There has been a LOT of talk about Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s loot crates. Seems most people weren’t happy with how they worked in the Beta, and following this feedback, the game’s creator - DICE - has gone on record to say that improvements and changes have been made. Having spent 16+ hours with the final game we can now tell you exactly WHAT happens when you open a crate, WHAT is in them, HOW you go about getting them, and HOW it all impacts character progression in multiplayer. It's all in the video above, but for a wordy summary... read on.
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To start with you get a crate every day, just for logging in. This usually yields a single Star Card, a small amount of credits, and some crafting points.
You can also buy a loot box with credits earned in game. You get credits for completing battles, for hitting milestones - like getting 50 kills as an Assault class, or 25 in an X-Wing etc - and from other crates. You can also buy crates with Crystals, which can be bought with real money. There are three types of box you can buy - Trooper, Hero, and Starfighter - and the rewards in them will be tailored towards those specific parts of the game. So, if you want a new Star Card for Captain Phasma (who appears when Star Wars The Last Jedi drops in December), you’re more likely to grab it from a Hero box.
Now, you’ll also see on the cards that there are four tabs at the top. This is the rarity of the card, and you will either get: Common, Uncommon, or Rare cards in boxes. The final and best Star Card grade is Epic, which you can only achieve by upgrading your Star Card using Crafting Points.
Ok, so that’s boxes. What do you actually do with Star Cards? There are two types of card for regular troops: Boost and Ability. Boost cards enhance your stats, like add extra health or grant more XP per kill. Ability Cards add new abilities to your character, like different grenades, heavy weapons, or active buffs. At the start you can only equip a single Star Card on your trooper, hero, or vehicle.
To open up the second and third Star Card slots on your characters you need to acquire more Star Cards. So, with regular troop classes, getting 5 Star Cards opens up the second slot, and getting ten cards opens up the third. With Heros and ships it’s fewer cards, because they have fewer Star Cards to collect in total.
How do you get Star Cards other than loot boxes? You can buy them with Crafting Points, which you also get from other boxes, and from completing certain milestone challenges.
All very confusing? It is a bit. The basic stuff you need to know is that you never have to pay a penny to actually progress in Battlefront 2, and the pace at which you unlock stuff always seems perfectly fair. However, if you want to pay for more boxes… you’ll inevitably have an advantage over someone who hasn’t (assuming you started at the same time) because you’ll have more Star Cards (and open Star Card slots) to buff your character. While skill will always trump gadgets in this game, Star Cards give you more options and slightly better odds of surviving one-on-one encounters. In the 16+ hours I played it rarely felt uneven or unbalanced, even when playing against people who had three Star Cards active and I had none. Success in Star Wars always comes down to playing smarter and working better as a team. However, for those who want all the toys and anyone who feels a slight personal advantage makes a huge difference… paying to get more crates will yield results.
More than anything it’s the wealth of options and ways to buys stuff that feels most confusing, and will be the stuff that most will take issue with when the game launches.