I’m surprised it’s taken this long, but Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is finally hopping on the loot box bandwagon with the arrival of Alpha Packs. These packs are dropped at the end of matches and contain an assortment of weapon skins and charms graded on rarity.

At the of every match, players have a chance of an Alpha Pack dropping for them if they win the match. If you don’t get one, then the chance of one dropping in the next match increases. Lose a match and the chance of an Alpha Pack dropping increases by 1.5%, while winning bumps it up by 2.0%. This means that if you keep playing, you will eventually guarantee yourself some weapon skin drops. For example, you win a match and you have a 2% chance of rolling an Alpha Pack. If you fail, when you next win an additional 2% will be rolled into the drop rate, giving you a total of 4% chance. 

Season Pass holders will also get a slight advantage in the drop rate. They get a flat +0.3% extra chance per match. That may not seem like much, but that’ll mean VIP players should receive 15-20% more Alpha Packs. 

If you want to just buy the Alpha Packs outright, you can do so. An individual one will set you back roughly 5000 Renown, equivalent to roughly 3-6 hours play depending on how well you perform. 5 Alpha Packs will cost 25,000 Renown, 25 Packs will be 112,000 Renown, and 50 Packs will set you back a whopping 200,000 Renown. You get slight savings per pack depending on how many you buy, with 50 Packs costing you 4000 Renown per Alpha Pack. This Renown can be earned, which would take a while, or you can buy the usual Renown microtransaction packs and then exchange them for Alpha Packs.

The Alpha Pack system is now live on Siege's test servers, and for the most part, people seem to be pleased with how they're integrated. For those who don't want to spend any cash, they're just an additional way to unlock new skins. You can also trade in duplicates for Renown, which can then be spent on specific skins or on the Alpha Packs.

It also seems as if there are no restrictions on what can be obtained in the Alpha Packs. Some users are reporting receiving skins which were timed exclusives for specific seasons, including the Black Ice skins. This provides a second opportunity to get these rare skins which have since left the Siege store.

I know these things are usually pretty divisive, but how do you feel about the introduction of a loot box equivalent in Rainbow Six Siege? Just another neat way to unlock skins, or more unnecessary clutter? Let us know!