Wayfinder is an upcoming MMO published by Digital Extremes that is set to launch in early access on August 17th, 2023. The game will eventually transition to a free-to-play model in February 2024. There has been some controversy around whether Wayfinder will be “pay-to-win” during the early access period. Let’s break down the monetization model and discuss the question: Is Wayfinder P2W?
What can you buy with real money in Wayfinder?
- Rune Silver (Premium Currency)
- Signature Weapons
- Premium Battle Pass (aka Reward Tower)
- Character and weapon skins
- Founder’s Packs (limited time)
The only item on this list that cannot be obtained just by playing the game is Heroic Kyros from the Exalted Founder’s Pack. However, this is a limited item and won’t be around when the game launches.
Early Access Monetization
During early access, the only way to gain access to Wayfinder is through purchasing one of four “Founder’s Packs”:
- Base Pack ($20)
- Initiative Pack ($50)
- Awaken Pack ($90)
- Exalted Pack ($150)
Each pack includes some amount of premium currency called “Rune Silver” that can be used in the in-game store. The higher-tier packs also include exclusive cosmetics, titles, seasonal battle pass access, and other bonuses.
Most of the items included in the founders are cosmetic. However, there are a few that affect gameplay, including:
- Enchanted Tower Compass – Grants 5% bonus XP in the seasonal Reward Tower. This is a permanent XP boost. Note that this basically just allows you to unlock the battle pass tiers faster. It has no effect on anything else.
- Heroic Kyros – A slightly more powerful version of the Kyros character. The only way to obtain Heroic Kyros is through the Exalted Pack ($150).
Is Heroic Kyros P2W?
The developers have said that Heroic Kyros will only provide a “slight” power increase over the regular version. This is comparable to “Prime” Warframes in Warframe, which are also mildly stronger versions that must be crafted.
Prime Warframes are rarely mandatory for end-game content. Even Excalibur Prime, the only Prime exclusive to Founders packs in Warframe, is not considered a must-have frame.
However, if Kyros ends up being the top DPS character in Wayfinder, then Heroic Kyros will be slightly better by default. This could cause a “pay-to-win” situation for competitive players.
Once Wayfinder goes free-to-play, Heroic Kyros will no longer be obtainable at all. So its pay-to-win status is temporary.
What About Rune Silver?
The other concern is around Rune Silver, the premium currency included in all Founder’s Packs. The developers have explicitly stated they plan to monetize Wayfinder similarly to Warframe.
In Warframe, players can trade the premium currency Platinum to other players in exchange for Prime Warframe blueprint parts and other rare gear. This allows paying players to shortcut the grind and buy power, essentially.
Wayfinder hasn’t confirmed an in-game trading system for Rune Silver. But given their inspiration from Warframe, it remains a possibility. Players should be aware that Rune Silver may allow paying for power in the future.
What about the Reward Tower?
The Reward Tower in Wayfinder is essentially a battle pass. There are different seasons, and each has its own rewards that can only be claimed while the season is active.
The season 1 battle pass will feature the character Venomess as the main reward.
- The “F2P” tower has one out of 4 components that are used to craft her. You can also earn 25 extra items.
- The “Paid” tower has all 4 Venomess components and 100 extra items to earn
- The “Premium” tower has all 4 Venomess components, her Signature Weapon “Nightshade”, items to increase her power, 100 extra items, and 20 bonus reward tower keys to skip the battle pass tiers.
Keep in mind that everything listed here can be obtained for free. It will just take longer.
Is this P2W? Most people would say it isn’t, but it’s certainly a gray area.
Conclusion: Is Wayfinder P2W?
Wayfinder follows almost the same monetization model as Warframe, and that is not a game considered P2W. However, it’s certainly a game that is “Pay-to-skip-the-grind.” If time is valuable to you, then it could be considered P2W in some aspects.
Remember that Wayfinder’s monetization systems may change as the game evolves during Early Access.
Looking for more Wayfinder guides? Check out our other content for the game:
- Wayfinder Tier List
- Wayfinder Player Housing Guide
- Wayfinder Reward Tower Guide
- Silo Build
- Kyros Build
Play Wayfinder for free on Steam and PS4/5!