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Feature Article

Star Wars Battlefront 2's Microtransactions Are A Real Problem; Here's What $100 Does To Progression

Breaking down Battlefront II loot crates.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Much of the discussion about Star Wars Battlefront II, particularly since its beta, has centered around the game's microtransactions. While EA has made a welcome change in giving away all gameplay content--like the upcoming Last Jedi characters and maps--for free, it's compensated by introducing a loot crate system. But whereas this can be relatively innocuous in other games, such as Overwatch, where you're only obtaining skins and cosmetics, Battlefront II's crates have a meaningful impact on gameplay. [Update: Microtransactions have been removed entirely from Battlefront II for the time being.]

While the system wasn't active during the beta, it did lead to an uproar from fans, causing some concessions from developer DICE. The studio announced that it was making changes to Battlefront II crates, such as preventing players from earning high-tier Star Cards from loot crates or being able to equip them without first reaching a certain level. But that solution left open the door for players to purchase loot crates and craft Epic-level Star Cards that can be used once they've put in enough time with the game. Essentially, that means players can pay for an in-game performance boost, just with a temporary roadblock. And it also does nothing to prevent players from buying loot crates to use lesser (but still beneficial) Star Cards right out of the gate. These cards can be obtained by playing, but those who pay will have an edge until you can put in a substantial amount of time.

In the video above, we provide a comprehensive breakdown of the different currencies, what kind of items and Star Cards are available, and what $90 (or $100, if you don't have the EA/Origin Access discount) puts in your hands. It's a complex system, but one you'll likely want to understand before diving into the game--or deciding whether it's worth a purchase.

Battlefront II officially releases on November 17, but it's currently playable for EA and Origin Access members on Xbox One and PC, respectively. That trial provides the full multiplayer component and the first three single-player missions, though you're limited to a total of 10 hours of gameplay. Pre-ordering the Deluxe edition gets you complete access on November 14, including on PS4. You can read more in our Battlefront II multiplayer pre-review.

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Chris Pereira

Chris Pereira is GameSpot's engagement editor. He likes Twin Peaks, The X-Files (before it was bad), and serial commas.
Star Wars Battlefront II

Star Wars Battlefront II

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Avatar image for jadedjarl

I'm curious how you guys would compare this mechanic to DICE's other properties, namely the Battlefield series. I had similar frustration described in this video with BF4.

Avatar image for ProjektInsanity

I actually love that at least SOME gamers are finally waking up to this garbage. I have no problem supporting substantive DLC, where developers put extra time and resources into enhancing a game and extending the universe. The Witcher Blood and Wine expansion is the perfect example of how to do this correctly.

This utter bullshit about ripping the soul from games and turning them into cheap gambling simulators for children is cancer. Thankfully, there are so many quality games out there now that I can easily ignore trash like this. Games like Breath of the Wild, Horizon, Nioh, and the like can have my money. I refuse to support games like this, regardless of how good they are.

Support this trash and you're moving us all towards a future where every "game" we purchase is just a stripped down hub, and levels, characters, and items are all locked away like some cheap FTP MMO. No thanks.

Avatar image for gww101

Star cards can be unlocked with crates, purchased in the store with in game points or money. Crates will never drop purple (highest quality) star cards.

Star cards can also be unlocked and crafted by just playing the game and leveling up.

It's not confusing. Y'all are just jumping on the bad press train for a good game, with lots of content, and a free season pass.

If you feel it is pay to win, you have no clue how easy it is to get upgrades. You will never be beaten simply because they bought crates and you didn't.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a26032528a9b

@gww101: Shill.

Avatar image for Argle

I watched a streamer get a $50 donation, with the donor requesting to spend it all on crates just to see what happens. He got 2 blue cards (are there purple? I dunno) and about 10 greens, with enough crafting points (or whatever the hell they're called) to craft....maybe a couple things. Actual game time to earn those crates was likely dozens, as the streamer said he was getting about 1 crate every 1-1.5 hour. Not to mention the convoluted upgrade system, locked heroes, and every class getting a whopping 4 weapons to choose from.

So, you can spend dozens and dozens of hours to unlock....not a whole lot. Or you can blow $200-300+, since apparently $50-100 doesn't actually get you a whole lot. Or you can do what every sane person and non-reviewer is doing, and not buy this game. What a sh*tshow.

Avatar image for DantheMan9856

aside from purchasing crystals or whatever, and pay to play/win, this game is a convoluted mess of upgrades and this and that. You purchase crystals to trade in for loot boxes, loot boxes can give you credits, you can then use credits to purchase more boxes, boxes can give you crafting parts to make star cards or weapon is just a mess of what the heck am i looking at? It makes me not care because there is just so much crap going on, why can't I just unlock a gun and play? Geez.

Avatar image for Sindroid

EA is a bad last-stage cancer in the game industry. Nothing but greed, ruined franchises and closed studios lies behind them..

Avatar image for DETfaninATL

After reading this and the early reviews, I'm glad I cancelled my pre-order for this and shifted it over to God Of War.......

Avatar image for sourcevirus

Didn't buy Shadow of War, it was supposed to be a day one purchase for me until the microtransaction fiasco. Same here for Battlefront 2, it was supposed to be a day 1 purchase but not anymore. I'm not touching this game even if it goes on sale. Enough is enough

Avatar image for gww101

@sourcevirus: You realize nothing is kept from you if you don't pay, right?

If you're doing it on principle, fine, but you just missed out on two fun games because they offer, not require, offer loot crates.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b0f8778f4162

You opened the box. We came.

Avatar image for i77ogical

Loooooong winded video. Try scripting it next time. You've made a convoluted subject even more annoying and confusing. Fail.

Avatar image for colbster

I heard it costs money to be Darth Vader??

Avatar image for DantheMan9856

@colbster: doesn't cost money, but you use the in game points you earn in game. Like battlefront I, you would use the credit points to buy a star card. The problem was you would have to play for about 40 hours or pay $200 + to get him because the credit price was around 60,000. They since lowered the credit price to around 15,000.

Avatar image for vasilas43

My black vote to this game. EA is definately searching for idiots to milk

Avatar image for tsunami2311

EA went full steam ahead with micro transactions EA is more about how much they can milk people with minimal effort

Avatar image for guudgidga

If you buy this game, you are objectively an idiot and a detriment to human decency.

Avatar image for TillMaster

Yay!!! Star wars BF II comes out next year (for me) when its 8 $ !!! JUST LIKE THE FIRST ONE ..... see ya next year ... my gaming backlog is too HUGE to run out and fall for all these new age game scams ... (fires up n64)

Avatar image for nightshade5550

Seeing EA won the worst company in the world award on several occasions ( not lying, look it up), you would think people would stop buying poorly thrown together games that have shiny cinematics and force you to pay to win or even be able to compete at all with some 13 year old kid who has unlimited funds from their parents bank account. You all fall for the same scam year after year, game after game. It's really sad.

Avatar image for f1r3starter

Man this sucks! The game looks like fun. But getting my ass kicked by someone who just bought their way to glory sounds like no fun at all :-(

Avatar image for NinjaGaz

I just checked the pricing out on PC and its £54.99 for the standard and £69.99 for a "deluxe" edition with various in-game advantages...

Graphically, it looks great and could be fun, but it's definitely going to be pay to win. EA are awful for their money grabbing tactics.

Avatar image for rcontini

Done with EA now, this is the final straw. Not going anywhere near this. EA have upset me so much over the last few years I've even stopped buying FIFA after 2 decades. You hear that EA? 20 + years of me buying your sports franchises and other games of all descriptions but I am done with you thieving swines. (just don't tell my inner child I turned down a game where you can be Darth Vader!)

Avatar image for sakaixx

Finally something tangible to boycott EA.

Avatar image for PinchySkree

This is what they wanted to do to C & C Generals 2

Avatar image for seven7swords

The game is probably well made and DICE are great developers. But EA can burn in hell and this company needs to be liquidated and destroyed.

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@seven7swords: Yeah i am sure the guys at Dice would actually like to play a decent game and probably do have internal codes built in to circumvent all this crap :)

Avatar image for DustbusterGF

So Dumb

Give EA the rights to make a Star Trek game and they will make a shooter...


Avatar image for deviltaz35

Why can't they just make a decent bloody game without all this shit?

Avatar image for soltar

@deviltaz35: because $$$$$$$$

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@soltar: meh lol . I'll stick to Evil Within 2 on the X. Just started it last night and it is bloody brilliant. Had to give Hitman a rest , screwed up royally and i had forgotten to save my progress lol

Avatar image for soltar

@deviltaz35: currently playing Divinity Original Sin. Good game no loot crates, no DLC.

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@soltar: I have that on PC , great game. No X enhancement for that as yet though?

You playing 1 or 2?

Avatar image for soltar

@deviltaz35: just started playing through 1, but already looking forward to 2 and playing as an undead.

Avatar image for dhaynes25

I don't care about micro transactions as long as i can earn the items. I am playing Assassin's Creed Origins and have not bought one micro transaction. I will play BF 2 for the single player and will not buy not one single micro transaction.

Avatar image for deactivated-5aafce418120b

@dhaynes25: the single player is 4 hours long approx and it can take hours and hours to unlock the heroes. some people just haven't got the time. EA are c**ts.

Avatar image for rcontini

@dhaynes25: neither have I, but on AC I'm not suffering against other players who have.

Avatar image for livedreamplay

@dhaynes25: When the game flows naturally with or without you having to use microtransactions, like in Overwatch, or Assassin's Creed, then it's not an issue. When your prograssion is hindered by those microtransactions, like in BF2, then it's an issue.

Avatar image for Shirotakahahshi

@livedreamplay: How can you make such a claim? Did you play the game? If so, where and how were you "hindered"?

Avatar image for sargentpsgamer

@Shirotakahahshi: The game has been out for a week on Access and is out for Deluxe edition. It's very easy to see he/she is right.

Avatar image for livedreamplay

@Shirotakahahshi: You think everyone that's explaining how the progression mechanics are is lying? Every single reviewer is lying and it's actually a completely different and fair system? Come on... open your eyes...

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@dhaynes25: Don't bother SP is only 4 hrs not even worth the effort. IGN explains single player in a fair amount of detail and it's more like a horde mode for the most part with just waves of enemies in pretty locations.

Avatar image for nelson85

LMAO at the EA defeders in here bwhaaaaaa ? that's why things like this will continue ?

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@nelson85: After the crap effort with Need for Speed stuff EA lol . I wouldn't care if Battlefront was 10 out of 10 i wouldn't buy into their business model.

Avatar image for fobbs69

I dont know what you are complaining about. EA is a genuinely caring company who is looking out for the small guy, and Battlefront looks like a game that caters to all players and is extremely balanced and fair...........Oops sorry it looks like i have a knife stuck 4 inches into my skull, just give me one second whilst i pull it out.gerg-5=3-pot=3-g3=gfwfefakjfpkjfpefoewkfp[ewf=====================================================================

Avatar image for esqueejy

Boycottfront II

Avatar image for stuff238

This is the exact same point I made 3 weeks ago on here.

This system is still flawed.

Person 1 puts in 50 hours and reaches level 20.

Person 2 puts in 50 hours and reaches level 20, but he also spent $100 on star cards.

He has an advantage over person 1 because he will have a mega weapon ready the second he hits level 20 while everyone else who doesn’t pay won’t.

Avatar image for ecurl143

There's a real shit storm going down on reddit after one guy said he's paid full price for the game only to find Vader locked in game and only potentially available after something like 40 hours of solid grind. And that's for 1 character. You have to do the same thing again for Luke etc. The reddit thread has been locked now after a record breaking down vote for EA's community manager. I think it was half million + downvotes. It's insane.

Make no mistake though, the game will sell absolutely millions of copies.

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@ecurl143: Only because too many people are fucking idiots and encourage this garbage pardon the french.

There was so much promise back on 360 / PS3 days with great MP games such as Rainbow six series , Even though it's not my cup of tea at least with Overwatch microtransactions are purely cosmetic.

Bring back the amazing MP days from the old consoles and toss all this pretty but vapid shit out the window and run over it with a truck so it never comes back.

People are just beyond mindless muppets buying into this crap. MP gaming will be ruined forever if this nonsense continues to creep into AAA games.

What we get now is no game at all , just a series of levels with a pay structure to unlock the best parts even though they got your money up front to begin with.

Wake up people and realise you are just being taken for a ride by buying this non game.