After the end of the Star Wars Battlefront II beta, DICE provided a primer on the mechanics of the crate system. However, after more feedback from beta participants, the studio is changing the feature so that you’ll have to invest more time in gampelay to gain the best rewards.
In addition to weapons, each of your characters uses Star Cards, or abilities, to gain the upper hand in combat. Abilities include the deployment of a powerful shield, throwing a high-damage grenade, or utilizing a rocket launcher. There are multiple tiers of Star Cards in the game, and the Epic tier offers the best abilities. However, these Epic Star Cards are obtainable only through the crafting feature, some pre-order bundles, the Deluxe Edition variant, and a few starter packs.
The crafting mechanic also comes into play when you're upgrading the cards in your collection. However, you won’t be able to craft better cards when you begin the game. You’ll need to reach a specific rank, which you can earn only by playing matches, before you can use materials to get better abilities.
You also have to earn new weapons, gear, and other items by competing online. For instance, you’ll need to complete general and class-specific milestones if you want access to better firearms (although DICE said that a “select few” are found in crates). Completing the milestones will also give you crates, which will include more cards and crafting materials.
The bottom line here is that DICE wants everyone to be on the same playing field regardless whether or not you use real or in-game money to buy crates. If you paid real-world dollars to get crates, you’ll have quicker access to some cards and weapons, but you’ll still need to play a few rounds, like everyone else, in order to get better items. We’ll see how it works when the game launches in a few weeks, but at the moment, these changes make Star Wars Battlefront II less of a “pay-to-win” title.