Best purchase plan for Clip Studio Paint

There are many ways to buy Clip Studio Paint that it can be confusing.

Here are my thoughts on the various plans available.

Bottom line
If you want the latest versions anytime, get the monthly or annual subscription. One time purchases only get stability updates and not feature updates. E.g. You get v2.0.1 and not v2.1. At the time of this review, CSP EX monthly subscription is not available.

Clip Studio Paint EX vs PRO

CSP PRO is the standard version and is priced at US $49.99

CSP EX is the version EXtra features. It has all the PRO features and has support for multi-page projects and unlimited frames for professional animation. The price of CSP EX is US $219.99.


You can zoom in to this table to compare the main features. You can find the full list of features on CSP website.

If you're just drawing single piece illustrations, go with CSP PRO.

If you're creating comic books, multi-page projects or animation, go with CSP EX.

One-time purchase vs monthly subscription

One-time purchase is only available for Mac and Windows.

Monthly subscription is available for Mac, Windows, iPad, IPhone and Android.

Current version of CSP as of March 2023 is version 2.0. If you have version 1, there upgrade discounts.

There does not seem to be a monthly subscription plan for CSP EX.

One time purchase

One-time purchase CSP PRO CSP EX
New license US $49.99 US $219.99
Upgrade discount from v1 to v2 US $19.99 (saves $30.00) US $56.99 (saves $162.01)

Here are three important things to note:

  1. After upgrade, you will only have one license. You cannot keep both v1 and v2 licenses with the upgrade plan.
  2. Files created by CSP v2 cannot be opened by CSP v1.
  3. You only get stability upgrades but not features upgraded after v2. E.g. You will not get v2.1, v2.2 so on

Monthly subscription - For those who want latest versions
Monthly subscription for CSP PRO is US $0.99/month or US $11.88/year.

Monthly subscription always get the latest versions, e.g. v2.1, v2.2 and so on. The cost of four years of subscription at US $47.52 is near the one-time new license purchase of US $49.99.

The main downside with subscription is if you stop paying, you won't be able to open your CSP files. If CSP is your main art software, you're pretty much locked into subscription. It is possible to buy only one month of subscription. This means if you do need to open a CSP file and you don't have the app, you can buy usage for one month.

The monthly subscription plan is actually quite worth the money because US $11.88/year is not that expensive for a professional illustration app.

Update pass (annual subscription)

The update pass is for those who have CSP v1 perpetual license and want to update to v2 and newer versions. Prices are listed below:

CSP PRO CSP EX
US $9.99/year US $28.99/year

The important thing to note is when you stop paying for the annual license, your CSP license will go back to v1.x

Other upgrades (one-time purchase)

Upgrades Price
PRO v1 to EX v2 US $188.99
Debut v1 to PRO v2 $44.99
PRO v2 to EX v2 US $169

12-month license (one-time purchase)

The last option is the 12-month license that expire after a year.

CSP PRO CSP EX
US $24.99 US 71.99

Since the license is valid for only 1 year, this license is more suitable for projects that will complete within a period of time.

Once the license expires, you'll have to get a new license which will also give you access to the latest version of the software.

There's already a monthly subscription of CSP PRO for US $0.99/month or $11.88/year so it doesn't make sense to get this 12-month license for CSP PRO.

Price plans for v1 (before to v2 launch)

Below are the past price plans for CSP v1 before CSP v2 was launched.

For CSP EX

Plans Number of devices Monthly payment Annual payment
Single-device One device (Windows / macOS / iPad / iPhone / Galaxy / Android / Chromebook) US $8.99 US $71.99 (save 33%)
Dual-device plan Two devices (Windows / macOS / iPad / iPhone / Galaxy / Android / Chromebook) US $12.49 US $99.99 (save 33%)
Premium plan Four devices (Windows / macOS / iPad / iPhone / Galaxy / Android / Chromebook) US $14.99 US $117.99 (save 34%)
Smartphone plan One smartphone device (iPhone / Galaxy / Android) US $2.49 US $16.99 (save 43%)

For CSP PRO

Plans Number of devices Monthly payment Annual payment
Single-device One device (Windows / macOS / iPad / iPhone / Galaxy / Android / Chromebook) US $4.49 US $24.99 (save 53%)
Dual-device plan Two devices (Windows / macOS / iPad / iPhone / Galaxy / Android / Chromebook) US $7.49 US $33.99 (save 62%)
Premium plan Four devices (Windows / macOS / iPad / iPhone / Galaxy / Android / Chromebook) US 8.99 US $53.99 (save 50%)
Smartphone plan One smartphone device (iPhone / Galaxy / Android) US $0.99 US $6.49 (save 45%)

If you look at the old plans, you will see that the subscription for CSP PRO has actually dropped from US $4.49 to $0.99/month or $24.99 to $11.88/year. That's quite a substantial drop in pricing.

That also suggests to me that CSP may increase the price in the future.

I'm personally using the $53.99/year plan for four devices.

IMPORTANT note on CSP license

The CSP license is locked to the device with activation.

CSP license is unlike Adobe where it's tied to your username and password. With Adobe, signing in from one device will sign you out from another..

It is possible to transfer the license to other devices but there is a limited (unknown) number of times you can switch licenses. After you use up the limited number of license transfers, your license is void and you have to contact CSP to ask if they can restore your license.

This is a problem if you switch or upgrade your devices often. E.g. As I review many tech products, I always deactivate old devices and move the license to new devices. I've had my license void before.

Help me out

If you want to buy Clip Studio Paint, consider using this affiliate link to make your purchase to support my blog.

Thank you for your hard work and all the options and information for this. I put this in my son's name (Josiah Fortney) because I plan on purchasing either the pro version or the ex version, on his birthday, to use on his Samsung Galaxy S6 Ultra tablet. I am sure he will appreciate all the useful information you offer. Thanks again! Diann Harvey

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