For Honor’s Starter Edition seeks to draw in fresh blood

Arise, Sir Noobcakes

Not to beat around the bush, but multiplayer medieval brawlathon For Honor clearly jumped the gun with its launch last year. Only now does the game have its technical kinks worked out, along with dedicated multiplayer servers. Major improvements all told, but considered by many to be too little, too late.

Ubisoft aren’t a company to give up so easily, and are attempting to draw some fresh blood into the melee with the release of a cut-price Starter Edition of the game, offering access to all the game’s modes at the cost of increased grind required to unlock additional characters.

I’m a little bit torn, looking at the package on offer here. As someone with a casual interest in the game (and not enough time to truly dedicate to any multiplayer game) it’s oddly tempting. At £12/$15, it’s vastly cheaper than the regular edition of the game, and offers full access to all modes – single-player, competitive multiplayer and all – but with one significant tradeoff: Many characters locked off behind a 16 times increase in grind.

According to a handy version-comparison chart on the Starter Edition site, players who save money early on will only have access to six characters of 12 at start, although three of those six must pay a hefty 8,000 Steel (the standard currency of the game, estimated by Ubi as being equivalent to $8 or earned through 8-15 hours of play) in order to change their loadout at all. There are an additional six characters that cannot be played at all until unlocked, each one costing 8,000 Steel again.

For comparison, all 12 characters are unlocked from the start in the regular edition of the game, and it costs 500 Steel in order to unlock customization for each. This is similar to what they did with the Starter Edition of Rainbow Six Siege, although one frequently reported problem there was that players who picked up the cheaper edition of the game weren’t provided with the option to just pay the difference and upgrade to the ‘full’ game later, but rather need to grind extensively or pay real cash for in-game currency to speed things up a little at a premium price.

While I can see the appeal of the reduced-price version of the game, and admit that I’m tempted to pick it up during sales season if this does turn things around regarding For Honor’s player-counts, the lack of a cheap and clear option to just upgrade to the ‘full’ edition is galling. Ubisoft have decided that they’re going to get their pound of flesh from players one way or another, it seems.

For Honor: Starter Edition is available now via Steam for £12/$15. The less grindy version is still priced at a questionable £50/$60.


  1. Imperialist says:

    FH is a fantastic game with a few issues, none of which bother me in particular, but this is a good move to draw in new players (though, the game apparently has a much healthier community than outside sources seem to understand). For perspective on the grind too, if you skipped the season pass, it was a whopping 15k Steel to unlock one of the Season Pass heroes so, 8k isnt all that much of a grind. That is maybe a week of a few matches a day of grinding.

  2. Jalan says:

    I was going to joke and mention that this might seem like good news to the friends of the few hundred people who stuck with the game, then peeked at the current users on Steam and noticed it’s a slight bit above 2000, effectively putting that joke in the dirt.

    Still a low number, however. One that doesn’t seem like it will hold on to before year’s end.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      The numbers have been improving the past couple months, too. 2000 players is just the number logging in through steam – keep in mind it’s a Ubisoft game, so there’s a few Uplay players too.

      It’s an acceptable figure, but not a great one, hence why Ubisoft reckon there’s a chance to kickstart this one back into the mid-tier leagues, if not esports viability.

  3. GornValim says:

    It seems a rather good deal to me. I’ve spent about 50 hours in the game and I still haven’t tried any of the characters outside of the 3 “basic” ones. And I found the single player aspect surprisingly good.

  4. lemonhead says:

    I played the free weekend single player. If I buy this starter edition and only play single player, will I need these locked characters?

    • Use Your Stick says:

      Nah. The story has a few points where you’ll get to play as heroes you won’t have unlocked.

  5. lfcifer7 says:

    I had such high hopes for this game, it’s truly the deep melee combat I’ve been waiting for. But it took so long to hit modern standards, it’s hard to bring me back. Especially with Vermintide 2 now out. Once I get tired of the hack n slash and want more strategy, this is the game to go to. I just hope the game hasn’t fizzled out by then.

    • 111uminate says:

      Yep, same here. I’m still a bit sour with how they marketed and launched the game. By all rights I should love this game. I’m a huge fan of medieval arms and armor, love fighting games and am competitive. It rings all the bells, except those most important .. They dropped the ball so hard, and for what? Greed and incompetence.

  6. BaaBaa says:

    Bought it today, waited for 10 minutes for matchmaking on Quick Match option, then quit and returned the game. Failing to get a new player into a game within a reasonable amount of time is inexcusable for a multiplayer game.

  7. rusty says:

    Interested in giving this a bash (hur hur) but as I don’t like multiplayer games as a rule, is there enough of a single player game here to keep me occupied meaningfully?

  8. Morcane says:

    I enjoyed it a great deal, but P2P issues pretty much did the game in for me.

    Didn’t follow the game, and I wasn’t aware they added dedicated servers, so I might check back. I’m kind of afraid the existing playerbase is all up in god-tier levels and as a noob you get slaughtered continuously.

    • Poolback says:

      It’s actually alright. Jumped back last week end, and not only I could find games very quickly, I actually only played against obvious noobs. I haven’t played a lot, not even to unlock to ranked mode, so I am playing only low rank and it is very surprisingly easy to find games.

      As people said, it’s good a very healthy player base for the kind of game it is.

  9. zulnam says:

    The R6 Siege starter edition was a bad joke; to call it “grindy” would be putting it mildly. I did the math and it resulted that it would take roughly over 300 hours to unlock all the operators. And there is no way to upgrade it so you either grind or buy them with te microtransactions (around 4£/operator).

    I might have an interest in FH, but i am not buying anything from Ubisoft branded “Starter Pack”. They have become incredibly greedy as of late.

    • Agnosticus says:

      I agree! Nothing they offer is worth buying at full price. The elite skin bundles in R6:Siege are f*ing 15€, half a season pass, which itself is overpriced…

      Still I’m very glad that they’ll let your unlock everything (incl. DLC) apart from some cosmetics with in-game currency.

  10. ColonelFlanders says:

    My, these Live Services that publishers are pushing look more attractive by the day! Grind the same old shit day in day out, you say? Well worth the reduced price, thanks Ubisoft :)

  11. vahnn says:

    Reinstalling this game was one of my best gaming decisions in the last year. I had written it off for good after only a month of its release, but they’ve really turned it around, not only with the dedicated servers, but the Season 5 patch made some much-needed tweaks to the parry system that makes gameplay flow a lot better, rather than focusing on title defense like it did for so long.

    The original 12 (or original 9 and 3 free dlc) characters are all available from the start and cost 500 to “recruit,”allowing you to acquire and equip new gear for them, with the 6 paid DLC characters cost 15000. That’s the base game.

    It took me 24 hours of gameplay to unlock 2 characters at 15000 steel. 8k per character is a LOT of grinding. You CAN play as any character in any of the practice modes, though, so through extensive practice you can find out which characters you really like set a quick goal for yourself.

  12. PiiSmith says:

    For Honor is too much of a fighting game for me. After short I slip back to the same bad habit of button mashing and the fun is gone.

  13. napoleonic says:

    Thanks for the tooltip!

  14. gabrielonuris says:

    Wait a moment, does For Honor have a single player campaign??!?

    And is it good enough to spend money on it just for the SP and completely ignore the MP? Or is it only generic battles with bots?

    • GornValim says:

      Yes, there is a single player campaign, letting you play different characters as the story unfolds. It’s not bad, if you don’t mind the seriousness and the bleakness of the tone, despite the silly setting. There are quite a few impressive scenes, all taking place on maps specially crafted for the solo campaign. Additionally you can set up battles with bots too, of course!

    • Poolback says:

      Definitely not good enough to spend money on it just for SP. This is a MP game as its heart, the SP campaign is very basic.

  15. Lawlcopt0r says:

    I think it’s great that they’re doing this, I’ll totally pick it up now. I was in love with the concept and really disappointed to hear about the connection problems, but fixing the problems and discounting it for new players might actually ensure they didn’t waste a great idea after all