From today if you want to experience Battleborn’s multiplayer you can do so for free on PS4, PC, and Xbox One, though Gearbox are trying to insist this portion of the game is not free to play. Instead the term free trial is used even though in the multiplayer there is no time limit, level limit, or indeed a limit of base game content. The only thing that you can’t access without paying is the campaign mode, which requires purchasing.
In Gearbox’s own words this is what you have access to:
…a free downloadable experience that grants unlimited access to all competitive multiplayer gameplay modes and maps, without any time limits or level caps.
On top of that a rotating roster of six characters is available and you can level them up completely like you would in the full game. Those who bought Battleborn before this switch will be designated Founders and receive in game loot and credits to use. For some reason though Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford is not pleased with the term free to play.
I guess you do not acknowledge difference between F2P and Free Trial. Difference is real and impactful w/ 1st party dashboards, if not you.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) June 6, 2017
At the moment Steam has Battleborn listed as a free to play title, though you can pay £24.99 to unlock the campaign and unlock all the original 25 characters at once. You can buy the characters individually as well through the free model. On PSN and Xbox Live it is listed as a free demo.
So for all intents and purposes Battleborn is a free to play multiplayer game with micro transactions that allow you to get gear and characters. You literally don’t have to spend a penny to play, unless you want to buy characters or the campaign mode.
Source: Press Release