Diablo 4 is free on Xbox this weekend, but there's a catch

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • From now until Oct. 22, 11:59 p.m. PT / Oct. 23, 2:59 a.m. ET., all Xbox users can play Diablo 4 for free.
  • However, your playtime is limited to 10 hours during this free weekend, meaning you won't be able to fully play through the game's campaign and access any of Season 2's content unless you buy the full game.
  • This promotion comes just a week after Microsoft's officially completed its Activision Blizzard merger deal.
  • It also lines up with the arrival of the next Xbox Free Play Days event, during which Game Pass and Game Pass Core subscribers can play NBA 2K24, Lawn Mower Simulator, and Hokko Life for free — and for an unlimited amount of time — until Oct. 22, 11:59 p.m. PT / Oct. 23, 2:59 a.m. ET.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have announced that from now until Oct. 22, 11:59 p.m. PT / Oct. 23, 2:59 a.m. ET., Diablo 4 is free to play for all Xbox users. This means that even if you don't have a subscription to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Core services, you'll be able to jump into Blizzard's latest ARPG and try it out this weekend. This is quite an exciting opportunity, as Diablo 4 is arguably one of 2023's best Xbox games...but there is a catch.

Indeed, while Diablo 4 is playable on Xbox for free for the next few days, your playtime during this weekend is limited to 10 hours. As a result, you'll need to buy the full game if you want to play more than this. This will no doubt disappoint players that were hoping to enjoy any of Diablo 4's Season of Blood or grind through its 30-35 hour campaign, but at least they'll have the chance to play through a good chunk of it and get a taste of what awaits them in the full experience.

Notably, this promotion comes just a week after Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal for Xbox was officially finalized. Microsoft now owns Blizzard franchises like Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, along with Activision properties such as Call of Duty. As a result, we wouldn't be surprised to see Diablo 4 come to Xbox Game Pass in the future, though Activision Blizzard says there aren't plans for that to happen in 2023.

Want to give Diablo 4 a try? Play it for up to 10 hours for free this weekend on Xbox. (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

The announcement came alongside the reveal of three other games that Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Core subscribers can enjoy for free until the end of the weekend. These include 2K's new basketball simulation title NBA 2K24, Lawn Mowing Simulator (I wonder if you can guess what it's about), and the Animal Crossing-style community life sim Hokko Life

These games do not have a playtime limit like Diablo 4 does, so you can play them as much as you want until Oct. 22 rolls around. However, as their availability this weekend is tied to Microsoft's Xbox Free Play Days event, you'll need to be subscribed to Game Pass or Game Pass Core to access them.

Diablo 4 is out now and is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PC, PS5, and PS4. It's one of the best Xbox games for fans of dungeon crawlers and hack-and-slash combat, and we've been having an absolute blast with it since launch. Also, heads up: you can get Diablo 4 battle passes for free with Microsoft Rewards. Keep that in mind if you're picking up the game!

Diablo 4: Ultimate Edition

Diablo 4: Ultimate Edition

The Ultimate Sacrifice from your wallet to our Blessed Mother, the Ultimate Edition of Diablo 4 comes with a bunch of cosmetics, the Premium Battle Pass and 20 tier skips for you to enjoy.

Buy on:  Xbox | PC (Battle.net)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • NoLifeDGenerate
    Not interested as long as they insist on requiring their stupid publisher accounts. The only account I should need on Xbox is my Xbox account.