If you’re a CCG enthusiast, you’ve probably already heard that a brand new game is in the works, this time centered around the MARVEL universe of comics and films, much like MARVEL Duel from a few years back. However, unlike MARVEL Duel, MARVEL Snap is seeking to shake things up with a brand new and innovative gameplay style, consisting of six-round matches that last no more than three minutes. 

These matches have a more simplistic approach, where the objective isn’t to reduce the opponent’s HP to 0, but rather to place cards in the field so that their combined power surpasses that of your opponent’s by the end of the sixth and final round. We’ve gone into considerable detail on how MARVEL Snap stands out from the other games in the genre in our MARVEL Snap beginner’s guide. Feel free to take a look if you want to learn more about the basics.

MARVEL Snap F2P Guide - Fair or Not?

On this occasion, however, we want to take a few minutes to answer the burning question that most of you may be asking yourselves: Is the game fair for F2P gamers, or is it utterly pay-to-win? Well, the answer might surprise you, in a good way! Let’s take a look at some of the most important details about the progression and upgrade mechanics in MARVEL Snap, and see if the game is fair for those that don’t want to spend money on it, especially when going up against those that do.

Card Unlocking Mechanics

Fairness: Very fair!

First and foremost, most of the fairness in these types of games comes from examining the way in which players can unlock and obtain new cards. And as luck would have it, the devs have made it so that anyone can farm and receive new cards at a steady pace, especially since there is no way to purchase card booster packs of any kind. Instead, players can unlock new cards directly by increasing their Collection Level, which is this game’s equivalent of account levels.

MARVEL Snap F2P Guide - Fair or Not?

At the beginning, players can unlock specific cards every level, up until level 14. Afterward, from level 18 and onward, players get access to “Mystery Cards” which are randomly drawn from a pool of available cards. From that point on, approximately every 4 levels, players will receive a new card from the pool, giving them steady access to growing their deck simply by playing the game.

We have no complaints here, especially since the developers have gone on record to say that even cards that are launched exclusively during events will be added to the pool of Mystery Cards after the said events are over. In this sense, players can essentially complete their card collections simply by playing the game, at the same rate as players who pay real money.

Season Pass Availability

Fairness: Quite fair.

Now, it’s not uncommon for free-to-play games to offer some sort of Season Pass feature, which is basically a paid service that players can level up in order to receive special rewards. And while MARVEL Snap is no exception to this fact, the way the devs handled it have made it quite fair for most players, especially since even those who don’t purchase the pass can get free rewards from leveling it up.

MARVEL Snap F2P Guide - Fair or Not?

One of the other outstanding aspects of the Season Pass in MARVEL Snap is that it can only be purchased with Gold, the game’s premium currency. Furthermore, by leveling up the said pass, players can earn plenty of this premium currency, which can then be reinvested to purchase subsequent Season Passes. In this sense, with a small initial investment, players can essentially get all the other Season Passes for free, as long as they play the game and spend some time leveling up the Pass in the current season.

As we mentioned above, even if you don’t want to pay, the free Season Pass has plenty of nice rewards, including some Gold, with which anyone can eventually purchase the Season Pass later on without spending a penny. 

Currency Availability

Fairness: Favors spenders.

One of the weakest aspects in MARVEL Snap, when it comes to fairness towards F2P gamers is the availability of currency. Specifically, players can spend money to purchase Gold, the premium currency, which can then be traded in for Credits, the game’s standard currency. The reason why this system favors spenders is because Credits are one of the main components used when upgrading cards, along with Boosters. In this sense, whales can essentially sidestep half of the grind required to power up their decks, allowing them to progress much faster than F2P players.

MARVEL Snap F2P Guide - Fair or Not?

Now, this doesn’t mean that whales will have an inherent advantage; this just implies that they will be able to power up faster than those who don’t want to spend any money.

Overall Progression

Fairness: F2P-friendly, but spenders can progress faster. 

As a card game where the main elements, cards, can be unlocked equally and fairly by all players, MARVEL Snap has essentially struck a solid middle ground when it comes to fairness. And while some gamers will have some advantages by paying for Credits, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be stronger in the long run—they will simply be able to progress much faster than others.

MARVEL Snap F2P Guide - Fair or Not?

When it comes to the Season Pass feature, while there’s definitely tons of advantages that players can get by subscribing to this service, it can also be unlocked using Gold instead of directly by paying real money. In this sense, even F2P players will be able to unlock it for free eventually. Moreover, since each of these Passes have tons of Gold as level-up rewards, players can essentially renew them each season for free, at no extra cost.

With all that being said, MARVEL Snap is already shaping up to be a fantastic game. We just hope the devs can preserve the balance and provide a fair game for everyone involved later down the line. Are you going to be playing MARVEL Snap when it releases this October 19? Let us know your thoughts and expectations in the comments below!