Trial Accounts were an account type prior to the release of City of Heroes Freedom that allowed a player to take City of Heroes and/or City of Villains for a test run. They were free and lasted either 10 or 14 days, depending on the source of the Trial Account code. Up until Issue 12, a Trial Account was not limited in what it could do; after Issue 12, there were several restrictions put in place, largely due to RMT spam.
Trial accounts had the following restrictions.
- Could not email other players
- Could not level past 14
- Limited to 50,000 inf
- Could not join global channels
- Chatting restricted to /local, /hc (the Help channel), and /team
- Could not invite players to team (but could join other players' teams)
- Could not join SuperGroups
- Could not create Mission Architect arcs
- Could not interact with Architect Entertainment Stations (but could be invited onto a team that was running MA missions)
Trial Account codes were available from the "Refer a Friend" option in a player's Master Account options. Each player was permitted to give out three of these at a time. They lasted ten days, and if the Trial Account was upgraded to a retail-code account, the person who originated the offer was granted a month of free time added to the end of their subscription.
Trial account codes with a 7-day duration were available anytime at the official free trial website.
Trial account codes were also available from older NCsoft box sets. They came on small pieces of paper with a code on it. These codes lasted 14 days and did not give a free month to the owner of the box set if the account is upgraded to a retail-code account.
Third-party websites sometimes also offered trial account codes. These typically lasted either 14 or 10 days, though vastly more often 14. They did not give a free month to anyone if the account was upgraded to a retail-code account.