Video game

What are Video Game Battle Passes?

Video game battle passes are widely used in the gaming industry, and while they may vary in terms of how they work, the general premise and functionality of battle passes are pretty universal.

No matter what type of game you play, chances are that you come across or have come across examples of video game battle passes.


If you’ve ever wondered what video game battle passes are, or even how they work in the games you want to play, we can help.

What Video Game Battle Passes Actually Are

By definition, video game battle passes are a form of monetization used in many games, which are structured in a tiered system.

Video game battle passes usually work as the primary incentive to play a game, earn XP, and progress through a video game title’s multiplayer or challenges.

Battle Passes offer two progression options:

  1. A free battle pass where you can progress through each tier without having to spend any money at all.
  2. A premium battle pass that’s usually locked behind a paywall that you have to pay to access.

At first glance, video game battle passes are relatively simple, but there are some key aspects that can help you understand them.

How Video Game Battle Passes Work

As stated earlier, most video game battle passes work on either a free tier system or a premium system.

To progress through any of the specified tiers of a battle pass, the easiest way is usually to simply play the associated game and earn XP.

This XP is then allocated to your overall level in the battle pass to help you unlock specific in-game digital content associated with each level.

Another way to earn XP and unlock digital content is through challenges.

These challenges will have fixed amounts of XP they will award you for completing their requirements. Then, much like completing games or matches, that XP is used towards your progress through the Battle Pass tier system, giving you unlockable digital content as you do so.

Importantly, video game battle passes are usually only available for a certain amount of time. This acts to challenge you to play as much as you can within the time limit to ensure that you can unlock all items before they are removed.

Typically, once digital content associated with a battle pass is removed and replaced, you can sometimes purchase past battle pass items from in-game stores, although this is never guaranteed.

Overall, Video Game Battle Passes work as your primary incentive to continue playing games that feature them, acting to give you a sense of accomplishment and progression by unlocking exclusive, timed digital content.

What types of games offer Battle Passes?

Now that you know the basics of how Battle Passes work and what they are, you might be interested in which types of games are most likely to incorporate Battle Passes.

Above all, Battle Passes are most commonly found in the various forms of free games. Titles like Smite, Fall Guys, and even Halo Infinite Multiplayer all incorporate battle pass systems as their primary form of player progression.

Additionally, titles like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone incorporate battle passes due to their video game genre: battle royales. This is mostly due to what battle royales actually are and how highly applicable this type of game is to battle pass monetization practices.

Most notably, Fortnite, one of the most successful free-to-play and battle royale-style games, sets the standard for battle passes in video games. Find out how you can play Fortnite for free on your phone, tablet or PC with Xbox Cloud Gaming to experience one of the top examples of battle passes in games.

Get the most out of your Battle Pass based game

Now you should know everything you need to know about the basics of battle passes and can enjoy them for what they are.

When paired with the right type of game, Battle Passes can give you hundreds of hours of fun and exciting unlocks.

For free-to-play titles like Fortnite and Apex: Legends, battle passes are a must-have, so be sure to check out the best free battle royale games.