Battle passes have been a common way for game developers to include extra in-game content for players while earning money at the same time. This is something Riot Games has taken to using in League of Legends, but the question now is if Riot’s approach is too cheap or maybe even too greedy compared to other big games.
Battle passes have been used in games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and many other titles. Players who buy these usually get a lot of value for their money, but some games give way more to players than do others.
Just like many other battle passes, the ones in League of Legends can be purchased in the shop during specific events. When unlocked, the battle pass will bring the player exclusive missions that can be completed in-game to gain rewards. The main goal of battle passes is to collect enough tokens to afford a Prestige Edition skin. These skins can be bought in the prestige shop and includes a special gold version of specific skins from the different major events throughout the year.
Riot has already announced that it will be removing prestige points later this year, so it might seem like the company has something new in-store. For now though, that’s the main goal of the battle pass while receiving other smaller rewards along the way.
During an event like the Battle Queens in 2020, it was possible for players with a battle pass to earn emotes, icons, chests, and keys, but also a whole lot of blue and orange essence. These rewards alone aren’t that great, so all focus is on the prestige points and the tokens that can eventually buy more points.
Rewards bought with tokens are usually better, but it also requires a lot of tokens to get there. During the most recent PROJECT: Bastion event, the cheapest purchases were keys and PROJECT 2021 Orbs. All these are decent rewards, but it always depends on what is inside of these orbs. For a bit extra, players could purchase Chroma’s for PROJECT skins, but these require you to own the related skin.
For the biggest grinders, it is possible to buy a prestige skin that comes alongside the event for a whopping 2,000 tokens. But it takes a lot of work to get there. For 200 tokens extra, players can buy 100 prestige points directly and shop for the exact Prestige skin they want.
A battle pass can be purchased for the price of 1,650 RP, which will cost a bit over $10 on the North American server and just over €10 on EUW. For players without any RP on the account, the cheapest way to get 1,650 RP will be $15 or €15. To make the money worthwhile, players have to actually play the game and grind out the missions.
Another game that has heavily utilized the battle pass concept is Fortnite. For every season, Fortnite has had a battle pass. Unlike League of Legends, these battle passes usually stay active for a prolonged period of time. The passes in LoL are available for one or two months while the related events are live.
Fortnite works with a model where everyone gets the silver tier battle pass for free, with the option to upgrade it through a purchase. The silver pass has fewer rewards while the gold tier costs more but has a ton of rewards along the way.
The way that battle pass works in Fortnite is that players are rewarded every time they level up in the game. When a new season drops, all player’s levels will be reset and enable players to grind their way up again. With this, players with a battle pass are guaranteed rewards every time they level up. Players will be rewarded with better items as the levels go up, including special rewards at certain level milestones.
In many ways, the concept of the Fortnite battle passes reminds of League of Legends with the fact that players have to play the game to earn rewards. The big difference is how much value players get for their money in the pass. In LoL, the battle pass events are much shorter than in a game like Fortnite, which does force the most dedicated players to spend money on passes more frequently. In Fortnite, a pass can stretch over many weeks and will guarantee dozens of different rewards for players that grind every day.
Games like Fortnite also tend to give back currency when completing a battle pass. This gives a big extra reward for the most dedicated players, which is something that isn’t offered in League of Legends. This is a feature that people in the community have recently complained about, as it hurts the value of the battle pass purchase.