Anthem’s cosmetic item economy is easy to understand. The game offers players two different currencies: coin and shards. You can use both of these to buy items in the Vanity Store and customize your Javelin.
You earn coin through in-game activities, Challenges and the Alliance system. You have to purchase shards for real money — they’re Anthem’s microtransactions.
At launch, Anthem has a limited amount of cosmetic items for sale. According to lead producer Ben Irving, more are on the way.
How do I get coin?
You can earn coin a few different ways in Anthem. You’ll gain some as you progress through the campaign and level up. Completing Challenges in your Freelancer Journal will also earn you coin. (You can tell how much you’ll make by looking at each Challenge’s Rewards section in the menu.)
You’ll also earn coin through the in-game Alliance system. By playing with friends and completing activities every week, you’ll level up your Alliance (up to a max of 10). When the Alliance resets each Monday night, you’ll earn coin based on how much you and your Alliance friends have played Anthem that week.
The best way to grind for coin is looking in your Journal for difficult challenges.
How much are shards?
At the lowest value, $4.99, the conversion rate is about 100 shards per dollar. The more shards you buy, the bigger the bonus. The most expensive pack you can get is $39.99, and it comes with 4,600 shards — a bonus of 600.
What can I spend these currencies on?
You can spend coin and shards alike in the Featured shop, whose rotating inventory offers armor pieces for two Javelins. Each week, four other cosmetic items like vinyls, materials, and dances are also on sale.
The store seems to rotate each week, although the reset was for 10 days before Anthem’s release. In a recent stream, lead producer Ben Irving said that the goal is for the store to refresh every couple of days.
Armor packs are full pieces of gear for each Javelin and cost either 61,000 coin or 850 shards.
You can spend coin on crafting materials, which you can use to craft gear from blueprints, or create consumables to help make missions easier. You can only use shards to buy cosmetic items, and you also can buy every cosmetic item with coin.
You can access the store in Fort Tarsis, through the Vanity or Regular store, right down the street from your Javelin. The Launch Bay also has a storefront ahead of where you spawn.