Season 7 will host a few new gimmicks amid map changes, namely pay phones to earn gold for quests, UFOs to hijack and use as vehicles, a new season pass system, and a “build an alien” cosmetic mechanic.
So the season pass switch-up is easily the most notable change in season 7: it brings back battle stars. Now it has pages, which need to be unlocked by claiming rewards in prior trees. For instance, the top page (page 10, which contains rewards through “level 100”) requires unlocking 90 rewards from previous pages.
It’s confusing, but you can ultimately pick and choose what you want. In previous seasons there were entire tiers where I’d ignore all of the cosmetics on offer. Now you can flip through and pick the V-Buck rewards for example, and go for the characters you want. There’s also a caveat: to get a character (essentially a skin, which is their big money-maker), you need to unlock all the rewards on that page.
“Build an alien” is sorta-kinda how the “main” battle pass character upgrades worked in the past, too. Previously you’d level up and regularly unlock new cosmetic upgrades for the “base” character (last time it was Jonesy). Now you get more of a choice, and can grab alien artifacts in-game to change up how the Kymera skin (an alien itself) looks. It’s interesting, but I have one style in mind that I really want, so I’m just going to get enough artifacts that for that and call it a day: which is actually a plus.
The big “draws” this time are definitely Rick Sanchez (Rick & Morty), who is technically part of the pass now, and Superman (coming later).
Rick is the “level 100” (now “page 10”) reward, which again, requires you to buy up enough battle pass spaces to unlock the final tier, and buy up all of the tier itself to get Rick.
Superman is the “Neymar Jr.” (least season’s analog) of this pass. He actually unlocks in 65 days from June 8 (August 12), and will provide quests to acquire the rest of his kit. His signature emote is similar to Iron Man or a few other characters in that it transforms him from Clark Kent to Superman. You can do this in the pregame lobby and it’ll impact the rest of the match: or you can do it mid-match.
And that’s the pass! The return of the star system has its ups and downs, and it’ll be interesting to see if Epic keeps it going forward.
My guess is that they’ll be monitoring spending habits and see what works best monetarily going forward. For now, I don’t hate it?
Thankfully, Epic is upfront about how long seasons run (take note, Hearthstone and a few others), so we know that season 7 will end on September 12, a month after Superman is live.