It can be quite challenging to purchase a game these days because they often have several versions offering different things. One of those things is the Season Pass. But what is a season pass?
A Season Pass is an add-on to a game that allows players to purchase additional content upfront. It often gives access to exclusive in-game items, expansion packs, and other downloadable content (DLC) not available anywhere else.
However, it’s not quite as simple as that, and they may not be the deal you thought they were. So, read on for everything you need to know about these subscription-based offers.
How Does A Season Pass Work?
Season Passes are a popular way for developers and publishers of games to give fans access to extra content without having to purchase it every time new material is released.
The idea behind a season pass is that players can pay one flat fee upfront, allowing them access to all future downloadable content (DLC) as it’s released for the length of a season.
They can be enticing because who doesn’t want more content for their favorite game? But what does a season pass actually include, and is it worth the price?
Are Season Passes Worth It?
I’m sorry, but the answer to this question is that it depends. Sometimes they’re worth it, and sometimes they feel like a complete ripoff.
The controversy over Seasons Passes is that many people feel that the content offered should be part of the full game. Still, companies have managed to leave out some content to extract more money out of your pocket so that you can get the full game experience.
- You get a more complete gaming experience
- Access to new maps, vehicles, and items
- Helps extend the life of the game (updates, bug fixes and patches)
- Helps retain player base (online multiplayer)
- You have to spend more money
- You don’t know what you’re getting
- Some companies may leave out content from the full game in order to sell a season pass
- May still have to grind to get access to the seasons content
I’ve purchased Battle Passes, Seasons, and DLCs for games such as Battlefield, Conan Exiles, and ARMA 3.
In those cases, I had already played for hundreds of hours and was excited about the new maps they would provide me. In ARMA 3, there were many new vehicles that I wanted to use on PVP servers to give me an edge, so it was a no-brainer.
And the cost of those passes was quite negligible compared to the hundreds of hours of extra gaming I would get out of them.
I’m not bothered by using the default skins when it comes to cosmetics or smaller in-game items. I’d rather use my money to buy new games with a new experience rather than play the same boring game with a Santa Clause skin that effectively costs $20.
So it’s definitely more of a personal preference and leads us to if you should preorder a season pass or not.
Should You Preorder A Season Pass?
I’ve preordered many games and passes over the years, and I don’t recommend it at this time. The problem with preordering a season pass is that they are often very vague about what you’ll receive.
The only time I might consider preordering is if there was some sort of discount and I knew that I would spend a fair amount of time playing the game.
For me, it’s usually Battlefield games. However, I’m leaning toward a wait-and-see approach with them now because of the poor launch BF2042 had. Luckily they’ve managed to turn things around at the time of writing this article, and I don’t feel as bad about the preorder.
Do Season Passes Expire?
Season passes don’t expire, but they do eventually come to an end when all of the content included in the season has been released.
Once a season ends, you will no longer be able to grind for or purchase any additional content associated with that particular season pass.
Don’t worry. You should still be able to access some of the content, such as maps or exclusive items that you’ve earned or were given during the season.
Is A Battle Pass The Same As A Season Pass?
No, they are different but sometimes used interchangeably. To add to the confusion, some publishers offer Battle Pass Seasons.
A season pass usually includes a major update to the game, such as access to new maps, characters, vehicles, weapons, and other large in-game items.
A Battle Pass is often a seasonal event that offers smaller items such as skins, emotes, and other accessories, but only after you’ve grinded for them during that event.
Battle Passes often come in two tiers: a Battle Pass and a Premium Battle Pass. The first is a free version, and the second is, of course, a paid version.
The paid version will give you extra bonuses and require a little less grinding by either fast-forwarding you a certain number of levels or simply giving you the items upfront.
Again, it’s not cut and dry, and you’ll often get skins and other small items as part of a Season Pass. And in the case of a Battle Pass Season, you’ll have to do a lot of grinding as part of the season in order to access certain content.
Season Pass FAQs
Do Season Passes Transfer Between Platforms?
Unfortunately, just like games themselves, season passes usually do not transfer between platforms or accounts.
How Do I Buy A Season Pass?
The best way to buy a season pass is online using the game store for your platform. For consoles, go to the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, or Nintendo eShop. For PC, the STEAM Store, Epic Games Store, and EA Origin store are a few trusted examples.
What Happens If I Buy A Season Pass After The DLC Content Is Released?
Depending on the season’s pass terms, you might not get all of the content. However, in some cases, you might be able to snag all the maps or large in-game items at a discount.