Is OpenAI Playground Free?

Welcome to the mesmerizing world of OpenAI Playground. We’re about to dive deep into its cost structure, understand the complex realm of tokens, and answer some burning questions you might have.

Is OpenAI Playground Really Free?

No, using the Playground is equivalent to regular API usage and it comes with associated costs. Only the initial credit of $5 is available for one-time registration.

The OpenAI Playground offers a “pay-as-you-go” model as well. This means that you only need to pay for the services you actually use. This can be a flexible option for users who want to manage their expenses and tailor their usage according to their needs.

Pricing of OpenAI Playground

Let’s break down the pricing of various models you can utilize on the platform.

ModelInput CostOutput Cost
GPT-4 (8K context)$0.03 / 1K tokens$0.06 / 1K tokens
GPT-4 (32K context)$0.06 / 1K tokens$0.12 / 1K tokens

Detailed Pricing of different OpenAI Models

ModelContext/Resolution/TypeTraining CostInput CostOutput Cost
GPT-48K contextN/A$0.03 / 1K tokens$0.06 / 1K tokens
32K contextN/A$0.06 / 1K tokens$0.12 / 1K tokens
GPT-3.5 Turbo4K contextN/A$0.0015 / 1K tokens$0.002 / 1K tokens
16K contextN/A$0.003 / 1K tokens$0.004 / 1K tokens
Fine-tuning Modelsbabbage-002$0.0004 / 1K tokens$0.0016 / 1K tokens$0.0016 / 1K tokens
davinci-002$0.0060 / 1K tokens$0.0120 / 1K tokens$0.0120 / 1K tokens
GPT-3.5 Turbo$0.0080 / 1K tokens$0.0120 / 1K tokens$0.0160 / 1K tokens
Embedding ModelsAda v2N/A$0.0001 / 1K tokensN/A
Base Modelsbabbage-002N/A$0.0004 / 1K tokens
davinci-002N/A$0.0020 / 1K tokensN/A
Image Models1024×1024N/A$0.020 / imageN/A
512×512N/A$0.018 / imageN/A
256×256N/A$0.016 / imageN/A
Audio ModelsWhisperN/A$0.006 / minuteN/A

Note: “N/A” signifies that the respective cost doesn’t apply to that model category or context.

Demystifying Tokens

What exactly are tokens? Tokens can be visualized as pieces of words. When you send an input to the API, it’s segmented into tokens. These aren’t necessarily whole words. For instance, a phrase in English with around 4 characters will be considered one token. Here’s a simpler breakdown:

  • 1 token is roughly 4 characters in English.
  • 1 token is almost equivalent to ¾ words.
  • 100 tokens equate to about 75 words.

For a more vivid representation:

  • The famous quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” consists of 11 tokens.
  • The transcript of the US Declaration of Independence is composed of 1,695 tokens.

Token Limits and Pricing

Each model in the API has its token limit. For instance, if a model has a maximum of 4097 tokens, and your prompt uses 4000 tokens, the remaining available tokens for output are just 97. There are several models, each priced differently based on their capabilities.

Example of Using OpenAI

You can ask the Playground to write you a poem on “spring,” and this is how it will write:

The flowers are about to blossom,

Babies play in their mothers’ bossoms,

Spring is here!

Spring is here!

Time for all of us to cheer!

Try it out, and it is enjoyable! You can choose from a variety of models to operate on.


1. Does it cost money to use OpenAI playground? Is the playground AI free or paid?

No, it’s not free. The usage in the playground corresponds to regular API usage, and charges apply based on token consumption.

2. Which version of OpenAI is free?

While OpenAI offers initial credits to experiment, none of the versions are entirely free. Charges apply post-consumption of the initial credits.

3. Is there a limit for OpenAI?

Yes, depending on the model you’re using, there’s a token limit for each request. For example, some models might have a maximum of 4097 tokens per request.

4. How long can I use OpenAI for free?

The extent of usage can vary widely based on individual interactions and usage patterns. Some users have reported reaching their usage limits within a very short period, even as little as a day. Monitoring your usage through the provided dashboard and staying aware of your billing settings is essential to manage your usage effectively.


In conclusion, OpenAI Playground is a versatile platform for AI enthusiasts and professionals alike. With an understanding of its pricing and token system, users can make the most of its capabilities. Happy experimenting!

Learn more about OpenAI here: How Does OpenAI Make Money?