EA’s travails with Star Wars Battlefront II’s somewhat… controversial progression system have been in the public eye for the last few weeks, and it seems as though things are coming to a head for the time being, as EA have completely removed the ability to buy the microtransaction currency of Crystals in the game. Even without being able to throw money at the game, you’re still left with a messy system of loot crates, rewards, gameplay boosts and different abilities. Not only that, but anyone that’s been playing during the 10 hour Play First Trial or had the full game since Tuesday from the Elite Trooper edition of the game, during which time microtransactions were very much in effect, has got a potential advantage, depending on the matchmaking.
All of this palaver has likely done enough to put a lot of people off buying the game, but if you have bought the game, here’s some tips on how to earn credits as quickly as possible and get a good grounding in the game’s progression. Alternatively, if you were on the fence after the last few weeks, reading the following might put you off the game entirely.
Play the Single Player Campaign First
Playing through the single player campaign isn’t just a fun Star Wars action romp or a way to prepare yourself for the multiplayer, completing each mission also helps to fill your coffers ready for when you head into the online game. There’s twelve missions, half of which add 500 credits as a reward and the other half of which give you a pre-determined crate with a hero and a trooper Star Card at the ‘uncommon’ tier, each of which is worth 2 card levels.
Coming to the end of the campaign you’re given one last crate to open and it’s a big one, with a few second tier ‘uncommon’ cards alongside a 5,000 credit cheque. That’s been reduced since before release to keep it in line with the price of unlocking Iden Versio in multiplayer, but combined with rewards through the campaign and a crate from playing the open beta you should be well on your way to unlocking one of the other iconic characters.
As an additional goal, you can go back through and grab all the collectables to earn 25 Crafting Parts in each of the applicable levels.
Do Five Arcade Missions Each Day
The Arcade is one of the quickest ways to earn credits in game, with each mission completion earning you 100 credits, and generally taking just a few minutes to beat. Of course, there’s a rather cynical feeling to only being able to earn 500 credits maximum from playing Arcade missions each day and the need to be online, but honestly, they’re not all that fun anyway, and I’d rather play and enjoy the multiplayer.
The Daily Log In Crate
You get a crate for logging in each day, and it contains 125 credits and 5 crafting parts, or a common Star Card, 75 credits and 5 crafting parts. While not spectacular – actually, it’s a tiny bit depressing thinking about it – every little helps, I guess?
Gun For the Easy Milestones
You can pass milestones quite easily without even thinking about it early on. There’s milestones for playing 10 minutes as each class, or for playing a match in each game mode. You’ll get 25 eliminations with each class in no time as well, and then there’s using their various abilities effectively in battle, from stunning enemies to getting assists with a Stinger Pistol and more.
The Officer class’ Battle Command shout is a pretty easy ability milestone to complete, as you just need to boost 100 teammates. Getting a shout right at the start of a match can catch 7 or 8 troopers in one go, but the rest of the time, find a choke point, keep an eye on the indicator in the bottom corner of the screen, and boost that morale!
Don’t Forget About Starfighter Assault
feelings milestones too! Since end of match rewards are predominantly to do with time spent in a match with minor boosts for doing well, you can earn just as much from a round of Starfighter Assault as you can from Galactic Assault on the ground. The Starfighters are now class-based and have their own somewhat more limited progression system – sadly it’s also here that some of the more brazenly unbalanced Star Cards can be found – but there’s also milestones, just as with the other modes and classes.
Just Play the Game!
Earning credits from the normal run of play is pretty slow, but it all builds up. Generally we’ve found that a round of Galactic Assault will net around 300-450 credits if it goes the distance, but that can be lower if your attack is held up at the first set of objectives. Sadly it’s not really dependent on your contribution, but rather determined by the length of time that the match took and a minor bonus on top, and this is an area that we really hope DICE will revisit in the near future. Because of this, playing Galactic Assault is likely to be the best route to earning credits as the matches will typically last longer than other modes, meaning there’s less time spent in menus not earning credits.
Open a Few Crates
Funnily enough, opening a few crates is the best way to push your characters a bit further. In addition to Star Cards, emotes and maybe skins for heroes, you’ll also get credits and some all important crafting parts.
The strange thing here is that while Trooper, Hero and Starfighter crates sound like they’ll cater just to those groups, they can just as easily include Star Cards for the other types. The Trooper crate guarantees one or two Trooper unlocks, but it can then chuck a Hero emote or Starfighter Star Card at you as well.
The problem with the system is that there’s so many characters and potential Star Cards for them all, each of which has four different rarities – only the first three available in loot crates the odds of getting what you want are low. Instead, you’ll be glad of receiving the crafting parts that are in these crates and come as rewards for certain milestones.
Craft Your Own Cards
It’s those crafting parts you want to unlock Star Cards and upgrade them to customise each class and character to your liking. You can spend them how you see fit, with 40 parts buying a basic card and then each upgrade costing more and having certain rank and card level requirements – the card level is literally how many cards are already unlocked for that character, with rarer cards worth more.
If you’re gunning for the top, there is a tradeoff here. Unlocking the top tier of any Star Card can only be done through crafting, and it’s going to be pricey. Do you spend parts to unlock things early on, or do you save them for that top tier? If you expect to be in this game for the long haul, it’s probably for the best if you save them up, relying instead on the loot crates and maybe one or two minor unlocks to push you past a Card Level threshold.
Whether there’s microtransactions or not, the progression in Star Wars Battlefront II is messy to say the least, and it can to a certain extent get in the way of just playing what is a fun Star Wars shooter. That said, with a few pointers like those above, you can still earn enough credits for a fair few crates in relatively short order. Hopefully that helps while DICE and EA work to adjust the progression to be better.