Star Citizen is an expansive spacefaring MMO, and unlike many of its contemporaries, it takes 45 USD even to begin playing. Luckily for people who want to give the game a shot but don’t want to commit to spending that much money, the game is temporarily free on certain occasions, called “Free Fly Events.”
These events mainly occur whenever the game gets a significant update or the developers want to test out some new infrastructure and increase the player count as much as possible. While there is no definite way to tell when a Free Fly Event will happen, there are many ways to be notified about one going on or predict when it will happen.
A Free Fly event occurs once every few months, usually coinciding with updates and events. You can sign up for Star Citizen for free and opt-in to receive emails for a guaranteed notification of these events occurring.
How do Free Fly Events Work?
Every so often, the Star Citizen team will decide to make the game free to play, and anyone with an account can join and play the game. This means the online experience may be worse than usual since the servers will be experiencing more stress than expected, and areas will be way more crowded than they otherwise would be.
When one is going on, you can log in or sign up at https://robertsspaceindustries.com/enlist?referral=STAR-SFVL-W7BT for free, then visit https://robertsspaceindustries.com/foundation-festival#/careers/about (or the equivalent page for whatever event is currently ongoing) and click Access Free Fly.
You get a selection of ships to fly during the Free Fly Event; for example, in the July 2023 event, you get a selection of 12 different ships and an extra STV with neon green paint if you buy at least $40 worth of content during the Free Fly, which is conveniently the same price as the Aurora Starter pack.
After this, visit https://robertsspaceindustries.com/download to download the installer for the game, then sign in on the installer, and you can launch the game and play for free. Once the Free Fly event is over, you’ll either need to wait for the next one to play again or buy one of the ships in-game to continue playing forever.
Once the next one rolls around, if you’d like to play again, you’ll have to make a new account to participate, and you cannot carry over your progress. This encourages you to buy the game to continue where you left off or reset every few months with your free accounts; either way, you can keep playing after it ends.
When is a Free Fly Event Happening?
To be clear, nobody knows for sure when the next free fly is going to happen. We can predict the next using the context of previous Free Fly events and knowing when certain in-game events that might correlate with one are going on. One is going on from 7/6/23 to 7/17/23, so that’s an excellent place to start.
The easiest way to check if a Free Fly is going on is by visiting the website at https://www.joinstarcitizen.com/free-fly. This website will tell you if one is currently happening, but won’t inform you of any future events, even if they’re only a day or two away, so check back here often to be sure.
You can also turn on notifications whenever you sign up. You need to sign up to play anyways, and doing so is entirely free, so this will give you some useless notifications in your emails and tell you as soon as a new Free Fly event is going on. While these methods tell you when one is happening, predicting the next is more arduous.
You’d think some record of when each Free Fly event happened might exist, but it doesn’t, and I had to dig for quite a bit of this info. In reverse chronological order, we’ve had Free Fly events in July 2023, May 2023, April 2023, November 2022, and July 2022. Before this, it was consistently annual, but nowadays, it goes every 1-5 months.
I’d expect a new one around every two months, maybe more or less, depending on the frequency of events or how much the devs want to stress test their servers.
I’d predict one in September, November, and December, as well as plenty more throughout 2024 and beyond. There’s no way to say for sure, so be vigilant since these only go for a week or two.
There may come a time when there’s another significant drought between Free Fly Events, like last year when there were only three the entire year.
This usually happens because they can’t afford the load on their servers, which is unlikely to occur after the previous few events, or they just haven’t had a reason to do one, like a stress test or in-game event.
Question: When is the Next Free Fly Event in Star Citizen?
Answer: Free Fly events coincide with any significant update or event the game celebrates and usually occur every month or two.
Question: How do I Play Star Citizen for Free?
Answer: By joining during a Free Fly event, you’ll get a bunch of ships for a week or two and a free game trial.
Question: How do I Participate in a Free Fly Event in Star Citizen?
Answer: Creating an account during the event with the referral code given on the website will automatically give you free access.
Star Citizen Fly Free Guide: Conclusion
Free Fly Events might have a bit of a lesser experience overall than standard Star Citizen gameplay, but they give you a chance to try the game out before you commit any money. The referral code provided when you sign up during a Free Fly event is also a bonus, so if you decide to purchase the game, you’ll get something extra on top of your purchase.
Star Citizen is a pretty divisive game, having a meager 2.8 Metacritic score and not the best overall reception, so Free Fly events are a great way to see if it’s a game for you since it’s so incredibly polarizing. Many people enjoy Star Citizen and actively play it, so it’s never the wrong time to give the game a shot.