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The First Ascendant Cutscene Start
Screenshot by Prima Games

Is The First Descendant Pay to Win? – Answered

Please give us the Descendants at least...

The First Descendant is a free-to-play looter-shooter ARPG, and like most free games, they try to make up for it through microtransactions or in-game purchases. This raises the biggest question: Does The First Descendant have pay-to-win microtransactions? Since it isn’t a player vs. player game, being pay-to-win is still relevant to those who want to compete among themselves and get repelled by the sight of microtransactions that give players some character power.

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Can You Pay to Win in The First Descendant?

There are several items you can purchase that can indirectly give you more power in The First Descendant. However, is it significant enough to cause a major difference compared to a player who hasn’t spent a single dime? The answer is yes, but it doesn’t mean the F2P or free-to-play player can’t catch up.

By playing the game enough, any player can farm any number of materials, and none of them are exclusive from the in-game shop except the following:

  • Boosts (Kuiper Shard, Gold, Weapon Proficiency, and XP)
  • Cosmetics and skins
  • Extra slots (Descendant, storage, inventory, etc.)

Extra slots are free through mastery ranks, but those who purchase them get a lot more.

Everything else can be farmed through playing the game, but some might take longer. For example, if you want a new Descendant, you must farm the materials from Void Intercept Battles and other activities. Farming may take upwards of 20+ hours, especially if you are looking for an incredibly specific material. These materials are used to research Descendants. Sometimes, you’ll even research a material to craft another material to craft the Descendant.

Each research will take almost a day to finish and will cost gold. In short, getting Descendants is an extremely tedious task, but it is doable. However, players can also buy them from the in-game shop without waiting, farming the materials, or researching.

If some Descendants are stronger than others, players who buy them will have an advantage. It isn’t significant if you look at it from a PvE perspective because you only need to focus on your Descendants.

The biggest boost pay-to-win players can have are… boosts. These boosts elevate them to a point where catching up to them will be impossible. These boosts have a duration, but if they do activate the boost, they’ll make sure they get the most out of it, and 30% all across the board is a big hurdle to catch up on for F2P players.

Considering the genre, the in-game shop, the premium battle pass rewards, and Descendants being locked and purchasable, the pay-to-win model in The First Descendant is mild. Then again, it is a subjective topic.

Everyone can still enjoy the game even if they never get Calibers (premium currency) since your goal is to finish the story, strengthen your character, and play with others to finish endgame activities. You aren’t fighting against players who have spent “X” amount of money to run you over.

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Image of Enzo Zalamea
Enzo Zalamea
Enzo is a staff writer at Prima Games. He began writing news, guides, and listicles related to games back in 2019. In 2024, he started writing at Prima Games covering the best new games and updates regardless of the genre. You can find him playing the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Path of Exile, Teamfight Tactics, and popular competitive shooters like Valorant, Apex Legends, and CS2. Enzo received his Bachelor's degree in Marketing Management in De La Salle University and multiple SEO certifications from the University of California, Davis.