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Is Midjourney free? How much does it cost?


Sagar Choudhury

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Among the available AI image generators, Midjourney generates the most realistic images despite being a small team of just 11 members. But how much would you have to pay to use this incredible tool or is Midjourney free to use it without entering payment information? In this article, you will find everything you need to know about this.

Is Midjourney AI free?

No, Midjourney is not free. It requires user to subscribe to one of their three plans. Midjourney was free in its initial launch time. Anybody that wanted to use Midjourney needed to create an account through Discord, and they could generate 25 images for free. But this was when it was launched almost a year ago, in July 2022.

After the free trial of generating 25 images is complete, the users will see a message saying that an upgrade in the plan is required to keep using Midjourney.

Some users got around it and created multiple Midjourney accounts to continue generating images for free. But under scenarios, 25 images is all that Midjourney offered for free.

But this trial came to an end this year in April 2023. After the release of the latest build(v5.1), Midjourney’s popularity grew tenfold, and there was a lot of talk about it on different platforms. This meant a more significant influx of users joining in for some free images.

But Midjourney’s CEO seized on it and completely removed the trial phase. Anyone willing to use Midjourney now has to pay for every picture.

How much does Midjourney cost?

Midjourney charges $10 a month for their cheapest plan. It currently has three plans: Basic, Standard, and Pro. A higher-priced plan would mean a bigger monthly quota for generating images under Fast Mode.

But even when your allotment for the month is complete, you can still generate as many pictures as you want. You just need to wait in a dynamic online queue for this. This is the Relaxed Mode configuration introduced by the team. 

So irrespective of which plan you choose (other than the base plan), you can generate unlimited images. But the generation speed will only be within minutes if you use the Fast mode to create pictures per your quota. 

For a better understanding, refer to the table below: 

Basic PlanStandard PlanPro Plan
Monthly cost$10$30$60
Annual cost$96$288$576
Fast GPU allowance3.3 hours/ month15 hours/month30 hours/month
Relaxed mode allowance0 minutesUnlimited (Dynamic queue)Unlimited (Dynamic queue)
Private generationsNot availableNot availableAvailable via Stealth mode

Is Midjourney free trial gone?

Midjourney free trial is not available anymore. The central idea behind the free trial was to give new users insights about what the AI tool can do. But the spread of mouth on social media platforms about the tool already did more than the team expected.

That is, new users joining the free trial already knew what Midjourney could do, and a trial plan in such a scenario did seem redundant.

It was also reported that Midjourney’s servers were flooded with new users joining in from anywhere, forcing the team to put the tool under maintenance several times. So that also encouraged the CEO to remove the trial phase further and only make it available to people who paid for it. 

Maintaining an AI tool that heavily relies on extensive GPU usage over the clock would mean extraordinary expenses for the Midjourney team. So the termination of the trial phase was almost inevitable, with the platform growing in popularity daily.

However, we cannot completely disregard the fact that the free trial will never see the light again. When the team launches a new version, we may see the trial version again as a promotional tactic. This was evident when Midjourney 5.1 was released.

 The team knew that the new version was a big jump in terms of development, and to showcase that, the free trial of 25 images came into the picture again, but it only lasted for the initial seven days of the release. 

Midjourney’s Fast vs Relaxed Modes: What’s the Difference?

As you may have noticed in the table above, Standard and Pro Plans get unlimited “Relaxed” hours under the relaxed mode.

As mentioned above, the relaxed mode works like an online dynamic queue that lets users generate images even past their quota if they are willing to wait in queue for their process. Let’s take a detailed look at the differences between the two modes.

Fast Mode:

With the Fast mode, users can generate their images as soon as possible. If a low-quality image is generated, it will be almost seamless. At the same time, a high-resolution image would mean a waiting time of somewhere around a minute.

Overall though, with this mode, the user does not need to wait in any queue with others to get their images. But the downside with this mode is that it comes with a quota.

An additional payment of $4 does get you an additional hour of GPU computing time. So you don’t need to head to the relaxed mode after exhausting the fast mode. You can always pay more to get more Fast mode services.

Relaxed Mode:

With relaxed mode, users can generate unlimited images, which will work on the GPU’s relaxed time. Users can opt for this mode when they exhaust their fast mode quota to generate as many images as possible.

Under this mode, user requests will get sent to a queue; depending on the queue, users will have to wait to get their AI-generated images.

However, it is not that simple either. If you use Midjourney’s Relaxed quite a bit to save on your Fast mode, Midjourney’s dynamic queue will automatically put your priority lower than those that use it less frequently. So the waiting time will keep increasing every time you use this mode.

What are some free alternatives to Midjourney AI?

Now, let’s look at a few alternatives offering similar output but with better pricing plans. These alternatives are not better than Midjourney in every way, though.

There are some things in which Midjourney is superior, while others where the alternatives make more sense.

Depending on your requirement, you can choose the tool that best fits your needs. 

Bing Image Creator: 

Microsoft worked with OpenAI and integrated Dall-E 2 image generator on Bing. You can generate images for free here, but the generation time will get slower every time you use it. To start, you need to get 100 boost credits and continue using them as your preference.

Stable Diffusion Online:

This free tool uses the Stable Diffusion model. The interface here is simple, with few customisation options. But the USP of this tool, for now, is that it is entirely free. The downside is that you must wait a few minutes to generate your images.

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