For most Apex Legends players, the Season One Battle Pass comes with the chance to win Apex Packs, the game's version of loot crates. However, one user has discovered that changing your country of origin will get you crafting materials instead - something many players were hoping to find as rewards by default.
The player, who goes by u/UnicornPL on Reddit, discovered that their Wild Frontier Battle Pass was giving them crafting materials instead of Apex Packs because they lived in Belgium. They made a post to r/apexlegends, which gained thousands of comments from jealous fellow players who wanted crafting materials for legendary items.
One Redditor, u/Mernerak, suggested that players from other countries might be able to take advantage of the regional difference just by changing the country of origin on their account. This sparked a team effort among a number of Apex Legends players to find out whether users on PC, PS4, and Xbox could, essentially, fake their way into free crafting materials.
After eight hours and nine edits, this is what they found.
How To Change Your Country In Apex Legends
Apex Legends players using a PC will need to change their country of origin on (ironically) their Origin account and then restart their client. Several commenters on the thread have confirmed that this will work even if players have already bought a Battle Pass.
PS4 players will need to head to the EA website, log into their account, and change their location under settings. After that, players should be able to re-load Apex Legends and see a change in their Battle Pass rewards.
Redditors were a little less successful at finding a workaround for Xbox users. In theory, players should be able to change their location on their EA account just like the PS4 users, but this has not been confirmed. Xbox players can also try following this guide from Microsoft on how to update your account when you move.
One method for the Xbox One X was confirmed by u/mojo7125, but it may not apply to other Xbox consoles. If Xbox One X players log into their EA account from EA's website, change their region to Belgium under Settings > About, and then force close Apex Legends on the console, they should be able to start getting crafting items from the Battle Pass.
Switching their country of origin will not prevent players' Battle Passes from leveling up, and it will not lock players into European servers. Respawn does not currently server lock Apex Legends, so players are still free to choose the servers for their actual locations.
u/Mernerak has also made a YouTube tutorial that provides players with a more detailed, step-by-step walkthrough.
Changing the Apex Packs to crafting materials is an interesting workaround of Belgium's legal situation for Respawn. Belgium's Gaming Commission banned loot boxes in 2017 after they decided "blind microtransactions" constituted a form of gambling, which could form an addiction in younger players. The ruling came in response to EA including loot boxes in the multiplayer portion of Star Wars Battlefront 2, which sparked a lot of controversy at the time.
The Commission says they aim to eventually get loot boxes banned across all of Europe.
It will be interesting to see if players from outside Belgium will continue being able to use the Battle Passes to gain crafting materials, or if Respawn will change how the Passes operate in response to this situation. As u/Mernerak pointed out, if enough players change regions just to avoid Apex Packs, it might send a message that the loot boxes aren't welcome.
Then again, Respawn might see the mass exodus to Belgium and region lock the next season just to trap Apex Legends players in microtransaction purgatory.