It seems like you can’t be a service game in 2019 without some sort of battle pass. Ubisoft has become aware of this and is correcting it by introducing the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass. The pass is a new progression track for players that unlocks cosmetic and lore rewards just for playing the game. That is after the initial buy-in, of course.
The pass isn’t coming out all at once, though. Ubi is dropping it in phases and it is slightly confusing. Here’s everything we know about the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass so far.
What is the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass?
Battle passes are the new-ish popular way for service games to make more money while giving players new progression paths for the game. Ubisoft hasn’t shared many details about Siege’s upcoming battle pass, but we know that players will earn “Battle Points” for completing matches that unlock rewards.
The Rainbow Six Siege battle pass has two tiers
Siege’s battle pass is releasing in two phases. The first phase is a free pass titled Call Me Harry. The free pass sounds more like a test than a proper release. It’s only seven days long and appears to only have one tier of rewards.
Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass release date
There is no exact release date for the battle pass, but we know that the free Call Me Harry pass is releasing sometime during Operation Ember Rise. The full pass will release sometime during Year 4 Season 4, which will begin around December.
What rewards are unlocked in the battle pass?
From the brief battle pass trailer, we can glean three types of rewards players can earn: cosmetics, Renown boosters, and concept art (which will also come with lore about Siege’s operators).
Cosmetics in Siege range from headgears, uniforms, weapon skins, and weapon charms. Ubi already gives away weapon charms by completing weekly challenges, so it’s safe to assume charms will be a common reward in the battle pass. If you don’t have every operator, renown boosters are handy for quickly grinding the hefty pile of currency needed to unlock them.
The star of this collection will likely be the concept art and lore. Siege doesn’t currently have many avenues to tell stories with its operators, so this is a good chance to do that without impeding its multiplayer focus. Much of the existing lore comes from the in-game bios for operators. It’s often a little cheesy, but it’s fun to read about an op’s personality and interactions with other characters. Did you know that Mira helped Nøkk develop her stealthy gadget? Or that Finka got her face scar in a knife sparring match with Kapkan?
What’s the price of the Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass?
Siege’s battle pass is following the lead of other popular games in many ways, so it’s not crazy to assume the same will go for its pricing model. The full-fledged Rainbow Six Siege Battle Pass coming later in the year will likely cost around $10. If Ubi decides to only make it purchasable with its premium currency, that converts to 1200 R6 Credits (which you can buy in a bundle without purchasing extra credits).
The Call Me Harry pass coming in Ember Rise will be free for all players, but it will also only last one week.
Will the rewards be any good?
Since we are talking about Rainbow Six Siege, that question is a tossup. Ubi releases new Siege skins every week and their quality is... inconsistent. Even the real-money-only cosmetics exclusive to limited time events often fall flat, so I don’t have much faith in the overall quality of the battle pass. On the bright side, that Dokkaebi watch charm is pretty neat.
There are a lot of ways to throw money at Siege nowadays
With the introduction of the battle pass and an expansion into limited-time events in 2019, it’s time to take an inventory of all the ways you can throw money at Rainbow Six Siege.
- Siege Year 4 Pass ($30)
- Operators ($2 to $5)
- Cosmetics ($3 to $15)
- R6 Credits ($5 to $100 bundles)
- Limited-time event alpha packs ($2.50 each)
- 1-30 day Renown boosters, the benefits of which can unlock operators and alpha packs (~$1 to $45)
- Battle pass (Unknown, but likely $10)
Rainbow Six Siege makes a lot of money for Ubisoft, so it’s not surprising that the company is looking for new ways to monetize that growth without appearing too money-hungry. Whether or not Ubi is pulling is pulling off that balancing act is up for debate. I’m just glad I can choose to ignore it all and play Siege as it suits me.
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Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.