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You can play as one character across every map in 'Quake Champions' for free

Why it matters to you

Quake Champions is shaping up to be one of the rare free-to-play games that will be impartial to users who don't spend money.

Quake Champions seeks to revive interest in the first-person arena shooter genre that was all the rage at the turn of the millennium, but id Software is taking a decidedly modern approach in terms of payment structure. Speaking with Polygon, creative director Tim Willits said the game will be free-to-play, but users will only have one character completely unlocked without forking over some cash.

Playable characters in Quake Champions are unsurprisingly called Champions, and from the get-go you’ll play as Ranger. To have unlimited access to the whole cast of characters, you’ll have to buy the Champion Pack. This shouldn’t be construed as micro-transactions, though, as the Champions Pack is a one-time purchase. It’s best to view the free-to-play aspect as a bonus for users that simply want to try the game out without spending any money.

More: Director Tim Willits on why ‘Quake Champions’ will be the purest, fastest FPS ever

Willits said the decision to go with this model came after analyzing expectations in various markets. He claimed that core Quake fans would likely want access to all the Champions and would see the Champions Pack as the retail price for the game.

“But then we also understand that we want to get as many people into the game as possible, especially outside of North America and Western Europe, where we have a massive fan base. So we want to have the flexibility to have a free-to-play option for those people,” he said.

Those who don’t purchase the Champions Pack will still have access to all the maps and play with those who did upgrade. Free-to-play users will also have the opportunity to play as other Champions through favor, the in-game currency. Using favor will unlock other Champions for a limited time, so you’ll still get to dabble with Champions like Nyx, the recently revealed heroine who relies on stealth to defeat her opponents.

Additionally, the game uses a dynamic skill system open to all players regardless of Champions Pack status. The goal is to ensure that skill reigns supreme over simply throwing money at the game.

A closed beta for the PC exclusive will kick off in the coming weeks. You can sign up for it here.