A battle well fought might be its own reward, but in For Honor, satisfaction isn’t the only post-match payout. For their bravery on the battlefield, players can earn new gear items, XP, and – perhaps most valuable of all – Steel. Although all Heroes are playable from the start of your multiplayer experience, Steel is the currency you use to recruit new Heroes and customize their gear; from gear packs to emotes, upgrades to executions, there are a lot of things to spend Steel on as you make each Hero your own.
To earn a big pile of Steel straight out of the gate, complete the basic and advanced tutorials. You’ll have enough to recruit seven Heroes right away, activate the XP-boosting Champion Status, or do a whole bunch of customization on your favorite Hero. Diving into the story mode will earn you Steel for each mission you complete, provided you’ve smashed all the breakables in the level, and you’ll also get Steel once you’ve completed the full campaign. Over on the multiplayer side, every match you complete will reward you with Steel. To really boost your earnings, however, complete the Daily Orders each day, as well as the Contract Orders you’ve selected.
These tips merely scratch the surface of the currency system in For Honor, so for a more in-depth look at Steel and its role in customization, we went straight to the source. Read on as the developers delve into how to maximize your Steel earnings, what to spend your Steel on, and how they take the in-game economy very seriously.
Why is customization an important part of the For Honor experience?
Customization has always been considered by the team as one of the key pillars of the For Honor experience. It’s been a mission from the start of the project that each player has the possibility to personalize their Heroes with unique designs to stand out on the battlefield and options to adapt them to their playstyle. But it’s also key for us to maintain the fairness of the multiplayer experience, that’s why we developed a system in which skill and playtime will always prevail.
What can players customize?
The amount of elements you can use to customize each Hero in For Honor is very robust. The customization system is split into three sections: appearance, gear, and abilities.
In the appearance section, from the get-go, you can change the Hero’s gender (for six of the Heroes) and their skin color. Then you can apply different paint patterns, engravings and symbols on each armor part. You can also add an ornament on your helmet, or change the material of your armor. You can even change the colors of your paint patterns/symbols. Of course, there will also be pre-made outfits that modify all the things mentioned above and more.
The second section, the gear, will impact the visuals and the stats of your Hero. You will be able to change three armor parts (e.g. helm, chest, and arms) and three weapon parts (e.g. blade, guard, and hilt). Each part has its own appearance and shape, but also three different stats that are given boosts or reductions to maintain balance while allowing you to shape your Hero to your playstyle.
For instance, some blades will give benefits to attack, defense or stamina cost reduction. However, each part also comes with its own statistical trade-off, and the player will have to choose the gear statistics that suits the best his/her playstyle. This way, you will be able to create different loadouts for your Heroes depending on the mode you want to play. The range of statistics can also be improved via our crafting mechanic or by equipping gear of better quality.
The last section, the abilities, contains the Feats, which are special Hero powers used in objective and deathmatch modes. You can choose to equip four of them (out of 12) for each match. They all have specific benefits on the battlefield, although the unlocked Feats are not necessarily more powerful than the default ones. It’s up to you to create the right set that will best support your playstyle and skills. In this section, you can also customize the Hero’s executions (with two equipped at a time), emotes (four equipped at a time), and effects (three equipped at a time).
At the heart of the customization system is Steel. What is it? What do we use it for?
Steel is For Honor’s sole in-game currency. You can use it to unlock most of the outfits, ornaments, executions, emotes, and effects for each Hero. Steel is also used to scavenge more gear, unlock all Feats of a Hero right away if that is your preference, or get Champion Status (which allows you to progress faster and includes other benefits), and unlock the premade bundles we offer in our store.
There is no additional currency that you can only purchase in For Honor, and there is no content paywall. We want everyone to be able to access all the gameplay content by just enjoying and playing the game.
What activities will reward Steel? How can we purchase it?
The Daily Orders will act as your main Steel income. You have two of these challenges per day to complete. Those are usually simple and do not require much time commitment. If you have more time to play, you can also complete some Contract Orders that will grant you additional Steel and XP for the Hero that you used to complete the Order. And lastly, you earn Steel at the end of every match, whatever the end result is.
Now, if you don’t have as much time as you would like to play and advance in For Honor, we also allow you to purchase Steel directly through different packages.
What can we buy with Steel? Are there blind boxes?
Steel is used to scavenge gear or unlock items including outfits, ornament, executions, emotes, and effects. In all cases, all the items you can loot and equip are gated by progression: if you play a base-level Hero, there is no way you can loot and equip high-end gear. However, some rewards can only be unlocked through Hero progression or game completion. You won’t be able to get everything with Steel as some rewards are earned based on your time investment and accomplishments you’ve done in For Honor. As for blind boxes, you have the possibility to loot additional gear by opening scavenger crates.
How does the game decide how to reward you with the blind box? Is it assessing what you already own, or is it always random?
The main way to get gear pieces (armor parts and weapons parts) is by completing matches. This comes in the form of random loot based on your Hero level. The higher the level of your Hero, the higher the quality of gear you can loot.
You can also get extra gear pieces with the scavenge gear menu, where you have four options: the basic pack (to get three random pieces with one of higher gear rank), the armor pack (to get three random pieces to form an armor with one of higher gear rank), the weapon pack (to get three random pieces to form a weapon with one of higher gear rank), and the premium pack (to get five random pieces of gear with two of higher gear rank). The loot is based on your Hero level similar to the end match reward.
We have also made adjustments to the loot given through the scavenge gear menu based on feedback we received from the Alpha and Betas. Players now always get at least one piece of a higher rank when they unlock a pack. This gear rank is also tied to your Hero level.
What are faction materials?
Faction materials are obtained by dismantling the pieces of gear that you don’t want to keep. Those faction materials are then used, along with Steel, to upgrade the rank of your chosen gear parts. Faction materials are shared across Heroes of the same faction, so for example if you dismantle the blade of a Kensei’s nodachi, you will get faction materials that you then can use to upgrade the gear of the Orochi, the Nobushi, and the Shugoki. This system is here to encourage players to play several Heroes of the same faction.
You mentioned that we can buy certain stat-affecting items, but won’t that give some players an advantage in combat if they spend money to buy Steel and then use that Steel to buy items?
No, that’s something we’ve been very careful about because we want to maintain fairness in multiplayer.
First, as mentioned before, the Loot you get is always based on your Hero level, you can never get a high rarity loot with a Hero you haven’t played much with.
Secondly, the statistics always come with a trade-off. You’ll improve some of the characteristics of your Hero, but by doing so you’ll also decrease others. These Hero stats do not change your Heroes radically, and the player’s skill will always prevail. It’s designed as a modifier to allow players to optimize their Heroes to their preferred playstyles rather than make them over-powered. If we notice after launch that some gear stats become too powerful and more important than the player’s skill, it’s something we will fix, because it’s not aligned with our vision of what For Honor is.
Also the modes that are only relying on the fight skill (like Duel and Brawl) do not take into account the stats of your gear.
So it’s meant to encourage players to customize their warrior to suit their playstyle and not necessarily give them an outright strategic advantage?
Exactly, to suit their playstyle, but also so they can maybe have different builds, based on which mode they’ll play, for example.
Can any of these Steel-purchased items be earned through drops?
Yes, of course. At the end of each match, you have a high chance to get loot.
Also, you earn most of your Steel by playing, and can use it to purchase packs in the scavenge gear menu. By completing two Daily Orders, you’ll be able to purchase two normal packs or one premium one.
Are those drops random?
Yes and no. We don’t know what you’ll get at the end of each match, but it’s always linked to your Hero level (the higher the level is, the better the quality of the gear will be). We also have some algorithms in the background to make sure that you won’t always get the same gear piece, or to force your luck when you’re missing some.
How mindful do you have to be of the time it takes for someone who earns their Steel (and their resulting gear) organically, as opposed to someone who purchases their Steel and their gear outright?
It’s something we’ve thought a lot about, always taking extreme cases. For instance, what if someone spends $1,000 to purchase Steel on the first day, what happens? Can he get the best gear in the game right away? And the answer is no, because you’re capped by the Heroes’ progression. So you can use Steel to take a shortcut around some hours of playtime, but not to reach the end content right away. You cannot buy your way to increased levels or higher progression in For Honor.
Last, but not least, some rewards can’t be unlocked with Steel, and will be solely representative of your skill and the time you’ve invested into For Honor.
Are there any customization items that will be locked away for certain players (i.e. Season Pass holders)?
Season Pass holders get some exclusive customization content, but only cosmetic things, like the sunbeam effect for the emotes, executions or emblem outlines.
The main concept behind our Season Pass is giving instant and early access to our new content. As a Season Pass holder, you’ll be among the first to discover and play with some of our post-launch content, such as new Heroes, and you’ll be able to get that content right away without having to spend Steel. So, you get the additional Heroes instantly without having to unlock them, and that includes seven-day early access.
The players who don’t own the Season Pass will have to spend Steel to get full access to the post-launch Heroes, as those will only be available in practice until they’re recruited. So if you want to play in multiplayer with the new Heroes, you’ll either need to own the Season Pass, or spend Steel.
Why charge people for Steel?
As Steel is our sole in-game currency and can be earned by just playing the game, players have the choice, if they wish to, spend some real money in Steel packages so they can save time.
Our goal is to support For Honor post-launch through free content updates that include maps, modes, and new features. By offering purchasable Steel, we can keep most of the For Honor team in place and working on For Honor.
What about the bundles?
The bundles are packages of multiple high-end items at a discounted Steel price. Most players will gain some of those items through playing the game. Most of the bundles contain cosmetic items, rather than giving an in-game advantage.
Our team also decided to place these bundles in our in-game store, rather than platform stores, in order to give players who earned Steel through playing a chance to purchase the bundle. Our team can also adapt a bundle’s price dynamically if you already own some of the items included in it.
Does Steel lean more towards PvP? What do campaign players have to look forward to?
Customization of your Heroes is available for all multiplayer activities. In the story mode, you’ll be able to select different loadouts for some of the Heroes you will play with. By playing the story mode, you’ll potentially unlock items for the multiplayer, but also earn a high amount of Steel and many scavenger crates that allow you to get premium gear packs for free in the multiplayer component of For Honor.
Is there anything else you would like to share about customization and Steel?
Yes, I just wanted to share with our players the rules we’ve set for ourselves post-launch:
• No community split.
• Deliver free content and updates.
• No content paywall.
• Season Pass buyers get instant unlocks and early access, and their exclusive content is only cosmetic.
• The shortcuts are always gated by progression to maintain balance.
• Skill must always prevail.
By always sticking to those rules, we will be able to offer players a long-term experience that will remain fair and meaningful, whatever the time or money they invest. It’s something that is really important for us, and we hope that our players will be pleased by the depth and quality of For Honor’s customization options and post-launch support.
For more on For Honor, check out UbiBlog’s previous coverage below.