There will be microtransactions in Halo 5: Guardians, and we now have a better understanding of how they work. All of the items you can purchase with real money will also be accessible without spending anything—they’ll just take longer to get.
As some of you may already know, Halo 5 is introducing a fancy new way of doing achievements and unlockables called the REQ System (short for “requisition”). Basically, the more you play multiplayer, the more REQ Points you earn. You can use REQ Points to purchase REQ Packs, which are like bundles of trading cards. Each “card” gives you an item. These items include vehicles, armor, weapons—all kinds of stuff—and they come in three varieties: cosmetic, permanent, and single use. Cosmetic items don’t impact gameplay, permanent items you get to keep forever, and single-use items are, well, single-use, and therefore tend to be more powerful. To maintain the balance in online multiplayer, 343 Industries created a system to restrict when and where you can use certain kinds of items.
REQ Packs come in three levels: bronze, silver, and gold. Naturally, the best items are more common in gold packs and least common in bronze. Bronze will cost 1250 REQ Points, silver will cost 5000 REQ Points, and gold will cost 10,000 REQ Points. We now know that players will also be able to purchase silver and gold packs for $1.99 and $2.99, respectively.
If you don’t want to dole out the cash, there are plenty of other ways to earn REQ Packs. You can level up your Spartan Rank by spending time in multiplayer, you can complete commendations, you can spend REQ Points (everyone will start with 7,500 and earn more all the time), or you can purchase select licensed Halo products and earn promotional REQ Packs.
If you find this confusing, I highly recommend the official REQ System tutorial video (below). Nick Offerman narrates, so you know it’s going to be good.