Twitchy old-school arena shooter Quake Champions is the latest competitive game to axe random rewards in favour of a more deterministic reward structure. Outlined here, the free-to-play deathmatch (still technically in early access) will drop loot boxes this month in favour of a Fortnite and Rocket League-esque progression system. Players earn a chain of rewards each three-month season just by playing, or speed things up and earn shinier things by spending 1000 Platinum (around £8) on a seasonal Battle Pass. Id explain it all in a development diary video below.
For a while now, Quake Champions's cosmetic unlock system has been a bit of a tangled mess. Some stuff is available exclusively in loot boxes of varying rarities and size which can drop as rewards, while others needed you to follow a series of Rune Book challenges for each character. For those without the Champions Pack for the game (unlocking all characters present and future), these boxes could also contain extra characters, although that was rare. And on top of all of that, there were multiple currencies. Pointlessly confusing, and the new system seems far simpler.
When the December Update launches (no date yet, but soon, obviously), all existing Favor and Shards - two currencies - will be automatically traded in for one last round of loot boxes. Once those are opened, there's no more. Shards, now being earned fresh through weekly challenges can be spent on unlocking specific cosmetic rewards or new characters. Mostly, cosmetics will be unlocked through a linear reward chain, expanded by buying the battle pass, but if you already own something the game is trying to give you, you'll be given shards to pick something else instead.
It's a good step in the right direction, and should help people kit out their characters more to personal style, rather than rolling the dice and hoping for a particularly nice hat. The past few months have been kind to Quake Champions, with the game going properly free-to-play, and recent updates adding a nostalgic pair of characters. There's the Quake 2-based Athena with her quirky grappling hook, and the Team Fortress and Weapons Factory-inspired Eisen, a cheerful German engineer who can drop sentry turrets. Check out how he works in the video below.
Quake Champions is free-to-play, in early access, and can be Steam and via Bethesda’s own launcher. The Champions Pack for the game (keep an eye on the coming sales) unlocks all characters present and future, and lets you focus on unlocking skins through play. You can read more about the December update here and here.