Apex Legends is revamping how its battle pass economy works in season 22 and it sounds expensive. Every season will now have two premium battle passes starting at $10 each and Apex Coins (AC) can no longer be used to purchase them. Weirdest of all is the fact that Respawn Entertainment seems to be presenting this all as good news for players.

Here’s how Apex Legends battle passes have worked up through the current season 21: Upheaval. Every season there’s been a new pass with 110 ranks’ worth of rewards spread across three months. Players can grind the free track for the free rewards or pay 950 AC (roughly $10) to access the premium rewards as well. They can also go ahead and buy the Premium Battle Pass Bundle for 2800 AC (roughly $30) which includes the first 10 levels of the battle pass auto-completed and a bunch of additional rewards that aren’t included in it.

Here’s how it will work beginning with season 22 in August, as outlined in a new blog post over on the Apex Legends website. There will be two separate battle passes per season that have 60 ranks each. They will still cost $10 but can only be purchased for IRL money instead of AC. The Premium Battle Pass Bundle has been replaced by the Premium+ option which is $20 per battle pass and comes with 10 unlocked ranks plus 2 Legendary skin variants that are exclusive for a year, 10 Exotic Shards, and all Legends playable for the duration of the Battle Pass. The change comes alongside revamped battle pass rewards more generally to make the best rewards quicker to earn and more plentiful.

A chart shows how Apex Legends seasons are changing.

Image: Respawn Entertainment

These and other changes have been summarized in a chart that looks as convoluted as you’d expect from an EA-published game. “We’ve seen the numbers, and things need to be more approachable and realistic for our global player community,” the blog post reads. “Each of these updated aspects allows us to make the Battle Pass more attainable and valuable for your time and money.”

But that value has come at a price. “To up the value going forward, each Premium Track Battle Pass will cost $9.99 USD and will come with the rewards expanded on above,” the post continues. “The decision to move from AC to real world currency is not one that we made lightly, but it does allow us to decrease the price of Premium+ for our community.” Despite the use of “decrease” there, players who want to stay current on their battle passes will actually be spending $40 per season rather than $30. Respawn did not immediately respond to a request for further clarification.

The move away from letting people purchase battle passes with AC is also likely to go over with the community like a lead balloon. Previously, dedicated players were able to take AC earned from previous seasons and invest it in new battle passes, essentially paying the grind forward and earning rewards with time and dedication instead of new spending. It’s not surprising that a company trying to make money would shut that down, but it’s hard to see how it nets out to a big win for players. Fans who play daily and want the full package will essentially now be paying the price of an Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC every three months.

Apex Legends is far from the first game to effectively raise the price of its seasonal content. Fortnite, Destiny 2, and other games have increased the price of in-game currencies and season passes in the last year following a historic spike in inflation, or at least that’s what some of the companies behind those increases said at the time. EA, which now makes more money off of microtransactions than actually selling new games, earned $800 million in net income in 2023.

   



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