Fortnite’s Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks, which makes the $9.99 V-Buck bundle the least expensive way to buy one of the best in-game items in the industry. Fortnite’s economy is straightforward; it’s not based on random drops or loot boxes, and the purchase of the Battle Pass makes the entire season more enjoyable to play due to the weekly challenges and content unlocks. I can’t recommend it enough, even if you’re just a casual fan of Fortnite.
But it’s also a bit of a bet on the part of Epic Games, as the company is really hoping you’re going to buy something else after you buy the Battle Pass. If you don’t, the pass can actually make you money. And the only thing you have to do is play.
The Battle Pass gives you more currency than you spend on it
This tactic is like many parts of Fortnite: Kinda nice, but also brutal once you think about it.
The Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks, and you unlock new skins, gliders, sprays and emotes as you play and gain levels. The Battle Pass has 100 levels total per season, and 13 of those levels reward you with 100 V-Bucks.
So if you finish the entire Battle Pass — which isn’t a hard task if you stay up on your challenges and play even a moderate amount — you’ll end up with 1,300 V-Bucks, which is 350 more V-Bucks than you spent on the pass to begin with, and is more than enough to buy the next season pass.
You can buy once, “earn” enough by playing at even a casual level to get the next Battle Pass, and still come out of the transactions a few hundred V-Bucks ahead. Pretty great, right?
The gamble is whether you have enough self-control to not buy any additional skins, emotes, harvesting tools or any of the other strange and wonderful cosmetic options that are offered on a rotating basis in the item shop. You’ll be spending at least 500 V-Bucks if you want to buy something, which means you then won’t have enough V-Bucks for the next season pass if you’re just trying to roll your earnings forward, which means you’re going to be buying more.
There’s also the small but crucial detail that much of Fortnite’s “story” is told through the loading screens you unlock as you complete your weekly challenges. Knowing what’s going on in the world isn’t that important to the game itself, but there is a loose sort of narrative in there, and you need to either keep up on community chatter or buy a Battle Pass if you want to keep up.
None of the skins or cosmetic options in Fortnite change anything about how the game is played — and arguably some even make things harder for you by making your character more visible — but there are some very neat things you can buy if you want to make yourself look goofy. And that’s Epic’s bet in letting you earn more V-Bucks through the Battle Pass than what you spent to get it: They believe in their content enough to know that enough people will buy more stuff that loading your wallet throughout the season is good business.
But you can continue to just buy the Battle Pass and let your extra V-Bucks pile up in your wallet. If you do so, you’re a much stronger person than I am. For now, my advice is to buy the Battle Pass for season five when it’s released. What you do with the extra V-Bucks is up to you.