Most Apex Legends players who buy the new battle pass will receive Apex Packs (this game’s version of loot boxes) as they level up — but not if you’re in Belgium. Following the country’s 2018 ban on paid loot boxes, rewards received come in the form of crafting metals instead, an in-game currency used to buy cosmetics that are usually only earned within loot boxes. As Eurogamer points out, you don’t actually have to be in Belgium to swap your loot boxes rewards for crafting metals.
In a thread on the Apex Legends subreddit, a commenter discovered that you can fake out the game by simply changing your region to Belgium in your EA account settings on PC, Xbox One, or PS4. Interestingly, it makes no difference if you’ve bought the battle pass already. EA automatically converts your battle pass winnings into crafting metals in lieu of receiving a loot box.
It’s surprising that EA isn’t currently limiting region-swapping for those who don’t actually live in Belgium, but it’s likely a safeguard to protect itself from Belgium’s stiff penalty for including loot boxes in the game. According to Belgian Minister of Justice Koen Geens, punishment could include prison sentences of up to five years and fines of up to 800,00 euros if loot boxes aren’t removed.
So, should you swap your region? It depends on if you’re saving up for a specific legendary cosmetic item or if you’re happy with whatever comes inside of an Apex Pack. Eurogamer states that up to 1,350 crafting metals can be earned through the battle pass. (That’s enough for a legendary skin, if that’s what you’re after.) For seasoned Apex Legends players, knowing exactly what you’re getting is probably more appealing than rolling the dice with a loot box.
It’s hard to say how much longer EA will allow those who aren’t actually located in Belgium to swap their battle pass earnings, but if you want to try it out, proceed at your own risk. It’s possible that EA could come back and ban users who try to swap their regions.