F2PMeter: Is DarkOrbit Reloaded Truly Free to Play?

 

Bigpoint’s free to play browser based space shooter, DarkOrbit Reloaded, allows players to captain their own ship, battle through story focused missions, acquire resources to craft and purchase upgrades and customize their ship to best suit their playstyle for PVE and PVP. Whilst the developers say the game is free, let’s put the game into our F2PMeter to see just how free it truly is.
Does the game require an initial purchase?

'No'

Dark Orbit Reloaded is provided for free without the need of any payment.
Does the game require any continued paid subscription?

'No (but...)' takes away 10%

The game doesn’t have a required subscription; however, it does have an optional premium subscription. With premium subscription player have perks on their ship, PRT and drone repairs, extra action bars, automatic resource refining, quick logout, 5% off Uridium (premium currency) items and many more things.
Does the game require spending money on DLC packs or expansions?

'No'

The game’s core content and subsequent expansions/DLC are provided free of charge.
Does the game support micro-transactions? Can anything be purchased in-game using real world money?

'Yes' takes away 5%

Most powerful items in the game are bought with Uridium, which is earned whilst playing, but can be bought with cash as well to give quicker access to it; effectively making every item in the game purchasable with money. Various perk packs can be bought using real money to provide other benefits such as a “Shield Pack” in various sizes that grant powerful shield generators at a huge in-game discount.
Do any of the micro-transactions give players an advantages?

'Yes (but...)' takes away 10%

Being able to buy game currency allows anyone to buy whatever ship, upgrades, resources and more that they want; as well as being able to get it much faster than other players. The Shield Packs provide an elite shield giving an even greater advantage in PVE or PVP, however, there are no items purchasable with cash that can’t be acquired through gameplay.
Is the user interface customization restricted to paid options?

'No'

The UI cannot be customized.
Does the game give access to all available classes and/or races?

'Yes'

Races are not applicable to this game but all types of ships are available to free players.
Does the game require have limitations to how the 'Auction House' /Market/Trade system is accessed?

'No'

There aren’t restrictions on these types of features for free accounts.
Are personal inventory and/or bank slots limited at all?

'Yes' takes away 10%

Free accounts get a more limited cargo space, with paying premium users gaining an extra 500 units.
Are all dungeons and zones accessible without purchases?

'Yes'

No areas in the game are restricted for free to play users.
Does the game restrict high endgame content (PVE, Raids or PvP)?

'No'

End-game content can be accessed by any type of account.
Can the game be fully enjoyed without ever having to spend a ‘penny’?

'Yes' adds 10%

Although the paid for elements (Start Pack, Advantage Pack, Shield Pack) do provide an advantage, for the most part these are things that CAN be acquired in the game just by playing. However, the biggest concern for free to play vs premium imbalance is premium players can reload rockets 50% faster; in PVP this different can be more impactful than may initially seem.
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