Electronic Arts has made much of the fact that Star Wars: Squadrons (opens in new tab) will have "zero microtransactions," and that its many cosmetic and customization items will be available solely through gameplay unlocks. Today it explained how that will acutally work with an update detailing the game's progression systems.
There will be two types of timed, rotating Challenges in Star Wars: Squadrons, which will offer separate rewards: Daily Challenges will award Glory points, used to unlock ship and player cosmetics, while longer, more complex Operation Challenges offer unique cosmetics that will be based on Squadrons' ongoing Operations.
"Operations are 8-week cycles that happen in Squadrons, and each Operation brings with it a set of unique cosmetic rewards that can only be earned by completing its Challenges," EA explained. "Certain Challenges also offer unique rewards, too, so once they’re gone, you won’t be able to get the cosmetic unless the Operation Challenges return one day."
Operations are also where you'll earn your ranking—Maverick, Hotshot, Hero, Valiant, Legend, and Galactic Ace—in the six-stage competitive Fleet Battles ladder. At the end of each Operation, Fleet Battles rank will be reset and players will be rewarded with Glory based on the maximum rank they achieved.
On top of all that, players will earn experience from just about everything they do in the game, through which they'll level up their character and earn Requisition points used to unlock shop components. Level progression does not reset, but Requisition points will stop unlocking after you hit level 40, because at that point you'll have enough to unlock everything in the game. There will also bonus in-game events that will unlock additional Glory points, and players will earn additional cosmetic bundles for finishing the singleplayer campaign and the Fleet Battles tutorial.
"While almost all of the game’s experiences will be built in at launch, we’ll still be updating it over time," EA said. "We’ve seen a few questions about this, but should anything need to be balanced or fixed, we’ll be actively taking your feedback to make this the best possible starfighter experience!"
Star Wars: Squadrons comes out on October 2.