EA promises no 'pay to win' Battlefield 5 progression systems

Electronic Arts has detailed Battlefield 5's progression system and in-game economy, which will feature two types of currency, one earned through gameplay and the other purchased with real money. Despite the presence of premium currency, it emphasized that the game is intended to reward how often and how well you play, promising that players will never be able to purchase anything that gives them an "unfair gameplay advantage." 

"As you play and progress through Battlefield 5, you will earn Company Coin. Company Coin gives you the ability to choose items outside the base progression paths to further expand and customize your Company," EA explained. "You can use Company Coin to unlock choices within weapon and vehicle Specializations. You can also use Company Coin to get cosmetic items, such as jackets, face paint, and weapon skins. At launch, cosmetic items will be available for soldiers and weapons. Vehicle cosmetics will be available in the first chapter of Tides of War." 

"Battlefield 5 will also have an optional currency known as Battlefield Currency, which is purchased with real-world money. Battlefield Currency can be used to acquire specific cosmetic items for your Company." 

Interestingly, Battlefield Currency will not be available at launch, as EA said it wants players to get a feel for the game and Company Coin before it throws premium currency into the mix. "Balanced rock-paper-scissors gameplay has always been the foundation of the Battlefield series, and our belief is that real-world money should not enable pay-to-win or pay-for-power," it said. 

Players will advance through five separate categories—Career, Class, Weapon, Vehicle, and Chapter—which will earn in-game items like weapons, vehicles, and weapon parts, as well as cosmetic items and upgrades. Each category will increase independently, so your Career rank will increase with across-the-board play, while Class rank will go up based on which classes you play. Using primary weapons and vehicles will earn XP and open the door to "Specializations," such as improved accuracy or durability, which can be purchased with Company Coin. 

"It's up to you to decide what types of gameplay matter to you and make inventory decisions based on how you want to progress," EA said. "Experiment with weapons and vehicles that bring unique options to the battlefield, cosmetics that reflect a more personal touch, or Specialization paths that fit your style of play." 

Battlefield 5 comes out on November 20, or a little earlier if you're an Origin Access subscriber. The Firestorm battle royale mode will come a little later, in the spring of 2019

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.