PlayStation Multiplayer is Free This Weekend with Festival of Play

There’s another chance to enjoy the multiplayer portions of your PlayStation games without subscribing to PlayStation Plus this weekend, February 18-19, as the Festival of Play opens online gaming to all.

Although the PS Plus subscription service has become a great deal more complicated recently, the fundamental principle remains: you need to pay for at least the the “Essential” tier — at $59.99 (€59.99/£49.99) for a full year or $8.99 (€7.99/$6.99) per month — to access online multiplayer.

That covers all “full” PlayStation releases, with only free-to-play titles — like Call of Duty Warzone and Fortnite — and some budget releases not having this requirement.

However PlayStation holds events throughout the year that relax this limitation to allow everyone to take part. If you’re yet to try online racing in titles like Gran Turismo 7, F1 22, Need for Speed Unbound, or GRID Legends, that means you’ll be able to race all weekend without a subscription.

The free weekend will run from February 18-19, and although PlayStation hasn’t specified timings yet this is traditionally 0001 through to 2359 in your time zone for almost a full 48 hours of play. You can extend that if you wish by simply changing your system’s time zone although be careful with this if you play Gran Turismo 7 regularly as it will trigger an in-game daily reward issue.

Along with the free play weekend, there’s a whole host of other promotions during the Festival of Play period which actually runs until February 24 — though you’ll need to be a PS Plus subscriber to access all the other activities.

For starters there’s a free, three-hour trial of God of War: Ragnarok that’s already available. This gives you access to the full title for a limited period of time, with any progress you make carrying over should you later purchase the full game.

PS Plus subscribers also get a special “Double Discount” week, with savings on a number of titles. There’s several that might be of interest to racing game fans, with discounts on Assetto Corsa Competizione (which is included in the Extra-tier game catalog) and its DLC, F1 22 Champions Edition, Grid Legends Deluxe, Hot Wheels Unleashed, Need for Speed Unbound, RiMS Racing, and WRC10.

If you’re part of the PlayStation Stars program — which doesn’t require PS Plus — you’ll also have some more bonus items to collect this month, including several keyed to Horizon Forbidden West which arrives to the monthly games collection on February 21.

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