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Star Wars Battlefront 2 player puts the game's new loot boxes to the test

Fans with Origin/EA Access have started doing the math

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Electronic Arts
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now live on PC and Xbox One for Origin/EA Access members. While only a limited portion of the single-player campaign is available, the complete multiplayer experience has been unlocked, including the game’s controversial loot crates.

When the Battlefront 2 beta kicked off in October, many players spoke up about how the game’s loot crate and level progression systems interacted. Some complained that those who spent more money had an unfair advantage. Publisher Electronic Arts responded to those criticisms in kind, later announcing multiple tweaks to the crate system that it said would ensure that everyone was competing on a more level playing field.

One YouTuber, who goes by the handle Xfactor, decided to put those changes to the test. He dropped $89.99 straight away to purchase the biggest loot crate bundle available, and then crunched the numbers to see how far that would take him.

Turns out, it’s pretty far. In the video below, you can see him easily thrashing other ships in the game’s multiplayer dogfighting mode.

The strategy that he’s employing is a pretty simple one. Loot crates provide players with “star cards,” items that have in-game benefits like increased damage. Low-level cards can be converted into resources, and those resources can then be used to upgrade the cards left in your collection. As you play the game, you unlock the ability to slot more cards at one time, compounding your advantage over other players. After that, Xfactor says, it’s no longer a fair fight.

The good news is that the Battlefront 2 card-based upgrade system appears to be finite. Once you’ve leveled a character or a ship’s cards to the top of the upgrade tier, there’s really no other way to improve them further. So, in effect, the loot crate system is simply allowing players to trade money for time spent playing the game.

It’s a far cry from the mostly cosmetic upgrades found in the loot crates for games like Overwatch and Destiny 2, but things should even out over time for fans who are willing to commit to spending time with the game in order to unlock the best cards.

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