I've currently got a WoW account that's in "Starter Edition" (or whatever it is they call the free neverending trial, that seems to be the name they use).

I'd like to know what happens if I subscribe and then let my subscription lapse - Can I continue playing with any sub-level-20 characters?

I did do some research, and came across this form the Blizzard FAQ:

"Please note that if a World of Warcraft trial account was previously upgraded to a paid account, it will not revert back to a trial account, even if the paid time is expired."

However, that FAQ page has some other information about Starter Edition accounts that from my experiences is completely wrong, and that portion is the only section that says "trial account" instead of "Starter Edition", so I'm not sure if its up to date.

Is there anyone who knows for sure?

  • I have a frozen account and it didn't revert to anything, but on the other hand, I never had the "starter edition", only a trial. Jul 26, 2011 at 10:11
  • I don't think so. But in any case, why would you subscribe then stop and go back to playing < lvl 20 ?
    – Trefex
    Jul 26, 2011 at 10:43
  • It was changed recently in patches
    – Mentales
    Jul 26, 2011 at 14:59
  • 3
    @Trefex: I'm not entirely convinced the game is worth the purchase cost + $20/month. I can see myself logging in whenever a friend makes a new character and joining them until level 20, though. Of course, I could find the game improves dramatically after level 20 I guess, but my first impression is that its an older, larger, more expensive Guild Wars with a different graphical style, less plot, and dramatically less new players to team up with. I'm looking at only buying WoW, not the expansions, but everyone else is level 85, so I don't know if it'll be much fun if all my friends are 85 =/ Jul 26, 2011 at 23:26
  • If anything Guild Wars is a WoW clone :) But I see where you are coming from. It's a steep price but it's mostly for support, availability and so on the way i see it.
    – Trefex
    Jul 28, 2011 at 10:39

3 Answers 3



Once you account status goes to "Frozen" (expired) you can't go pass the main menu so it doesn't matter if you are under lvl 20 when you cant select that particular character.

What you can do is have 2 WoW accounts (not Battle.net accounts), one is "frozen" and the other is "starter", you will need to create new characters but its purpose is to check updates and chat with people. When you subscribe (unfreeze your main account) the other one will remain "starter".

Now what I don't know is how to add more wow accounts... I have 7 of them name WOW1, WOW2... The problem is I was adding them when it was 10day trial and you had button in Battle.net account "add 10d trial" any you could click it anytime. Try to find something like that.

You could also register another WoW account with different username and pass and then merge use the merge option on your main account.

  • On your Battle.net management page you can add Starter Editions to your hearts content. Aug 25, 2011 at 10:04

After patch 6.1, both answers are no longer valid. An account that has been active will revert to the same privileges as a starter account once the subscription has expired. Blizzard stated that they personally thought it was counterintuitive that someone who has never subscribed can play indefinitely for free, while someone who had a subscription can only play when he's paying for it.

They do get one extra privilege: they can join any guild that they already have a character membering in.

  • 2
    Note that in this circumstance, characters above level 20 cannot be logged into. Jun 11, 2015 at 6:14
  • 2
    @MichaelHampton I assumed that was clear from "same privileges as a starter account".
    – Nzall
    Jun 11, 2015 at 9:42
  • Just trying to make this extra clear. BTW, you can buy and redeem a WoW Token to reactivate your account, from the character selection screen. Oct 2, 2015 at 8:27

Once you upgrade to a full account, you will never be reverted to a trial account with that account. You can, of course, create more trial accounts that have the same limitations, but you'd have to upgrade those ones too to get the full range of gameplay.

When your payment or gametime (in the case of gamecards) runs out and you choose to not renew, your account is "Frozen", meaning you can no longer log into WoW with that account. However, none of your progress or status is lost. The characters effectively still live on the Blizzard servers with all of the progress you've made with them, you simply do not have access to them until you pay for a subscription again. You will no longer be able to play the sub-20 "freebie game" on that account, as that account is no longer flagged as a trial account.

Again, you could create another account for the free content to play when you do not wish to pay for your upgraded account, but the characters will effectively live on different accounts. Whether or not this matters to you is a matter of preference, though it does impact potential future in-game benefits such as Bind on Account items that can be passed to characters on the same account freely, but cannot be given to anyone else.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .