Battle Pass Burnout: It’s very much real

Epic Games
Epic Games /

I remember playing Fortnite back in 2018 during Chapter 1 Season 4 and thinking the battle pass was such a steal. Pay only $10 for a battle pass and get what feels like the best deal in gaming? Sign me up! There were additional incentives to play Fortnite with the battle pass like having constant exp boosters and several challenges to unlock more tiers. Of course with the tiers came a bunch of new and unique skins and emotes. It set a golden standard for other games to come.

Those $10 for a battle pass felt much more like a bang for my buck than buying something like season passes for the various AAA titles out there. Hell, I thought this would be the best way to quell the predatory microtransactions that plagued the gaming industry like loot boxes and overpriced DLC.

While I do somewhat agree with that statement, it came with some things I didn’t account for at the time. A lot of games after 2018 have adapted the battle pass feature into their games whether they’re free or sold at a reasonable premium.

When I mean a lot, I’m talking about a handful of the major big titles often at the forefront of Twitch right now, including ones not in the mainstream limelight. Rocket League has it, Apex Legends has it, Call of Duty has it, Fortnite still has it. Hell, even Destiny 2 and Warframe have it.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Season 2
Devolver Digital /

With Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 6 out, a new battle pass is also out. This means a slew of new skins and emotes will come with it.

Fall Guys, while not on the same level of popularity of Fortnite nowadays, is also approaching a new season, meaning another battle pass is to be expected as well.

While reasonably priced or free, battle passes incentivize players to play a particular game extensively to complete. It’s a form of competition and a way to keep a player base active, but it also gives FOMO and a barrier to branch out to other games.

I hope I’m not the only one feeling like this, but sometimes I just want to play a variety of games with friends so we won’t burn out on a particular one. More than half the time, the plans are foiled because they feel obligated to progress further in their battle passes in other games. Admittedly, I’m a part of the problem too since some of the games I play have battle passes and I try my best to complete them.

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Battle passes made games feel more like a chore nowadays rather than something to get into as a pastime. I don’t want to feel obligated to hop onto a game when I’m not feeling it because of timed exclusive items and challenges. And I understand, battle passes aren’t necessary to play or enjoy a game, but they do add ways to get more out of a game than to just pick up and play.

I just wish that battle passes weren’t a timed deal where if I buy them and life happens, I miss out on however long I wasn’t playing on challenges and loot. Some games have catch-up mechanics to solve that problem, but burnout also happens.

The best catchup mechanic which does seem like a farfetched but practical idea is to just allow battle passes— at least the paid ones— to be completed despite a season’s end. It would provide an ease of mind knowing that I don’t have to feel obligated to play a game extensively during its current season. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why my gaming backlog has now extended beyond two console generations. That fear of missing out on items and events prevents me from straying too far from anything with limited time instances like these.