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Starlink’s Toys Are $170 More Expensive Than Its Digital Version


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You’ll probably want to go for Starlink’s Digital Edition unless you really like its toys.

Ubisoft’s Starlink: Battle for Atlas launched this week, marking a surprising return to the toys-to-life genre that burned out last year. But unlike games like Skylanders or Disney Infinity, you don’t actually need Starlink’s physical toys to play it — in fact, it’s way better (and cheaper) to skip them entirely.

That’s right, not only can you play the game without having a ship strapped to your controller, the digital versions of Starlink come with more ships, pilots, and guns than the physical versions do at a lower overall price. You can watch our review of Starlink below, and see a breakdown of its different options after that.

Here’s a quick rundown of Starlink’s versions and what you get in them:

  • The Physical Starter Kit: $75 – includes 1 ship, 1 pilot, and 3 guns on PS4 and Xbox One, or 1 ship (plus a digital one), 2 pilots, and 2 guns on Switch.
  • The Digital Edition: $60 – includes 4 ships, 6 pilots, and 12 weapons on PS4 and Xbox One, plus Star Fox and the Arwing ship on Switch.
  • The Digital Deluxe Edition: $80 – includes 5 ships, 9 pilots, and 15 weapons on PS4 and Xbox One, plus Star Fox and the Arwing ship on Switch. (This is all of the current content available for Starlink.)

Right off the bat, it should be clear why the Digital Edition is better. It’s $15 cheaper for more than four times the amount of in-game stuff. For just $20 more, the Deluxe Edition actually gives you everything currently available in the game.

For comparison, getting every item physically would cost roughly $250, nearly $170 more than the Digital Deluxe Edition for the same in-game content — of course, it would also get you the admittedly cool toy ships themselves.

But even just to get the same content as the $60 Digital Edition in physical toys would cost about $200. All of the add-on packs are also half price for their digital versions, so the $25 Ship Packs that include 1 ship, 1 pilot, and 1 gun are only $13 through the eShop, PSN, or Microsoft Store.

So why does this matter? Obviously plastic costs money to produce, so of course they are going to cost more than the digital incarnations. Why can’t you just buy the toys if you want to and ignore them if you don’t?

Well, you can, but if you buy the physical Starter Kit and aren’t prepared to spend even more than that $75 investment on new toys, you’ll be at a severe disadvantage while playing Starlink. Ships and guns are the core of this game, and while there are tons of ways to upgrade the ones you have, there’s no way to get new ones unless you purchase them with real money.

Ships essentially act as extra lives during combat, allowing you to swap one out (either physically or digitally) when you die to save you from having to respawn far away. Weapons, on the other hand, have different elemental effects that are strong against certain enemies or can open certain types of doors — the Starter Kit comes with a fire weapon and an ice weapon, but the Digital Edition has at least one of each type of weapon effect to choose from.

If you buy the Starter Kit and nothing else thinking it’s just how you get the game, you are going to have a much harder time fighting your way through the Atlas system. You can always switch from physical to digital mode at any point, but you’ll still need to buy new items digitally for half off, as well as connect your physical toys once a week to remind Starlink that you own them.

The Digital Edition, on the other hand, has more than enough loot to experience Starlink the way it’s meant to be played at a regular $60 price tag. You, unfortunately, don’t get that flippin’ sweet Arwing toy that’s only available in the Switch Starter Kit, but at least you can play Starlink properly without the cost hitting three digits. (Also, you’ll be sure you’re actually going to get a copy of the game…)

Starlink is actually a pretty fun game too, you can read our full review here. You can also hear what we think on this week’s NVC, our weekly Nintendo podcast.

Tom Marks is IGN’s PC Editor and pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.

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