Ubisoft wants to be very clear that XDefiant won't have any pay-to-win elements, pinkie promise: 'We know this is an important topic'

XDefiant — Key art for XDefiant featuring character operatives from Ubisoft factions.
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

XDefiant had previously announced that it will not be using skill-based matchmaking to group players in casual queues, and  is now out to convince players that it won't allow any pay-to-win features to intrude on the upcoming FPS game. 

XDefiant releases tomorrow, and Ubisoft has a new blog post explaining the decision not to include any pay-to-win routes in the game: "Any gameplay impacting content that is purchasable is also unlockable through challenges to ensure fair play amongst our community." XDefiant will have its version of battle passes, but clearly, these will be focused on cosmetics. The game offers the usual: character skins, weapon skins, MVP player animations, player cards, and emoji packs.

"Our goal is to provide amazing customization options that reward all of the matches, victories, and even defeats that you put into the game," Ubisoft says. "As you play that one more match, all of your time and energy will work towards unlocking content either through the Battle Pass or challenges."

Locking customisations behind a paywall is pretty standard practice for many games, with FPS games seemingly especially keen on the model. It's not always plain sailing: Overwatch 2 was in hot water on release due to its pricy skin bundles, which many players called greedy, but at least in that case they don't actually help you win games. There have, however, been a few occasions when purchasable items can give players a helping hand. Warzone players have previously gotten up in arms about a paid Doom bundle, which included the Super Shotgun, which was too strong for its own good (let's be honest, though: that kinda rocks).

It's these mishaps that Ubisoft is wary of, and being so explicit about the lack of pay-to-win in XDefiant is undoubtedly playing to the gallery—there's no better way to piss off players than the perception games are conferring advantages on those with deeper pockets. "We know this is an important topic," Ubisoft says. "A topic that demands reflection and evaluation. As XDefiant progresses, we will be listening to your feedback, as well as player surveys and in-game player data, and constantly evaluating to make sure we are providing fair and engaging customization options." 

Elie Gould
News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.