The Age Of The Battle Pass

Are battle passes a fun grind or a taxing chore?

Fortnite, For Honor, Plants vs Zombies, Vigor, Red Dead Redemption, Destiny, Counter-Strike, Apex Legends and Call of Duty as well as almost every other online game out there has adopted the battle pass system. To some it is a good thing; it adds new content to discover and unlock with each new “season” in the form of map changes and characters.

To others it means more money being spent in a game, a longer grind and a sense of urgency hanging over their heads as these rewards often have a time limit attached. Personally, I like the battle pass system but I’ll admit that it feels like there’s just too many to keep track of since most of the games I play are doing it.

Fortnite season 2

Returning Players

Although the monetization system had been featured in other games, it was made popular by Fortnite in 2018. Epic Games’ approach to the battle pass system has kept players coming back to earn new rewards and spend money on the game. This is good for games and I personally feel this is “games as a service” done right.

Fortnite always trends on social media when a new season is about to drop and each season always has a lot of hype surrounding it. It’s no surprise that other games adopted the formula as well. For Honor has recently added a battle pass to keep players coming back to earn rewards because who doesn’t like getting stuff? Especially, stuff you’ve worked for.

But There Is A Downside…

Time is the death of all men. There is no escaping it. Battle passes are grindy to say the least. I don’t mind a good grind if I really want something (like the Deadpool skin in Fortnite’s current season) but for some people, the grind feels like a chore or a job and that saps the joy out of it.

I’ve felt this too in previous seasons of many of the games I play. And, with so many publishers including such systems in their games, players have to pick and choose which they are going to invest time in, which is always tough and means that there will be a loser somewhere. These passes offer a free progression tree as well as a paid tree but let’s be honest, everyone knows you get more in the paid section.

The battle pass system seems to be spreading like wildfire. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Either way, it looks like it is here to stay. Do you like the battle pass system? Or is it just a chore?