Square Enix details vendors, cosmetics, and the battle pass system in Marvel’s Avengers

In a new blog for Marvel’s Avengers, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics revealed how cosmetics, vendors, and its battle pass system — called Hero Challenge Cards — work in the full game.

In Marvel’s Avengers, all the new, in-game content is free post-launch. That means Hawkeye, new villains, regions, and missions are playable by everyone who owns Marvel’s Avengers. Spider-Man will also be free for PlayStation players — to the frustration of Windows and Xbox players.

To support this free content train, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have the real-money store. Here, you can buy cosmetic-only upgrades. You can also earn some skins just by playing the game.

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Gear will never affect the way your hero looks in Marvel’s Avengers, so you’ll need to unlock skins and a few other cosmetics to change their appearance. Marvel’s Avengers offer four different kinds of cosmetic items:

  • Outfits: Skins that change the way your hero looks
  • Emotes: Expressions for your heroes
  • Takedowns: New animations for your finishing moves
  • Nameplates — Art that goes under your gamertag

You can pick up these different cosmetics via vendors or the Marketplace.

“Roy” is one of the gear vendors in Marvel’s Avengers
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix

Vendors come in two varieties: gear and cosmetic. Gear vendors take a resource called Fragments (gained by dismantling other gear), and trade you new item pieces for different heroes. Cosmetic vendors take a special currency called Units, which you can earn by playing the game. The vendor will take your Units in exchange for certain cosmetic items, which rotate both daily and weekly.

The Marketplace works a bit differently. This is a completely separate menu in Marvel’s Avengers, where you can go to spend Credits, the game’s real-money currency. You can only spend Credits in the Marketplace, and you can only get Credits by paying actual dollars for them. The Marketplace sells outfits, emotes, takedowns, and nameplates. Like the other vendors, certain items rotate daily, and others rotate weekly.

One additional way to earn Credits is through the battle pass system, which Crystal Dynamics calls Hero Challenge Cards. Each hero has a unique battle pass, with 40 levels, and a variety of rewards. By completing daily or weekly objectives, players can upgrade their Hero Challenge Card to unlock cosmetic rewards, currencies, and resources.

The Hero Challenge Card for Iron Man
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix

For Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, and Captain America — the game’s initial roster — they’ll all have free Hero Challenge Cards. Post-launch heroes like Hawkeye will have a free and premium track on their Hero Challenge Cards. For 1,000 Credits — about 10 bucks — you can unlock the premium track and earn more rewards. By the end of the premium track on a new hero, you’ll earn another 1,000 Credits, which you can spend in the Marketplace or save for the next hero.

Square Enix said it won’t refresh these Hero Challenge Cards, meaning players have as long as they want to work toward the rewards.

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics will launch Marvel’s Avengers on. Sept. 4 — with an early-access period on Sept. 1 — for PlayStation 4, Google Stadia, Windows PC, and Xbox One. The game will come to next-gen consoles later this year.

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