Those who played the previous game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Odyssey, are probably familiar with the XP booster. It was an optional feature you could buy, with real-world money, that would effectively double your experience gain. It allowed you to progress through the game quicker, which appealed to gamers with little free time.
As is usually the case with any sort of microtransactions, it generated its fair share of controversy.
The same feature has returned in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, snuck in with the latest patch. It wasn’t mentioned in the patch notes, but was noticed by Game Informer soon after the patch was released.
Technically, the booster is purchased with Helix Credits, but Helix Credits are purchased with real money. $10 will get you 1000 Helix Credits, with which you can purchase a permanent XP boost or permanent silver boost. A $15 combo package containing both boosters can also be purchased.
Both will help you get through the game faster, as both are crucial for becoming more powerful. XP will help you beef up your stats and unlock different fighting moves, while silver will help you upgrade your weapons.
The boosters weren’t the only things added to the Animus store. Players can now purchase maps that will highlight gear, ability books, opals, and artifacts. Without a map, these things can only be found by either buying information from world travelers or good, old-fashioned exploring. It can be a time-consuming affair, so it’s easy to see the appeal in the maps.
Game Informer reached out to Ubisoft about the addition of the XP boost and got a reply:
As more and more post-launch content becomes available, we want to give the option to players to advance their progression. Utilities allow players who lack the time to fully explore the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla to be able to acquire the game’s best gear, as well as other items, by accelerating their progress. For instance, these players can purchase maps that uncover some interesting locations in the world, but would still have to visit and play them to get their rewards.
By all accounts, the XP progression in Valhalla moves a lot quicker than it did in Odyssey. That was the issue with the XP booster in the previous game. Its availability from the start, mixed with the slow in-game progression, made it feel as if Ubisoft had purposely engineered it so that players would feel obligated to buy the booster.
In this case with Valhalla, however, players have been making their way through with no problem, and this late addition of the booster feels truly optional. Plus, it’s a single-player game, so it’s not like you’re purchasing an advantage over your opponents.