How loot crates and microtransactions work in Assassin's Creed: Origins

Purchasable with real money, the loot crates in the recent action game Middle-earth: Shadow of War derailed the conversation about the game to some degree before launch, although, for the most part, they're not really necessary for getting the most out of the game. It sounds as though Assassin's Creed: Origins will see similar "soft" loot box mechanics too. Here's how they work.

Assassin's Creed: Origins takes the franchise back to ancient Egypt, and throws in some RPG depth for good measure. You will be able to obtain all sorts of gear upgrades through regular play, but also via Heka Chests, which contain "Rare" and "Legendary" tier items.

A character named Reda roams the game's sizeable map, changing position over time. In Reda's Nomad's Bazaar, you will be able to purchase the Heka Chests either by completing a daily mission for Reda, or using Drachmas, obtained through regular play in-game.

You can also purchase Heka Chests using real money, via Helix Credits. Ubisoft says that in-game credits, i.e. Drachmas, will be the main avenue for accumulating Heka Chests, though.

Every Rare and Legendary item available in Assassin's Creed: Origins will be available without buying Helix Credits, thankfully. Players will also be able to spend Helix Credits on time-saving mechanics, allowing them to purchase Drachmas, crafting materials, ability points, and maps. You will also be able to buy a selection of weapons and outfits using micropayments too, skipping the need to earn them in-game.

Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins (Image credit: Ubisoft)

For better or worse, time-saving loot crates look as though they're going to become a staple of single player games moving forward. Helix Credits were also present in Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and Unity, after all. Publishers are looking at additional revenue streams for their games, as retail game prices have remained static against inflation for several years, while production costs have ramped up as we head towards increasingly complex, photorealistic games. We'll be sure to let you know if Assassin's Creed: Origins forces Helix Credits on you for optimal play, but at the moment, that doesn't look like it will be the case.

Assassin's Creed: Origins launches on October 27, 2017, for Xbox One, PS4, and PC, with Xbox One X enhancements.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!