‘Unstable Cache Anomaly’ in your bags.
The caches were removed from the game some time ago along with the Planar Stabilizer that was required to open them. The caches dropped a lot in open world activities and the Planar Stabilizer required credits to buy.. this was kinda like forcing lockboxes on people so after much complaining it was removed.
If you have some leftover in your bags, just throw them out, they are not worth trying to open!