Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer will feature microtransactions allowing players to purchase points that they will then be able to trade in for packs that unlock in-game items and weaponry.
This was already known, but now we know the range of prices these points can be purchased for thanks to UK retailer ShopTo opening up pre-orders. At the lower end, 500 points can be bought for £3.95, with 12,000 available for £79.96 at the top end.
A complete price list is below.
The game's multiplayer points can also be accumulated through play for those more patient players. Each pack bought with these points acts as a loot crate, containing mystery items unlocked upon purchase.
Multiplayer was added to the BioWare series in 2012's Mass Effect 3 and factored into the single player side of the game through its "Galactic Readiness" system. Playing multiplayer upped this readiness, which in turn influenced the game's ending.
Andromeda's multiplayer also connects to the single player, but in in quite the same way. Multiplayer can be selected from the main menu but there are also "Strike Teams" that will factor into the story.
"At a certain point fairly early in the plot, we say, 'Hey, there's this militia [that is] waking up from the cryopods from the Milky Way.' They can do missions where the Pathfinder isn't," lead designer Ian Frazier explained to GameSpot.
"When Ryder [the protagonist] has more important things to do, you get the ability to assign AI Strike Teams to go do these missions. It's all set in real-time, so it's going to take an hour, five hours, or whatever for one of these missions to happen.
Mass Effect Andromeda microtransaction prices
- 500 points – £3.95
- 1,020 points – £7.96
- 2,150 points – £15.95
- 3,250 points – £24.95
- 5,750 points – £39.95
- 12,000 points – £79.96
"Your teams have a different per cent chance to succeed based on their stats and equipment and everything. You can gear them up, you can train them up, you can send them to do these missions, but they're going to take a while to do it.
"Some of these missions are called 'Apex Missions.' They're generally a little harder. You can send your teams to do them, but it's going be really hard for them unless you've really levelled up your teams. Or you can do it yourself in multiplayer. You can just hit a button, it'll quick-save your single-player game [and] launch you directly into multiplayer where you can solo if you want, you can match-make with friends, [or] you can do a public game and match-match with strangers."
These missions will, Frazier says, be appropriate to the context of where players are in the story when they transition from single player to multiplayer.
"If it says it's a night mission on a certain map against Kett for this objective, that's what the mission will actually be," says Frazier. "When you finish it, you get all the normal multiplayer rewards as if you had picked [multiplayer] from the main menu, but you'll also get the rewards associated with the mission back in single-player."
Beyond these strike team modes there's also a Horde mode separate from the story.
Mass Effect Andromeda will be released on 23 March for PS4, Xbox One and PC.