Surprising battle royale hit Apex Legends has loot boxes, and we spent $100 to see if it’s currently worth your time to invest real cash and buy Apex Coins and Apex Packs in EA’s new game. For now? Maybe you should save your money.
Apex Legends is free to play, but it’s monetized with a loot box system that is similar to that of Overwatch. The biggest difference between the two games, for now, is that the loot boxes in Apex Legends cost more, and they’re not as good.
I spent $100 on these loot crates to see what there is to see, and I’ll say this: I don’t think you should spend $100 on Apex Legends ’ loot boxes. Here’s how it all breaks down.
The loot boxes of Apex Legends are called Apex Packs, and each one contains three items. Loot can be of common, rare, epic, or legendary quality, and at least one item in each pack will be rare or better.
Players should find an epic item once in every four packs, according to the statistics listed in the game, and a legendary item once in roughly every 13 packs. But those are the odds, not a guarantee. There is also a pity timer that prevents someone from opening more than 30 boxes without getting a legendary item.
Apex Legends offers the following kinds of loot:
There is also an extremely rare chance for an Apex Pack to contain an “heirloom”-quality set, which offers a unique voice line and banner pose for Wraith, as well as a special skin for her melee knife. Currently, Wraith is the only class with an heirloom set, and the odds of getting it from a loot box are less than 1 percent. Those odds mean that, unless they’re real lucky, finding the set will cost someone hundreds of dollars.
None of these items will affect in-game performance; they are purely cosmetic. The legendary character skins arguably give the coolest visual upgrades, while weapon skins, finishers, and banner frames offer a descending amount of in-game prestige among opponents.
You can earn some free boxes for leveling up, but, unlike Overwatch, you don’t get a box for every level up, and you stop getting free boxes when you hit the level cap of 100. You can only get a total of 45 free boxes right now, and if you want more, you have to buy them with Apex Coins, a premium currency that you buy with real money. You also get extra currency for buying in larger increments, which is a common tactic used by games with premium currency to make players spend as much as possible as quickly as possible.
EA and Respawn sell Apex Coins in these bundles:
Buying five $20 packs of coins rewards 750 fewer coins than buying $100 worth of coins at once, so a player might as well pick up the larger bundles if they’re thinking about getting a lot of loot boxes.
They can also buy skins à la carte from a rotating selection that offers one legendary character skin and two legendary gun skins per week. They’ll pay for the privilege, however: Each skin costs 1,800 Apex Coins, which is roughly equivalent to $13.
Examining monetization strategies between games is never entirely an apples-to-apples comparison, but the loot system and economy of Overwatch provide a solid way to compare value to see if new games offer an economy that feels like a square deal. It helps that Apex Legends features a loot system that’s already similar to Overwatch ’s in practice, but it’s also important to remember that “value” is a relative term when it comes to cosmetic items.

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