Gears 5 developer The Coalition has detailed how additional post-launch content will work in the game, and the standout detail is that Gear Packs and the Season Pass are being scrapped.
Instead, DLC maps will be free for both matchmaking and private play, and there will be a new way to earn additional content called Tour of Duty, which will allow players to earn cosmetic items through playing the game and completing set tasks and ranking up. Speaking on Tour of Duty, The Coalition said:
“We’ve committed to delivering more earnable content than ever before through an extensive new system called Tour of Duty. You take on Daily Challenges and seasonal Medals to rank up and earn customization content (including character skins).
The path to each piece of content earnable is clear – you will know what you need to do to earn each specific customization item. In addition, there is no ‘Premium’ pay-only content for Tour Of Duty.”
Tour of Duty will run in seasons, and each new season will introduce new content to the game as well as new challenges for players to take on. Leaderboard placements in Escape and Versus mode will also give you an opportunity to earn rewards outside of Tour of Duty.
Don’t worry if you’re dreadful at the game and incapable of completing challenges though, as The Coalition are promising that you can also earn items by simply playing the game. The Coalition says that every minute that you play the game across every multiplayer mode will contribute towards a random item drop from “a unique pool of content”, and any duplicates will automatically be turned into scrap, which can then be used to craft items. The Coalition is keen to note that none of these items can be purchased with real-world money, they are strictly earned via gameplay.
That said, there are still ways to buy certain content with your actual cash. The Coalition says that there will be “exclusive customization content” which can be bought with Iron, the games premium currency that can be bought with real money, although you will also earn a small amount of Iron through Tour of Duty too. None of these items will give you an advantage over other players, so expect them to be cosmetic items only, and they will all be direct purchases, which means there are no loot boxes or elements of randomness when you spend your money.
If you’re impatient then there’s also a new optional purchase called Boost, which will accelerate your progression for a period of time. Boost will give you double multiplayer xp, double character xp, and double speed Supply Drop progression for a specific amount of time depending on how much you pay. I’m not a big fan of this one even though it is entirely optional – it just seems unnecessary to me.
Gears 5 will launch on Tuesday 10th September on PC and Xbox One.