Battlefield V launched last year without microtransactions, but with the release of a new update, they’re now live in the World War II shooter. This patch, Tides of War Chapter 3: Trial by Fire Update #2, introduces «Battlefield Currency,» which is the name for the virtual currency that is purchased with real money. The update also deals heavily with improving the recently added battle royale Firestorm mode.
Players can spend Battlefield Currency to buy cosmetic items; they do not affect gameplay. Items that can be purchased with Battlefield Currency can also be earned through gameplay.
«The balanced rock-paper-scissors gameplay that has always been the foundation of the Battlefield series isn’t going anywhere,» DICE said. «Player skill will continue to be paramount with the addition of Battlefield Currency, which gives players more ways to acquire items to customize their characters and arsenal in Battlefield V.»
This patch also sees DICE release new Epic-level rarity items beyond the current Common, Uncommon, and Rare items that you can buy with Battlefield V’s existing Company Coin currency. The wording of the statement suggests that the new Epic items may be only available to buy with real money, at least for now. Here’s how it’s worded:
«Starting April 4, using Battlefield Currency, you’ll get access to new Epic items. Looking ahead, we will continue to release new cosmetic items that can be obtained through direct progression, Company Coins, and/or Battlefield Currency. We want to give every player a chance to access new cosmetic items, whether they choose to spend real-world money or earn content through gameplay.»
Battlefield Currency is available to buy from within Battlefield V on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, as well as through first-party digital stores.
Looking further out, DICE will release «time-savers» that players can buy with real money; these come in the form of Tier Catch-Ups and XP Boosts. Tier Catch-Ups give you instant access to Chapter Reward items, which are cosmetic only. XP Boosts do just that.
In addition, DICE will release new «Elite» sets for Battlefield V that can be purchased for real money using Battlefield Currency. A first for the Battlefield series, Elites are new characters that you can use in multiplayer and the Firestorm battle royale mode.
«They consist of a themed assortment of cosmetic items, character voice overs, a Best Squad animation, and an exclusive Special Assignment that helps bring to life the story of the Elite and unlocks a signature melee weapon,» DICE said.
These Elites are different in look only; they offer no gameplay advantage.
In addition to all of this, DICE will offer «value bundles» for real money. Only available for a limited time, the bundles come with a mixture of things like cosmetics, currency, time savers, and other items. The full contents of the bundles will be displayed at the buying screen so you know what you’re getting. One example of the bundles are Starter Packs that are out now. These come with allotments of Battlefield Currency, as well as customisation options like face paint and weapon skins.
For more on Battlefield V’s microtransactions, check out this in-depth blog post from DICE.
The direction Battlefield V is taking as it relates to microtransactions is decidedly different from how the series handled microtransactions in the past. In previous titles, DICE offered «Shortcut» kits that allowed players to pay real money to acquire weapons and other perks that provided an instant theoretical advantage on the battlefield for those who spent money. DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront II was roundly criticised for being too close to a «pay-to-win» scenario with its own loot boxes and microtransactions, so it could be that Battlefield V’s change in direction as it relates to microtransactions is a reaction to that.
Battlefield V has sold more than 7 million copies, but that’s below what publisher Electronic Arts was expecting. The game is no doubt continuing to sell, and the extra revenue coming from microtransactions may improve the game’s overall profitability profile further still. Not only that, but the game just added its battle royale mode, Firestorm, which may improve interest and engagement with Battlefield V overall.