Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Black Market Update Gives Players an Alternative to Loot Crates

By Sam Quirke,
Thankfully, there have been no Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 achievements that truly require players to wade into its problematic microtransactions and loot crate system — but it's still a frustrating conversation to be having in 2019. It seems that Treyarch might be finally tired of the dialogue too — the studio promised Black Ops 4 weapon changes, and this month the team is overhauling how loot crates and weapon purchase work in favour of player choice and earning items through play.

Beta Screens

Treyarch's new update post says that some gameplay changes are happening in a patch due to launch today, but the big Black Ops 4 Black Market changes will be arriving on November 12th. The headline change is that all "functional content" (i.e. non-cosmetic items) will be available to unlock just through playing the game, rather than an additional premium purchase.

In Blackjack's shop, the loot crates aren't exactly gone and randomness still plays a part in the process — but players will now find a few new options to get what they want. A "regularly scheduled Pick-a-Weapon Bribe" bundle will be available for 50 Reserve Cases. This bundle allows players to select the weapon they want rather than surrender to the gods of random number generation. The bundle is available in Blackjack's Shop and in the Reserves tab of the Black Market, and players will get the exact weapon of their choice along with two additional Reserve items and five crates protected against duplicate items.

A new Reserves Stack will always display Reserves items that you don't already own, available for 2 Reserve Cases. A further two My Deals slots, which themselves can be unlocked with Reserve Cases, will always be stocked with items you don't already own. Both the Reserves Stack and the My Deals slots will refresh "regularly" to reveal a new item, and will automatically refresh as soon as an item is purchase. Most importantly, the Reserves Stack is now transparent — players can see what they are going to unlock.

Reserve Cases can be earned in four ways while playing Black Ops 4 — Completing Contracts, via the standard earn rate in Multiplayer and Blackout, unlocking Contraband Tiers above Tier 50, and completing two Daily Tier Skips after Tier 50 has been reached.

The changes, while welcome, still don't entirely remove the randomness from the experience of purchasing in-game items unless players grind for the more expensive Pick-A-Weapon bribe. It's also telling that these changes have only come about after, presumably, the player base has been dented by the release of Modern Warfare. Still, Black Ops 4 retains a reasonable user base. If you want to join in, be sure to keep an eye on our Call of Duty: Black Ops4 price tracker for the latest, lowest prices in your area.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016. He loves gaming on all devices and in all genres. He remains a stubborn Assassin's Creed and Pokémon fan.