Battle passes in video games are getting more popular with each passing year, so it would be a good decision to finally familiarize yourself with the term if you’re not yet sure how it works and what it does.

Read on and you’ll learn what is battle pass and why you should – or should not – care.

1. Introduction: Overview of Battle Passes

The battle pass is one of the possible ways for developers to monetize their games. It can often be found in free-to-play titles, but some paid games are also known to be utilizing the battle pass concept. Battle passes are designed to provide players with additional resources or other in-game valuables to help them progress in the game and develop their accounts.

You may be wondering what was the first game to have a battle pass, and, surprisingly, it was none other than DotA 2 from 2013. The introduction of battle passes marked an important milestone in the history of game monetization strategies, which were earlier dominated by loot boxes and subscription systems.

What makes battle passes unique, when compared to other monetization models, such as loot boxes, subscriptions, or microtransactions, is the fact that battle pass also serves as a player retention system, encouraging players to keep playing to get all the rewards from the current battle pass.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

2. How a Battle Pass Works

Battle passes may come under different names, depending on the game, but they work more or less the same in most of the games. Whether it’s a battle pass, season pass, or something entirely different, the purpose of the pass is to give you additional items in the game as a reward for being an active player.

Battle passes can be either free or paid. The paid ones usually contain better rewards, but the core idea behind both types remains the same – you have to complete various objectives in order to level up your pass, and with each earned battle pass level you get extra stuff. Usually, it’s not possible to instantly complete the entire battle pass, and even if it is – by paying money, for example – it’s usually very costly and not worth it. You can complete the battle pass by simply playing the game regularly, and that’s also a win for the developers, as they keep you hooked.

Fortnite Battle Pass
Fortnite Battle Pass

Battle passes often revolve around FOMO, or fear of missing out, to encourage players to either pay or play more – they have a limited duration, and it’s not unusual for developers to put some extra stuff in battle pass, that’s either hard or straight up impossible to obtain in the game by any other means. So, if you’re not active, you risk missing the battle pass and losing some cool rewards you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.

3. Benefits of a Battle Pass

Rewards in battle passes can take various shapes and forms, from in-game currency and extra resources to upgrade different things on your account, to unique skins, boosts, and rewards that are impossible to get through any other means. You can sometimes even get access to extra content, which will improve your gameplay experience by providing you with additional stuff to play around with.

As a rule of thumb, battle passes usually provide the best bang for your buck, so if you want to spend just a bit of money on a video game, a battle pass should be considered one of the top priorities. If you have enough time to max out the rewards by playing the game, that is.

4. Examples of Battle Passes in Popular Games

Battle passes are available in a variety of popular video games. Among the best games with battle pass systems, you will find titles such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Destiny 2, just to name a few – and they all work just as you’d expect. There are free battle passes, available right from the start and paid ones that need to be unlocked by paying. Once unlocked, you can start grinding your way through battle pass levels and grab all those sweet rewards. Once done, you’ll just have to wait for a new season to arrive and you’ll be able to repeat the process again and again, getting more and more unique loot as you go.

5. Tips for Getting the Most Out of Battle Passes

Battle passes provide incredible value, but they also lock you in the game. You must keep playing to earn all the rewards, and you certainly don’t want to stop in the middle of a paid battle pass, as that’s simply wasting the money you’ve already spent. With that in mind, before getting a battle pass, you should ask yourself if you have enough time and will to play the game to max out the pass – because only then you’ll be able to get the full value of your purchase.

It would be best to organize your schedule and play regularly, but it’s also important to strike a balance between playing and not playing, to not get burnt out. Video games are meant to be your source of entertainment, not your second job. Setting some goals could help you to combat routine and boredom, so make sure to do that.

6. Conclusion: The Future of Battle Passes

Although thanks to numerous pros of battle pass that can make them look like the future of monetization systems, there are also some cons to them, making it difficult to predict what the future holds for such models. The biggest issue is that if one day all games switch to battle pass, you’ll be unable to follow and complete them all. You will be forced to focus on just a few, which can induce FOMO in other games you may be playing.

It’s a similar story to subscription services – paying $10 a month to one company is not a big deal, but it can quickly reach $200 a month if you want to stay up to date with numerous different services.