In addition to the in-game currency of Mirian, Middle-earth: Shadow of War offers a premium Gold currency that can be used to purchase loot chests. Since the chests you can buy with Gold give you a higher chance of getting better Orcs and items than the ones you can buy with the standard money, acquiring a steady supply of Gold can be a real help.
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Luckily there are a few different ways to get Gold, both for those that are ready to spend real money, and those that want to earn it without paying another dime.
Get Gold through the market
Sadly, with any game that has a premium currency, the easiest way to get it is to pay real-life money. Currently the exchange rate for Gold vs. US Dollars is 1 Gold = $0.01, with a bonus of additional Gold granted for purchasing larger packs.
We're still waiting for confirmation of the rate against GB Pounds, Euros, or any other real currency. If they're on the fairer side of expectations, players will pay for Gold based on their current currency exchange rate. If they go the easy way, though, everyone will pay 1/100th of their currency no matter how it's indexed against the Dollar, and Europe will once again get the privilege of having to spend more than anyone else for digital gaming purchases.
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Get Gold through in-game challenges
Fortunately, for those that want to get a chance at better loot chests, but don't want to break the bank, you can earn small amounts of Gold by completing challenges. The challenges change each day, and vary quite a bit in objective, but are never too difficult to complete. Today, one of my challenges was to recruit two Orc Captains in Minas Morgul for 50 Gold.
When the game gets a full release, there will also be community challenges that reward Gold. However, as of right now I don't have the information on what those will entail.
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Do I need Gold to beat Shadow of War?
Premium currency conjures terrible memories of mobile games with massive paywalls, so if you're a bit antsy about Shadow of War's Gold system, it's understandable. However, I never found myself wanting for good gear or powerful Orcs during the game. You get new weapons, armor, and rings thrown at your character pretty regularly, and all of that can be sold for Mirian to buy the non-premium loot boxes if you so desire.
The Orcs and gear in the loot chests that can be bought with Gold in Shadow of War are definitely powerful, and if you're looking for a particular legendary piece of gear or an Orc with specific top-tier characteristics, they can take the frustration out of having to seek them out in-game. However, I haven't seen anything come out of the Gold and Mithril Chests that couldn't be earned in-game, and since everything is tied to Talion's current level, anything you get out of any loot chest is only useful for so long. In short, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is enjoyable without the need for even a single piece of Gold.